I am torn. I can’t decide if I like this game or not. I don’t hate it, it isn’t Umbrella Chronicles bad, it is just weird.
Resident Evil Survivor is a strange, STRANGE game. You really need to play it for it to make sense, but i’ll try my best to explain here.
You use the light gun (control pad if you’re an idiot) to shoot and maneuver yourself around the level. This IS NOT an on-rails shooter, it is a Resident Evil game, in first person perspective, using a light gun.
If you come to this expecting a pure on-rails shootathon you’ll be sadly let down. If you’re after a pure Resident Evil experience, you’ll probably be let down too.
But what Survivor tries to offer actually works, if not a little clunky.
You shoot off screen to move forward, a slow double shot makes you run forward, and a fast double shot makes you backpedal. This takes some getting used too, as, in a panic you’ll inevitably either run into an enemy, or walk calmly back to the enemy…
You use the “A” and “B” gun button to turn left or right, and “A+B” opens the option menu.
The trigger makes shooty noises. You don’t reload unless you run out your clip, or you go into the menu, so in that respect it is VERY Resident Evil.
Each gun has a fire rate, so unlike other light gun games ,you can’t fire off as fast as you can twitch. You can only shoot as fast as the game/equipped gun allows. This is very annoying from a light gun perspective, but, from a Res Evil perspective, is pretty accurate to the series.
The movement is slow, and slightly awkward, if you thought the tank controls in the original Resident Evil games were poor, then you’ll hate the movement system.
The game is VERY linear, and you can complete the game without realising there are branching pathways. It wasn’t until 75% into the game, when I left the house in the hills that I realised I had choices of the route I could take. As I played, I went in the doors I came too, without looking, turns out, some of these were branching paths…
For the other doors, the puzzles are none existent, open a door, find a key, go through next door, use that key in the next room. There is no backtracking, no “solving” just keep going and you’ll find the item, and location of that item within two rooms.
The enemy set iszZombies, dogs (Cerberus’), Lickers, T-003 tyrants, spiders, Hunters, and the usual Tyrant boss. Shooting is tight, and headshots win the day.
I do have an issue with the enemy screen lock that occurs, if you shoot a zombie, the screen will centre on said zombie.
Survivor is set in a non-descript town/island (Sheena Island), that just so happens to be where the Umbrella HQ is. You take on the role of an Amnesiac *YAWN* who, at the start of the game survives *see what i did there* a helicopter crash, and must uncover the truth of his identity, and survive. *I did it again*.
The “plot twist” can be seen coming after about 15 minutes, so don’t be too surprised.
To be honest, the story is pretty poor.
The characters that appear in Survivor are (to my knowledge) never mentioned again in any Resident Evil game, Survivor is entirely self contained, and adds very little to the Resident Evil Universe. There is one awful line towards the end of the game where Ark namedrops Leon, that is the only connection to the proper series.
It is nice to see Resident Evil in first person perspective, but the graphics are pretty atrocious. The textures are fine, and look like you would expect, but the size of the world is wrong.
Rooms are poorly proportioned, doors are lower than your head height. Items in rooms such as beds, chairs, desks all seem the wrong shape. They may have used the same game assets as the ones in RE2, i’m not sure, but the new perspective means the game assets jar with the environment.
Survivor isn’t a long game, but annoyingly, you can’t save your progress, so you have to complete the game in one sitting, which, will be 90-120 minutes of normal play. This is a long time to be holding a light gun.
When you get the choice of 3 different paths, one of them takes you to a room with 5 T-003s, this is REALLY boring. By this stage in the game, you know how to beat the T-003, “Pew. Pew. backpedal. pew. pew. backpedal.” rinse and repeat for 30ish shots. You then have to do this 4 more times in quick succession. It is easily the most tedious part of the game.
The lab section is slightly boring, and by coincidence, it is the most “Resident Evillike” section. You have to backtrack, and revisit some rooms, which would be fine in a standard Res Evil game, but in survivor it is slow, and tedious due to the control method.
The final bosses are a bit crap too, unless you have stockpiled all health and ammo you’re fucked. I used 18 Magnum Bullets, 16 Flame Rounds, 4 Grenade rounds, 12 Shotgun shells, and abut 15 pistol rounds to down him. My accuracy was around 85% before you say I was terrible, he was just insanely hard bullet sponge on normal.
I am still unsure, and I am wondering if it is the fanboy in me that stops me hating this game.
Resident Evil Suvivor, isn’t a very good light gun game, it isn’t particularly a good Resident Evil game, it introduces characters we don’t know or care about, and has a pretty terrible b-movie plot.
But despite those issues, it captures the claustrophobia of Resident Evil. It FEELS like a Resident Evil game.
In the end, I think it succeeds, but you’ll need to see it as it is. Not a Resident Evil game, and not a light gun game. It is some strange hybrid of the two, that on paper, sounds like it shouldn’t work. But ultimately does.
It is also better than Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.
Pros: A fairly unique experience
Cons: Story doesn’t expand on Resident Evil canon, story is utterly forgetable, graphics are pretty poop, not really sure what is going on
40% as a pure light gun shooter
45% as a Resident Evil game
I know that doesn’t add up, but end product is greater than the sum of it’s parts.