I have not been looking forward to this day at all. Leading up to this point Resident Evil was one of the most solid franchises around. With three fantastic games under their belt it felt like nothing could go wrong with the series… And then the Gun Survivor series came out and pretty much butt fucked that whole idea. While many people have been picking on RE6 and Operation: Raccoon City… (Myself included) these games seem to get a free pass and it isn’t because they are good or got a lot of bad flack that they didn’t deserve. These games blow and blow harder than any $2 whore. But on top of all that they are completely forgetable. With the exception of fans of the series I doubt any casual gamer even knows of their existence and with the fact that the original characters from these games never appear again in any of the future games it can be assumed by me at least that CAPCOM felt so ashamed of them that they want them to stay in the twisted world of obscurity where they belong. I feel bad enough pulling them back out of the ‘Things Best Left Dead’ section of my closet but this is a retrospective so I suppose they need to be covered… So let’s do it.
Before we get started just let me throw in a quick plot summary. In the game you take control of the protagonist known as Ark Thompson, a friend of Leon Kennedy’s who is sent to Sheena Island to investigate an Umbrella facility. Of course while you are there, some bad guy Umbrella worker named Vincent Goldman (Who looks like if M Bison from Street Fighter and Tim Curry had a baby) pretty much screws the island upon your arrival and you have to save two little bastards children named Lott and Lily Klein while fighting through the zombie infested place. You fight shit, you kill the Tyrant creatures which is basically just a humanoid creature that looks like a reject of the Blue Man Group, Goldman dies, and you save the day.
I swear if I get into anymore of this, this review will just be one long rant of words with no coherent thought to it so let me slow down and explain why this game is one of the worst things to ever come out of the RE Universe.
The Game Was the First to Change the Setting and the Characters
If there is one thing I can give Survivor it is the fact that it was the first game in the franchise to attempt to expand the mythos. Unlike RE1, 2, and 3 this game has absolutely nothing to do with Raccoon City or the Spencer Estate… Hell it doesn’t even have any of the returning characters… Well unless you count Leon but he really doesn’t make an appearance so we are looking at a completely new cast of characters. It establishes that it is in the mythos with Umbrella, the T-Virus and its various strands, and by including Leon Kennedy at least in some exposition.
So really this was the first game to branch out and say ‘Hey Resident Evil doesn’t HAVE TO be in Raccoon City.’ We can take it to other places… Granted it didn’t work… AT ALL. But it was the first film to take the risk and move away from what had been the location in the past three games.
It is Essentially A Light Gun Arcade Game
The title says it all. It is nothing more than a light gun arcade game. The only difference is that it gives you a few options to branch off of. Other then that, there is no exploration, there is no puzzles to solve, there really is nothing there except point your gun, shoot, monster dies, continue down the hallway. This type of game does have some appeal to it for other franchise but not for a Resident Evil game that up until that point were filled with complex puzzles and difficult bosses. This is the type of action we are expecting in our RE games and when you release a game such as this you cannot just expect your fan base to accept a radically different style of gameplay.
I despised the fact that I had the same feeling in this game as I felt playing Time Crisis 2 in my local arcade when I was a kid. Granted I did like Time Crisis 2. But that is because I knew what I was expecting with it, not unlike Resident Evil where I was expecting a new setting and new characters to grow attached to and instead I found myself bored for a few hours walking down a corridor and shooting random things because… Well they were there.
Character Development? What’s that?
Yeah I do not give a shit about any of the characters in this game. Unlike any of the other games wher I grew invested in the characters to some extent this game is a whole lot of who gives a flying fuck?! Ark Thompson?! Don’t know him, didn’t learn anything about him, and don’t care about him. Could give two shits about the little kids and I really don’t care to see Vincent Goldman in any form. I don’t care if he succeeds or fails or anything. I just do not give a shit because this game gave me no reason to give a shit.
If you create a character you have to develop them to be a character we either want to see succeed or to see fail. This is why characters like Jill Valentine, Leon Kennedy, Albert Wesker, Ada Wong, and Nicholai Ginovaef are good characters because they were developed characters. These characters there is no reason to give a rats ass about them and because of that when they succeed or get what is coming to them all you do is triumphantly proclaim, ‘Meh?’
It Feels Like a Cheap Knock Off
Graphics, Gameplay, Story. Nothing about this feels like a game that fits within the RE universe. At least the other games in the Gun Survivor series can at least boast that they look like RE games. This game feels like some random guy got ahold of the RE license from CAPCOM when one of the execs was on a drunken bender and just rolled with it.
Everything is just below par to what I expect when I play a RE game even if it isn’t apart of the main story line.
IT IS TOO EASY!
This game is not only easy it is mind numbingly easy. Even a complete new comer who has never played a video game before in there life can navigate this game in about three-five hours. Myself when I first bought it, it took me little more than TWO HOURS to finish the damn thing. There was no challenge, I never once died or had to restart from a check point. I was never once stumped or questioning where I should go next because it was obvious. Just follow the corridor and spam the shoot button until something disappears from the screen. This game isn’t even the slightest bit of a challenge to anybody and for that makes it almost unplayable.
It is good I was able to get this game out of the way early because this one truly is the worst of the series. There are some that come close to it but really at the end of the day there is nothing that is redeemable about it. This game is in the strange realm of obscurity of forgotten games and that is where it should stay. Buried deep in the forgotten realms.
Final Score: 0/5
Another one of the Retrospective down and next we will jump back onto the main story plot and tackle Resident Evil: Code Veronica
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Until next time thank you for reading.