Over the years, Capcom has made their presence felt in the PC
industry by porting such popular console series as Mega Man and
Resident Evil. In fact, both Resident Evil 3 and Mega Man Legends
are both currently in development for the PC but in the meantime,
Capcom has begun to port another series, Dino Crisis.
The story begins as you take on the role of Regina, a female
operative who has been sent on a covert mission to infiltrate an
isolated research compound in search of the supposedly deceased
Dr. Kirk. It becomes apparent, upon arrival, that something is
amiss in the good doctor's lab as the entire base is shrouded in
darkness and soon enough, you find yourself knee deep in
If you think the story sounds remarkably similar to Jurassic Park,
you're not the only one. In fact, Dino Crisis pokes fun at itself at
one point when one of the characters proclaims, "This is just like
that movie." Dino Crisis, much like the Resident Evil series of titles,
is a survival horror game. Simply replace the thousands of
moaning zombies with faster, stronger dinosaurs that jump out of
every nook and cranny possible. However, unlike the pre-rendered
backgrounds witnessed in Resident Evil, Dino Crisis features
polygonal real-time environments. While it's certainly a step up,
there are still plenty of awkward visual moments partly due to the
fact the maximum resolution is only 640x480. Despite the attempt
to improve the graphics, Dino Crisis still boasts the look and feel of
a console title, and that is a major drawback. Much of the suspense in
Dino Crisis is provided via a roving camera that often catches the gamer off guard with crazy
angles. That, and the fact the dinosaurs are often twice the size of
Regina, helps create some excellent panic moments in the game.
Dino Crisis is a rather simple game that involves exploration,
puzzle-solving, and of course plenty of shooting. If you've had the
opportunity to play any of the Resident Evil series, you're probably
familiar with some of the more ridiculous puzzles found within that
series. Thankfully, the creators of Dino Crisis put their minds
together to create puzzles that are not only challenging, but also
offer some relevance to the plot, a storyline that is advanced
throughout the game via relatively satisfying cutscenes. One thing
I don't understand in the PC version of Dino Crisis is why they
decided to include the stair and door transitions that the
PlayStation uses as a means to load up the next area. They're just
a waste of time.
While adventuring through Dino Crisis, you'll collect a number of
important items that you'll need to solve some of the puzzles with.
The inventory interface has been extended to allow the player to
mix and match various articles to improve existing items such as
med-kits. The rest of the controls are relatively straight forward.
The stars of the show here are clearly the dinosaurs. Whether it's a
T-Rex or the Velociraptors, they're all killing machines that are just
waiting to pounce on unsuspecting team victims. Unlike the
zombies in Resident Evil, the dinosaurs won't be satisfied watching
you leave a particular room, they'll actually come after you and
follow you around the various areas of the base. This makes the
gaming experience much more intense and suspense-driven since
you never know what'll come around the corner that you might not
have killed the first time around.
Those who have played Dino Crisis on the PlayStation will
immediately recognize Operation Wipeout, a mini-game that can
be accessed immediately by the gamer, rather than once the
game is completed as seen in the PlayStation version. Operation
Wipeout is a mini-game that challenges players to get from point A
to point B without getting killed en route.
When all is said and done, Dino Crisis is still an obvious port. The
visuals are stuck at a maximum resolution of 640x480 and despite
the new polygonal real-time environments, the developers
still need to take advantage of the technology available on the PC.
With that said, the gameplay in Dino Crisis is still very suspenseful
and action-packed. If you've already played Dino Crisis on your
PlayStation, there's nothing in the PC version you haven't seen
before. If you don't own a PlayStation, Dino Crisis is only worth a
look if you're in the mood for a simple console-style action title.