Game Over Online ~ Dino Crisis

GameOver Game Reviews - Dino Crisis (c) Virgin Interactive, Reviewed by - Trent Vaughn

Game & Publisher Dino Crisis (c) Virgin Interactive
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 62%
Date Published Sunday, September 17th, 2000 at 09:07 PM

Divider Left By: Trent Vaughn Divider Right

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 prehistoric-sized sh…tuff.

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.


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