|Version Reviewed: PS3
Another game to slot into the horror genre! I wish I could say that; as most horror games have a tendency to make me lock up in anticipation because I’m the type of person that a combat high will make me either fight like the devil, or be ready to be pounced. If you can’t tell already, this is not a proper horror game, so let’s just throw that out the window. Being blunt right off the bat, this game was more of a shooter that had some horror elements to it.
While you can tell the intent of the game was to be a mix between horror and shooter, it just did not capture the essence of your Resident Evil– or F.E.A.R– type game. The amount of organic stuff on the walls, dead bodies, creepy crawlies, and blood gave the game its share of realism for the massacre that happens aboard the Ishimura. Yet with all this, it still fails to deliver. This is all because of one thing: it’s predictable! Now that this is out of the way, the focus shifts to the shooter element of the game.
If you’ve played Gears of War, then you already know the feel of this game. It’s the same over-the-shoulder style of third person shooter in the Gears franchise, and it very much lends itself to this game. While it doesn’t zoom in as close (which is a good thing), it allows you to get a good line of sight where your bullets are going. Combat and shots in this game have to put down relatively quickly, as enemies love to take advantage of missed shots. And a “missed shot” in this game isn’t as simple as just putting a bullet anywhere but the body. You see, this game is based on the concept of strategic dismemberment, something that initially got the game a bad rap with overprotective parents.
Unlike most games where you are shooting your way through, going for the head or center of mass isn’t effective, and sometimes just pisses things off. The game forces you to conserve ammunition, while also tactically placing your shots and making them count more than your standard shooter. For others, the natural urge to go for the head or center of mass takes over and ends up with interesting results at times.
Isaac himself is an engineer who is very capable of doing things in a pinch, quickly working to making sure he can survive on his own, yet you don’t find out much about him and who he is. The only clue that you get about Isaac’s past is in a text log deep into the game. As for the other two members of the team that survive initially, you don’t find out much about them, except that there are deep trust issues. As the game develops, you find out a bit more about them and see the rift temporarily close as long as you need to work together.
Audio in this game was relatively poor for taste. The soundtrack was relatively non-existent and other sound effects were often a little bit too quiet. Graphics in this game were not mind-blowing, just basic for what is capable on the Xbox 360. For a 10-12 hour game, graphics could have been much improved, which could have helped the horror factor.
It seems this game has many raps against it, but it really wasn’t a bad game at all. The replay value on it is relatively low because this game is mostly a one-time play, unless you want to challenge yourself on a higher difficulty. There is no multiplayer in this game to extend the time on it. Despite this, it was still a fun game to play because you were able to take out some aggression and try to figure out the story. It has also spawned a series of other videos to go with it and a sequel. This is a game worth renting, and worth checking out if you want a somewhat freaky shooter.