Review: Resident Evil: Dead Aim

Title: Resident Evil: Dead Aim

Platform: PS2
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Players: 1

I have been a loyal follower of the RE series throughout its many editions, being stunned by the original, giddy over the sequel, and satisfied with the last couple. But Dead Aim sadly puts the franchise along side other horror icons that should have stayed dead four installments ago.

What we have here is a combination FPS and 3rd person adventure. Run around a big cruise ship that’s infested with T-Virus zombies, look for keys, gather documents, yadda yadda yadda. It’s staple RE gameplay, old hat by now. There’s no tension upon entering a room, you know there are going to be zombies there. And while the cruise ship looks great, and is huge, and creates a tight confining space for claustrophobic encounters, the environments don’t really shout evolution. Furthermore, there are severe movement problems with the characters, who seem to turn left slower than Derek Zoolander. Infuriating when you’re trying to dodge a slow-mo zombie and the damn thing manages to get you.

And then there’s the light gun mode, although I just used the dual shock 2 controller. Maybe lack of a hand held weapon left me feeling empty, but I almost wished this mode wasn’t in the game. The biggest flaw is the piss poor aiming mechanism, which lets you scan a room sideways but not vertically, so that I found myself shooting off zombie’s feet most the time. Luckily the array of weapons adds a little bit of glee to this aspect, especially the machine gun. Heads shots baby, head shots! So okay, there is that, the yummy yummy gore which certainly isn’t lacking. Unlike past RE games, where you’re maybe facing five or six zombies at once, here you’re dealing with hordes. And they don’t get shot so much as explode and flip backwards through the air like acrobats. I’ll admit the game scores on that level, small as it might be.

But in the end it’s not enough. Like films, horror/survival games get worse with each addition, because reinventing the original means adding gimmicks and fucking up the story line. We need more of what made the first one so great: the tension, the surprises. But not rehashed, I’m sick of the damn bloody dogs, and the octopi monsters. The first had B-movie mutants like giant spiders and bi-plane sized moths, it worked because, hell, we’re all afraid of these things in real life—unless you grew up in the amazon— and we didn’t know they were coming. Figure out to get those surprises back, or set this ship on fire and send it out to sea peacefully.