Evil & Terricide
this way comes
produced by Capcom Games
"Terracide" produced by Eidos Interactive
Computer games aren't
like cheese or wine - very few get better with age. Take Resident
Evil for instance. This game was released almost two years
ago for the Sony PlayStation. At that time, it was truly an impressive
game. Graphics were rich and detailed with integrated full-motion video
and gameplay that was uncommon for a console title. In a third person
perspective, you took your character (either female or male) through a
haunted house, possessed by zombies and monsters, looking for a missing
The fact that this
game sold over two million copies for the PlayStation naturally led to
it being converted into a Windows 95 title. It just took too long to do.
The graphics are comparable
to the PlayStation version, since this game requires a 3D accelerator
card. There's more to a good game than a pretty face, however, and that's
where Resident Evil fails. Although it was fairly original on the PlayStation,
this game was done before on the computer 'way back in 1992 in a game
called Alone in the Dark. It, too, took place in a possessed house and
was in a third person perspective. Its graphics were also impressive at
the time. In both games, the object is to walk around and find items,
solve puzzles (like flipping switches in a certain sequence to unlock
a door) with plenty of combat action against the creatures. But where
Alone in the Dark is considered a classic, Resident Evil is simply derivative
and flawed, despite its more impressive look.
For example, the computer
gamer is saddled with some console game limitations. We computer types
are used to being able to save our games whenever we want, since memory
isn't usually an issue. In a console like the PlayStation, memory is an
add-on luxury that must be carefully rationed. So in the original version
of Resident Evil, you could only save your progress at certain points
in the game. These points are represented by typewriters scattered throughout
the mansion. Even when you find a typewriter, you have to have a ribbon
in your inventory in order to use it. It's a cumbersome, illogical system
that pointlessly causes you to replay certain segments over and over.
You'll end up doing that a lot since the monsters kill you quickly. Replaying
this game also means that you have to listen to the wretched voice acting
over and over. It is some of the worst I've ever encountered in any game.
The only enhancement
to the computer version is that the gory scenes that were deleted from
the PlayStation version have been restored. They do look grisly but are
ultimately unconvincing and unimpressive rather than scary. When you have
games like Tomb Raider and Time Commando to play, I don't know why you
would want to endure Resident Evil. It should have either been released
alongside the console version or else upgraded with a proper save feature
and competent voices.
from Eidos Interactive, is an example of how to clone a game properly.
This title is similar in many ways to Descent, Interplay's huge hit from
1995. Eidos took the idea of a 360 degree shooter and placed it inside
of a vast alien ship. The player maneuvers through corridors, rooms and
tunnels. The designers didnt stop there, though, adding a number
of enhancements. The graphics in Terracide are so good that they won an
award for best use of the 3Dfx cards capabilities. Lighting is realistic
and shows shading and gradation using many different colours and textures.
If you have a 3D card, you may want to see just how good an image it can
You dont need
to have a 3D accelerator to play Terracide, however, and the regular version
is also impressive.
As for gameplay, enemies
are challenging without being too difficult. The weapons are not as "fun"
as those found in Duke Nukem 3D, but theyre enjoyable enough. Theres
an added dose of enjoyment between levels. Instead of a simple cutscene
showing you flying to the next ship, theyve added some extra gaming
in between where you shoot down alien fighters en route. Its a pleasant,
if brief, diversion.
are supported over modem, network or Internet.
innovative in the gameplay sense. It is a significantly enhanced version
of a game that has proven to be popular -- a good sequel in everything
is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal. You can find more of his columns
can be reached via e-mail at StevenB@msn.com.
And for more computer news, visit JournalExtra, the World Wide Web site
of The Edmonton Journal, at http://www.edmontonjournal.com.
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