With a name like that I know saur that it's going to Tricera tops the charts! Oh dear. Poor dinosaur puns aside, Capcom looks as if it could be onto another winner in the survival horror genre. After shuffling hungrily towards the juicy brains of a sure-fire hit with Resident Evil, this time it's trying something different to keep the format fresh. And with rotting zombie corpses to its name, that isn't going to be too difficult. Dino Crisis was a hit on the PlayStation last year and there's no reason why it shouldn't do just as well when released on the PC.
Jurassic Park 3?
Dinosaurs have been big sellers in the past, with Steven Spielberg's special effects extravaganza starting the trend, and while the hype is only just dying down, we're sure you're just as excited by them as you were when they first popped their CGI heads out of the ET director's beard.
In Dino Crisis you play red-haired Regina, participating in a mission to infiltrate an island base to find Dr Kirk, a man once thought dead. Only there's a little bit of a problem; a problem that's massacred almost everyone on the island. It isn't long before you comes across it -dinosaurs! Although with a name like Dino Crisis, this is rather obvious (unless you thought this was a Dean Martin simulator). From then on it's survival horror ahoy as you attempt to take control of the situation and try to find an escape route - while blasting your way through loads of prehistoric monsters, of course.
Anyone who's played Resident Evil know what to expect. It's another foray into third-person action adventure with a handful of puzzles mixed in with the gunplay. This time though, Capcom has added a few improvements. Where RE had static backgrounds, Dino Crisis features polygon backgrounds, which sometimes move as you walk. Despite the loss of detail it looks strangely appealing. Even more useful is the fact that, by pressing a button, Regina can turn 180 degrees instantaneously. A good thing, considering the increased agility of the dinosaurs.
Where zombies are slow, single-minded and stupid, dinosaurs are fast, single-minded and slightly less stupid. You won't have much chance to react before they're gouging your stomach as they pin you to the ground. What's more, they have a habit of appearing when you least expect it, or even following you into certain rooms. Any damage done to Regina can result in spillage of blood, which may attract them to your position if not stemmed. Velociraptors - the ones nobody had ever heard of before Jurassic Park - take their rightful place as the main cannon fodder, but expect guest appearances by other species. You can also count on the obligatory cameo by the old Tyrannosaurus Rex. To keep the tension high, ammo is scarce and the dinosaurs are abundant. It's good then that you can also shoot them up with tranquillisers to put them to sleep for a short time, and several lasers can hinder the progress of the enemy with ease.
Aiding you in your quest are two others: a moody chap called (ha ha) Gale, and Rick, an eager type with a hideous haircut. Expect both to provide the incentive for various cut-scenes of almost movie-like quality, which at least add to the atmosphere. And atmosphere is one thing Dino Crisis has in its favour. The thought of not knowing what lurks around the next corner, and only having a few bullets left, might just bring a hint of excitement into our insignificant lives. What with its plot, set-pieces, and diverse camera angles, could Dino Crisis be the natural evolution of the interactive movie into something more suited to the discerning gamer? Who knows?
For Those Who Don't Own a Playstation...
Well, we've had to wait this long for Dino Crisis to appear on the PC, so don't we deserve some additions to complement our unwavering patience? Let's see, hmm? Ah, improved graphics and sound. That's a given. What else? Hopefully, the PlayStation's door-opening sequences can be cut or reduced for our slightly more powerful computers. And maybe there are a few bonus games. Any more? Oh yes, the ability to register your high score online in a worldwide league table, so you can compare it against other hardened Dino Crisis players.
Hey, whatever it adds, we're still aroused by the chance of facing up to some foes that put up a good fight. Dino Crisis has been happily selling itself to more than a million punters in its PlayStation format and the PC version may shift quite a few more. I guess we'll just have to wait until the final version lands to see if it's worth all the fuss.
Download Dino Crisis
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
2018-10-30 Dino Crisis game added.