I completed the game in about four hours using the standard PS2 controller and I would definitely like to revisit it using the G Con light gun. the game was refreshingly short, making it a nice "light snack" between other games. It also satisfied my desire to dip further into the world of Umbrella after playing the most excellent RE4 (Wii edition) last weekend. It's really whetted my appetite for RE5 which finally seems almost close enough to touch.
Apparently out on "Friday 13th" (of what?) sometime in 2009, the game looks more jaw droppingly amazing with every fresh teaser released.
Once the game begins, the back-story is fleshed out through the discovery of journals, clippings, and other staples of Resident Evil lore and continues along at a quickened pace via the occasional cut scene. If you're a die-hard fan of the series, there isn't a lot to be discovered here in terms of adding to the franchise's mythology, and the characters themselves are a little cut and dry. Regrettably, the game's most interesting character, Fongling, is barely explored at all; and other than a few moments that allow her to show how much attitude she has, she's pretty underexposed. Of course, there are a few revelations that tie up a couple of loose ends from previous installments, but nothing truly earth shattering.
Happily, Dead Aim takes the adventure aspect of the Survivor series further than any other game before it. And to its credit does an outstanding job of capturing the familiar Resident Evil-style progression. With the exclusion of pre-determined camera angles and the usual blind spots, however, the sudden frights that are associated with the traditional games aren't quite as plentiful. As we previously mentioned, though, the typical Resident Evil goodies and items are at your disposal the moment the game begins: Key cards, green herbs, first aid spray, and all that other stuff we've come to love populate the inventory screen in an identical manner to the adventure games.
Weapons too play a similar role in Dead Aim; with handguns, silenced weapons, grenade launchers, shotguns, automatic rifles, and other familiar equipment available for annihilation. Limited to only a few ammo slots in the inventory menu, ammo has to be conserved in order to have enough of it left for the end. Unlike most light-gun shooters, however, running away and choosing to fight your battles at another turns out to be the best tactic, and one that will actually prove fruitful in the more difficult game settings. This factor alone could prove to be a big turning point for light gun fans: Do they want action, or do they want atmosphere? Dead Aim provides more of the latter.Once the decision has been made, gamers will have to control their character. To maneuver them around (yes, you can control both Bruce and Fongling at different intervals), players are able to select from a myriad of different combinations that best suit their tastes.
Sound - Resident Evil titles have almost always been the shining example of how to properly mix an ambient soundtrack and Dead Aim isn't any different. Using subtle pipe and horn instruments in a slow, monotonous fashion, the game's musical score is appropriately creepy and foreboding in all the right sections. Occasionally during boss battles or sudden changes of situation, the composition ramps up into an action movie-like fervor -- with more than a couple of tunes that reminded us of another Capcom tale of the dark, Devil May Cry.
Closing CommentsIn the end, Resident Evil: Dead Aim did something we didn't expect -- it made us want to play it until we beat it (a feat that previous Gun Survivor versions made us cringe over). And though our experience with game wasn't as consistent at some of the other titles in the genre, its efforts at being different, its high production values, and legitimately entertaining mini-moments deserve a little recognition in what has otherwise been a history of negativity.
But who knows? Perhaps the series is on the edge of greatness? Perhaps Dead Aim is the catalyst that will propel the next version of Survivor into the upper echelon of shooter-loving bliss? Maybe this will be the one that helps launch a bigger, better, and more enjoyable version sometime in the near future? And maybe, just perhaps will give Capcom the opportunity to tell all of its naysayers "We told you so!" Then again, perhaps maybe not. "