Dino Crisis 2 Review
It seemed as if it was only yesterday when Capcom announced the sequel to Dino Crisis earlier this year at E3. When the game was first shown it was clear that it had been nearing completion and that Capcom had been doing a great job on keeping the game very hush-hush. May and September were a measly four months apart from one another, and gamers all across the country were surprised that Dino Crisis 2 would be arriving so early. When I first saw DC2 at E3, I was fascinated with the character detail and how the game had been capable of showing three to four dinos along with the character on one screen with virtually no slowdown. Capcom had claimed that this survival horror game will be different than before, why don't we recap and take a look at what the previous survival horror games were like. Resident Evil was the starter of it all, the game had great visuals and frightening gameplay, but had very laggy voice acting. The second was more of the same except it was better every way imaginable, from visuals to the gameplay and even the voice acting RE2 was the pinnacle of the Resident Evil series. In the 3rd quarter of last year we received Dino Crisis and Resident Evil: Nemesis. The third generation Resident Evil game was more of the same except with even better graphics and a plot that was even more twisted. The RE series did start the survival horror genre, but there was one game that pushed it further. A Jurassic Park like game called Dino Crisis which was released October of last year. This game put you into the shoes of Regina (the heroine of the game), you run around looking for ammo, killing dinos that cross your path, the only thing that was missing was a Jurassic Park logo slapped on the game. Of course Dino Crisis would be a stellar game, what else would you expect from a game that ran on the Resident Evil 2 engine and boasted the RE gameplay. There was no doubt about a sequel, and that faithful day at E3 came when we all saw the first footage of the game, experienced the game first hand and then delivered the goods to you the readers. Being the last survival horror game on the PS, Dino Crisis 2 has been just released and I took my sweet time with it to deliver an in-depth review, so you'd better read it or else, I'll tell my big brother and he'll beat you up!
We all thought that Resident Evil: Nemesis was really as good as it gets for the survival horror series, the pre-renders, the character detail, and even the CGs were beautiful. Dino Crisis 2 takes all of that and makes it better. As usual just like any survival horror game, DC2 uses the pre-rendered backgrounds instead of real-time environments. The pre-renders look just slightly better than any RE game out there, and improving upon pre-renders is a pretty tough task. The I haven't seen many CGs, but the intro CG isn't as clean as those found in Nemesis. Though when I first took a glance at Dino Crisis 2, I noticed that the character detail was significantly improved. The body structures are far smoother than any game out there right now, the hands, legs and the head are all jointed to the body seamlessly. There is absolutely no polygonal clipping, everything is smoothed out properly and Capcom gave the game that little extra to please gamers like me. Dino Crisis 2 also displays three to four dinosaurs on one screen with absolutely no slow-down. The visual detail in each dinosaur is extremely realistic, I have never seen enemies as detailed as those velociraptors or that incredibly huge one-eyed Tyrannosaurus Rex, folks mark my words these are the best visuals of all the survival horror games (excluding Code Veronica). Overall I am deeply impressed with the graphics that DC2 boasts, this is without a doubt one of the best looking PS games of the year.
Remember when Capcom said that this game was un-like any other horror game? I personally wasn't expecting anything new, but Capcom surely surprised me when I picked up DC2 and experienced it first hand. DC2 is survival horror but not exactly. What do I mean? Dino Crisis 2 takes the Resident Evil formula, throws it into the blender along with some new elements to create a game that feels like a whole new experience. Instead of the walking around picking up bullets, new guns and what ever, you now buy them! Yes buy them, but not exactly with money, you use your Extinction Points which are picked up by killing dinosaurs. Smaller dinos are worth anywhere from 100-600 points and at times more. The larger dinosaurs will grant you 2500+ points for your shopping needs. You buy equipment, med-kits, and back-up weapons from a computer like gismo which can be found slapped on walls. Accessing this little computer, will open up a menu that will ask you to Save or Shop. When you shop you can even upgrade your current weapon by adding more ammo to it by buying a new cartridge that can hold more bullets or flame power. If you are running low on ammo then you can also stop by one of the computerized shops to charge your weapon back to full power. Another new feature added in Dino Crisis 2 is the Combo System. The Combo System works like this; when you kill a dinosaur and then kill another one while the point score number is still showing then you will get a combo for that. If you have multiple enemies on the screen then use something that will hit at least two enemies at once, or just try to kill enemies as fast as possible. Every time you enter a new door your statistics and final score will show for what you had for that particular area, and if you are skilled enough and don't get harmed once you can earn an extra 2000 points.
Dino Crisis 2 starts out with what may be the best intro video that a game has seen, I won't get into it, I want to leave that for you to see. You start out as Regina and Dylan, the two main characters of the game. They arrive at the jungle via time-machine only to find out that the amount of dinos that inhabit in their is far too much for the troops to take care of. After some awesome sequences, the game sets you up as Dylan, a T.R.A.T trooper who is equipped with a blade that can be used for slashing away vines that have grown on a locked door. Dylan's main weapon is a shotgun with 200 bullets of ammo. As you walk around the game will waste no time throwing velociraptors at you, they will surround you so you better use the R2 button [to do a 180 degree spin] effectively. After Regina will take over because of an emergency that happens just a few minutes after you pick up the control of Dylan. She is equipped with a Handgun and a Stun Gun that can be used to zap electronically locked doors so they would open. A map is another inclusion that can be used to our advantage, blue marks mean open doors, red marks mean closed doors and an "S" stands for a shop. The map will pin-point your location and really help you out throughout the game, this is a very useful feature. Dino Crisis 2 can only be described as the best survival horror game that Capcom or any other company has made, and yes that is including Resident Evil: Code Veronica, it's that good!
The voice acting between RE1 and RE2 was a dramatic leap in both timing and quality, and the same can be said for Dino Crisis and Dino Crisis 2. The voice acting is superb, with excellent quality, voice comprehension and best of all near perfect timing. The screaming of the dinosaurs is the one thing that makes the sound such a killer (sorry about the pun), the T-Rex will scream so loud that it will actually move you backward. Background music also accompanies you when you are battling of dinosaurs, and best of all you can hear the dinos in the bushes as they are trying to attack you. Great sound that really captures the feel of the environment.
Controlling your characters is exactly like Resident Evil games, pushing up moves the character, down moves back, left and right spins the character. This time you can move while you shoot, so when you hold R1 you can move around with your gun drawn, R1 is also auto-targeted, when you hit it and you have an enemy around you, the gun will be pointing towards him. The analog has no sensitivity, but no RE game has, although the Dual Shock is incredible. Nothing can be really said about the control except that you can side-step and do a few new things.
When I first popped Dino Crisis 2 in my Playstation, I was instantly hooked on DC2 for about five hours. The new improvements made to the genre are so wonderful that they make the game seem addictive in a very strange way. The graphics are remarkable, the gameplay is the best in any survival horror game, the voice acting is un-rivaled and so is the CG intro. Dino Crisis 2 is one exciting adventure from start to finish and has just been nominated as "Action/adventure game of the year" for the PSX Extreme Awards 2000. Make sure to have DC2 in your gaming library if you don't already.