RLH: Run Like Hell Preview
This writing should be a four month old review, but unfortunately, Run Like Hell, a once hugely anticipated game, has suffered from a deluge of delays. Just how many more times does Interplay plan on delaying this title? Let's just hope these multitude of set backs prove to be worthwhile.
Set in a sci-fi motif, Run Like Hell takes you to the deep, sullied pits of space and places you in a group of miners; you're a marine commander, Captain Nick Conner, who was sent there as a sort of punishment. While at work, a whole batch of ghastly aliens attack you and your crew. And this is how the whole predicament is brought about.
There are two primary modes of play in RLH. The first one is just an exploration mode, where you can roam about, search for certain items, and so on. In addition to this, there's also a Run Like Hell mode (hence the name) where an alien is right on your tail, and your main motive is to run like hell and high-tail it out of there. During one of these situations, the play is very intense, and the camera views that are utilized help to uplift this sense of anxiety. In a nutshell, the two play modes blend nicely and offer a nice sense of variation.
In hopes to add even more variety to the gameplay, Digital Mayhem has broken the regular gameplay up with mini games. One mini game has you running from an enemy robot while also avoiding booby traps; you'll also jump and slide a lot, so you can avoid the numerous obstacles scattered throughout. When you aren't playing the mini games, you'll be in the midst of a lot of action, and you'll also encounter some puzzle-solving scenarios.
The malign set-camera angles found in almost every survival horror are finally taking a turn for the better. Some may enjoy them, but the majority don't, and that's why Run Like Hell will feature moving camera angles as you transverse the environments. Consequently, enemies won't get near as many cheap shots either because you won't be bombarded with the inability to see some areas.
Unfortunately for you and your crew, the AI found in the aliens is second to none. They will adapt to your tricks, plans, and exploring patterns so that they won't be fooled down the road. For example, if you keep on shooting an alien in the eye, it will actually develop a protective-like layering and become basically imperishable to that particular attack. Furthermore, they are chock-full of attack options, which make them quite the opposition.
Run Like Hell's story will unravel nicely thanks to a story that's replete with CGs and cut-scenes. So much, in fact, that Digital Mayhem actually had to cut down some of them so that they would all fit onto the DVD. Bolstering the nice visuals throughout the cut-scenes is the decisive voice acting. Praised actors/actresses such as Lance Henricksen, Clancy Brown, and Kate Mulgrew deliver a superb performance that lets people know of the game's high production value, and it also makes the story more believable and adds depth.
The visuals at this point still aren't fully complete because they have tons of weeks points, such as limited animations and stiff movements from some of the characters. Captain Conner is constructed of around 5,000 polygons, and he looks pretty good thus far, but he still lacks facial expression and fluidity, as do most of the other characters found in the game. However, more animations and smoother movements, along with a steadier framerate, are all expected in the final version.
Here's what Interplay promises in the final version:
- A thrilling 3rd person sci-fi adventure.
- In intense storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Incredible voice-acting work by top Hollywood talent including Lance Henriksen, Kate Mulgrew, Clancy Brown and more.
- Intelligent alien foes that learn from your actions to become even more dangerous.
- 7 gripping chapters of action-packed gameplay.
- The powerful game engine brings to life characters, objects and environments in full 3D.
- Dynamic camera perspectives create a truly cinematic experience
Run Like Hell has been in development for so long and has seen delay after delay. Hopefully these things will be overshadowed by a product that's worth the effort. RLH is currently expected for an early August release, but who knows if that date will stay unchanged. Stay tuned to PSX Extreme for the latest.
5/6/2002 Joseph Comunale