I am a die hard Resident Evil fan I’ve played all the number titles numerous times but really haven’t scratched the surface of the spin offs. I’ve beaten Survivor all the way through, put quite a few hours into Mercenaries on the 3DS, and was underwhelmed by Operation Raccoon City. Dead Aim has been in my sights for quite sometime, but I’d never actually pulled the trigger on playing it.
I’ve had my copy for over a decade and every time I attempted to play it I would get this weird Memory Card message. It made me think that I would lost all my progress so I never really played it too much. I would wander around kill some stuff then stop and lose my progress. For some reason I never googled this issue, even after clearing a PS2 memory card to see if I could get it to save. It took a Discord group to tell me to just play until I get to a typewriter and then I can save. Lo and behold it worked and I am now about to complete this Resident Evil spin off.
We all know that the numbered Resident Evil titles rely pretty heavily on their stories and how they connect to the universe as a whole. Dead Aim is just a throwaway story that takes place four years after the “Raccoon City Incident” in isolation on a cruise ship named the Spencer Rain. The game opens up with one of our protagonists, Bruce McGivern, who has finally found Morpheus D. Duvall with a gun to his head. Bruce was tracking Morpheus since he had stolen T-virus from Umbrella’s Paris labs.
Moments from being shot in the face, our second protagonist, Fong Ling, lobs a grenade onto the ships deck. This action saves Bruce and mortally wounds Morpheus. Bruce and Fong cross paths while searching for the T-virus sample on the boat, but Morpheus isn’t going to make their pleasure cruise easy. Both are bombarded by zombies, monsters and the occasional Hunter. But that’s not going to stop these two from completing their mission of saving the world!
The developers, Cavia, made their control scheme VERY different from other Resident Evil titles. You have the normal over the shoulder view when you are walking around the ship, but when combat hits you have to press the right trigger to enter first person mode to deal some damage. This takes some major getting use to, thankfully ammo isn’t an issue in this game, it is plentiful so you can just blast those undead back to Hell.
When you’re done fighting off the hoards, which seem to be too many for one ship, you go back to the third person over the shoulder controls. You run around the ship, still solving puzzles and triggering cut-scenes to move the story forward. Other than that, the game is standard Resident Evil fare just with none of the stories main heavy hitters in the lead.
Since this is the PlayStation 2, the game does look pretty well. I will say that I bought myself a nice HD Retrovision component cable to take the place of my HDMI cable. The component cable actually upscales the visuals up a smidge. Enough for me to be impressed, seeing as I’m playing on a 42 in Sony flat screen. Twenty years ago I’m sure the game looked great on a tubed television, now I think it looks just as great.
The cut scenes have that standard Capcom seal of quality, but when you get to the in-engine cut scenes they become a little rough. However, in engine gameplay does look good. The ship looks eerie, and you are relived that Capcom did a real boat game in Revelations. Abandoned boats and cruise liners can be creepy as hell, just watch the movie Triangle if you don’t believe me.
I will say that if you want to play a boat game from this generation, is to get Cold Fear, that survival horror game is leaps and bounds better than this title. What hurt Cold Fear was the fact it was released in very close proximity to Resident Evil 4. That was the nail on the coffin for that unloved gem.
I will say that I did enjoy my first cruise with Bruce and Fong. However, I don’t plan on taking a second cruise with this title. The first go around was fun, but the game is pretty repetitive and doesn’t have the amazing storyline to pull you in like other Resident Evil titles. It’s a neat title to have on your shelf, but not one to brag about playing. I will say that Dead Aim is a much better “light gun” game than Resident Evil: Survivor.
If you’re not a huge fan or completionist of the series I would recommend skipping this title and playing Revelations instead. Unfortunately both of these lead characters were never heard from again in canon and that’s a shame. Sure one resembles Leon and one resembles Ada, but they were interesting. I guess they are on the island of misfit Resident Evil characters with Carlos, Billy and Sheva.