I love Resident Evil, if Resident Evil was a dude I would have a mad “man crush” on him. I’ve beaten all the numbered titles in the franchise and a majority of the spin-offs, except for the PlayStation light-gun games that came out in the early 2000’s. I don’t know if I didn’t hear about Resident Evil: Survivor or I was tired of zombies after I had beaten Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, but I didn’t get around to buying the title until late last year. It was sadly a somewhat pricey title, but seeing as I almost have every Resident Evil title, I had to buy it, and I’m very happy that I did.
This story takes place after the outbreak in Raccoon City, you play as an amnesiac who finds himself in the world of survival horror. It is a very short off-shoot from the numbered titles at the time, but it is still very enjoyable. You get to almost choose your story, there are three paths you can take once you begin the game. Those paths can change some of the outcomes of your campaign as you get farther and farther in the game. I began in the Church and met a different enemy than some, so it is in your best interest to replay the title at least three times, it will only take you about two hours to beat the game, but you cannot save your progress. The whole not saving thing was pretty disheartening, but you do get a nice amount of continues if you die, and you can save if you die, but you don’t save progress, just items you’ve received. There aren’t a huge amount of cutscenes that steer you through the story, Capcom decided to tell this tale through the notes and memos you find in your journey. It is a different take on the formula, but if you don’t read the memos and such you may find yourself at a loss when the whole thing gets fleshed out at the end.
The game controls like a first-person shooter, which does take some getting used to if you are a hardcore Resident Evil fan. R1 is gun sight, left thumbstick is aiming, and finally, X is fire. This is the most important thing you should know since you’ll be running in and out of rooms with zombies that respawn every time you leave and re-enter. Should you have to run from a hoard of zombies because you are terrible shot you can hold down Square and move, this will cause you to run away like the coward that you are. The controls are simple and shouldn’t get you killed. What is also nice is that if you discover an item you need for a puzzle, that item will automatically use itself in the puzzle without you having to tinker with it. Remember in the original Resident Evil‘s where you would have to figure out what went where this game does it for you automatically. Which also helps it be a very quick play through.
The game looks and sounds like the traditional Resident Evil game, however, it does look a bit better than the classic. A few years had passed and Capcom got their stuff together in the graphics department. The zombies still have that familiar shuffling look, the lickers are scary in first person mode and the Hunters are just as deadly as in previous games. It was really fun seeing and killing all these creatures in first person mode, makes me realize why Capcom made Resident Evil 7 a first-person game instead of a third person game. The sounds bring back the most memories for me, the creepy man saying Resident Evil at the beginning of the game, all the way to the menu sounds and the familiar groans of our undead friends. Capcom put all the bells and whistles into this game, except when it came to story and length. I don’t know why they copped out on those two, but I wish they would have made it a far longer campaign with a more fleshed out story.
I really enjoyed this game but was sadly left with wanting more. House of the Dead is a great fallback, but it isn’t in the same vein as a Resident Evil first-person shooter. Had this game been longer it would have been on the top of my favorites list, sadly a two-hour play through and no REAL way to save your progress drop it down on the list immensely. Capcom has also, unfortunately, forgotten about this player protagonist. Maybe they’ll bring him back in some vein in Resident Evil 8 since they seem to be rebooting the series currently. Who knows maybe he will be in the Resident Evil 2 remake since apparently, he’s buddies with a certain protagonist. Either way, Capcom needs to open their vaults and take a nice hard look at what they’ve done before that was successful and bring it back for us older gamers that would love a chance to play a nice updated version of this game. If you are a hardcore Resident Evil fan I would suggest buying this just for bragging rights. If you’re a fan of the survival horror genre it really isn’t part of that genre, so I would give it a pass. The game is difficult to find and you may be better off finding Dead Aim instead, that has more of a survival horror feel to it.