Resident Evil: Dead Aim

Review

posted 7/22/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
Last time Capcom sent me a light-gun shooter I had finger cramps for a week. To be honest the human hand just wasn’t made for first person light gun shooters like Dino Stalker. Not only did the player have to maneuver around the environment with the stiff and unforgiving D-Pad, but also had to strafe with the inconvenient side buttons while pressing the trigger at the same time. The game needed three hands and as most of us know, humans only come with two.

If anything the game had promise, the premise was decent and the action really wasn’t all that bad, save for the massive hand cramps. This is why I’m glad to see that Capcom didn’t give up on this innovative line of games and opted to produce this above average game. Make no mistake about it, Time Crisis 2 is still king, but this series of titles is slowly creeping up on Namco’s aging franchise.

What makes these games so interesting is that it gives the gamer a reason for their plight. Instead of throwing them in the middle of a heated conflict and saying “here, take this gun and shoot everything that moves” Capcom instead says “here, take this handgun, uncover this mystery and if you can, kill some zombies for us on the way out.” Because of this, gamers are more inclined to devote more time to this game as opposed to playing it in short spurts.

Don’t expect an award-winning storyline but at least be thankful that there’s one here. Told via a combination of in-game letters and pre-rendered cutscenes, Dead Aim tells the tale of a cruise gone horribly wrong. It’s no coincidence that the ill-fated ship that has ties to Umbrella, the company that unleashed the initial T-Virus in Raccoon City. When the player begins he’ll find dead bodies strewn about the cabin, after that it doesn’t take long for them to rise for a small snack. Looks like generic blond hero is the main course of today’s menu.

Unlike Dino Stalker the game shifts out to a 3rd person perspective when the player is maneuvering about the environments. When the trigger on the GunCon 2 is pressed the view shifts to the more traditional first person perspective that lightgun lovers have come to love. To ease the aiming burden a little more the game has a semi-auto targeting system that will turn the vantage point to the next closest enemy. This makes killing hordes of zombies easier, especially when the sneaky bastards try to sneak up on your blind spot.

As the game progresses players will pick up bigger and better weapons. The arsenal ranges from the initial semi-automatic pistol to automatics and shotguns. Strangely enough the game features a silenced pistol early on but it doesn’t do much considering it’s not possible to sneak up on enemies. I guess some of the designers were eager to get their Zombie Gear Solid on.

With the GunCon 2 gameplay is fairly intuitive and solid. Headshots still don’t quite work properly, sometimes the screen will indicate that you’ve hit the zombie on the head but it’ll just brush it off and rush headlong towards you. When it does register the zombie will be sent flying across the room but it’s random at best. Most of the time you’ll have more than enough ammo at your disposal so this hiccup doesn’t quite ruin the experience.

Surprisingly enough we found that playing with the Dual Shock 2 was actually much easier than playing with the GunCon 2. This is due to the on-screen cursor that accompanies those who opt to play with the gamepad. There is less margin for error and as a result, it’s much easier to ensure that the bullets hit their targets, especially when it counts. If the option is available the GunCon 2 is still the way to go, but if you’re having trouble stopping the zombies you might want to switch to the gamepad for a little while. We also had some issues with the actual calibration of the gun itself as it never felt as accurate here as it did in Time Crisis 2.
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