Run Like Hell


posted 10/31/2002 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PS2
Sometimes when a game is delayed it is for good reason; to make the product better, to add a useful feature, or even just polish up the general presentation of the game. It’s for this reason we don’t complain when companies like Rare, Namco, or Square announce a delay. We have come to expect the final game to simply be that much better. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Run Like Hell.

After months of delays, Run Like Hell, or RLH for short, has finally shipped nationwide, and frankly, as both a science fiction fan, and a survival horror fan, it disappointed even me. Its heart is in the right place, it plays like an homage to just about every classic sci-fi film since the 1970s. It even starts with a promising, movie-like opener complete with a dream sequence.

They say that “in space no one can hear you scream”, which might explain why Nick Conner didn’t have a clue what he was getting himself into when he came back from work. What seemed like a normal day on the job suddenly turned into a life or death struggle, when Nick realizes that the space station he currently calls home is now infested by aliens.

Not willing to accept his new roommates, Nick sets out on a path to find other survivors, and take vengeance for his fallen comrades. Most of the game involves our hero running back and forth solving simple puzzles in order to progress through this maze like space station. This may sound like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, but Run Like Hell is a little more geared towards action. Fact is, in just about every room Nick steps foot in he needs to dispose of at least a half dozen enemies before he can continue on his adventure.

At the beginning Nick is armed with a trusty rifle, but as he digs deeper through the corridors he will pick up a number of bigger, better weapons including a slow, but powerful shotgun, a pulse rifle, and a bolt thrower. Even with ten weapons at your disposal, only a few stand out, and even fewer offer that visual gratification we are so used to these days.

There is an awful lot to shoot at, sometimes too much. In Resident Evil you could avoid most zombies altogether, which was handy if you were trying to solve a puzzle to advance the story. Here, however, gamers actually have to address their attackers, and not just run (as the title would imply). There are moments in the game where the on coming aliens just wouldn’t let up, and the monotony of battle after battle after battle was just overwhelming. The game has a way of overshadowing its story with nonsensical, and ultimately dull, action sequences.

That’s not to say the story is particularly appealing, either. While I certainly didn’t see a few of the plot points coming, the game didn’t exactly have me on the edge of my seat. Most of the cut scenes are just people talking, and the story never gets above that “average” level. The story is certainly better than some I’ve seen, but has a tendency of dragging its pace, and never really gives you a sense of urgency.
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