It seems year after year we are spoon fed another entry into Capcom’s survival horror collective. Whether it is the latest Resident Evil game or the emphatic Onimusha series there is never any lack of games starring the cinematic camera. With Capcom’s first survival horror entry on the XBox we get the third rendition of their hit or miss series known as Dino Crisis. I am sure you have heard the loving comments made about the game’s camera and how it ruins the entire experience. Well I don’t know about all that because I certainly had a blast with this title. The storyline takes pages right out of Event Horizon and meshes them with prehistoric bad guys to make one hell of a ride that you will surely stick with until the end. Now does that mean the game is without flaws, please my fellow gamers has that ever been the case? Sit back and relax as I lay another truth upon the seemingly endless whiny gamers and “sheep”.
Where We’re Going You Don’t Need Eyes
The storyline for Dino Crisis 3 reads something like this: You are a member of S.O.A.R sent on a rescue mission to find out what happened to a ship that disappeared over 300 years ago. The ship, known as the Ozymandius has suddenly reappeared and is headed straight for Earth. After several failed contact attempts you are sent in to investigate, all seems to go smoothly until Ozy decides to toast your ass before you even reach her. What is attacking you and why are for you to discover and that is what initially draws you into the game. DC3 has one of those stories that simply has you playing to see just what is going to happen next and in this day and age that has become a rarity and is also what sets the game apart from other action titles.
Seeing Is Believing
Capcom is an artist, or for a better term a group of artists that truly appreciate what hardware can produce. Take a quick look at the Resident Evil series on Cube and you will see what I mean. Dino Crisis 3 is no different, taking the absolutely amazing effects the green wonder is known for and creating a gorgeous ship, albeit a bit repetetive, and simply amazing character and enemy models. The animation is a smooth as ice and the lighting is excellent. What I cannot seem to figure out is why every character in DC3 has the same shadow. Yes it is a minor gripe that many may not even notice but dammit shadows are not black circles below your feet and the XBox and Capcom are surely capable of better than this. With this said the game moves at a blistering pace and the frame rate rarely ceases to amaze. Add this with the gorgeous rendered movies and you have enough great presentation to make anyone proud!
Witness The Re-Evolution
When I first picked up this game a few months back I had worries, I was concerned that Capcom had given my wonderful XBox a crappy game simply to appease the big wigs. The camera gave me chills and the control was hard to grasp at the initial pick up. Thankfully like most Capcom games these come to you with time, as with Devil May Cry and Resident Evil before it Dino Crisis has a learning curve that patience must resolve. The control and camera are very similar to DMC in that it is static and dynamic at the same time. Homing in on specific sections of each room while moving with you attempting to give you the most cinematic look possible. Yes this can lead to dinos attacking you offscreen but it never hindered me from playing it. The control is also responsive to the camera ala DMC. If travelling in one direction when the camera pans it allows a brief grace period before switching direction so you can adjust accordingly. Just like DMC you have to get used to it before you can appreciate it. This may derail some gamers from playing but trust me Capcom fans like myself already knew what to expect before diving in.
Dino-Topia Reigns Supreme
What I really like about DC3 is it’s quick pace and intense action, there is rarely a dull moment in this game. The ship you are in is like a giant Transformer in that it can alter itself to open up new paths and connect some areas. Like I said earlier the control is definitely a learning experience, taking the free range movement of DMC and adding in a jet pack for good measure DC3 can seem like a chore at first but with practice you will be whizzing around the game like a pro. You can hover with the pack as well as boost yourself into the air which is helpful during combat. The weapons selection however is a bit underwhelming, you only have one gun and two clips to enhance it with. There is the spread shot and the lazer shot which are both self explanatory as well as a regular blast. The cool thing though is definitely the WASPS, these are items found on Ozy that can aid you in attacks as well as being crucial to open certain doors. The game uses a shopping system to purchase items such as health, clips, and extending your life and booster guages. You can earn credits by picking them up as well as defeating enemies, the catch is you can only carry so many credits after it is full find a shop and disperse them accordingly.
To be honest at first I hated this game, the steep learning curve and troublesome camera almost kept me from enjoying another Capcom treasure. I think fans of the series will be happy with it’s latest incarnation and will be able to stick with it long enough to learn to enjoy it. Personally this is my second favorite in the series right behind number one and I look forward to what else Capcom has in store for the mean green machine. Definitely worth a purchase for XBox owners looking to fill their Capcom void of great action/survival horror games. Now if the big C could port a copy of Onimusha 3 over to the box we would be high rollin’. Another fine addition to the XBox library, recommended.