Dino Crisis

Not a lot of time to post today, and not a lot of play-time to post about, so I’ll just briefly introduce our next item. Dino Crisis is another one of those games with an easily-stated high concept: it’s Resident Evil with dinosaurs instead of zombies. I’m playing the PC version, but it’s blatantly a port from the original Playstation. A surprisingly robust one, too. I’ve more or less skipped past the PC’s first fumbling contacts with 3D graphics hardware here. By 1999, Direct3D was on solid enough ground that the game works effortlessly on my current system, albeit at a maximum resolution of 640×480. However solid their foundations, though, the 3D objects themselves are quite wobbly, especially when the camera is pitched at an oblique angle, as happens a lot in Resident Evil imitators. But I’ll tack this up to faithfulness to the original experience.

The survival horror genre, like the rhythm game, is primarily a console phenomenon. There really aren’t any survival horror games native to PC other than proto-example Alone in the Dark, which is sort of like the genre’s Pete Best, a franchise that left before the genre became famous. As such, I think I felt almost obliged at the time to pick up what few PC ports there were, once they became cheap. It wasn’t until Silent Hill 2 that I found one that I unreservedly liked. Resident Evil itself confounded me: here it was, staggeringly popular, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. When I bought Dino Crisis, it was in part in the hope that another data point would help me to understand. This is a point I’ll return to.

One other thing: I don’t like to talk about my professional life on this blog, but readers who know me will recognize that choosing this game at this time was really no choice at all. Playing this game is essential research.

2 Comments so far

  1. malkav11 on 14 Jul 2010

    If one really stretches the definition of survival horror, I could name a few PC native games in it. But admittedly many of them post-date this particular era, and they’re certainly not in the direct lineage of the Resident Evil/Silent Hill/Dino Crisis/etc sort.

  2. Matthew Weise on 14 Jul 2010

    You should play Trespasser.

Leave a reply