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GamesFirst! Magazine

Run Like Hell (RLH)

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Due Fall 2001 for PlayStation 2


TheChase_lg.jpg (3525 bytes)The survival horror genre has boomed in the past few years, and there will be no shortage of really scary games this year. The next-gen systems will make them all look really good, too. However, while graphics have improved, gameplay in the horrific, third-person, action-adventure genre hasn’t really changed. We still move forward by pushing up on the d-pad, and move back by pushing down. Left and right still just pivot our characters on an axis. In spite of repeated criticism of the Resident Evil style of control, game developers are sticking with it.

RLH_lg.jpg (3547 bytes)So this is the first way that I’m going to praise RLH (Run Like Hell): They have done away with the Resident Evil style controls, and they have given us some super natural controls that work the way they seem like they should. Navigation has never been so intuitive in the horror environment. If you’re a fan of horror action games, then you know how big of an improvement this is. If you’re not a fan of horror action games, the old style of control may have been the major reason. Still, while this may be one of the things that makes my motor turn, it’s far from the coolest aspect of RLH.

WrongWay_lg.jpg (3915 bytes)First off, let’s deal with that confusing name thing. RLH is actually titled Run Like Hell, and that’s what you do much of the time. However, certain stores won’t carry a game with "Hell" in the title. Of course, certain stores just plain won’t carry RLH no matter what they do. This is a Mature title. In one of the early cutscenes, you find your character talking to his shipmate. A big, nasty alien-biotech monster thing jumps out, grabs your shipmate, tears her head violently from her body, tosses the spurting corpse to one side, and throws the head into the communications computer. Exhilerating as it may be, Wal-Mart just won’t stand for it. No harm there – you shouldn’t be buying your games, or much else for that matter, at Wal-Mart anyway.

TakeThat_lg.jpg (4538 bytes)For the most part, the gameplay is in the style of third-person horror action titles. This aspect of the game has just been cleaned up, such as with the aforementioned improved controls, to make it less tedious. You’ll use all kinds of really tough weapons to uncover the secret of an abandoned space station infested with biologically-engineered baddies. The camera is phenomenal, and the game has a very cinematic feel.

Atrium_lg.jpg (5238 bytes)The cinematic feel is enhanced by smoothly integrated cutscenes that further the story but don’t take you out of the game by shocking everything into FMV style graphics. The graphics quality of the gameplay is as good as most FMVs, so there is no need to further improve them for the numerous cutscenes. In addition, you will find yourself playing mini-game like segments reminiscent of Shenmue. These sections have you running like hell away from monsters, and then you must push a button to dodge, jump over, or slide beneath obstacles. Intense is an understatement for the stress involved in these episodes. In addition, there are several types of mini-game like tasks you’ll encounter. RLH incorporates a tutorial mode to allow you to practice, so when you hit these segments in the game you’ll get through them.

WrongPlace_lg.jpg (6402 bytes)RLH looks to be much longer than most console action titles, packing close to 30 hours of gameplay. The game also becomes more difficult according to your play style. Monsters actually learn from your actions, and will attack you in new ways to counter your tactics. This should prevent the monster slaying from becoming repetitive. To further add a bit of fun, the game features celebrity voiceovers from Lance Henriksen, Kate Mulgrove, and Clancy Brown, among others.

Dags_Post_lg.jpg (6408 bytes)Run Like Hell will be a phenomenally huge hit for PS2 this Fall. It’s been a long time since a game like Resident Evil really captured the attention of gamers. This Fall Eternal Darkness and Run Like Hell will be the two action horror titles on gamers’ minds, and only one of those titles will be out for the PS2. Do not walk, run like hell to play this bad, bad boy.

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Shawn Rider


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