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
hasnt 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
So this is
the first way that Im 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 youre a fan of horror action games, then you know how big of
an improvement this is. If youre 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, its far from the coolest aspect of RLH.
off, lets deal with that confusing name thing. RLH is actually titled Run Like Hell,
and thats what you do much of the time. However, certain stores wont carry a
game with "Hell" in the title. Of course, certain stores just plain wont
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 wont stand for it. No harm there you
shouldnt be buying your games, or much else for that matter, at Wal-Mart anyway.
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. Youll 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.
cinematic feel is enhanced by smoothly integrated cutscenes that further the story but
dont 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 youll encounter. RLH
incorporates a tutorial mode to allow you to practice, so when you hit these segments in
the game youll get through them.
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.
Run Like Hell will be a phenomenally huge hit for PS2 this Fall. Its 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.