Resident Evil: Gun Survivor was a misguided attempt by Capcom to gain a share of House of the Dead’s market. The gameplay mechanics are the same as the previous games except the camera is placed where your character’s eyes would be. This is the game’s main flaw, there was no attempt to adapt the gameplay to the first person shooter genre and so it’s very, very dull. You place the crosshair on a zombie’s head and press the fire button until it falls over. Maybe it’s more fun with the GunCon but I can’t really imagine how. You get infinite ammo for your pistol so there’s very little of the survival horror aspect. The game goes like this: enter area, press auto-target button to get a perfect line up on enemies straight away, kill enemies and press auto-target again to home in on mission critical item (usually a key), pick up key and use on one of three doors to decide your route.
The graphics are on the same level as Resident Evil 2, mainly due to the fact that enemy models and textures were taken directly from that game. Due to Survivor being first person the environments are now full 3D. Imagine how low-grade RE2’s 3D models were then picture a whole environment made out of them. Due to the limitations of the PSX the environments have to be very small with minimal detail, suspended in a vast black expanse (they didn’t even put in a skybox). You can shoot out windows but there’s no reason why the cross-hair would ever go near one. The pre-rendered backgrounds from the other RE games allowed the developers to put in large amounts of detail, with papers, blood and other generic objects strewn over desks creating a convincing impression that someone once lived there; not possible in Survivor. Although it is nice to see the Hunters redone, and the intro and outro are very entertaining. The weapon models are nice, but they don’t show ingame and the only time you will see them is when you first pick them up.
This may be even worse than Gaiden’s. Most sounds are taken from RE2, but any original ones sound like they were taped in someone’s garage. The voice acting is horrendous and will usually have you reaching for the mute button, but static usually distorts what they’re saying enough so that you can’t hear it. I’m afraid I didn’t notice any music.
The story relating directly to your protagonists is inconsequential and can be dismissed out of hand. Early on in the game the path you choose to take decides which of the three plot routes you’re going to take, leading up to a confrontation with a character you met earlier when you chose. But it’s the background plot that’s the star here. It revolves around a facility where Umbrella mass-produces its T-103 series, giving insight into the biological background and the depths at which Umbrella will sink to. One file provides an explanation on the creation of every mainstream BOW in the game. Strangely nearly all the other files are in the form of diaries, but they usually are the best type of file so I’m not complaining.
Survivor is an inherently dull game, compounded by the fact that you cannot save and must therefore play through the entire game from the start. And it does not help that in the middle of the game the areas get really boring, but they do improve once you reach the final section. It’s nice how it contributes to the overall storyline but I can’t help think how much better it would have been if it were done in the traditional third person style camera.