Run Like Hell
It's been in development for ages, but now it's finally here. Is Run Like Hell worth rushing to your games shop for?
Xbox / PS2
Vivendi / Interplay
By Rick Larson
Survival horror has been evolving recently, beyond the haunted mansions and rotting zombie roots. Horror is now available in all shapes and sizes - from raging from dinosaurs to aliens - and in some cases both. In Run Like Hell, Digital Mayhem are sticking to the alien aspect.
RLH is set in the distant future on a space colony. Gamers take the role of Nick Connor, the veteran of an intergalactic war. Everything starts out nice and dandy for our protagonist. He's got a beautiful fiancé, a laid back job, great co-workers, and just about everything else a guy could ask for. Like any other survival horror game though (and just like real life too) this doesn't last forever.
After a routine mission of taking meteor samples, Nick and his partner find themselves returning to an empty space station covered in blood. Nick quickly meets his enemy when one of them jumps down from above and kills his partner in a very violent fashion. The details are best left for you to see for yourself. This is where gamers take control and find yourself running like hell to get away from the massive alien beast you just encountered. Nick will soon meet up with new allies and find weapons for later use.
Nick is quickly filled in on what happened while he was out. Just to keep in simple and not spoil anything, a group of aliens came in on a stray ship. Ever since the aliens came the space station has been slowly consumed by an alien growth which reproduces all the minor aliens gamers will be fighting. By the way... the aliens stole your fiancé.
The main element of gameplay is shooting. There is an assortment of guns Nick will come across throughout the game that will greatly help him against the alien threat. These guns will not always be of great use however since the aliens are constantly adapting to your weapons.
Puzzle solving also plays a key role in the game. Every mission is essentially a puzzle. Gamers are left to discover how to get from point A to point B with little information. During these missions, many sub objectives branch off and several of them are required to complete your main goal. Puzzles come in all sorts of varieties such as just looking for a key or putting a whole generator back on line with multiple pieces that you must search for. These puzzles can be challenging, but will never get gamers too frustrated. It just takes a little time and some thought.
The graphical aspect of the game is well done. It isn't the most visually tantalizing game ever, but it gets the job done and does seem to shine every now and then. The character models are nice and have some good detail and facial expressions, at least the humans do. The aliens on the other hand are slightly bland. They are creative but their models just lack the graphical flare. The only alien that really stands out is the brute. It is the biggest creature you fight and is invincible to weapons. It really has an intimidating look.
The environments are fitting but won't be a big stunner. The camera is not fixed in this game like most horror games, but can be equally annoying at times. It tends to jerk around a bit too often during heated battles when you try to target multiple enemies.
Sonically, Run Like Hell is surprisingly good. All the of the background effects will keep gamers on the edge. I often found myself jumping out of my seat when a door closed behind me with the DD5.1 surround sound. Many other noises are just there to be creepy such as occasional tapping or freaky alien screams. The voice acting is well done for a survival horror game. Many of the voices seem fitting and show good emotion. Others sound fake and dull like many other titles in this genre.
RLH is a good game. It isn't a must have title, but offers plenty of enjoyment for those willing to give it a try. Anyone looking to play a new survival horror game without the same old zombies should definitely give it a chance. You won't be disappointed. It's out now on both the PS2 and Xbox consoles. Those who pick up the Xbox copy will be able to download more levels via Xbox Live, which is a good thing, isn't it?