"Lots of freakiness and surprise keeps you playing."
Plot / Concept: 6 / 10
There was definitely a push for a storyline along the way, since dinosaurs appearing out of nowhere would be odd as the scenario was supposed to represent our modern-day world.
You start off as Regina, part of a rescue team to investigate an island were experiments were being conducted. It does not take long before you start running into dinosaurs. Unbelievable as that is, they do what they can to gobble you up while you explore. You also have to deal with internal conflicts between members of the Rescue Team and opt to taking sides, depending on who you agree with on the best course of action.
Ultimately, it looks like a scientist faked his death to continue with energy experiments that could be put to military use. However, these energy experiments ended up tapping into the space-time continuum and brought Dinosaurs from the past into the present day.
Maybe not the most original idea around, but eventually the decision is made to use the energy-producing device on overload to deliberately send the whole thing to the past so it cannot be put in harm's way any longer.
Gameplay: 7 / 10
This is by far, not an easy game. Anyone who is careless or not familiar with the controls may find themselves re-loading from their last save many times.
You play the game by shooting things, manipulating items and objects on the screen and solving a LOT of puzzles, many of them not easy and require either a lot of trial and error or a good FAQ.
The game has a few perks
- Multiple courses of action to handling certain problems and Multiple endings. Of course, it's only towards the end of the game that your choices actually matter.
- The mix option. This is good for enhancing your existing recovery items and can also turn some secondary items into very deadly weapons if mixed properly. Some of the ammo-heavy enemies can be quickly dealt with if you mix the right stuff together.
- Some of the scripted ambushes in the game were well-designed and (a lot of the time) unexpected. You have to deal with a T-Rex several times during the game as it tries to gobble you up in a single attack. Aside from that, you get ambushed by Raptors and other dinosaurs, requiring you to do some serious button mashing, or else it is an instant game over.
That aside, I also had a few nits about the game.
- Lack of ammo. This became a nasty problem when surrounded by a couple dinosaurs and your pea shooter is lacking what is needed to do the job. I found ammo was becoming an issue closer towards the end of the game. One piece of good news is there are alternatives to killing off some of the dinosaurs. You can put them to sleep with tranquilizer darts.
- Lack of inventory space. This complicates the ammo issue. While it added a good sense of realism since you can 'only carry so much', for gameplay it can greatly complicate things.
- Difficulty in moving around, especially when Dinosaurs are tearing you to pieces. :/ Your character was SLOW when your weapon was drawn.
- Camera does not do a good job of following you around. This creates a lot of ambush opportunities for the dinosaurs.
Controls: 3 / 10
I won't lie. I find direction-based controls when not facing the right direction confusing and frustrating. I cannot recall the number of times I find myself facing the wrong direction, or losing to a dinosaur because I cannot seem to aim properly. I find the controls to be an issue with the game. :(
Music: 4 / 10
The music did not help to create anything unique for Dino Crisis. It felt rather generic and bland. The scenes where dinosaurs ambush you, at least, the music was useful there, as well as when "The plot was developing".
Sound Effects: 7 / 10
The sound effects are quite on. Nothing seems out of place. The voice acting is a touch on the stale side, but it does a good enough job.
Graphics: 9 / 10
Dino Crisis does LOOK good, even by PS1 3D-model standards. A lot of detail went into everything, so it does not look/feel artificial or plastered. The dinosaurs have reptilian skin and it looks it. The characters in the game have faces you can easily see. They did an excellent job with the FMV's as well, making everything look convincing enough.
Low-Medium. 2 difficulties and a few different outfits for Regina to choose from.