Virgin – Dino Crisis review

Photo of Virgin – Dino Crisis
£35

If it’s not an unspeakable, ancient, evil spirit threatening the world, or an unhinged madman with a claw for a hand and a penchant for cats, then it’s a mysterious outbreak of dinosaurs from the distant past, come to rend us limb from limb like the veritable rag dolls we are.

Such is the plot of Dino Crisis. You fly to an island on a military mission as part of a crack squad of three, only to find that dinosaurs have over-run the installation. Nasty little velociraptor types that we’ve all become accustomed to thanks to Jurassic Park, amongst other things, so naturally it’s time to break out the 12-gauge and napalm, and get Neolithic on their bottoms.

Obviously Dino Crisis is very much influenced by Jurassic Park and it’s basically a cross between the blockbuster film and Resident Evil. Instead of zombies lurching pathetically towards you there are far more agile and speedy dinosaurs, so there tend to be fewer monsters around with which to do battle.

Much like Resident Evil, the game suffers from dodgy camera angles in places, as it switches to a set third person view when you enter a location, so sometimes it can be difficult to tell what you’re doing.

Possibly the game’s biggest crime, however, is that it’s a conversion. It’s so painfully obvious that this was originally a PlayStation game. Even the user interface is the same, and on a PC it feels horribly clunky. Loading screens interrupt a change of location, completely unnecessarily on the PC. The words ‘minimum’ and ‘effort’ spring all too readily to mind.

Visually it shows its PlayStation roots too, with no option to change from the base and blocky 640×480 resolution. If you can cope with these visuals and the awful interface, then there is a reasonably intriguing little adventure/blasting game, in the style of Resident Evil, hiding beneath the crusty outer surface. But, more than anything else, it’s annoying to see the lack of effort evident with this conversion.

Company: Virgin


Verdict
If you've played the PlayStation version of Dino Crisis then you'll know exactly what to expect from the PC incarnation, sadly. It's a reasonable game in itself but the interface and the graphics look very ropey on the PC, and in places the camera angles just don't work.