Survival horror game review and details

The Best and Worst Survival Horror

Review

Survival horror might have been brought to the forefront by Capcom, but when you have a series as popular as Resident Evil, the copycats aren't going to be far behind. With that in mind comes Carrier, which definitely owes a great deal to Capcom's zombie titles, from atmosphere to enemies to controls.

The setting, a giant aircraft carrier that has been infected by something that has turned its occupants into bizarre, flesh-eating mutants, seems incredibly familiar as well. Of course, Resident Evil essentially ripped off the 1968 classic film The Night of the Living Dead, so it's hard to cite Carrier for theme theft. But it does feel extremely familiar, which doesn't mean that it couldn't stand on its own if the quality were high enough. So how does Carrier stack up?

Well, the decision is decidedly mixed, as there are plenty of aspects to Carrier for die-hard survival horror fans to appreciate, but ultimately, the title suffers from a number of problems and quirks that keep it from being anything more than average. All of the genre clichés and necessary counterparts are there, but a host of little things plague Carrier, not to mention the overall lack of innovation that riddles the title, making it feel almost proud of its "me-too" status.
Carrier tells the tale of a massive ship gone horribly sour, gripped by some monstrous plague that has reduced everyone on board to horrific monsters. The plot unfolds fairly predictably, and although the cut-scenes aren't bad and the voice acting only occasionally sinks to the laughable levels of survival horror-past, it isn't so intriguing as to be a solid enough hook. Therefore, the gameplay and atmosphere must remain the focus. While that atmosphere does maintain a creepy enough aesthetic, there are issues in the visual presentation that often take you out of the game.

The backgrounds are nicely rendered and the 3D models are at least competent, but when there are a lot of objects on the screen, the game slows to a crawl. This makes boss battles particularly obnoxious, since most bosses are fairly huge, and when you are with them, the game sputters along as if it were in slow motion. It's hard to feel terror and suspension when the pace of the game is reduced to this, and it happens enough that it becomes a large annoyance.

Another problem with the game is its sheer size, which doesn't sound like a drawback at first. But the aircraft carrier is huge, and navigating it becomes an exercise in frustration the further you get into the game. Most survival horror titles often degenerate into the sort of "survival hunt" gameplay with which we've all become familiar, but the amount of backtracking in Carrier is almost overwhelming.

There are many times where you'll have to travel great distances back from where you just came from, and most of these moments feel as if they were tossed in for the sole purpose of adding length to the game. Without the sense of initial discovery, however, these periods are extremely bland and really take away from the overall experience.

The amount of monsters in the game is fairly diverse, and each creature is well designed. Fighting them, however, is often either a headache or a mess of confusion. While the targeting system works for the most part, it pops you back into the upward aiming position when you get bit, meaning you're going to get bit again. And when multiple monsters are heading your way, attacking you, one will often pop right through you, not detecting that you're there at all.

Despite the problems, there are plenty of things that will compel fans of the genre to enjoy Carrier, but that's almost what it is -- a game for the survival horror fan. For the casual gamer, the title does not do enough to distinguish itself from the pack, playing like another rushed, generic title that just wants to be Resident Evil and nothing more.



Graphics graphics rating
The backgrounds are definitely a plus, contributing a great deal to the atmosphere of the game, but Carrier has a number of glitches that detract from the experience, and overall the graphics aren't as good as the hallmark titles in the genre
Sound sound rating
The voice acting is decent and the music is decidedly creepy, but there isn't enough diversity to really give the sound of Carrier a higher score.
Enjoyment enjoyment rating
The game manages to be above average, but Carrier

can often be a tedious experience with its huge environments.
Replay Value replay rating
Like most survival horror titles, especially ones that don't add mini-games and the like, once you're done with this one, you're absolutely done. Fortunately, there are two different characters, each with a different storyline. The female character's story is much shorter, however.
Documentation documentation rating
The manual is bright, colorful, and visually interesting, which makes up for its relative lack of useful information.
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