Dino Crisis 2 Preview

Dino Crisis 2 is primed to take the series in a new direction, making a real departure from both Resident Evil and its predecessor with much faster, more action-oriented gameplay.

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Prepare yourself for a new evolution in survival-horror, and be ready to keep one finger on the trigger at all times. A year after the events that had transpired in Dino Crisis, there has been another accident related to the experimental "Third Energy." This time it causes an entire city to disappear and leaves a dense prehistoric jungle in its place. A search and rescue squad is dispatched, this time with special weapons designed for dealing with the dinosaur threat. Along with Dino Crisis veteran Regina, newcomer Dylan and the rest of the team lock, load, and prepare to search for answers and survivors.

The first Dino Crisis borrowed some elements from Resident Evil but still managed to succeed in its own right, bringing a few new innovations and twists to the survival-horror formula as well as a new graphical style. Dino Crisis 2 is primed to take the series in a new direction, making a real departure from both Resident Evil and its predecessor with much faster, more action-oriented gameplay.

Some gamers feel that Resident Evil and the first Dino Crisis forced them to spend too much time fleeing, hunting madly for ammo, and figuring out how to power up that damned generator with precious little blasting things in between. For these people and anyone else interested in faster-paced survival-horror, Dino Crisis 2 looks extremely promising.

Most of the game's environments will be outdoor areas that, unlike the 3D indoor environments of the first title, are now prerendered. Because you're out there in the open, you won't be able to simply escape by hiding in the next room - and dinosaurs like Raptors use attack strategies such as attacking in packs. So what's an elite special forces member to do in a situation like this? Run? Panic? Not quite. To start with, Dino Crisis 2 gives you the ability to move and shoot at the same time. You can run at full speed while firing smaller arms like a combat shotgun or pistol, but you'll have to move slow and steady when hosing your enemy down with a heavy machine gun or flamethrower.

Control is still largely unchanged from the standard Resident Evil formula, but has been fine-tuned for combat. You still have buttons to switch targets and do a quick 180-degree turn, but there's no longer a need for a run button. Why? You're always running! You're not going to want to leisurely stroll through the lush Jurassic forest when an attack could come at any time from any direction. Instead, you have an extra attack button with which you fire your subweapon. Among the weapons available to you as Regina or Dylan are a taser and a machete, which both cut a wide swath that's very effective when you're forced into close combat. Also, because the weapons have been designed to take down dinos, the pistol is appropriately powerful and can take down a Raptor in a few shots.

This new style of gameplay comes with new conventions. You'll actually earn points for every enemy you take out, and scoring successive kills without taking damage yourself will count as a combo and earn you more points. These points can be used to purchase health recovery items (including hemostats - you'll lose health gradually from bleeding), ammo, and new weapons.

The game looks great so far, and it could end up being Capcom's last major title for the PlayStation. A release date should be confirmed in the next few months, but gamers can expect Dino Crisis 2 to be out in the fourth quarter of this year.

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