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Hands on: Dino Crisis

We had a chance to play a test version of the game. Here's our first impression.


You've seen the pics, and maybe you've downloaded some movies of Capcom's Dino Crisis. So what else is there to know? Plenty. We had a chance to play a test version of the game. Here's our first impression.

Let's start with the controls, which are similar to Resident Evil with a few key tweaks. You'll now have the ability to turn around with the touch of a button, making quick escapes and direction changes a snap. There's nothing like making your way down a hallway and running smack into a hungry raptor (aren't they always hungry?), hitting the turn key and running in the opposite direction. It would be nice if Capcom added animation for the quick turnaround, although it's possible it may be added later.

You can also now walk or run with your gun raised, instead of having to lift your weapons immediately before encounters. This saves valuable seconds and, more importantly, looks really cool. It's exactly the way you stalked an enemy with in the classic Delphine game Flashback. All other controls are fairly identical to RE so far.

Another aspect that's sure to get attention is the game's audio. It's completely in surround sound, and the quality is extremely high. Everything from ambient sounds to spot music effects is delivered with great clarity. Since almost 60 percent of the action takes place outdoors, it's important that you feel you are actually navigating through an island, so there's distant ocean sounds along with random wildlife.

What impressed me the most though was the dynamic camera work. Anyone who thought the transition from prerendered to real time backgrounds would be a bumpy one for Capcom was just plain wrong. The camera still shifts in dramatic, Resident Evil style cuts with added fluidly to track characters and reveal more of the environment. It really adds new possibilities in the way creatures scare you.

Look for more info soon, especially when a more advanced version is shown at the upcoming E3 show.

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