Illbleed Surfaces at E3

Climax Graphics' latest take on the survival horror genre is a rather unique one, as Illbleed dares players to survive several haunted house amusements.


Climax Graphics' Illbleed was playable in several kiosks set up in the Sega booth. And being that it was one of the most anticipated games coming into the show I decided to take it for a test drive. After several minutes of play however, I came away with a lukewarm impression of the game.

Illbleed lets you select from three unique characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some are frightened easier, while others wield more powerful weapons. After selecting a character, the player is placed inside a haunted house, teeming with ghastly creatures and surprising booby traps. The player must survive through this haunted house, while the game keeps track of vitals like heart rate, pulse, etc. The better your physical condition as you make it through the house, the more money you earn. The only defense is the character's weapon and a 'fright scope' that shows the traps before they spring.

In the current state of the game, the controls are a little testy and the traps aren't exactly very scary. But then again, I couldn't hear any of the audio - which is a big part of survival horror games -- because of the loud peripheral noises at Sega's booth. The game controls with the analog stick, very much in the mold of Blue Stinger, and if you've played that game then you know it can take some time to get comfortable with the character movement.

Graphically, however, Illbleed looks much more polished than Blue Stinger. This latest survival horror game looks more like Capcom's RE series, dark, claustrophobic, and foreboding. The game's environments are textured beautifully and detailed sparingly. The character models are solid, while the creatures, although borrowing heavily from the genre's storied roots, are impressively detailed.

Illbleed will be released for the Dreamcast in Q3 2000. The premise is certainly unique, it remains to be seen whether the gameplay will match that same entertainment value.

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