Riverhillsoft had an ambitious concept for its new PlayStation title, Overblood: incorporate elements of an arcade-style action title, a fighting game, an old-fashioned text adventure, and a puzzle game, then wrap them all around a graphic adventure title with a fairly interesting plot. The result? A game that excels in none of these areas and leaves the impression of a good idea spread far too thinly.
Overblood starts off innocuously enough. You awaken from a deep cryogenic freeze without either the memory of your identity or a functional computer console. After foraging for essentials, you meet up with a small hyperactive robot, dubbed Pipo, whom you can change perspectives with and control to perform various tasks. You soon piece enough together to realize you must learn your identity (beyond just the name "Raz Karcy"), find a cure for the fungal disease you've been infected with, and escape the facilities. At this early stage, the game comes off like a 32-bit take on an old Infocom text adventure reminiscent of the 70s sci-fi flick, Silent Running. Later on, the game takes on more and more of a Resident Evil feel - except with easier puzzles and fights, a save-as-you-go save function, and better voice work. However, the occasional arcade-style action bits are more like the interactive parts of titles like Dragon's Lair and Rebel Assault. They entail moving at just the right moment and are more timing than skill-based.
You can toggle among three camera perspectives - first-person, near above, and a far behind view much like Resident Evil, each of which is required at some point. Unfortunately, the control itself is really pretty sloppy. The collision on many of the objects in the world causes you to stick to them, and the fighting elements used later on in the game are an extreme exercise in frustration. (In fact, the final ten minutes of Overblood will likely cause you to scream out loud several times.)
Ultimately, it's an interesting game with a lot of promise, although it feels sloppy and half-finished. Overblood should keep your interest right up until the end, but only just. That's really a shame, because with a little more development on the gameplay and control, it could have been pretty damn good.