Interplay
VU Games
Action
1
04.09.03

Run Like Hell


Run Like Hell finally arrives on Xbox. Survival horror fans are now able get the chance to see what Run Like Hell is all about. To sum it all up, RLH is basically Resident Evil minus the zombies. In a world where aliens and humans co-exist, you fight aliens who took over your space station when you arrive home. There aren't many survivors, and it's your job to defend the alien takeover. The presentation RLH gives you is really good, and it has a movie-like plot.

Graphics

Though not great, the graphics in RLH are solid. You'll never encounter any slowdown or draw-in. However, the in-game graphics and the cut scenes are mixed up. The cut scenes look great; meanwhile the actual in-game graphics look like PS2 graphics that were just ported over. The Xbox can handle the cut scene graphics for actual in game graphics. I don't know why, but the graphics are nowhere near Xbox capabilities. While the graphics don't use Xbox's power to the max, they are still pretty decent. The alien animations and models are well done, but the way Nicholas Conner (your character) runs is uncertain. Once you play the game for a while, it might not look like he has something wrong with him any longer. The dark graphics can be brightened in the options menu, but that just takes away from the game.

Gameplay

The gameplay controls are a little stiff and hard to get used to at first. Attacking enemies is simple because it auto aims on your target, and all you have to do is hold R, and tap A.

Some of the puzzles are really challenging, sometimes too challenging. If you are smart enough, you'll figure out what items to combine and such. Make sure you are aware that you can combine items, or else you'll be lost.

The actual level design is setup with very dark and creepy corridors, and you never know when an alien will jump out and try to attack you. RLH is nerve-racking at times, especially if you are going to be playing this game late at night, by yourself. There is much more freedom to walk around in RLH than per se Resident Evil. On the ammo side, the developer took a nice approach when creating this survival horror game, because you will always have enough ammo. A game like this is never fun when you run out of ammo, and RLH won't let that happen.

Hamlet quotes from Shakespeare are throughout the game. From the opening cinematics, and before every main level, you'll see quotes. This essentially gives you a different feel for the game, and it's a nice approach.

Sound

The creepy audio in this game keeps you on the edge. Since aliens come at you from all directions, you're going to be a little jumpy. The voice acting is great, sounds like your watching a movie. During the boss battles, songs from the band Breaking Benjamin will play and help give you an adrenaline rush to take on the aliens. As for custom soundtracks, I swear I tried, but couldn't find the option anywhere. On the back of the box, it's listed as one of the main features found in this game, maybe I'm just blind.

Replay Value

Unfortunately, the replay value isn't too high for RLH. If you don't have Xbox Live, then the few features that are available for download won't be that much of a loss. If you do have Xbox Live, then the replay value will be slightly higher, but nothing off the charts. The gameplay is based on a linear path, and will be the same each time you play it over.

Bottom Line:

RLH is definitely a good game for a rental. If you are really into alien adventure games, otherwise known as survival-horror, then definitely go out and buy this one. RLH delivers a great story line, and if your one of those people who likes to follow a great plot, then this is for you.

Packed in the game is a separate music CD. The RLH soundtrack featuring the band Breaking Benjamin has 27 tracks and is a nice addition to owning the game. There is also Xbox Live downloadable content that includes a new level and 2 new skins. RLH places you in the role of a heroic adventurer, and for the $30 asking price, it's worth it.

-Steve Melanson




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