|Publisher||Destructive Creations, All in! Games|
|release date||September 17, 2019|
On September 17, 2019, the Italian studio Invader Games released the horror action game Daymare 1998. The project, which began as an unofficial fan remake of Resident Evil 2, became a full-fledged but budget game, received a publisher and support from the creators of the original games. What happened to inexperienced, but courageous enthusiasts, read in our review.
In 2015, a group of Resident Evil fans decided to remaster the second part and called it Resident Evil 2 Reborn. The guys even released a trailer, where they showed the huge potential of the second part loved by many. Soon Capcom officially asked to stop development, and then she announced Resident Evil 2 Remake. Some believe that the studio was already thinking about a remake, but did not dare, and the interest of the players in the fan re-release spurred them to work. The opinion of others goes further: Capcom did not even think about a complete overhaul of the game until they saw Resident Evil 2 Reborn, and then decided to release an official and maximally redone version of their game.
But the fans, whom the Japanese cut off the oxygen, did not despair and applied the developments to create a full-fledged game in the spirit of the original, but on Unreal Engine 4. This is how Daymare 1998 appeared. A little later, enthusiasts founded their own studio Invader Games, raised money on Kickstarter and hired Satoshi Nakai as assistants , designer of Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Resident Evil Zero. In the new game, he was in charge of creating monsters. The game was produced by Kazuhiro Aoyama, one of the authors of the original Resident Evil and head of development for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
So, the events of Daymare 1998 unfold in a secret US government laboratory that developed dangerous chemical weapons. Once there was an accident, which led to a leak of the virus. The latter turned people into zombies and reached a small provincial town, which was not far from the laboratory.
There are three main characters in Daymare 1998. All of them will take turns fighting the virus and its consequences. But, despite their external differences, history and motivations, the gameplay is always the same. It would be naive to expect different mechanics for each character from a category B game, but a minimum of changes could have been made.
Daymare 1998 is a classic survival game with elements of horror, although the latter is almost absent here. Either after Resident Evil 2 Remake and its Tyrant, nothing is scary, or the developers could not surprise and cheated on monsters and game design, but when passing through any of the levels of Daymare 1998, it is rarely scary. Yes, here the dead get up at an unexpected moment, and screamers are stuck on the map, but the fifth point does not shrink and the pulse almost does not jump.
It seems to me that the most simple, and therefore boring gameplay, as well as a miserable bestiary of monsters are to blame. Unlike the same Resident Evil 2 Remake, where the character had to explore each location in detail, memorize important places and return to them to solve puzzles, in Daymare 1998 the characters for the most part simply move forward along straight and monotonous corridors, occasionally returning back and periodically solving strange riddles.
The latter are wildly enraging nonsense, which, apparently, was done because it was so in the original, but did not think of giving meaning to the riddles and placing important clues on the map. Because of this, literally all the puzzles in the game are passed by typing, because there is no adequate hint for their solution. They also lack that very intuitiveness that saves an experienced gamer in almost any game. The puzzles in Daymare 1998 are almost the worst part of the gameplay.
A boring passage is diluted with a local combat system copied from the last parts of Resident Evil. But even here there are nuances. Aiming at swinging zombies is just as hard as it was in the original. There is little ammo and supplies, and enemies are killed with a couple of pokes. But all these familiar things do not feel the same complexity and survival.
The locations are placed closing the room with tons of supplies, which are not so difficult to crack. And if you are careful, it turns out that there are quite enough cartridges, and the monsters are dangerous, but we have not seen such ones.
It can be seen that they tried to make Daymare 1998 difficult, but it did not work out everywhere, and in some moments they even went too far. For example, the creators have complicated the usual recharge. If you quickly press the R key, the character will throw the old clip on the floor and insert a new one. He will do this even if there are a couple of rounds in the past, so the magazine constantly has to be lifted from the floor. Normal reloading is only possible if you hold down R, but when a couple of zombies are rushing at you, and everything happens in real time, every second counts. As a result, it is easier to get into an ascetic, but some kind of non-intuitive inventory and distribute the available cartridges among the clips there.
Among all these shortcomings, the interface pleases. It’s neat and minimalistic, so you get immersed in the game almost immediately. If the developers had added atmospheric music and the right environmental sounds, then it would be easier to play and be scared in Daymare 1998. But for some reason, they didn’t bother to add the background music, which is so important in this genre, in most of the right places, and they didn’t bother with the sounds of the environment. And they are almost the main feature in horror: steps, screams of victims, strange voices, distant growls and breathing behind your back have been working wonders in such games for decades. But there is catastrophically little work with sound.
Daymare 1998 is made in UE4 and looks good for a budget game, but still, it is far from the level of 2019. And if there are almost no complaints about the detailing of heroes and monsters, then the squalor of textures and eye-catching cutscenes make the game ugly. Apparently, they saved as much as possible on the latter, because the graphics, staging and script of the cutscenes look the worst. The faces and figures of the characters seem to have come from 1998, the schoolboy was clearly directing, and the text was written by a kid from the parallel. But the optimization is not that good, but more than tolerable, so Daymare 1998 will fly even on medium assemblies and budget gaming laptops.
Daymare 1998 does not have full Ukrainian and Russian translations, but there is a menu in Russian and subtitles. There are also questions for the translation, and errors were not avoided even in inventory items, but this whole thing is fixable.
The game has many shortcomings and problems, but in my opinion, this is a consequence of the minimal experience of the developers, and not their carelessness and irresponsibility. The main thing that attracts in the game is just the love of the creators for the Resident Evil series and the genre in particular. It can be seen that the game was made with fanaticism and devotion, and the creators tried to embody their favorite features from the Residents here, they just didn’t succeed in everything.
The game has a lot of Easter eggs and references to various parts of Resident Evil, other cult projects, films and even books. This once again proves the keen interest of developers in their offspring, but, unfortunately, this does not really help the game.
Fans of Resident Evil will be interested in playing the game, at least thanks to the familiar gameplay mechanics and combat. For example, I had more fun playing Daymare 1998 than the same RE 6, which is not bad.