"Dino Crisis" is a horror based adventure video game. It was first released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000 by Virgin Interactive. In the United States, the game received an age guidance of "M" which deemed it appropriate for ages 17 and above.
On an isolated remote island known as "Ibis", scientists have been conducting experiments which have gone hideously wrong. A portal in the time continuum was opened and brought forth a plethora of dinosaurs and other creatures from the prehistoric ages into modern times. At the helm of the experiments is the reportedly deceased Dr. Edward Kirk; who is also in the business of arms manufacturing. He is discovered alive within a large base-like laboratory and notices of his work were submit to a central government agency who in turn reply with covert operatives sent to bring him to justice. Once there, however, their helicopter transportation is destroyed and the team are placed in a survival situation. They must rescue their target while dealing with the madness that is enraged dino-creatures.
In this game, players assume the role of Regina. She is an intelligence agent for the government but is also proficient in weapons and their maintenance. Regina is assigned to carry out specific mission objectives which, presented through standard adventure fare, include finding keys to access areas within the island's laboratory, tripping switches, and moving items to reach higher areas. She will also encounter several dinosaurs which must be dealt with using recently manufactured equipment found around the laboratory. Each stage presents numerous hallways and routes which can be traveled along but all lead to a central point at the end of the stage. This gives Dino Crisis a sort of maze-like impression with wrong turns leading to impeding doom and others being relatively dino free. I enjoyed this aspect of freedom as I didn't feel too restricted to following certain paths, and this ultimately provided me with a more involved gaming experience by allowing me to make conscious decisions regarding where I ought to guide Regina. The player is also granted freedom regarding what ending he or she wishes to take. Different cut scenes will play as a result of decisions made by the player, and this provides the game an extended replay value to see what could happen when other choices are input.
The game is controlled strictly through the game pad's arrow keys. The analog stick does not provide any sort of response or action within the game. One aspect I particularly enjoyed was the ability to spin Regina around by pressing action keys on the game pad. Despite the lack of being able to use a freely moving analog joystick, Regina is able to quickly counter ambushes from behind and doesn't take too much loss of health during sneaky confrontations.
The graphics are presented from fixed angle positions which focus on Regina at the centre of each display. I found the animations of Dino Crisis to be slightly choppy in their movement. In several areas, Regina seems to clunk along darkened hallways and didn't seem to sport any sense of fluid movement. The mood of the game is otherwise suitable for a horror based video game; the stages are dark, routes of movement are long, and sudden pounces from dinosaurs are jolting to say the least. The soundtrack also compliments the horror aspect of the video game well. Drawn out minimalistic musical scores are offset by the sudden roar of dinosaurs at very unsuspecting moments.
I enjoy what Dino Crisis has to provide me as a player. Bar the animation flaws, the video game is a "pleasing" horrific experience which had me jumping out of my seat in many areas. I would happily recommend it to prospective buyers.