Daymare: 1998 – Review
Follow Genre: Survival Horror
Developer: Invader Studios
Publisher: Destructive Creations
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PC

Daymare: 1998 – Review

Site Score
6.9
Good: Great story, Fun puzzles, Something else than the Outbreak games
Bad: Graphics could use some polish, Gunplay needs to be smoother
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Older Resident Evil games have always had a special place in our hearts. Lately, there have been a few developers that want to take us back to the glory days. Luckily for the diehard fans, as Capcom decided to remaster their old games, it feels like the efforts of the community is to thank for this. The last few fan games that we reviewed were the Outbreak series. So, Daymare is certainly a fresh breeze in the genre. As it is made by other developers than Outbreak this also gives a nice point of view to compare how these small developer teams will take us back to the old classic Resident Evil days.

Story

The story in Daymare: 1998 is pretty immense. Two teams of highly trained H.A.D.E.S. operatives are called out, to investigate the cut off communications with the Aegis laboratory. Their mission; find the missing researchers that vanished, retrieve highly classified materials for the US government and then gain access to the lower levels. The latter won’t be easy as the security system has initiated a facility-wide quarantine, shutting everyone in. This can only mean that some experiment has gone horribly wrong.  The team consists of Sandman, Crane, Raven and Liev. Crane and Liev are boots on the ground operators that will have to grab the virus canisters for the helicopter squad.

Immediately you will find out that the US located base was working on a crashed nuclear submarine that was holding a bioweapon that was meant to take revenge for what the Americans did during World War 2. As the submarine did disappear and scientists found it decades later, experimenting with the Shujin gas has proven to be the end of the facility.

The story is told by some powerful high-quality cutscenes, that resemble the old Resident Evil games and while they are nicely made, there are a few graphical issues that we will talk about next. H.A.D.E.S. strongly resembles the Umbrella Corp, as they don’t want to leave any traces behind. It is hinted in the game that there was an incident with our team in 1994, but the game never delves deeper on this subtle hint. The game relies on a lot of story-building, which is certainly nice given its fairly short length. There’s also the gimmick that you can also find a lot of background content on an external site.

Graphics

The graphics have their good and bad sides. The visuals look smooth, yet it lacks the finer details. To start, mouths are not that well animated and this could feel a bit weird during the many nicely made cutscenes. There are many reused assets, yet areas are cool and feel slightly different each time. Another thing that can be felt is the lower frame-rate and this could be due to the console limitation, yet it makes the game feel slower. The characters and zombies look decent and the remnants of the incident do make you feel unsafe at all times.

Sound

In order to make a game feel creepy, the right music can create this haunted atmosphere. When starting the game, you will be greeted by this beautiful menu music that perfectly fits the survival horror genre. During the gameplay, you will notice that every character is fully voiced during scenes and interactions. The voice acting is of high quality and feels natural and not cheap and/or home-recorded like some other games. Sadly, during the action, there isn’t really any music playing, yet creepy sounds will make you feel uncomfortable during your exploration. Interaction with the monsters also falls a bit flat as zombies do not sound menacing and are rather silent. Shooting your weapons isn’t that overwhelming, it looks, sounds and feels like airsoft equipment.

Gameplay

Daymare: 1998 is a third-person survival horror game that is clearly inspired by the older Resident Evil games. You are part of a task force that is on a mission to check out what happened to the scientist that made the emergency call on a remote island. An experiment has gone horribly wrong and the facility is on complete lockdown. First, you will have to secure the canisters that were ready to ship out, then find and rescue the trapped scientists. When first entering the facility you will notice remains of what seems a gunfight. The game starts by explaining how the inventory system works and it resembles popular survival games. The main difference is that your weapons are in a separate slot and you have a percentage health bar instead of a status indicator. You will find foods and meds to heal your character, but beware, as using stimulants will cause your character to overdose. Just like in real life, you can’t just plug twenty adrenaline syringes into your body and be The Terminator.

This game pays homage to the Resident Evil series in many ways, from how the game is presented to the many puzzles there are. It is surprising how difficult the very first puzzle was if you aren’t used to this classic formula. You will have to fix power to the facility, yet the game does not completely hold your hand. You will find hints and instructions on how to do it, but you’ll still have to use common sense. There isn’t an abundance of puzzles and content to look for as some doors are locked and need to be hacked. You will find cables to do this and if you succeed, then you can continue, but if you fail then the cable breaks (just like lock picks). In these hidden areas you will mostly find documents that refer to a case and to read this you must access a real site. This is very cool, yet when the game is of some age then the site will most likely go offline and you will miss some lore.

Next to uncovering the story and solving puzzles, you will also have to fight your way through the lab. Sadly the gunplay isn’t that great. It has some depth with the quick and slow reload function but the fighting itself doesn’t go that smooth. Aiming without the assist is pretty hard, yet the assist will only guide you a bit closer to the enemy. You will have to carefully aim and conserve ammo, as it is pretty rare (depending on the difficulty). Your gun does not really give feedback, it feels more like shooting a BB gun. After a fight (or maybe even during) you will have to reload, you can do this quickly by dropping the magazine (and pick it up later) or slow by swapping it out. To load the spent magazines, you will have to combine the bullets with the magazines in your inventory. Be sure to keep them topped up during all times as sometimes you will get ambushed by a group of monsters.

There are many options to the controls, as you have access to many quick slots for healing, ammo and useable items. On console, the movement feels a bit slow and stiff (yet this can be due to hardware limitations). Aiming doesn’t feel nice and even with the assist on, it does feel unpleasant.

Conclusion

Daymare: 1998 looks, feels and plays like the older Resident Evil games. Sadly the gameplay does come a bit short in the shooting aspect. Puzzles are fun and challenging and collecting lore and visiting the site really adds to the already interesting story. The graphics are decent but there are still a few flaws but nothing too game-breaking. If you really like the classic Resident Evil style games and can work with wonky gunplay, then you will enjoy the lore and puzzles in Daymare: 1998.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Daymare: 1998 – Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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