STAFF REVIEW of Run Like Hell (Xbox)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003.
by Kraft

Run Like Hell Box art Do you ever have those moments when you realize that you have lost a piece of your life? You know; when you spend time doing something just to realize that it did nothing but eat your time and waste precious moments of your life that you could have been doing something else? Well, I just had one of those moments while playing the aptly named Xbox game ?Run Like Hell?. If you are wondering why I said it was aptly named, then here is the reason: Should you ever be wandering around and notice this game in front of you, you?d better run like hell in the other direction. From one aspect of the game to the next, Run Like Hell manages to fail in practically every department. Interplay released this game for the PS2 where it got terrible reviews across the board then decided to change practically nothing and release it as a plague on Xbox owners. The premise of the game is simple: Aliens have taken over your space station, now go take it back. As many games and movies have shown, Aliens + space = a cool scary production. Somehow Interplay managed to botch this formula, which is a real shame considering the lack of truly scary horror games on the Xbox.

One of the first big problems this game runs into is how bad the gameplay actually is. With an elaborate control scheme of ?move? and ?shoot?, there isn?t a lot to this. Of course Interplay tried to spice it up with the ability to lock on to different enemies and a melee attack with your gun, but it doesn?t help. What ends up happening is you shoot an enemy, run backwards, shoot him again, run backwards, and if he ever gets to close, smack him with the butt of your rifle and knock him to the ground? and they shoot him yet again. Interplay did attempt to add a scare factor by having enemies pop out of unsuspecting places, but they usually appeared where you couldn?t see then and you?d get attacked from behind. That is a lot less ?scary? and a lot more ?annoying? in my books. There is an addition of level puzzles to figure out information that you need to go on, but these puzzles have no logic or thinking to them. Usually it is trial and error until you happen across a solution. Most of the times these puzzles involve dying over and over and over before you realize just what you have to do. So what are the positive aspects of this gameplay? Well, there is one really cool button that tends to help this game out a lot. It is the ?eject? button on the front of your Xbox. Unfortunately your Xbox doesn?t have an ?incinerate game disc? button on it, or I would recommend using that one.

The terrible visuals only added to the terrible gameplay, as this game didn?t handle well or look well to boot. The one slight happy glimmer in the graphics department was a few of the character models. It looked like a lot of work went into them as the textures were nice and clear with very smooth blending and no nasty edges. This was most apparent on the texture model of your character. Of course it doesn?t matter how nice you look when your movements are jerky and someone stole all of your good level textures and replaced them with charcoal drawn replacements. In fact there are places in this game where the textures are missing? that?s right, they forgot to add the textures into the game! This is especially funny as I have heard complaints of this on the ps2 version, and they had even more time to clean up the Xbox version. Should you be a masochist and decide to play this game, keep an eye out for the beer bottle/cup that doesn?t exist, yet they drink out of it. I guess since they are in space they don?t need any real cups.

Now, the audio department is definitely the best area of the game. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the game itself. The one thing I liked about Run Like Hell is the fact that one the main menu it had a selection that let you watch Breaking Benjamins play their hit song ?Polyamorous?. This music video includes a lot of clips from the game that somehow make it worth playing, but that is only a clever deception. While this music video is cool (as I?ve been a fan of Breaking Benjamins for a while) the rest of the audio department has the same lack of substance the rest of this game is suffering. I will admit that some of the voiceovers are nice. The main character, Captain Connors, is voiced by Lance Henriksen from the movie ?Aliens?. Also Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) does a voiceover for a nurse in the game. As far as the rest of the game, let?s just say less is definitely better. Every now and then during the more (supposedly) scary scenes some various rock music will kick in, but it isn?t even good rock music so it really doesn?t add a whole lot to the overall ambience of the game.

Interplay: while I am all for adding more games to the Xbox library, this is not the type of game I would like to see added. If you make a game on one system that isn?t good then maybe you should at least try fixing it before plaguing another system with it. In every area this game tried to excel it fell incredibly short. It wasn?t scary, it wasn?t enthralling, and the only feeling that it ever gave me was that I wasted 4 bucks to rent it.

Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 3.0 / 10
Visuals: 4.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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