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OverBlood Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 50%
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  • Review Score:

  • C
Comparisons can be very unfair. When Resident Evil became one of the biggest success stories of the first year of the PlayStation's lifespan, suddenly every game with horror in it ended up compared to Capcom's juggernaut. In fact, I first became aware of EA's OverBlood after reading a review from its release that spent half of the review saying that it sucked because it didn't match Resident Evil beat-for-beat. After playing it, I can definitely say that it is far different from Resident Evil and shouldn't have been compared to it. That doesn't mean it's a forgotten horror classic, though.

OverBlood focuses on a guy named Raz who wakes up from cryogenic sleep in a facility that's mostly deserted with no memory of who he is. I say "mostly deserted" because he does manage to find a small robot that he names Pipo, another amnesiac named Milly, and some people who were mutated by some kind of infection. When Raz discovers that he's infected as well, the quest for a cure begins. Like most of the greatest horror films ever made, the story takes time to get going while piling on the wonderfully thick atmosphere. Unlike the classic horror films, when the story ramps up, it becomes ridiculous rather than scary. I actually found myself giggling later on. The game can be finished in four hours, and there's no reason to return to it.

OverBlood (PlayStation)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Most of the complaints in the old reviews revolved around the lack of action, and those complaints are valid in some ways. In fact, Raz's first fight with one of the infected isn't until an hour into the game! However, the game wasn't trying to be an action-packed gore-fest. The game focuses more on puzzles, and those work reasonably enough. However, I do have two major complaints about those puzzles. First, critical items are invisible. Get used to hugging almost every surface hammering the X button hoping to stumble across something. The second problem is the lack of clues. For the puzzles that don't just involve using a specific character or item, too often I found myself trying things at random until I stumbled on the solution.

The aesthetics and mechanics are very hit-or-miss. It was ambitious to make the game fully-polygonal unlike Resident Evil which used rendered backgrounds. The camera can be switched between third- and first-person views making navigation a breeze. Unfortunately, the visuals are very plain. When not in the important rooms of the facility, you'll be staring at the same white-walled corridors constantly. It's actually easy to get lost since almost all the corridors look the same. The soundtrack is great, very atmospheric, but the voice acting is terrible with Pipo's bleeping sounding more annoying than R2-D2. The controls are very stiff which only really becomes a problem for the platform jumping segments.

OverBlood is an interesting little curiosity from the PS1 era, but it's not a very compelling game overall. Despite all the comparisons to Resident Evil back then, I'd prefer to think of it as a prototype for what Konami would do with Silent Hill later on. There's nothing really remarkable about OverBlood, average at best. It's a game that you'd forget as soon as you finish it.
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