Scare factor: 7
Fun factor: 8
Replay value: 8
This game is pretty cool. You, Laura, wake up after your plane has crashed in the mountains and you are in a cabin with another woman, Kimberly. You go outside to find out where you are and what's going on. You end up meeting other people but the other main characters that you meet are a little girl and a man. You get to explore in the snow and ride a snow mobile throughout the game while you're trying to figure out what brought you here and why you have those weird dreams.
The graphics in this game are just amazing! They really are, especially for the year when this game was released. It wasn't released on a next-gen system, but you'd swear the graphics compete with that of PS2 or maybe even some with certain GC or XBOX titles. The shading on her clothes moves when she runs, her hair moves, her eyes move around realistically and her expression changes. Laura also actually has fingers! A lot of games don't even go that far. Also, you'll notice when running in the snow that she realistically steps into the snow and leaves tracks, also snow comes out from under her feet. The trees outdoors are also pretty neat looking. The tree branches are separate 3d objects in themselves. They move around in the breeze and it's just... Really cool. Also, you'll notice that it's snowing, it's cold outside, so while she's exploring she has that cold breath. When making this game, Sega paid a lot of attention to the small details of the graphics and you can definitely tell. Also, while you're in a battle with monsters, the blood that comes out of them actually looks pretty good also, a lot of games can't do that for some reason.
The sound in this game is pretty well done also. There is music while you're exploring and there is different music while you're in a fight. Also, there is pretty decent voice acting in this game also. Although, sometimes Kimberly talks a little bit much, eh. Another thing, when you're fighting the big bosses they'll talk to you, because they used to be people, and sometimes they are actually kind of creepy in what they're saying and how they're talking, so that's pretty cool.
An interesting part of this game is the hunting aspect. In this game, Laura is given a rifle and a portable cooker so that she can hunt and eat animals that she finds in the mountains. The cool thing about it is that when she eats the meat she regain some of her hp, which is always good. And the way that Laura handles the gun is also pretty cool, instead of having a steady, unrealistic aim her arm is actually a little shaky while trying to hold up the gun. The animals in the wild will also run away if they know you're coming, so you have to be extra sneaky!
Also, while you're outside roaming around in the snow, you will encounter enemies. The game then switches into first-person and you have to shoot the enemies. You can't run away, but you can use your other items while you're fighting, such as healing items. I think the battles are supposed to surprise you, but since you're playing this on Dreamcast, you have to remember that no loading on DC is ever quiet, eh.
While inside of a building in this game, it works a little bit different than most games. You can turn towards something and push the forward button to go in that direction, you're not really free-roaming anymore. It's not necessarily a bad way to play the game, it's just different than what you're used to seeing in horror games. It kind of helps you to find the key items and places that you're supposed to go also, which is good.
Another interesting part of the game is that fact that you have a camera. You can use the camera to take pictures of important places, things, or numbers that you think you might need to remember in the future. You just snap a picture of it and then you can look at it later when you need to.
While in the game, you can view details about different people or parts of the game from the menu. You can read up to keep up with the storyline and also, if you're lost, to look for clues as to what you're supposed to do next. I think it can be a pretty useful addition to the menu screen.
The controls of this game are also pretty smooth. You can go into your menu, and everything in there is set up pretty nicely, everything is easy to find and the buttons work pretty good. Also, when you're running in snow, you'll notice that it's a little bit harder to control her, because she's running in, like, a foot of snow. You feel like you're actually in the snow. The controls to the game change in different situations, (outside, inside, hunting, fighting, menu), but once you get the hang of it, it's actually set up pretty well.
The only bad thing about this game, that I can even think of, would be the fact that you have to do specific things to move the story line forward and if you didn't know that you had to talk to that one person one last time, then you will be wandering around outside endlessly not knowing where to go. It's best to talk to everyone until they start repeating themselves, and sometimes if you're in a room with more than one person, go back and forth and make sure neither of them has something new to say to you. Also, make sure that you've thoroughly examined an area because nothing pops up saying that you're supposed to pick something up.
If you've never played this game before, then you should borrow it or buy it and play it. It can be kind of hard to find if you're just store-hopping and looking through used games, (not as hard to find, however, as Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare for DC... -.-;), it is easier to find on the internet through Ebay or maybe even Amazon.com, which has used games. I would definitely recommend playing it, and when you do, notice all the graphic detail that was put into the game, and you'll be that much more impressed. This game is a definite keeper and good addition to any horror or DC collection.