: Martian Gothic: Unification
: Creative Reality
: Take 2 Interactive
: November 04, 2001
: Mature, Blood and Gore, Violence
Stay alone, Stay alive. If one dies, all die. But, in the end, only two can survive.
These were the words with which Matlock, Kenzo and Karne were left with while stranded on the Martian Vita Base. Everyone but them is long dead. It's time for an escape.
However, there's a catch: the crew is far past dead. They're zombies. Sure, the zombie thing has been done before. And it's been done better before, too. Thus, there's no redeeming value here.
There are other components which make this game quite unique, however: first, this is a three-person survival horror game. That does not mean that three people can play, though. In the style of Project Eden, the single player can take hold of each protagonist in turn, and manipulate them into doing what they need to do. However, unlike in Eden, which forces everyone to stay together, in Martian Gothic, everyone must stay separate. No physical human contact. They get radios and vacuum tubes. Apparently, zombies thrive where there are hordes of people; with 58 people in one spot where there should be no people, it's no wonder that zombies turned up here. I haven't been able to make contact like this, but I assume if they do, they will die pretty much there and then.
Alright, combat. This has to be one of the most frustrating things ever.
"In this corner we have Diane Matlock, an expert zombie fighter! And in this corner, a zombie! Fight! And the zombie lurches forward and grabs Matlock! She doesn't know how to break free! She fires a shot behind her as the zombie spins her around and chews her neck! Poor Matlock tries to run backwards, but she doesn't know how! Oh, I think this fight's about over folks!"
It's the controls and the perspective. They both suck. And the combat (which is derived from both of them) renders this game virtually unplayable. Oh, one more thing about that: when you actually defeat a zombie, it gets back up in 3...2...1... now. There's no point.
Back to the controls and perspective. The controls are taken from Resident Evil, with some modifications: a huge slowdown. It's about 3/4 seconds before the character responds to the input. Creative Reality, this is unacceptable. In addition to this, once your character starts moving along the pre rendered backgrounds (a la Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX), the camera angle changes to some very weird crap, i.e. at floor level, facing the middle door in a T-shaped hallway. In this particular setup, you can't see your character at two of the three doors.
I'll stop the rant now, and just say that it wasn't worth the $3 spin (yep, same place) it took to get this one either. To sum it up in the words of my favorite sea captain, "Thar, she blows!"