Carrier Review

For Dreamcast

By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne

Rating: Average
   At the risk of sounding like an English teacher, I think that Jaleco 
could have had a great game on their hands if they had put a little more 
time and effort into Carrier.  As it is, Carrier is a decent game that 
can't quite compete with the Resident Evil series.  
   Anyone who has played Resident Evil for more than five minutes will be 
able to see that Carrier a total rip-off.  This is a good thing in some 
ways and a bad thing in other ways.  It's a good thing because at least 
they did a pretty good job of copying Resident Evil's gameplay engine 
without screwing it up.  On the down-side, Jaleco failed to expand their 
horizons beyond merely copying Resident Evil.  Carrier is basically the 
same game with different settings and characters.
   One cool addition Jaleco made was a device that lets you look around a 
room in first-person mode to identify enemies (who often look like normal 
people).  Items are discarded automatically instead of giving you the 
annoying message, "You no longer need this key.  Would you like to discard 
it?"  Items are also highlighted with an arrow above them so you don't 
forget to pick them up.  This cuts down on the amount of time spent 
searching for items, but it also detracts from the game's realism.  I don't 
walk into my room when I want to get a magazine and see a swirling arrow 
above my desk in real life, do I?
   It's very important for any survival horror game to be scary.  Carrier 
can be mildly creepy at times, but there are no really big heart-pounding 
moments.  Compared to Resident Evil, Carrier seems like "Are You Afraid of 
the Dark?" on Nickelodeon.  Even when there are moments that have the 
potential to be scary, they are usually spoiled by bad camera angles that 
distort the view, or bad voice acting that makes the game seem more stupid 
than scary.
   The atmosphere and setting in a survival horror game are essential to 
heightening the all-important feeling of tension.  Carrier's setting could 
have been scary (a giant ship that has been overtaken by zombies and plant 
monsters), but it's all ruined by the terrible lighting and identical-
looking hallways.  Not only does this make the game look dull, but it 
increases the chances of getting lost since almost every hallway looks 
exactly the same as the last, give or take a few puddles of blood.
   A story line is also a good part of the equation needed to create a 
classic survival horror game, and Carrier shows mediocrity yet again in 
this area.  Basically, you're on a rescue mission to see what's wrong with 
a giant aircraft carrier.  Your plane crashes on the carrier, and you have 
no way of getting off the carrier unless you go inside and figure out 
what's wrong.  Couldn't Jaleco have come up with something a little bit 
more original? 
   The voice acting in Carrier is downright horrible, to the point that it 
makes Sonic Adventure look good by comparison.  It's not bad in a funny 
sort of way like the original Resident Evil; it's just stupid.  The 
shipmates have lots of different accents, despite the fact that they all 
look exactly the same.  And if you thought Sonic Adventure had a problem 
with lip-syncing, look out.  Sometimes characters' lips move for a solid 
five seconds after they're done talking.
   Games that don't have have much to offer in the way of story line or 
setting usually rely on a huge arsenel of guns to at least offer some 
appeal (cough, Blue Stinger, cough).  Once again, Jaleco didn't come 
through in this area.  There are very few weapons in the game.  Most of the
time, all you have is a hand-gun or a machine gun.   There's also plenty of 
ammo and health, so you can forget about getting that "Crap, I'm out of 
ammo and I could die at any moment!" feeling.
   This game is a passable attempt at breaking into the survival horror 
market.  It makes for a decent rental, and you might be able to finish it 
during the rental period because it only lasts about eight hours.  I 
enjoyed Carrier for a while, but this is probably just because I'm so 
starved for anything resembling Resident Evil: Code Veronica.  Just keep 
telling yourself that Code Veronica is only a month away... only a month 

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