Survival Horror has been a genre where experimentation seems to be more the rule than the exception. Look at Parasite Eve
. Is it an RPG with action, an action game with RPG elements, or an action/strategy game? And, if PE
was (as I think) mostly an RPG, what happened with PE2
? It was like twice the action and half the RPG in some places, but had ramped up RPG elements in others. I'm thinking of items and weaponry being so deep, but combat being more action oriented. And, you've got Capcom doing Dino Crisis
, Konami throwing Silent Hill
and its very non-combat style of gameplay into the mix... Even games like Shadow of Destiny
qualify as a kind of Survival Horror, in a strange way. Man, the field is broad! So, I actually look at Martian Gothic
and think that we have a new entry in the genre, which is a mix of Survival Horror and multi-character 'squad' games like Project Eden and X-Squad. But Fridtjof, you say, those games always end up confusing and sort of like the worst of both strategy and action games!! And yes, you're correct. But, with Martian Gothic
the squad idea isn't that you lead a team, but that you play a team...every member of the team. But Fridtjof, you impertinently interrupt once more, isn't that just like the gameplay in Resident Evil or Dino Crisis where you switch characters at times? Well, yes. But, in Martian Gothic
you don't have the switch forced on you as you do in the Capcom games. You actually need to coordinate the members of your three person team to solve the puzzles and win the game. So, the choice of which character to play is entirely yours, and you'll choose depending on the puzzle you're solving at the time. But (and this is the real 'hook' of the game) you won't be able to really work together, because no two members of your party can be together at the same time!
That's right. In a very 'Aliens' fashion, you come to Mars to investigate the strange radio silence of a Martian outpost. Well, not a complete silence. The last communication from Mars contained a cryptic message to those who must come: 'Stay alone, stay alive.' What it means is unclear, but your team (after crash landing on the surface of the planet) obeys what has become the secondary directive of this mission, and enters Mars Base through 3 separate airlocks. The characters have some interesting histories, known to us mostly through the objects they bring and the things they say, sometimes to themselves and sometimes to the other members of the party. It's a moody setting, compounded by the fact that another communique from Mars stated prophetically that 3 would come but only 2 would leave. By the end of the game, you'll be attached to all three members of the party. Will you really have to leave a man or woman behind? And what is the cause of the devastation you find in the base? It's a good mystery, and there are good scares to be had here. Especially for 10 dollars!