After watching Jurassic Park III for the 2nd time last weekend (the first one was in the cinema, when it first came out), I felt like I needed something to expand my experience, hence, a videogame. The problem is there's not much JP games, especially recent ones. Anyway, after playing JP arcade on MAME, I decided to try Trespasser, an old FPS (released in 1998) said to be pretty advanced for it's time.
Well, now I can say it myself, that game not only was, but still is, an FPS like no other, and in many ways it's precisely the FPS I've been craving for so many years. Yes, it's that awesome!
I really don't know where to start. Well, I think I'll begin with the story. Here you control Anne, a young woman who crash-landed on Isla Sorna, the island from JP 2 and 3, sometime after the events of the 2nd movie. Like in the movies, you control a civilian who just wants to get out of the island alive, and that's your main goal.
There isn't much story here, but you character usually talks to herself, about what's happening around you, and you'll often hear clips of John Hammond's memoir, which is great for fans since it gives you an intimate look about Hammond's life and the creation of Jurassic Park.
But what really shines in this game is the gameplay. There's so many brilliant and unique things about it that I don't really know where to start. For instance the game is all about realism. There's no HUD whatsoever. You can see your health by looking at your chest (yes, if you look down you actually see your character's chest, something we only started to see last year with Call of Juarez and other game I can't remember now). There's a heart-shaped tattoo on one of Anne's breasts that fills as you gain damage.
There's also no health packs. You regain your energy automatically over time as long as you're not hit, something Call of Duty 2 was famous for "introducing" in 2005...
Since there's no HUD you also depend on your character to know how many bullets are left on a magazine, so you have to pay attention to her comments when you shoot.
Now, what really makes this game stand out is the arm. The right arm, to be precise, since the left one was broken when Anne crashed on the island. All the interaction with your surroundings is made with this arm, that you can move freely in every direction, and by interactions I mean picking and using weapons and objects, open doors, press buttons in keypads, etc...
Related to this is the game's physics engine, which was so advanced for it's time that it was only surpassed by the on present in 2004's Half-Life 2. Unlike HL2, though, where the objects you picked up appeared suspended in front of you, like some invisible hand is holding them, here you actually see your arm extend to pick the object and your hand holding it.
Now, about the weapons, they're also unlike anything you've seen before. Not the weapons themselves, but the way you handle them. Like the objects, you actually see your arm extending to pick them up (not only you see, but you have to do it, since it's not automatic), unlike every other FPS where you just pass over them and they magically appear on your hands.
Now, once you pick them up, you also don't handle them like you do in other games. For instance, there's no crosshair and you actually have to position your weapon in a way that you know where you're shooting, cause if you rotate your weapon to the left, you'll shoot to the left. Another thing is that your weapon is not an independent object like in other games, it's still part of the world, so it interacts with the objects around it. This means that if, for example, you go against a wall, the weapon will react accordingly. This is most important when fighting dinosaurs that like to bash you, since if you're not careful you can loose your gun in the middle of a fight.
(not the best video, this game looks bad if you don't know how to play it)
This is specially great for finishing of half-dead dinosaurs. If you see a dying raptor you can put your weapon against it's face and actually feel when your gun is touching it, by the way it won't move further. Then, you just need to pull the trigger...
Despite all it's innovations, this was really a game way ahead of it's time, which explains the poor sales and reviews. Of course the game is not perfect. The budget wasn't enough for what the creators were trying to do and since the game had to be rushed to meet the release of the 2nd film, there are some rough edges. The realism and slow-paced action wasn't also well received by gamers with Quake running in their veins, but that's not the game's fault. It's actually the gamer's fault, since now we could have more games like this one, if it wasn't for the stupid gamers that just want another brainless shooter like the other million brainless shooters that already exist...
Anyway, if you like Jurassic Park or just want an FPS like no other, give this game a chance. Although it's an old game, you can make it look (and actually play) better using this unofficial patch, and there's also a great community dedicated to this great game.
PS - From now on I'll always end my posts by telling you the music I listened to while writing the post. I think it's a good way to share my favourite bands with you guys. This time, since the post was really big, I listened to a whole album:
Sonata Artica - For the Sake of Revenge
Some of my favourite songs:
- My Land
- Gravenimage (short version) and Don't Say a Word
- The Cage