From a joint venture between Microsoft and Oriental Pearl Group, comes the first
registered company in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, E-Home Entertainment. The fruit
of their labors is Gene Rain, “Futuristic third person shooter.” “Gene Rain expands
the plot through new human narrative structures and delves deep into moral convictions as in how far you will go to achieve your goal.” Well…
The game looks really good from trailers and screen shots. The story sounds engaging
from the description. Sadly, what you’re promised is not what you get. However, let’s
start with the good. The story sounds pretty cool. Dr Bill Feynman, in an attempt
ti level the field globally, invented a spray that will change the genetic structure
of humanity, making everyone’s IQ equal. The spray was dispersed through wid towers,
and the ensuing Gene Rain proved fatal to a great majority of the world. This kicked
off the world wide war between those in support of the Gene Rain, and those against it.
You play as a leader of the Death Squad in charge of ending the Gene Rain era. You
control 3 characters: LiYing(Human), Salman(Robot), and Alex(Cyborg). This is your
standard run and gun cover system shooter, a la Gears of War without the polish and
good control scheme. This is where we veer into the bad territory. The control scheme
is backward from what you’re used to. Take cover by pressing A, vault over it by
pressing Y. Just press back to move out of cover. Aim with L2, Fire with R2.
Reload with R1, use the control cross to switch weapons. Control is as conusing as
reading that may be for some. A different control scheme can usually be overcome though. Remap your controls and go from there, right? Sure; but the optins are difficult to traverse also. Nothing in this game is intuitive.
Graphics look great inthe trailer and the screen shots. Until you load it of course.
The graphics are last gen at best. The AI is rough,and not in a challenging way.
Enmies are difficult to see until you’re being attacked, and even then, you have to
search for them, aim, and fire. Ammo is everywhere, so running out is difficult.
Level design is nice enough. Backgrounds look good; but the characters, enemies,
anything moving is just plain subpar.
The sound/localization(translation), if you love those old school Kung Fu or Godzilla
movies with the rough translations, you are in for a treat. Thankfully, there are
subtitles. The text accompanying collectibles, or descriptions is sadly, quite small.
So make sure you’re close to the TV, otherwise you may miss parts of the story.
In closing, it’s nice to see that gaming is starting to be more widely accepted in a
country where it is actually outlawed in some areas. This is a promising first step; but, sadly, the game is just not suitable for this generation. Last gen, it could have been big; however, control issues, poor sound, and weak graphics make this game a skip.
This review was based on a free copy provided by the publisher. That did not influence this review in any way.