Run Like Hell, or as it is now known, RLH, is finally here, after months and months of delays. This sci-fi action adventure game was first announced before the PlayStation 2 had even hit store shelves in the US, and it had seemingly slipped under the radar until now. Gamers who may have been excited about the game so long ago may have even forgotten about it, and sadly, the end result is a game that--despite its lengthy development cycle--still feels rushed and incomplete.
RLH looks like a first-generation PlayStation 2 game.
The game follows the story of Nichols Conner, a military man living on the Forseti space station with his fiancÃ©e, Dr. Samantha Reilly. After a routine exploration mission with a colleague, Conner returns to the station, only to find that something has gone horribly wrong, as nearly all the inhabitants of the station, including the love of his life, are either missing or dead. Conner quickly discovers that an alien race has turned the once bustling station into a blood-and-guts-stained mess, and with the help of a hulking alien named Dag, he sets out to get to the bottom of things.
Given the source material, it's clear that RLH borrows heavily from such Hollywood blockbusters such as Alien and The Thing. The space station is dimly lit and dreary, and at times it feels just about as dead as many of the people who once lived there. The invading alien forces also look very similar to the monsters in the previously mentioned movies. The game does a great job of maintaining this atmosphere throughout its course, but it really falls flat in the actual execution.
Those familiar with this type of story-driven action adventure will quickly get a handle on RLH, although they'll find that the controls are rather clunky. The camera is the worst offender. You can rotate your view using the lower shoulder buttons on the Dual Shock 2, but strangely, pressing the right button moves the camera to the left and pressing the left button moves the camera to the right. While there are multiple control configurations to choose from, reconfiguring these buttons manually is not possible, so the camera controls are something you'll stumble over until you get the hang of it. To add to this, the camera has numerous problems when you're in cramped areas or backed against a wall. In these situations, the game will rapidly switch angles uncontrollably at the most inopportune times, such as in the heat of battle. Luckily, combat is aided by a lock-on system, so even if your target is offscreen, you'll still end up hitting the mark.
While the combat system aids you quite a bit, the game tends to throw volleys of enemies at you at a time, with most of them appearing out of thin air, one after another. Thus, with each enemy encounter, your mission is basically brought to a screeching halt until the room is cleared. Escape generally isn't an option, since the aliens pitted against you will follow you until they die. Furthermore, the game provides you with an unlimited supply of ammunition, which takes just about any strategy out of the combat. To succeed, all you'll need to do is find a spot away from a spawn point, target your foes, and blast away.