Run Like Hell Review

Run Like Hell can best be described as a survival horror game set in space, with action and mini-game elements thrown in for good measure.  It places you in the role of Nick Conner, a veteran warrior who has been demoted and relegated to a backwater research station.  At first it is not such a bad assignment, as in addition to a motley crew of aliens the station is also home to a very shapely assortment of female scientists, your fiancÚ among them.  Your respite from war is short-lived, though, as you return from a survey mission to find the station severely damaged and most of the crew slaughtered.  In very short order you find the cause of the trouble; an alien race has invaded the station and is intent on slaughtering every living thing inside.

ScreenshotsThe game is played from the third person perspective.  The default camera position is over the shoulder, but you can rotate the camera 360░ around Nick.  Fighting enemies is an easy affair, as a target lock button does the aiming for you and your primary weapon has unlimited ammunition (although you do need to reload it).  Additional weapons make an appearance in the game, but they are of limited ammo and consequently of limited use.  Your primary weapon serves you well, especially since it can be upgraded with special chips that you can find lying around the station.  When installed, these chips provide your weapon with greater firepower, larger ammo clips, and a faster rate of fire.

The action elements of Run Like Hell are somewhat disappointing.  You can handle most of the aliens by locking on to them and firing while strafing.  You'll also face the same basic types of aliens for the majority of the game, and it is not difficult to figure out their simplistic attack patterns.  The game tries to make things more difficult by placing aliens behind doors or creating spawn points in ceilings or other places that help the aliens to to get a surprise drop on you.  However, as long as you keep your health level high (which is not difficult to do with the number of power-ups in the game) these surprises aren't usually fatal.  Although spawn points regenerate a new batch of aliens if you leave an area and then return, the locations don't change so you'll know where to look for them.

Fortunately, the game is not strictly an action title.  The game incorporates a large degree of puzzle-solving in its gameplay, with most of the puzzles requiring you to enter code sequences using the square, triangle, circle, and x buttons.  Pieces of the codes can be found on scraps of paper or computer terminals in the station and are easy to find.  The game marks clues, weapons, and other items with yellow exclamation points so that you'll know the location of everything important as soon as you enter a room.

The game also weaves a number mini-game type challenges into the gameplay, and some of these are better than others.  It is an interesting change of pace to try and lead a large brute of an alien away from a door he's guarding and into a trap.  However, it's not quite as much fun to try and press the button to stop a moving slider within a small zone - it's akin to the free throw shooting mechanism used in many basketball games and about as exciting as Pong.  Other mini-games require you to do things like tapping a button quickly to pry open a door with a crowbar or pressing jump and duck keys while running towards the camera with a large alien in pursuit.