When going through an airport security checkpoint, the startling buzz of a metal detector reminds you to slide off your belt or dig a set of forgotten keys from your pocket.
Leon Kennedy can empathise, because when he trots through security, the detectors go crazy for his gun belt too. It’s so easy to forget, you know, to put all the clips in the bin.
Loaded up with action, Resident Evil: Degeneration strips away the droll elements of survival-horror in order to make it through the iPhone gate. The game’s story and gunplay won’t grip you for long, though, as it’s over in less time that it takes to make it through most airport security checkpoints.
As Leon Kennedy, you’re called in to deal with an unexpected outbreak of the T-virus in the fictional Harvardville airport. The building has been locked down, all flights cancelled, and the few remaining survivors locked away in a VIP lounge deep inside the complex.
Locating the survivors and getting them to safety is your primary objective, though your mission warps into one of containment as the zombie menace threatens to escape.
Making sure that doesn’t happen is a matter of tapping to shoot zombies, and then asking questions later. A tap of the Aim button on the right side of the screen whips out your gun, cementing Leon in position for shots triggered with another tap of the button.
An analogue stick at the left allows you to aim with your weapon primed, or to move with your weapon holstered.
It’s a manageable system, though one that has clear flaws. Leon frequently moves when you attempt to aim with the analogue stick, sometimes doing so even when you’ve not touched it at all. Without the ability to control the camera, your view occasionally gets caught on the back of Leon’s head or jammed in a doorway.
These are but minor annoyances when considering the combat, which has you nailing shuffling zombies and feral dogs with a range of high-powered firearms.
It’s pretty fun taking pop shots at zombies from the interior of a burning plane and running through the duty-free shopping wing mowing down infected with blasts from a shotgun. Which makes it all the more disappointing when the eleventh and final chapter of the story pulls the curtain little more than an hour from when you began playing.
A bonus Mercenaries mode unlocked after completing the game and the ability to play through the story again with all of your upgraded equipment hardly conjures replay value. Since the game doles out far too much, you need to play through a second time to unlock items and upgrade your arsenal.
Mercenaries mode, which has you racking up zombie kills as a clock ticks down, only adds a couple more minutes of play.
Resident Evil: Degeneration has the making of something much funner, though more than a tune up of the controls and upgrade system is needed to get it there.
It’s missing some firepower, for a start, as though Leon dropped his clips at the security checkpoint and forgot to pick them back up. A couple of extra rounds to lengthen and liven up the game would do much to fill out a neat but stingy package.