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Resi-inspired zombanger Daymare: 1998 is out now

I feel more secure already

Daymare: 1998 is the zombie survival horror shooter from the team who started out with a fan remake of Resident Evil 2, before getting an awkward “could you not” from Capcom in 2015.

The premise is similar, and given the game’s roots it’d be mean spirited to give it a hard time for being a case of “investigate the mystery oubreak, but oh no! It’s zombies!” again. You clomp about a dark installation and parts of the city, reading paperwork, snatching supplies, and launching bullets into zombies and warped monstrosities with a small metal tube powered by explosions. I’ve had a bit of a go at it, so there’ll be impressions and a trailer below.

It’s a bit on the fiddly side. You apparently get to control three protagonists in turn, and I sure hope the other two are better, because the starting one might as well be called Gruffman Von Snarldick. I’ve little interest in keeping him alive. The dialogue clunks, falling heavily on the ‘badass soldier says macho things’ side, even though I, a pasty sickling, can sprint much faster than him, and without gasping for breath within 3 seconds. The zombos are a wee bit spongy, even with headshots, which makes for a lot of tedious manual refilling of magazines. The real-time inventory is even more awkward than Capcom’s 1998 herb-smushing original, and when zombles grab you, you have to hammer the space bar until your bloke remembers how to push them away. Blugh.

But the shooting bits work, the zombies stagger about well, and my complaints are mostly petty enough that they’d likely fade after a longer play. There’s a quite cool ‘quick reload’ thing for emergencies, which saves time at the cost of dropping your old magazine. It’s probably a more interesting game for starting over as an original, rather than a faithful remake, but that makes it a bit harder to shrug off some of its habits.

Daymare: 1998 is available now on Steam, at a discounted price of £22.49 / €26.99 / $26.99 until next Tuesday.

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