reviewed on NDS
At least there's shooting
So, as a horror game, Dementium is a flop. From a gameplay standpoint, itís a fairly average first-person shooter that does nothing to distinguish itself. If youíve played Metroid Prime Hunters, the experience isnít all that different; except for the flashlight ripped straight from Doom 3. Just like in Doom, you get a flashlight with inexplicably infinite power which youíll use to light up the dark hallways. This would be a decent gameplay addition, but it suffers from the same handicap as it did in Doom 3; you canít wield a flashlight and a gun at the same time. This means you may spot an enemy in the hall in front of you, but when you take out your gun you canít see it and - even though youíre aiming right at it - you canít shoot it. Almost all the gameís gunplay takes place in confined spaces which doesnít really make much sense.
Once in a while the game remembers itís supposed to be a survival horror game and sends you Ďadventuringí, although that seldom amounts to more than some stupid fetch quest. You may have to count the dead people in the morgue, or find keys to open a chest. Either way it amounts to the same thing: lots and lots of backtracking. Itís hard enough to figure out how to move forward; not only are the hallways so drab you canít tell which way you came, but pretty much every map you find is worthless. The maps fail to show obstructions which are found at nearly every junction, and since you canít draw on the map a la Phantom Hourglass, youíll guessing which way you need to go back and often frustrating you when you realize youíre being blocked by something as flimsy as an overturned wheelchair.
Thereís numerous other issues that hold Dementium back. For instance, the absolutely broken save system. The game auto-saves for you every time you enter a room, which is nice, but when you die you start back from the beginning of the chapter. This can be quite annoying when youíre on one of those chapters with the ridiculous fetch quests, and it makes the entire game rather tedious to play. Also notable is the lack of any sort of multiplayer. Weíve seen how great online FPS work on the DS, so why not include it in Dementium as well? With the weird lighting from the flashlights, it could be the next big thing on Nintendoís Wi-Fi Connection. Now, thereís absolutely no reason to replay the game at all.
Overall, Dementium: The Ward comes as a disappointment. I was not expecting huge things from the game, but I thought Iíd get at least a fun FPS thatíd take my attention off Metroid Prime for a while. Admittedly, the game has its moments near the end, but they are outweighed by the sheer number of unsavory moments youíll have to experience while getting there.
No Pros and Cons at this time