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Resident Evil 2 Remake has been one of the best games released this year. The game not only had a nostalgic essence to it, but it also stood as a benchmark for how action-horror should be done in order to not only instill the adrenaline rushing moments but at the same time keep things engaging with puzzles, story, and other gameplay elements. While most horror games rely on the cliched jumpscare direction, the action-based entities of the Resident Evil franchise have been able to deliver a much better overall experience when it comes to the horror genre in video games. Daymare 1988, has been one of the games that have been heavily inspired by the classic Resident Evil games. In fact, the developers themselves on the verge of making a fan remake of the original Resident Evil 2  before Capcom intervened and requested them to take down the project, because obviously, Capcom had their own plans. A number of developers involved with the Resident Evil titles have contributed to the game as well. Does it live up to the giants it took its inspiration from? Let’s find out

Daymare: 1998 is a third-person survival horror game with hardcore survival mechanics and unyielding enemies. The Steam version is now available whereas the game will be getting a PS4 & Xbox One release date shortly as they are in development as of now. The game will also release on GOG later this year

Story & Setting

The game takes inspiration from the Resident Evil franchise not only in the gameplay department but also in the story department as well. The story unfolds in different chapters, from different perspectives in the form of three characters, as players see different scenarios that pan out in the game. While the areas of exploration remain the same, the characters have different inventories and different experiences as they traverse through the world. Nonetheless, the core story remains the old cliched story of a zombie outbreak and like the Resident Evil franchise, we have the government agencies involved here as well. While we didn’t expect much from the story in the beginning, the dialogue writing and the story writing, in general, turned out to astoundingly cheesy. However, that might just be due to the game’s inspiration from classics given the fact that classics often incorporated the same. Like the other departments, the game does below average in this department as well.

Gameplay & Mechanics

As soon as the game starts, the inspiration from the Resident Evil franchise is pretty obvious with the over the shoulder camera. The same old claustrophobic camera which has been responsible for making the action sequences much more visceral and engaging is present, but, it is not able to replicate that atmosphere which the Resident Evil franchise creates with that camera angle. For instance, when we tried out Resident Evil 2 Remake earlier this year, we found the camera pretty constrained and movement clunky, but eventually, we got used to it and realized that they were in place to make the combat sequences more action-packed. Daymare 1988, on the other hand, fails to do so. The focus on realism here has been one of the major aspects of why Daymare fails to replicate the experience the Resident Evil franchise offers. The clunky movement here turns very tedious as the horror-centric atmosphere here simply lacks gravity and is not able to instil fear in the players. Traversing around the world is more of a chore than anything else, and you can’t simply just run through because there is a stamina bar which depletes pretty quick and jogging is still slow. Let’s not even talk about normal walking.

Daymare 1988 is not a remake of classic horror at all. Instead, it just goes back to the classics and becomes a retro game instead. There are some improvements, no doubt about it, but if you are not a fan of classic horror, Daymare 1988 is something you should stay away from. One of the major flaws of the game, as we mentioned earlier, is the realism is tries to offer. Realism in games something which many franchises have been moving towards in the recent past. A prime example of that has been Red Dead Redemption 2. However, too much of anything is bad and that’s exactly what cripples Daymare 1988. The game undertakes a very slow approach to everything just to create that realism, and it simply doesn’t click at any point in the game. The enemies are atrociously slow and the exaggerated animations every time you open your inventory or the map is a chore to watch. In short, the prolonged emphasis on realism tests your patience instead of making the game immersive.

While the focus on realism has been detrimental for the game, there has been a silver lining in some aspects. For instance, the extremely limited ammo and inventory space is something which adds a strategic touch to the game. Players need to choose their fights instead of going all out. At times, running away is probably the better option as well. Speaking of the zombies, they are pretty slow and, to be very honest, they fail to create the tension and adrenaline rushing moments which has been the core gameplay element of the Resident Evil franchise.

The game does turn out to be very harsh for the players at times especially during the boss battles, but that is something which we aren’t complaining about given the fact that it is more or less a retro game so the extreme difficulty is something which we were not at all surprised about. What we were actually surprised about is the ammo management system at higher difficulty levels. That was undoubtedly was one of the worst initiatives the game took to focus on realism, but thankfully it’s optional. Ammo management involves managing the magazines and not just reloading. Quick reloads will waste the bullets in the previous magazines while if the players do it slowly, the ammo won’t be wasted and it will combine with the previous magazine.

Puzzles in the game are pretty mediocre as well. They just test your patience like other aspects of the game instead of actually providing any puzzles which incite your interest. One aspect we liked is the D.I.D. It is the same device which used to manage your inventory and view the map, however, while those features are pretty flawed, the D.I.D. has some unique features up its sleeves as well. One feature we really liked is the beep which turns on if you are near a secret room. The secret room will give access to a number of stuff which contains save points, shop and a lot more. Overall, the gameplay is pretty mediocre as such and there was little to no striking elements as such.

Visuals & Sound

Graphics and visuals are the only aspects the game somewhat stood out in. The visuals in the game and especially the lighting is pretty appealing however, the animations at times is simply not up to the mark. Especially the animation which involves the zombies biting you is pretty weird, to say the least and doesn’t escalate the gravity of the situation as such. That being said, the visuals are pretty stunning for an indie game with a few shabbily lit areas having some low-quality textures just like the Resident Evil games. Apart from the animations, the game does good in the visual section. Not to forget, the exaggerated long animations are pretty tedious and feel like a chore.

The sound design is pretty decent I’d say, despite a few bugs here and there. At times one could hear zombies from a different location while they stood on the completely opposite side. Considering the game is coming from a small studio these infrequent bugs are not surprising, and there is nothing much to complain about.


Daymare 1988 is simply not able to convert its inspirations into something which stands out in the action-horror genre. While the game tries to stick to the roots for the most of the part, it puts little to no effort in weeding out the flaws in the classics and on top of that to make things worse, it inculcates a new set of flaws in the segments it tries to innovate in. If you are a fan of classic horror. the game is worth giving a shot just for the sake of being a classic horror game predominantly. For others, we’d suggest opting for Resident Evil 2 Remake which is a much better choice.

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