Run Like Hell (video game)
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Run Like Hell is set on a space station in the distant future. It features the voice talents of Lance Henriksen, Thomas F. Wilson, Clancy Brown, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Ironside and Brad Dourif. The game also features the music of Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin, including an exclusive music video of their song "Polyamorous".
The later Xbox version includes one new level and several new alien creatures, while several optional player character skins and additional minigames could also be downloaded via Xbox Live or the Xbox Exhibition 3 demo disc.
The gameplay in Run Like Hell is most similar to that of the later titles in the Resident Evil series, with the player controlling a character from a third-person perspective. Enemies can be locked onto when firing and while reloading weapons is still required, most of the weapons have infinite ammo. The game also features a number of chase sequences, in which the player must flee from an invincible foe while dodging the obstacles in their path both with the analog stick and the face buttons. In these sections the player must use the analog stick to move around obstructions like crates and boxes and through narrow pathways. If a gap or low clearance is ahead, the game will prompt the player to push a specific face button to jump or duck. If the player takes too long to navigate the sequence, the enemy will catch the player and they will have to replay the sequence.
Mining surveyor and former war hero Nicholas Conner (voiced by Lance Henriksen), returns to his space station known as the Forsetti Station to find it overrun by a hostile, previously unknown alien species known simply as The Race. Most of the crew members are dead, Nick's fiancee Samantha is missing, and he soon discovers that the entire station is slowly degenerating into an alien hive. Using his war experience and a large arsenal of weapons, Nick must fight through a group of hostile enemies to locate survivors on the station who can help him find Samantha.
- Nicholas Conner: The main hero of the game, Nick was an arguably betrayed war hero that, for disobeying orders, was demoted and sent to watch over the sleepy Forsetti Station. He escapes the initial horrors by being away on a geological mission, and is the first to start trying to pick up the pieces and destroy The Race. He is voiced by Lance Henriksen.
- Samantha Reilly: Nick's fiancee, Samantha is a scientist that studies xenological lifeforms. She studies the first specimens of an alien species that were discovered on the nearby planet of Forsetti. She disappears soon in the game, but manages to get a few hurried messages to Nick while hiding out in various places of the station. She is voiced by Cree Summer.
- Amanda Bethune: Samantha's best friend from college, Amanda is a scientist in the area of geology. Also a good friend of Nick's, she accompanies Nick on his survey mission to a nearby asteroid. She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Dag'Rek: An old friend of Nick's, a Jaxn'Trep citizen of high moral caliber. Dag is the Forsetti Station's Chief of Security, and as such proves a valuable ally in the battles against The Race. He survives the initial massacres through sheer militaristic might, and his years of combat experience are soon seen. He also keeps a cache of illegal weapons on the station just in case. He is voiced by Clancy Brown.
- Niles': A Mnyanlys, Niles (whose real name was never revealed) is the best engineer on the Forsetti Station, and probably one of the best in the galaxy. Though he tosses about with his Sonic Stunner, Niles's main use is his magic touch with machines. He can fix practically anything, which comes in handy since the station is always breaking down. He is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Jessie: Niles's son, a computer hacker, and almost as good with machines as his dad. Jessie survives using his craftiness, as evidenced in their idea to hide out from the original slaughter in the back rooms of the Forsetti Station's theatre. He is voiced by Jason Marsden.
- Dr. Mek: The scientist heading up the study of the new species, Dr. Mek is a Neh'Lok. Both having come from the Neh'Lok wars, Nick and Dr. Mek have extreme difficulty coming to terms with one another. Dr. Mek had even lost a family to one of Nick's raids. Dr. Mek studies The Race whenever Nick and the others manage to capture a specimen, having holed up in her medical lab during the attack. She is voiced by Kate Mulgrew.
- Dr. Fred Monroe: A scientist whose first love is his work. Nick saves him early on from a Brute, but their opposing views quickly turns into a passionate rivalry. Dr. Monroe contributes to researching the Amalgamator Dag and Nick captured, and soon becomes enamored by the fascinating Race. He is voiced by Brad Dourif.
- Jinx: The daughter of the President, Jinx was sent to the Forsetti Station to minimize her ability to raise hell. She quickly befriended Jessie, and the duo used their respective skills (hers being computers) to create some mischievous fun for themselves. Jinx was in the detention center for hacking when The Race arrived, and having spent days on her own, she gladly uses her skills to aid Nick when he rescues her. She is voiced by Pamela Adlon.
- Craig O'Feardon: A former marine, dishonorably discharged for punching out his squad leader, he found peace working in the Forsetti Station's mines. Craig is a loud and surly drunk, and is quickly put in his place by Nick. Craig holes up with Samantha and the others in a computer lab near the pig pits. After being rescued by Nick (and just in the nick of time), Craig uses his expertise to guide him through the mine shafts and around its many treacherous setbacks. He is voiced by Thomas F. Wilson.
- Commander Mason: The military head of the Forsetti Station, he survives the massacre by hiding out with a few men in the bowels of the station. Mason is offscreen for most of the game, as he is too far for Nick to save. However, he does give Nick a clue as to the condition of his fiancee (among others). He also patches in with occasional updates on how his rescue plan is going. He is voiced by Michael Ironside.
According to Brian Freyermuth, the lead designer of Run Like Hell, the production did not go smoothly. During its five-year run, the team went through two executive producers, three producers, three lead programmers and two lead artists. They started out with the idea of a Resident Evil in space, but this was changed abruptly by upper management from survival horror to an action game. The aliens were weakened and made more numerous. In the end the game was scrapped by management again and restarted ten months before the release date. Thus, the game's actual programming was done in the space of ten months even though the game was in development for five years, which is one of the reasons that the story and characters seem fleshed out whereas the game play seems rushed and incomplete. The game was also meant to be a trilogy, as is obvious by the cliffhanger ending.
The Village Voice gave the Xbox version a score of seven out of ten and said, "It's one thing to watch your favorite stars provide product placement in Hollywood blockbusters, quite another to force the BAWLS into your mouth as a condition of advancing through the game." The Cincinnati Enquirer gave the PS2 version three-and-a-half stars out of five and said that it "delivers a good twist on the "Resident Evil"-style game play by adding more action and speed, a decent script and memorable characters. Entertainment Weekly, however, gave the same version a C and said, "If only the designers had spent as much time on the gameplay as they did on rendering the abundant female anatomy." In Japan, where the PS2 version was released on September 2, 2004, Famitsu gave it a score of all four sevens, for a total of 28 out of 40.
In 2009, GamesRadar included it among the games "with untapped franchise potential", commenting: "After five years of development, redevelopment and bureaucratic nonsense, what was supposed to be a survival-horror game was beaten into a shoddy action game with a cliffhanger ending but no chance of sequels. It’s too bad - with the right people, this unfulfilled series could be revived and done right."
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- Run Like Hell 2 - Neoseeker Forums
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