Although I looked at a previous version of this demo in January, I was contacted about a month ago by the maker of this mod who gave me a public link to the next version of the demo (it’s below the Youtube video, although the site that the demo is hosted on downloads the demo in a rather unusual way, which apparently varies depending on your browser).
For this mini review, I’ll only be looking at the most prominent piece of new content (the Krauser campaign) in this mod. If you want to see a review of the other parts of this mod, then check out my review of version 1.1.
Anyway, let’s take a look at “Resident Evil: Code Name Hunk [Demo 1.2]”:
If you haven’t played “Code Name Hunk” before, it’s a very extensive “Doom II” mod (using the “GZDoom” source port) in the style of one of the modern “Resident Evil” games.
Although I’ve only played the really old “Resident Evil” games, this mod seems to be a reasonably accurate recreation of what I’ve seen of the modern games (albeit with retro “Doom”/ “Resident Evil 2”-style graphics 🙂 ).
However, I should probably mention that you’ll have to configure the controls yourself before you start playing. Although this demo comes with a copy of “GZDoom” (you’ll obviously need to supply your own “Doom II” or “Final Doom” IWAD though), all of the controls in it are set to the default controls (and there are no default key bindings for many of the essential actions in this mod). So, be sure to take a look at the options menu before you start the game.
The most visible change in version 1.2 of this demo is the fact that there is a new playable character (called Krauser) available. But, rather than just being another character, he also has his own set of levels – the first of which is included in this demo.
Like with the Hunk campaign, Krauser’s campaign begins with an introductory FMV sequence (including both newly-animated footage and footage from one of the modern “Resident Evil” games) that explains some of the character’s backstory.
Krauser is a mercenary who has been hired by Albert Wesker to spy on Hunk (as such, the events of Krauser’s campaign take place slightly later than the events of Hunk’s campaign).
On his way to the town, Krauser is in the mood for a fight, so he jumps out of the helicopter into the zombie-filled forest surrounding the town. Although the pilot is annoyed by this, Wesker is merely amused.
One of the first things I will say is that there are some significant gameplay differences in Krauser’s campaign. Whilst Hunk’s campaign is more like a traditional “Resident Evil” game, Krauser’s campaign is a lot more action-based and it only features a very small amount of puzzle-solving.
Although Krauser gets more weapons than Hunk, this is balanced out by a higher difficulty level. In other words, there are lots more monsters to fight – not to mention that ammo and health can get fairly scarce sometimes.
Even on “normal” difficulty, this mod is surprisingly challenging. In other words, expect to encounter far more hunters, zombie dogs and lickers than in Hunk’s campaign. In addition to this, there is a type of mini-boss (from “Resident Evil 2”) that appears regularly about halfway through the demo level. These creatures can only be harmed with Krauser’s mutant arm and you’ll run into at least six of them within a relatively short amount of time.
However, although the monsters are fiendishly difficult, it’s important to remember that they cannot climb even the smallest incline or leave the area they spawn in. So, if you encounter a hunter or one of the mini bosses, just run back until you find a set of steps or a doorway of some kind. Once there, you can either fight them in complete safety, or just run away.
However, even on “normal” difficulty, I had to restart the final third of the level three times before I was finally able to complete it.
Unless you conserve literally all of your ammunition during the final third of the level (which is similar to parts of Hunk’s campaign) and search carefully for more ammo at the beginning of the level, then you won’t have enough to defeat the final boss. I understand that this is meant to be challenging, but I would have appreciated slightly more ammo in this part of the level.
In terms of the level design, the demo’s level is divided into three distinct segments. After you’ve completed one part of the level, you’ll get an in-game cutscene and then the next part of the level will begin.
The large sprawling outdoor area in the first third of the level wasn’t quite as confusing as I had feared when I saw the preview video for this version of the demo on Youtube a while back. In addition to this, it also features some creepy dark tunnels that help to add some variety to the level. Plus, since this is still “Doom”, you can just press “tab” to bring up the level map – which can come in handy if you get lost:
The second third of the level is a lot more linear, where you explore a series of corridors and open a series of gates by defeating several mini-bosses. Although there are a couple of parts where you can choose to take one of two possible routes, for the most part you will have to explore the whole level.
The third part of the level is a drastically shortened version of Hunk’s campaign, where you have to explore a restaurant and then fight the final boss. Again, make sure to conserve literally all of your ammo during this part of the level (eg: use the knife when fighting the zombies in the restaurant) because you’ll need it for the boss battle.
In terms of the graphics and sound design, they’re as good as always. The monsters actually look 3D, and Krauser is well-animated enough that you’ll soon forget that he’s just a 2D sprite. Likewise, the sounds, music and voice acting are all fairly decent too.
All in all, this is pretty cool. Even though I only played the new Krauser level this time round, it’s surprisingly different from the Hunk level. Yes, the final boss battle borders on being unfair but, apart from this, there’s lots of cool stuff here. The new weapons all work fairly well and the first level of the Krauser campaign contains a good variety of settings (even if it’s easy to get lost during the earlier parts of the level). It’s a good addition to a great mod.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get at least four.