Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle Needs to Dig Deeper to Live Up to its Resident Evil Inspiration
Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle can’t think of a worse environment than standing firmly in the long shadow cast by its inspiration, the Resident Evil series. Every demo I’ve played feels like a cheap imitation of the greatest survival horror game of all time, from bland hallway crawling exploration to trivial run-and-gun action. 4 Remake the world. Worse, the 20-minute demo wasn’t enough time to build a world or establish a likable character, so setting aside Capcom’s Zombie is little different from his horror masterpiece. is not. There was no motivation to see more about my time spent in this slice.
This is wild, because when IGN gave a first-look preview of the game a year ago, it still looked like a Resident Evil clone in a FEAR costume. Dressed up in more sci-fi-inspired government paramilitary fare, however, Freeze comes complete with his own secret tech, like his gauntlet. I got none of that with this build. Instead, I solved rudimentary door puzzles, hunted for forgettable lore items, and took down enemies using bog-standard third-person shooter weapons. The demo doesn’t put Daymare’s best foot forward.
Screen – Daymare 1994: Sandcastle
Step into the shoes of Reyes, a member of a homeland security strike team called HADES, who is tasked with sneaking through the dark halls of a compromised government facility in search of the missing members of Section 8. The building itself is very generic and sterile. , and a very easy door puzzle in the style of a scientific, 90’s computer program, he has only one distinct personality. Towards the end of the demo, things started to show promise, with a giant tanker mysteriously dry-docked into a huge basement, and a glowing conduit gaping out of the wall to a place God knows. But there is no satisfying interaction with it.
In fact, there isn’t much interaction with anything other than scattered ammo and the occasional button that unlocks the next section of the map. Pick up, but nothing else needs such an inspection. Reyes’ glove comes with a scanner that allows him to pull data from a computer without physically interacting with it, but he can only use it once, and that’s a tutorial. If Daymare: 1994 wants to compete with the giants of the genre in terms of dense environments and many reasons to explore them, it’s not a great start.
When things start to heat up, monsters show up. There’s a twist that the threat isn’t the reanimated corpses of slain soldiers or scientists, but sentient energy spheres that bring them back to life with electricity. Once placed, the ball’s lighting is released from that body, allowing you to find another corpse in your possession. This was certainly very good in theory, but in practice it was only a factor in my first encounter with the bad guys. The only other section where I was advised not to fight the group that chased me to the door at the end showed little potential for dynamic competition against First Light Encounter suggests. It doesn’t help that these are the only enemy types either.
If this was my first impression of Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle, I wouldn’t be too interested in something else. I know this game has something to offer outside the bounds of this sneak peek, so I want to keep some optimism alive no matter how underwhelming almost everything I’ve played. Despite the lack of a few interesting looking abilities shown elsewhere, I’ve barely had a chance to use the tools I have in this 20 minute slice. Hopefully Resident Evil 4 Remake will inspire us to delve a little deeper into Daymare before it’s finally released.