resident evil survivor is one of the very few games i will admit to having nostalgia for, though i didn't play my first game until i got a ps3 in the winter of 2010 after a friend had sold me on one with a few trailers for final fantasy 13, i had remembered seeing resident evil survivor being played at an uncles once, i think it was the cinema and the prison sections of the game but i can't say for sure, so while i do have nostalgia for it, i didn't actually play it until around 2016, when i picked it up in a weird game lot that also came with an import copy of xenosaga part 3, the game i mostly wanted in the set. so in a way it has a little bit of meaning to me in that way, though my love for this game is genuine beyond that.
the game has a really unique gameplay style to it, if you are shown a screenshot of the game you will absolutely know right away what game it is, the mix of first person exploration and lightgun mechanics is one i'm very fond of, despite the fact i don't typically like first person games, resident evil 7 is even my least favourite game in the series in part because of that. when paired with the guncon especially the game plays great, though your use of the guncon will vary by what version of the game you're playing, as in american versions of the game the feature was removed due to recent tensions surrounding gun violence, it's tense but still quite fun, the branching paths, inspired most likely by time crisis and house of the dead, keep the game fresh over multiple plays with different environments, weapons and enemy placements, you can even miss entire enemy types like the small spiders or the moths depending on your route through the game. those environments are also wonderfully varied, from a cinema, a resteraunt and a church in the opening stage, to the likes of hospitals, bars, libraries, arcades, mines and a ton of other areas, many of which you will not see your first time through, there's enough that you could do 3 playthroughs and still not have seen everything without a guide, some areas like the second sewer are quite obtuse to find though.
those environments are backed up by a fantastic graphical style, while the game isn't cutting edge, even at the time, if you enjoy low resolution textures and a very specific look from that time period, the game is downright stunning, it's super aesthetic. almost every screenshot of this game looks great for the connesur of low-fi 3D games, though the low resolution makes it very difficult to read text in the environment, but overall i don't mind that as the game looks amazing to me, i can spend time in the cozier rooms and areas like the bar and just chill, it's great. it also adds to the atmosphere immensely, the game feels almost liminal, with the low draw distance and constant darkness in the games outdoors segments. the riverside area shortly after the first stages especially feels very spooky, i spent at least 5 minuites there on my last playthrough just admiring the scenery and taking in the atmosphere, it's a vibe that you can't really get anywhere else. the game does have its scares beyond that, some enemy types like the spiders and the moths are terrifying even now and there's a few jumpscares that i'll admit did get me, sure it's no siren, but it's still a good spooky time. one other cool thing is the games re-use of assets, like the zombie models and the spiders, taken mostly from resident evil 2, it does let you see these models far more up close than in their original games and i think that's really cool! the retro tech in the environments also is cool to spot, big tube tv's, VHS players and massive laptops all litter the environment and it gives those areas a cool look i think.
you have a lot of weapons to use too, with 4 types of pistols, a shotgun and granade launcher which are both very easily missable, and a magnum near the end, as well as a rocket launcher available if you manage to get an S rank, which is quite difficult to do i find. in the games short runtime you'll have a lot of variety overall. the story is decent too, full of lore and some mentions to mainline series characters, the game is fully canon too, being referenced in later titles a few times, the mc himself is fun, with his bad VA work and the fact he takes out countless tyrants with a pistol alone, making him accidentially one of the strongest characters in the series. the game has a lot of that trademark early resident evil cheese, the bad voice acting and endless optimism which help keep me invested, even the music shares this with a cheesy guitar theme at the end to play you out after the final boss and a nice piano melody to get you calm before the said boss. it's good music, certainly listenable and catchy, the ambient themes especially are great background music and the battle themes are some prime mozzarella. the voice acting does deserve another mention though, it's not as quotable as the first 3 games but it has a lot of great moments, especially in the second half when the two teenage characters come into it with their really off sounding british accents
the game just has a lot of heart really, it's a great time that you can just jump into and be done in easily two hours tops and is thankfully also quite easy, with great replayability to boot, this is absolutely not a game that deserves almost any of the hate it has gotten over the years, it's not even the worst resident evil game, though i would say i do prefer one of the games sequels, dead aim, to it, i still love this game and will always reccomend for people to set aside their biases and give it a shot, it's fun and very experimental, there's really nothing like it, even with its sequels, although those sequels had a lot going for them, with GS2 being a very fun doom clone which actually had an arcade release(which i have played!), dino staker being more dino crisis and god do i need more of that, and dead aim being one of my favourite resident evil games period. it is also worth noting that in addition to the ps1 port of the game that i played, there was also a windows version released in china and taiwan which is actually abandonware and can be easily found within minuites on google. development on this game was handled by tose, a japanese shadow company that has developed hundreds of games in its lifetime, though credited on very few of them as they are more or less a for hire studio, but they're a studio that have garnered infamy none-the-less, an infamy i feel is unfounded as they can make great games when given the chance. one other strange thing is that the game is credited as being directed by one "hiroyuki kai" who seems to have only dircted it and nothing else. regardless tose would go on to continue having a very fruitful career after this, even up until recently where they had a hand in several big titles such as final fantasy 7: crisis core reunion, scarlet nexus and even a warioware game for nintendo.