In 1999, Capcom released a survival horror classic that generated rave reviews, spawned sequels, sold millions of copies, captivated the world of gaming, and most shockingly of all… was not named Resident Evil. Although all of those attributes could certainly apply to the legendary Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, (which released the same year), instead, I am referring to its sibling Dino Crisis, a game that traded shambling zombies for bloodthirsty prehistoric predators in a sci-fi horror experience that is still reminisced upon fondly nearly a quarter of a century later.
Although Dino Crisis and Resident Evil were both respected horror titles in the late ’90s, the two series have been on very different trajectories in the new millennium. While Resident Evil went on to become the highest selling horror franchise in the history of videogames with many mainline entries and spinoffs, Dino Crisis has been relegated to the Capcom bench without a new game in the two decades since 2003’s Dino Crisis 3.
For years rumors have swirled about a potential Dino Crisis remake, remaster, reboot, port, etc., ultimately to no avail, as the game remains a survival horror fossil trapped in the sediment of old hardware. With gamers constantly clamoring (and even petitioning) for a return of Dino Crisis, here are seven reasons why Capcom’s dinosaur-vival horror franchise should return from extinction in the form of a remake or remaster.
Dino Crisis Is Hard to Play in 2023
Although Dino Crisis could be described as “hard” in terms of gameplay, the true challenge lies in actually finding a playable platform for the game itself, which has limited number of options. Finding copies of Dino Crisis is far from impossible, but the survival horror classic is not available on any current generation consoles and isn’t purchasable on PC storefronts like Steam or Epic Games. As of this writing, Dino Crisis can only be played on its original hardware (PS1, Dreamcast), with complete copies ranging from $40 to $60, purchased on the PlayStation 3 Digital Store, or via emulation.
Capcom should remedy this by (at a minimum) remastering their classic Dinosaur horror series, allowing current-gen gamers to discover or reexperience its greatness on modern hardware. Better yet, PlayStation should include the game as part of its subscription service, PlayStation Plus Premium, which has been long-rumored, but hasn’t come to pass.
Dino Crisis Could Use an Update
Dino Crisis is a product of its time, oozing with traditional survival horror charm, but unfortunately it lacks so many of the quality-of-life features that spoil modern gamers. With an outdated tank control system, aging combat mechanics, and graphics from the Mesozoic Era, Dino Crisis takes some getting used to after playing modern games and may alienate newer players. A remaster/remake could introduce some graphical improvements, quality of life features, and possibly update the control scheme, providing gamers a more seamless, less jarring transition compared to the original Dino Crisis.
Capcom’s Remake Track Record
Much of the recent fervor surrounding a potential Dino Crisis remake has been due to Capcom’s faithful rebuilds/reimagining’s of various Resident Evil games in recent years. The Resident Evil 2 and 4 Remakes have garnered undeniable critical acclaim, becoming the two highest rated horror games of the previous and current generation of gaming respectively. If Dino Crisis was remade with the same care and introduced modernized gameplay mechanics and an over-the-shoulder camera angle, there would be nothing to stop the game from regaining its title as generation-defining survival horror experience.
You might be surprised to see a third-person multiplayer action shooter mentioned in the same breath as a retro survival horror game, but Exoprimal and Dino Crisis are interconnected in a variety of ways. Both games were developed by Capcom, feature vicious dinosaur enemies, and have prominent, red-haired female characters. Furthermore, a lot of the online discourse and speculation around Exoprimal centered on whether or not the game was part of the Dino Crisis universe.
Although Exoprimal received a middling reception from critics and hasn’t attained a huge player base, on a personal note, I found it highly enjoyable, and was impressed by the dino-slaying combat, as well as visual appearance of the game’s dinosaurs and multiplayer battles against them. Whether you liked Exoprimal or not, no one can deny the game highlighted an underlying desire for Dino Crisis and demonstrated the potential of dinosaurs in Capcom’s RE Engine.
Profitability & Posterity
Despite selling approximately 4 million copies (including 2.4 million for the debut entry alone), today, Dino Crisis sits on Capcom’s proverbial shelf, collecting dust. The series doesn’t generate any revenue outside of the PS3 store (as well as the secondary market Capcom doesn’t profit from), there is no licensed merchandise to buy, and newer gamers are increasingly becoming less aware that Dino Crisis ever existed in the first place. If Capcom doesn’t even try to market or sell its Dino Crisis product, the lucrative IP will become increasingly devalued, and eventually all future profit opportunities could very well evaporate. This would be easily remedied by reintroducing Dino Crisis to the newest gaming generation, with prospective fans who could embrace the series, and spend their hard-earned dollars on videogame copies and merchandise.
However, aside from the monetary incentive for Capcom to bring back Dino Crisis, there is also an artistic, and dare I say moral incentive. For all the people who toiled in Dino Crisis’ development and created a work of survival horror art, shouldn’t Capcom at least make an effort to preserve their creation for future generations? Don’t the millions of fans who supported the series deserve another chance to reexperience the magic? Maybe these are less important reasons, but they are undeniably valid.
Dino Crisis Could Add Achievements
Due to the fact that Dino Crisis’ last game was released in 2003, the series has never had any trophies or achievements on any of its platforms, as the Xbox 360 and PS3 did not introduce their virtual reward systems until the late 2000s. However, a remaster or remake could fix this omission, giving gamers the chance to earn the PlayStation Platinum trophy or 1,000 Xbox Gamerscore. As an achievement hunter myself, some of my favorite aspects of survival horror gaming have been attempting to conquer a great trophy list with fun challenges, miscellaneous tasks, and various difficulty levels on the way to 100% completing the game. Dino Crisis would be a textbook example of a game improved by the addition of trophies/achievements.
Ultimately, there is no logical rebuttal to Dino Crisis being remade or remastered. Either option would provide an opportunity to introduce a new generation of gamers to the series, improve the outdated gameplay elements, follow in the footsteps of the successful Resident Evil remakes, preserve the work of Dino Crisis’ creators, and allow Capcom to capitalize on a long extinct series.