There is a fine line between taking inspiration and straight-up copying. The most recent example of this fine line being blurred is Daymare: 1998.
Daymare: 1998 is a third-person survival horror game with a striking resemblance to classic Resident Evil. In fact, not only did I first hear about this game on a Resident Evil Discord server but one of the voice actors, Paul Haddad, was the original Leon from Resident Evil 2.
A few days ago, Destructive Creations released a demo of Daymare: 1998 on Steam for free. So I decided to give it a go. My first impression was that it was a decent enough experience but well, there is something akin to the video game equivalent of the uncanny valley.
I know that the big selling point is that this a spiritual successor to classic 90s horror games, most noticeably Resident Evil but being honest I think this game goes a bit further than that.
Now I am not complaining, more Resident Evil content or at least Resident Evil like content is always going to be a good thing in my eyes. If you love old school Survival Horror then you need to download Daymare: 1998 right now. The thing is, it’s so similar that I find it a tad offputting.
This is probably just me, but it captures the spirit of those classics so well that I am a little nervous that Capcom will be getting in contact with Destructive Creations via lawers.
Now there are some differences of course and I think they stark enough to give Daymare: 1998 its own identity so hopefully, there won’t be any lawsuits handed over but considering certain video game lawsuits of the past I am still a bit worried for them.
I have rewritten this ramble four times now trying to properly vocalise my point but I can’t seem to find the right words so I’ll be frank. I like this game, a lot. It’s only a demo but there is a lot of potential here.
On my first playthrough, however, I felt like it was too similar to the games they are honouring. To the point that it made me almost uncomfortable with deja vu. However, that was a bit of a knee jerk reaction. The more I played, the more I experienced its unique charm.
What I am trying (and failing, I think my lack of sleep is finally catching up with me) to say is while Daymare: 1998 is clearly a tribute to Resident Evil in terms of the basic story, mechanics and gameplay it does bring new elements to the table.
More than enough to set it apart from other Survival Horrors? I’m not sure but it certainly has enough to establish its own identity in the genre.
While it is still only available as a demo I am keen to see how this pans out. Signs are looking good so far but who can say for sure?