Let me start off by saying that I am totally behind bringing older games “forward” to newer platforms. Games made years or even decades ago deserve the chance to be preserved and played in future generations. Most of the time, you get to experience forgotten gems or even overlooked titles that deserve another chance. Then there’s Corpse Killer. I played this game WAY, WAY back on the Sega CD in the 90s, and it wasn’t a great game then. For some reason I was gifted the game again for Sega Saturn, but that’s a completely different story for another time. The FMV obsession in gaming was starting to die, and Corpse Killer was goofy without trying to be. It was an instant regret back then to have bought the game, and honestly, I never thought I’d see it again. For some reason, the game was “modernized” and brought to newer consoles for its 25th Anniversary (its 25th Anniversary was in 2019). Let me get to the point, don’t buy Corpse Killer: 25th Anniversary Edition. It’s somehow worse now than it was when it originally released in the 90s.
Let’s start off with some of the positive aspects. Included in the 25th anniversary edition are numerous unique behind the scenes bonus features. Included with the game are several hours’ worth of behind the scenes videos from the original production of the game. This also includes hundreds of photos, the original script of the game, and numerous other documents about the game. This is some thing I always appreciated in re-releases like this. Giving people a bunch of unique behind the scenes looks at the games are always something special and something I wish more developers would include. While I personally don’t think any of the bonus material is mind-blowing, it was interesting to look through all of the videos and documents to see how the game was made.
That said, that really is the only positive thing I can say about Corpse Killer. The game itself wasn’t great 25 years ago and has aged incredibly poorly. The idea behind FMV video games was that you “played“ a movie and that this movie would make the game seem more realistic. The issue is that this never happened. The game was always very goofy and poorly designed. Your job is to shoot zombies that start approaching you on-screen. However, moving the cursor to aim at zombies is a nightmare. The cursor moves far too slowly to actually aim. The action also gets incredibly boring very quickly. Ultimately, the game is one giant loop: zombies come after you, you shoot them, more zombies, you shoot them, etc. The game never really changes this up to the point where the first level that you play through is exactly the same as in any later point in the game. The worst part is that because the game doesn’t move smoothly, it’s painful to get through one level, let alone the whole game.
Even worse are the game’s graphics. I noticed this issue with the 25th anniversary edition of Night Trap where the FMV video was “upgraded“ but still laughably bad. This same issue happens with Corpse Killer. The FMV videos are blurry and of such poor quality that it’s hard to distinguish what is happening on the screen. That’s not to say that I wish the video was of clear equality because, ultimately, what is on-screen still looks really crappy. I understand the game was going for a campy, B-movie-style game. It intentionally looked the way that it did. The problem is that it wasn’t believable 25 years ago, and now it looks like something someone would’ve recorded in their backyard.
Ultimately, there isn’t much more I can say about Corpse Killer. There’s almost no redeeming quality for this game and no reason for you to buy it. I know this is my personal opinion, but I have never met a single person who ever mentioned this game as being their favorite, let alone being good. To me it’s nice that they felt the need to bring this game forward and allow people the opportunity to see what games like this were like in the 1990s. The problem is that the game is so terrible that there’s no reason for you to buy it. Even if you were a fan of campy B-movies, I would think it’d still be difficult for you to play this game. Do yourself a favor and don’t buy this game. Use that money to buy something of actual quality, and please, let this game finally be laid to rest. Corpse Killer doesn’t need to live anymore.
Developer: Digital Pictures (Original Game), Screaming Villains (Re-release)
Publisher: Digital Pictures (Original Game), Limited Run Games (Re-release)
Platforms: Sega CD, Sega 32X, Sega Saturn, 3DO (Original Release), Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC (Re-release)
Release Date: 1994 (Sega CD, Sega 32X, 3DO), 10th November 1995 (Sega Saturn), 30th July 2019 (PS4, PC), 27th July 2021 (Nintendo Switch
Gaming Respawn’s copy of Corpse Killer: 25th Anniversary Edition was provided by the publisher.