Carrier (キャリアー) is a survival horror video game for the Dreamcast, notable in part for being fully 3D – then still a rarity for survival horror games, which mostly displayed 3D characters over pre-rendered backgrounds. In Carrier, players assume the separate roles of an investigation team that was split up from a surprise attack.
Despite the basic attributes of the game’s controls, there were additional features to make the gameplay more unique.
- Aiming: Though players aim whilst their character stands in place, players have the ability to focus their fire on targeted areas of their enemies bodies. Once the player aims at an enemy, a circle of tiny blue triangles indicate vital areas on an enemy that can be amputated, such as arms, heads and, sometimes, even torsos.
- Explosives: During the course of the game, players are faced with certain doors or blocked areas that cannot be accessed unless timed explosives are first obtained. These explosives, once set on the ground, detonate after five seconds, giving the player some time to evacuate before detonation. The blast radius of these explosives is relatively small, but still deadly, so it is necessary for the player to run away from the bomb before it explodes. Despite being mainly used as a tool, the explosives can also be used as weapons for slow enemies that work in groups. However, because these bombs cannot be thrown and only one can be set at a time, the player must strategize before using them as a weapon.
- BEM-T3 Scope: Early on in the game, players receive an infrared scope used for biohazardous warfare to determine if certain individuals are infected with particular infections. During gameplay, this device helps players determine if certain NPC characters are infected with the mutagenic strain spread around the ship. On-screen indicators help in determining if crew members are uninfected with a large SAFE symbol, while others display a DANGER symbol on the Scope’s internal visor. Various specific sounds will also indicate if a crew member/character is affected by this condition. Because it was created for warfare, the BEM-T3 can also determine whether certain caches or compartments contain items, weapons or ammunition. Although the scope does not designate which item is actually a weapon or ammunition clip, the item indication will show up on the sensor, accompanied with a series of light sounds. Players also have the option of zooming in on their surroundings while using the scope and it is also handy for looking down dark corridors and determining enemy distance.
Carrier contains at least two notable bugs and glitches. The first notable one is that the game will occasionally enter a wireframe 3D mode for no explicit reason. In other situations, the handgun—called the “11’teen O’ Clock” will be called and described as a flamethrower.