Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles Hands-On
Capcom is taking the classic survival horror series in a rather unexpected direction on the Wii.
By Brad Shoemaker, GameSpot
Posted Apr 14, 2007 1:06 am GMT
Source - Game Spot
Ever since Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles was announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo last year, we've been wondering exactly what style of game would mark the famed horror series' debut on Nintendo's quirky new console. After last night's Capcom press event, we not only got to find out what the game is like, we got to play it for ourselves. Are you ready for this? It's a light gun game. Granted, there's no actual light gun peripheral available for the system, but the Wii Remote serves that function just fine.
Expect to shoot a whole lot of these as you attempt to bring down Umbrella.
We were admittedly hoping for something with a little more depth than an on-rails shooter. But then, what the game may lack in depth, it will probably more than make up for in breadth because it covers story material from Resident Evils 0, 1, 2, and 3, (and possibly some Code Veronica, we're not entirely sure yet), with some new story elements describing the downfall of the Umbrella Corporation thrown in for good measure.
The playable demo we saw was set in the classic, creepy mansion from the original Resident Evil and was said to be using graphical assets from the RE remake that hit the GameCube some years back. The gameplay in TUC is darn easy to figure out. You use the Wii Remote to control your onscreen crosshair, hit up or down on the D pad to cycle between weapons, and shake the remote vigorously to reload whenever your ammo is depleted (the remaining supply of which is indicated by a little ring around the crosshair). You can use the Nunchuk's analog stick to look around a little, but your movement is entirely controlled by the game; once you've killed all the enemies in a given scene, you'll start walking automatically to the next area.
So yeah, you point at the screen and shoot zombies. Lots of zombies! Occasionally, you also shoot some evil crows and demon dogs and the like. Our demo had us walking through a number of familiar locations, from the large front entry hall to the corridor where those dogs famously first jump through the windows and attack. In addition to all the shooting, you'll occasionally come across a timed action scene that makes you hit the A button as soon as a cue flashes onscreen to avoid taking damage from a surprise attack of some kind. These sequences bring the camera out to third-person perspective, which is when we realized we were playing as Chris Redfield. Jill Valentine was close behind with her own weapon, but she never contributed to the fighting.
You'll need quick timing to survive the occasional third-person surprise attack.
Interactions with the environment seemed limited in our demo. You can pick up objects by moving the cursor over them until they turn blue and then hit the A button. We were able to score a shotgun and submachine gun in addition to our default pistol, as well as the classic green herb to restore some health. There will also be a few points where you can choose to take a detour, such as an optional side room off a hallway. The game will pop up a quick cue asking you to hit the A button if you want to head off to the side, but these will typically only last a few moments before you head back to your original path. Finally, you can shoot a lot of stuff in the maps. For instance, a well-placed shotgun blast could knock a bunch of paintings off the wall. It also seemed like most of the lights in the level could be shot out, although that usually seemed disadvantageous for us because it just made it harder to see the enemies we were trying to kill.
It was said during a presentation that The Umbrella Chronicles will feature two main characters. And after our demo, it seems a safe bet that Chris Redfield is one of them. But who's the other? We assume it will be another Resident Evil mainstay; maybe his sister Claire, but there's no telling for sure right now. What is sure is that we'll be seeing a lot of familiar locations from past games--hopefully in a new light--as the story of Umbrella's decline is filled in and fleshed out. Capcom hasn't announced a release date for the game yet, so we'll follow its development and bring you Resident Evil fanatics more information as we get it.
What say ye....do you think you like the direction they are going with this?