Biohazard: The Stories Impressions

Capcom's seeded Japanese mobile phones with zombies. We decided to help get rid of them.

TOKYO--Capcom's Biohazard games--better known as the Resident Evil series in the States--are considered by many to be the Gospel of the survival horror genre. If so, Capcom's release of Biohazard: The Stories for Japanese mobile phones this month constitutes preaching to the choir. We had a chance to play this new interpretation of the classic zombie-hunting series at Capcom's NTT DoCoMo desk, and found that Raccoon City is very nearly as scary on a handset as it is on a TV screen.

Biohazard: The Stories is a collection of 15 entirely new zombie-hunting scenarios, all of which fit seamlessly into the Biohazard story continuum, despite their formulation for the mobile platform. After beginning a new game and choosing a character (Jill, in our case), you can shoose how many missions you'd like to play. Additional missions will be unlocked for download as you progress through the game.

Biohazard: The Stories' is a surprisingly accurate simulacrum of the early Biohazard/Resident Evil games for the PlayStation in terms of gameplay and scope, focusing on the exploration of dilapidated mansions and dank basements--all of which are infested with zombies and other nasty creatures. Biohazard: The Stories uses the same fixed, third-person camera angles as its counterparts, and it switches seamlessly between viewpoints as your character cautiously navigates the game's not-so-empty hallways. Wisely, Capcom has simplified the controls for mobile play, especially in terms of aiming: When enemies pop up out of nowhere, you can simply hold down the right soft key to lock on to a target and blaze away with the action key.

The game is also unexpectedly accurate from a graphical standpoint, as its visuals are only slightly grainier than PlayStation quality. More impressively, Biohazard: The Stories puts out a very respectable frame rate of about 25 frames per second on a typical FOMA handset. This means that the all-important atmospheric characteristics of the Biohazard series--long periods of inactivity, broken up by abrupt confrontations with the forces of darkness--have made it into the game intact.

Biohazard: The Stories appears to be the real deal: a console gaming experience wrapped up as a downloadable Java application. With any luck, Capcom will decide to issue a US release when the time is right.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of Tokyo Game Show 2004.

Written By

Want the latest news about Resident Evil?

Resident Evil

Resident Evil