E3 '07: Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles Hands-On With Zapper

We go on a zombie-killing spree, armed with Nintendo's recently announced Zapper peripheral.

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Earlier today, while checking out a playable demo of Capcom's Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, we had an opportunity to try out the new Zapper peripheral that Nintendo unveiled during its pre-E3 press conference. The Zapper is essentially just a plastic gun-shaped casing that houses both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk peripherals. The Wii Remote forms the gun's barrel, while the Nunchuk is housed in the handle with its analog stick and buttons exposed. Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles proved to be a great game with which to show off the new peripheral because it's much more than just a light gun game, and the Zapper is much more than just a light gun.

The demo that we played through almost to completion took place at night and saw us shooting our way along a city street, down through a sewer, and ultimately back up to street level again. Lighting throughout the level largely came courtesy of storefronts and burning cars, neither of which were present down in the sewer, of course. Our goal was simply to get to the end of the level by killing dozens of zombies before they killed us, and although our character's movement through the level was automatic, we're pleased to report that there's a little more to Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles than just pointing at the screen and squeezing the trigger button.

Click to enlarge!

Holding the Zapper in both hands, we were a little surprised to find that it's the Wii Remote's trigger positioned under the barrel that's used to shoot rather than either of the Nunchuk's buttons. The Nunchuk serves a number of other purposes, which include using the analog stick to look around and target enemies who would otherwise be offscreen, tapping the Z button to counterattack zombies in melee range, and holding the Z button while swinging the gun wildly to perform knife attacks.

In addition to the knife and standard handgun, our arsenal in the E3 demo included a shotgun, a machine gun, and a handful of grenades. Switching among the weapons was as easy as tapping the C button, while throwing grenades involved holding down one of the Nunchuk's buttons and then hitting the Wii Remote trigger. To reload whichever weapon we had equipped, we had to point it offscreen with a sudden jerking motion. Our ammo for everything but the handgun was severely limited at the start of the demo, but by using the analog stick to look around and then hitting the Z button when we were looking at an item, we were able to find additional ammo, as well as health-restoring herbs and the like.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of our enemies on this occasion were zombies that, in keeping with the locale, were still wearing police uniforms and the kind of everyday clothing that they would have picked out of their wardrobes when they were still human. Other enemies included a small pack of dogs (reminiscent of those that crash through the window in one of Resident Evil's most memorable scenes) in a dark alleyway and a pair of giant spiders down in the sewer. The enemies weren't always as aggressive as we might have expected, but it's conceivable that the demo's difficulty had been set low so that those of us at the even would get to see as much of the level as possible.

All of the enemies that we came up against were vulnerable to headshots that, when perfectly executed, resulted in one-hit kills. The onscreen crosshair made aiming relatively easy, and when it was positioned over the exact spot needed for a one-hit kill, it got smaller and turned bright red to let us know. The zombies also have a number of other vulnerable spots that you can use to your advantage as we discovered when we aimed at their kneecaps and sent them falling to the ground. This slowed them down considerably and made subsequent headshots a lot easier to pull off.

Those perfect headshots invariably resulted in an explosion of blood and the enemy getting decapitated, which was satisfying but certainly not gratuitous. We enjoyed our time with Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles a great deal, and although using the Nunchuk's analog stick to look around while also moving an onscreen crosshair by moving the Zapper isn't quite as intuitive as it might be, our first impression of the latest peripheral in Nintendo's arsenal is definitely positive. We look forward to bringing you more information as soon as it becomes available.

Discussion

156 comments
ninjarat
ninjarat

I can't wait to get my hands on the zapper. Perhaps we could have a new "Toe Jam & Earl" game to accompany it.

DarthMatoro
DarthMatoro

With the Zapper Attachment, I think this game is going to be kinda cool.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I keep forgetting about this game. -But this is a "must have" for the Wii.

owen666
owen666

they need to start to make the zombies faster and much more dangerous. 28 weeks later style.

whacker40
whacker40

how come everyone thinks that this game is not gonna be as good of a game as RE5. remember last year everyone was expecting the 360/PS3 sonic to be better than sonic and the secret rings for the wii, but in the end, while it still wasn't perfect, sonic for the wii owned the 360 one. it could be the same here

gamestorm232
gamestorm232

I doubt it's going to be better than resident evil 4 but I think it will still be a blast to play with the different game play characteristics. Not that I want the new game play differences. I love resident evil 4 game play set up and hope to see more like that.

coltACP
coltACP

Graphics look good but the way it's panning out it looks worse than House of the dead-or at least trying tomimitate house of the Dead too closely which is a BIG mistake for the resident evil franchise. I'm crossing my fingers that Capcom actually know what they are doing this time (they just got it right with Resi 4 to the point of brilliance esp with the timing), and yes i was put well off by the fact this isn't Capcoms main studio making this, its those guys who fluffed the Resi 4 port for wii....

sieg6529
sieg6529

interesting use of the controllers. if it is on the same level as RE4, count me in.

Mzzswtplayer
Mzzswtplayer

It looks pretty nice but the controls seem kinda hard to do but that is problay what will make the game better!

KagimusMaximus
KagimusMaximus

I'm actually looking forward to this game. If they can do something so you'd have to play through it more than just once, than I'll add this to my must have list. I don't wanna admit it either, but I'm a fan of rail shooters. It won't have me spending hours a day on it like RE4, but it sure as hell sounds fun

igabiga
igabiga

yeah, the trigger placement is akward. I think the game will be fun but im gonna get the zapper for RE4

flameboy118
flameboy118

does sound pretty awesome having said that its kind of like a 'we couldnt be bothered to put re5 on the wii so we made this instead' from capcom and does no one else think that the z or c button would be a much better trigger than the b button?

ghost_Ver76
ghost_Ver76

ok, yeah i agree with the... its not gona b better than res4 & 5. but on the other hand capcom may put some fresh ideas in to old concept. so long as they steer clear of the( SURVIVOR SERIES) route. i recon we'll hav a Wii must!! *

killerbeeIV
killerbeeIV

I seriously wish the speed up the date with umbrella chronicles

gaming24-7
gaming24-7

I think is going to be a game worth playing but nothing to do with the great RE4 we all loved so much!

sephiroth_4
sephiroth_4

Now why can't they just bring this game in October for Halloween!? RE is the best! I just hope RE5 doesn't play and feel like Dead Rising / Lost Planet's molasses.

azn908
azn908

i think the zapper comes with the game...that would make it $50...

mixhawkeye
mixhawkeye

mehh...sounds like a house of the dead arcade game. I'll wait for RE5 on the 360....

crznintendox
crznintendox

The zapper does come with the game or is available separately for $19.99.

doobs87
doobs87

Cmon, you'd have to hate fun if you think this won't provide at least a bit of entertainment. Sure it won't be RE4 calibre (LOVE that game!), but it'll still be probably highly enjoyable.

Reaper1117
Reaper1117

I want this game, I'm actually (hate to amitt this) a fan of rail shooters, I could go to the arcade and shoot things all day. With the zapper this should be fun, I'd play it through multiple times. But this is pretty much just another sit-down-when-your-mad-and-done-work videogame where you just relieve stress, and I can't wait

lrichter6
lrichter6

I have one and it is a bit clumsy, large, about 2 feet long.

StanAce
StanAce

CaptainDingo: No kidding, previews are almost ALWAYS positive (and unreliable).

CaptainDingo
CaptainDingo

Still unsure about this game... Gamespot says "We enjoyed our time with " all the time (about every game), and then they turn around and slap a mediocre review on the finished product, so I really can't take anything I read here seriously, I'm afraid. Will just have to wait and see.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I'm sure this will be fun to play. Online play would be nice, but there are other wii games with online play.

MuRdeRous_DaVe
MuRdeRous_DaVe

Hopefully it comes with the zapper in a package although the zapper probably won't cost much separetly sense it's just a plastic mold that you put the wii remote and the chuk in.

sa_mccormick
sa_mccormick

... so many pictures and none of the zapper!!! Can we have a pic, pretty please?

killeryoda85
killeryoda85

It will be awsome. All resident evil games are awsome (except Survivor Series....those were the dark days.....)

cheddar101
cheddar101

yea this gonna be awesome game and it gonna be even better with the zapper

huskynu13
huskynu13

strikers which comes out the 31st of july is gonna be online and metroid i believe is too and pokemon battle arena is already online and ssbb is gonna be online as well as madden so you see wii has online games and guess what, its free

huskynu13
huskynu13

strikers which comes out the 31st of july is gonna be online and metroid i believe is too and pokemon battle arena is already online and ssbb is gonna be online as well as madden so you see wii has online games and guess what, its free

ch-ch-chaoguy
ch-ch-chaoguy

schitzonix; I belive you have typed before you thought; in reality the ps3 is the most over-hyped over-expensive peice of garbage that has ever graced the bottom rack of my television stand, sure it has online support but for a very small amount of games at the time ... and the Xbox 360 Hmm... I believe the sales of the consoles are slowing very rapidly to horribly faulty hardware.... not the quality console you'd expect from Microsoft. But the WIi I do have to admit dosent suppport online play... yet... but I suspect a certain SSBB will cange that... I don't want to start anything but i'm sick of people flaming the wii when their own consoles have their own problems of there own!

generalish
generalish

i guess its worth a try but i wonder if you have to buy the zapper to play it.

lylebeck
lylebeck

About half of the Resident Evil games for the PSX and PS2 have been light gun shooters. We didn't get to see any light gun shooters on the Gamecube which was very sad. I'm glad Nintendo finally gave in and let us get a Resident Evil light gun shooter!

dark_hero_riku
dark_hero_riku

WTF is wrong with capcom?!?! RE4 style was the best style any RE game had. Why can't Capcom not just put RE5 on the wii insted of this. I'm just gonna have to start playing my 360 when that comes out. Capcom you disappoint me!

schitzonix
schitzonix

"why are fanboys morons?" Excellent question. I was looking forward to this game up until I learned its an arcade lightgun shooter game that only exists as a lame cash-in for Capcom. You have to be blind or retarded to still look forward to this after knowing that. I'm honestly about to trade in my Wii for a 360. By 2007 there is absolutely no excuse for the Wii's crappy graphics and zero online support. The reason this system sells so much is because NON-GAMERS are buying it, not because REAL gamers are enthralled by it. To me its just a paper weight and the most over-hyped waste of money I've ever experienced.

MichaelGeorge70
MichaelGeorge70

House of the dead meets resident evil with a cool zapper knifes and grenades I AM SO GLAD I GOT A WII and halo 3 will be awsome gonna get that when it's out. Peace Out

zazazazaazazaz
zazazazaazazaz

i will buy a wii mostly because of this game RESIDENT EVIL RRRRRUUUUULLLLLEEEEEZZZZZ

XBASX
XBASX

A respond to Jpleblancfinal 's post: this looks like a wast of money and time. do not get this!!! save up for halo 3!!! Suck it! ____________ RESPONDING: This doens't look like a waste of money and time. Do get this!!! Save up for Resident Evil Chronicles!! Halo Sucks!!! Its a rail-arcade-action game idiot, don't compare it with Halo!!

Doggyman818
Doggyman818

Does anyone know if there is any possible way that I can get a demo of this game?

yeahdogg
yeahdogg

RE:UC looks like a lot of fun. I'm not stuck on the quality of the graphics, the gameplay and story look to be very impressive. I for one am anxious.

Icegoten200
Icegoten200

This is more an arcade version. This isn't a real resident evil gameplay style but none the less this game shall be sweet *^o^*

stalfos-slayer
stalfos-slayer

i just realized it was dead aim that did the same thing:o

stalfos-slayer
stalfos-slayer

sounds like a great game! hopefully it will be better than survivor which in my opinion did the same thing. RE RULZ

-Sparkz-
-Sparkz-

the zapper looked great at the e3 nintendo conference. This game should be a blast...