GC '07: Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles Hands-On

When it's raining zombies, it's always good to be carrying an umbrella.

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It was a bit of a surprise when Capcom brought the hugely successful Resident Evil series to Nintendo's GameCube, which, for better or worse, had become known as a family-friendly system. Now that the Wii has become hugely successful across all demographics, it's no shock at all that Resident Evil is headed to the Wii in the form of Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. We've seen the game not once, but twice before, and at the Leipzig Games Convention we got a third taste of the game in the form of a new playable level.

For the uninitiated, Umbrella Chronicles is an on-rails shooter that takes place in locations from previous Resident Evil games. The game can be played with a Nunchuk in the left hand and Wii Remote in the right, but it's best played with the plastic gun peripheral. This molded piece of plastic holds the remote in the gun barrel and the Nunchuk where the handle is.

Sure, this solution sounds absurdly simple, but it works quite well and you have a surprising amount of control at your fingertips. You aim by moving the gun, fire with the trigger, pick up items with the C button, change weapons with the D pad, and reload by shaking the gun for a second. Because the game is on rails you have no control over your character's movements, but you can look around a bit with the analog stick.

The new level we got to play took place on a train and should be familiar to anyone who played Resident Evil Zero. Playing as Bill we slowly made our way through an old train car... and then the zombies attacked. Using a handgun we fended off the hordes of undead, quickly adjusting to the controls and aiming accurately. It's helpful that your aiming reticle glows when it's over a zombie's weak point. Not only does this allow you to dispatch them faster, but it also saves ammo. Your handgun actually has unlimited ammo, but other weapons such as the machine gun and shotgun have limited ammunition, so you'll want to make every shot count. Not all of your weapons fire bullets--you can use a knife to fend off enemies that have attached themselves to you by holding down the C button and waving the controller. This came in real handy for the little grublike creatures that dropped down on us from the ceiling. We also caught a quick glimpse of a swordlike weapon called the Samurai Edge in a different level but didn't get to use it.

Other than the control scheme and the Resident Evil theme, Umbrella Chronicles plays like most other on-rails shooters. There were a few pauses in the action to help build tension and give your trigger finger a break, but outside of those few moments our time was happily spent taking down zombies and tearing up bits of the environment as we moved from car to car. Eventually we made our way through a hatch on top of the train and into a driving rainstorm, but just as things began to get really interesting the demo ended, meaning we'll have to wait a few more months until the game's release to finish the job.

Discussion

73 comments
petervenkman
petervenkman

Wow! I can't wait now. Looks like a very awesome game!

neo111222333
neo111222333

please let this game be like a lightgun game instead of a point and click

icarus212001
icarus212001

looks cool, but i'll probably get after the holidays cuz my wishlist and budget is 1:1 right now lol

murrayblake
murrayblake

Awesome! I can't wait for this game to be released. Resident Evil 4 for the Wii was a great game, but if left me wanting more. Now we get a rail shooter to use with the zapper gun. I hope this game is as good as it sounds.

Ilikewii
Ilikewii

I've watched all the preview videos, and I think the graphics look amazing. The zapper looks like lots of fun. I hope they have some new storyline stuff too, and not just the stuff from previous RE games.

blazewind191
blazewind191

i wish you can choose which character yuo can play as when there are two characters.for example, being given a choice to play as whether chris or jill and whether to play as bill or rebecca

flynow
flynow

meh, looks good but i would rather play the original resident evil game with the over the shoulder perspective as in resident evil 4.

painstation2
painstation2

What's exciting is that a new chapter will be revealed in this game, showing what happened to Wesker right before RE4.

Worm1802
Worm1802

I for one have missed light shooters. I doubt capcom will let us down.SetsuOkun makes a good point, exactly how much of the series do the cover in this shooter?Given its genre,this means they could easily cover RE 0-4 if they wanted, considering how little disk capacity they use when you don't have the freedom to wander.

wolverine08
wolverine08

everything looks good but on rails? im skeptic

SetsuOkun
SetsuOkun

why no one ask the goods question? did i missed the answer already? is the reuc just a mix of main event of different games or full versions simplified for the zapper therefore shorter but scenaristically full and complete of the umbrella times (0 1 2 3 )

ookami-gamer
ookami-gamer

my top game on my waiting list for the wii. i hope this lives up to the hype. the rail shooter part has me worried, but i think capcom can pull it off. also, on a side note, i REALLY hope there are a ton of unlock ables. at least a "super hard" mode, costumes, guns, or even characters. this puts reply value high and makes the game a lot longer. cant wait to see!

mkfreddddi
mkfreddddi

it doesnt sound like they played the game, the author says,"We also caught a quick glimpse of a swordlike weapon called the Samurai Edge..." if they caught a glimpes of it they would have known that it was a gun, not a sword like weapon.

Camble
Camble

Graphics? Nothing at all about the graphics? Oh well, I'll trust Capcom to preserve their good reputation

timusforlife
timusforlife

The Samurai Edge is a gun, not a sword! Jeez, No one gets that right!

siopao
siopao

YES! from earlier trailers the handgun looked like it had limited ammunition =\

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Can't wait until it moves from my Wish List to my Collection.

Homer39
Homer39

frome the sounds of it GS really likes this game.

Robot_Vampire
Robot_Vampire

Sounds good, I like the Wii gun idea and I believe the guy's called Billy, not Bill.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

Im not really sure about this whole umbrella chronicles thing. Waiting for Resident evil 5 wii edition. RE5 just doesnt cut it on a regular controller. wat u need is a wiimote so when ur surrounded by zombies, ur hands shake and ur crosshair flies all over the place. It heightens the tension and makes for much more fun. it can happen.....i mean, no one thot the ps2 cud handle RE4 but it did ...even though the graphics were lower quality than the Cube's version....ok im allowed to dream okay!!!! anyway RE4 was good. Was the first resi I unlocked all unlockables (including the PLR 412) since Resi 2 which IMO is still the best. Who will ever forget the first time RE2 showed up on PS1.

fartys
fartys

why dont sony, nintendo and microsoft just forget all their differences and bring us the much awaited Wiistation360-copyright J.C.

fartys
fartys

i absolutely love resident evil (in other words the only good one RE4) but i have to admit this game really does look sucky!

AaronThomas
AaronThomas

The guy running the demo said it was a sword. As for how you can swing something when it's a gun, gee, it's the same way you swing the knife in the game. Like I said, we didn't get to see the Samurai Edge in action so you're right, it could very well be a gun. I don't know. That's not really the point of the preview :)

soldjango
soldjango

um..the Samurai Edge is the handgun 0_o In fact, it's a Beretta M92FS uniquely customized exclusively for STARS by the Kendo gunshop with a Beretta Elite slide, stainless steel barrel and trigger, customized grip and a new color scheme and engravings. Damn. Sounds awesome

InfectX
InfectX

um..the Samurai Edge is the handgun 0_o In fact, it's a Beretta M92FS uniquely customized exclusively for STARS by the Kendo gunshop with a Beretta Elite slide, stainless steel barrel and trigger, customized grip and a new color scheme and engravings.

Genok
Genok

Remember, if you have only a Wii, you´ll be a fustrated gamer, but if you have a Wii60, you be a happy gamer. (dont have nothing against PS3, just havent got one =P) im wating fot the big 3 (MGS4,Killzone 2 and God of War 3), after that, i would pay $1000 bucks for the damn thing.

Genok
Genok

I have a Wii, since launch (hold the applause), and Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, its the best game for the Wii for hardcore gamers (wario ware, rayman, wii play, and all that stuff its fun) so i think RE UC will be 50/50, nice graphics(Wii wise), nice back story, and fun light gun game, this game is on my list, but for now, im getting ready to snatch one of those Call of Duty 4 demo tokens, good luck to everyone.

AmazoLK
AmazoLK

Wow, doesn't sound as good as I thought it'd sound...

TZG
TZG

If it is better than the "Gun Survivor"-series, I´m satisfied.

JLB92
JLB92

"We also caught a quick glimpse of a swordlike weapon called the Samurai Edge in a different level but didn't get to use it." SWORDLIKE WEAPON..... THE SAMURAI EDGE IS A GUN. A PISTOL ACTUALLY. I want to know how you are to swing a SWORD with the "plastic gun peripheral" (WII Zapper)?

Katosepe321
Katosepe321

valcrist - you just contradicted yourself. Think back and you might remember that Resident Evil 4 was taking the game off of it's normal gameplay style and it kicked @$$. Try and think before you say things like that.

valcrist09
valcrist09

Looks like a HUGE disappointment to me. Would be Cool if they made it the same gameplay style as Resident Evil 4, not a stupid House of the Dead style shooter. Evertime capcom tries to take resident evil of its normal gameplay style they screw it up big time.

ResidentGamer4
ResidentGamer4

This game, once again said, is a HUGE disappointment

captainfork
captainfork

Finally, I can quit pouring quarters into those House of the Dead arcades.

Randall2412
Randall2412

its about time they make the samurai edge into a sword.

S-Wade
S-Wade

Zapper looks great, and I'm glad that Resident Evil is one of the first to test the water. I wish you weren't so bound by where it says you have to go, nothing beats free roaming zombie killing, but its also a nice revisiting of Arcade Shooter classics. I will be picking this up upon release!

Smartiepants
Smartiepants

Not very impressed by this, although the 'zapper' looks quite cool. RE5 seems a far more exciting prospect.

Duminakan89
Duminakan89

Sounds cool, I hope Capcom really delivers with the new content to the series' story.

HoStEl_OnE
HoStEl_OnE

finally another good game for the wii. Defiantly getting this.

diablobasher
diablobasher

Sounds pretty lame TBH, i'll probably get it from work just to see the story elements etc its supposed to expand on, then take it back. I mean, i LOVE resident evil, HUGE fan of the series, but the gun survivor games sucked, i have every RE game except those, so dont plan on adding this to my collection either until its very cheap. Something more akin to Dead aim would've been better, Dead Aim was actually ok.