Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles Impressions

We revisit Resident Evil 2 in Capcom's Wii on-rails shooter.

Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is the follow-up to its popular Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii. The game is once again being developed by Cavia and follows the same basic structure as Umbrella Chronicles, although Cavia and Capcom are taking into account user feedback to improve the overall experience. We had a chance to see a presentation on the game given by producer Masachika Kawata, which included a short demo.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles appears to be taking a more focused approach than its predecessor. Whereas Umbrella Chronicles featured scenarios set at different points in the RE timeline, Darkside Chronicles is rooted in the story of Resident Evil 2. You'll play as Leon Kennedy in the single-player game, with Claire Redfield tagging along in cooperative multiplayer--two unlikely survivors thrown together when Raccoon City, arguably the town with the worst luck in video game history, has a zombie outbreak.

Sometimes, cops just aren't that helpful.

Before hopping into the demo, we were given a rundown of the approach being taken this time out with the game. The decision to focus on RE2 came from the fact that the team felt as though Leon and Claire were strong characters that should be revisited. In addition, RE2 stands as a fan favorite. However, Kawata noted that the team wanted to create a game that would stand on its own as a strong horror experience. As a result, user feedback on the first game was taken into account and affected the gameplay in Darkside Chronicles. At the same time, the game engine was beefed up to support a host of lighting and graphical effects as well as Havok physics in order to better create an immersive horror atmosphere.

The demo started at the beginning of RE2 and followed Leon as he went into town and met up with Claire. As before, the gameplay is on rails, although you'll no longer be able to look around. User feedback on the look feature in the last game and the team's desire to create a certain type of atmosphere have resulted in a more traditional rail shooting experience. Some smaller touches being added to set the tone include a more cinematic camera--a benefit of removing the look feature--and a lot more audio. You'll now hear Leon and Claire chatting among themselves as they go through the city. The level we saw followed the pair into the convenience store whose owner was famously chomped. You'll be able to collect items as you make your way around the world by moving the aiming reticle over them and hitting the A button when prompted. One of the nice new touches is the ability to assign items and weapons to directions on the Wii Remote D pad, which allows you to swap weapons and heal on the fly. The healing option is an especially nice tweak, since you were unable to save healing items for later use in the last game.

Some zombies are more equal than others.

The demo continued with the pair making their way to the police station. The path took the pair through streets and alleys and along building rooftops. The route provided a showcase for the various enemy types you'll be facing in addition to zombies. Undead pooches and flocks of evil birds, easily dispatched with a shotgun, were all on hand as a reminder that things are pretty messed up in town. More importantly, the route provided a plethora of reasons why exploding barrels are your best friend. The demo ended up with the pair arriving at the police station and realizing that undead law enforcement officers aren't helpful to the living.

A Q&A session following the level play-through revealed a few other nuggets of info. The game will not support the Wii MotionPlus peripheral. In terms of story, the game will use RE2 as its basis, but the specifics of what it does with the iconic tale are something the team wants you to discover for yourself. One nice bit for fans is that the team actively sought out the original voice actors to voice the characters and was able to get the voice actors for Leon, Claire, and Ada. Unfortunately, the actress used for Sherry Birkin no longer sounded like the character, so another voice actress was used. Also, the difficulty is being tweaked from the last game. Finally, on the subject of online multiplayer, Kawata stated that it had been considered for the game, but the feature was nixed because of the technical hurdle of overall game performance when playing online. He did state that there will be some kind of online feature in the game, but he didn't elaborate.

All told, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles looks like a solid enough follow-up to Umbrella Chronicles. The more traditional rail shooting experience seems like a better fit for the action, and the use of RE2's story is a smart move. The visuals are still work-in-progress, much like the game's HUD, which wasn't shown, and seem to be coming along well. There are some nice, albeit modest, lighting effects on display already. Odds are that if you like Umbrella Chronicles, this game will be right up your alley. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is slated to ship later this year exclusively for the Wii. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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99 comments
Xxkilershot74X
Xxkilershot74X

well im pretty cool with rpg and Rail shooting games but if you dont like rail shooting games so what its just an easier version of another residint evil game that you could get as an rpg game.

GamerBoy_Troy
GamerBoy_Troy

Rail shooters are what make this game plain and simply retarded... Honestly, half the fun in Resident Evil games were finding things for yourself. To add on to the sequel of Resident Evil 4 by using Leon S. Kennedy and to all of a sudden change it to a shooter is lame. RE4 was one of the top rated games for wii, and if they want to keep that reputation up then STOP making these shooter games... It's an embarrasement to all the other 3rd person RE games!!!

_sa_
_sa_

some people didn't like rail shooters cuz its ain't rpg. rail shooters is pure fun, u don't have to worry about missing some items or exploring new rooms. its simply shoot-the-bastards-that-pops-up-in-ur-screen game. for me? its a great thing! Wii is a fun console in the first place, remember guys? great approach by capcom ;)

Kainkillers
Kainkillers

yes, I prefer a re4 version in this re2 . I like rail shooters a quite bit, but i prefer to see the whole complete history, playing with my own liberty, instead of just shooting and aiming ¬¬. I like umbrella chronicles, but in part, I don't the idea that , for example, Rebecca and Billy, have to share all the adventure, It's better to play with them separated, as the original REZERO, which is a very good game

Prostovan666
Prostovan666

It whould have been better if they'd release it on the PS2 with a Resident Evil 4 gameplay ... because rail shooters suck ... all you can do is aim and shoot ... and that's about it . You can'tInspect areas or if you forget to shoot an enemy ... no prob ... he just dissapears . Boss fights are very uncool you just move sideways and shoot ... In one word ... SUCKS !!! To bad ... because I'm a big RE fan , but these rail shooters... please !

hellowin
hellowin

it'd be great to re-visit Raccoon City as Claire and Leon!! heck! it'd be great to fight William and the Tyrant once again!!

Greatfox424
Greatfox424

I am really excited for this one...looks like a lot of effort is going into the creation of this game...first one was alright, a little tedious and annoying at times. I thought the Resident Evil story could have been told better with more cut scenes.

whiskeybill
whiskeybill

looks good, I liked the first one but thought it was annoying that you couldn't earn any of the top rankings with the 2 player because you didn't combine kill counts

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Too bad it's on rails, great graphics though.

tmthywtsn
tmthywtsn

The Wii's finally getting some screen time to shine again. Installing the Resident Evil series from their previous console on the Wii I believe is a good step in the right direction.

wogboypaul
wogboypaul

IT HAS TO BE GOOD! i cant wait agreed?

jfriel771
jfriel771

im sure theyll make more than they did with it than the cronicles

jfriel771
jfriel771

why cant capcom just make a re5 for wii... youll make more money

stubuz323
stubuz323

As much as i loved playing RE4 and 5, i still feel that they have ruined it, or at least lost the magic of it, seeing Wesker jump around like someone from the matrix, compared with a normal composed human being in the first one brings tears to my eyes, its nice to see the classic RE2 being revisisted, cant wait :)

squaredude44
squaredude44

Resident-Evil is reaaaaly fun for the wii. I'm really excited about this game. Hope the story line is just as great as the previous ones!

Shadowtails9000
Shadowtails9000

Ooh, sounds pretty good, since I never got to play 2. I just loved Code Veronica, so I hope there is the option to play as Claire in 1 player instead of Leon. I love the two of them to death anyways :D

jordanblutt
jordanblutt

I am not a huge fan of On-rail shooters on the wii because I felt tht it kinda took away the experience of playing it in an arcade however this game could change my mind it looks awesome :)

leon-graham
leon-graham

I agree with ryodude! but I'm still looking so forward to this game!!! look at the graphic! a rail-shooter wasn't exactly what I wanted.... but, I think the game will be great whatsoever!! hope its bonus games ( that is not rail-shooter ) on this one like it was in RE4. that would be perfect ^-^

Jikan_Kishi
Jikan_Kishi

I agree with AlbertoML. I loved Resident Evil (GCN) and Resident Evil 0, controls and all. The games were easy regardless, but the first playthrough of the REmake was suspenseful. However that being said, I enjoyed Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles. It was different. I feel there will be no substitute for the older games, and a graphic overhaul isn't really an answer either. Myself, I'd enjoy a new adventure set during the "gaps" and to be played off the puzzle based/classic engine. But that's just my two cents.

AlbertoML
AlbertoML

@ shatteredhaze: I beg to differ. Even though I'd love this game to play as RE5 too (or RE4, for that matter,) the old game format doesn't lend itself to be played that way. Zombies are slow, and if you add "smart zombies" it wouldn't be the old experience anymore, the new camera would kill the suspense and the action-oriented gameplay would make the game way too easy. And honestly, how many people criticized REmake/0's "tank" controls? I didn't, I actually loved it, but most didn't. I think there's no going back now, unforunately. I think it's the best choice, and even though it's not the remake we expected, it'll be a cool little game for those of us, the RE veterans.

mimsoo
mimsoo

Is the zombie in the picture,... Leon??? o_O

IncrediBurch
IncrediBurch

Puzzle solving dammit! Shooting was just a matter of defending yourself, but the immersion came from exploring and trying to figure out how to escape. Turning RE into a rail shooter hinders the horror.

shatteredhaze
shatteredhaze

To be honest I am so glad to see Leon & Claire again, but too bad its a rail shooter instead of a remake (such as RE & Zero). And since they have the engine for a coop now, I bet it will REALLY kick ass if this plays like RE5.

_Kindred_
_Kindred_

I'm lost. there was a RE:4 ryt? the one using Leon.

strawberryheart
strawberryheart

Disagree with the Megaman comment, Megaman Legends is one heck of a great game series. Wish they would make a third one..... But as for this game series, I agree, RE:3 was freakin awesome. Why is there no 4? Well. They just lost a whole lot of sales, cause if they haven't noticed, there are more Wii owners than anything.

kritikalplayh3r
kritikalplayh3r

lolz. can you believe one guy 1 comment below this actually thinks his requests will be heard or considered? And quite a lot too. hahaha. but anyway, this game will rock, just due to the fact that its by Capcom, its a Resident Evil, its a remake of RE2 (in some points) and its something I believe I'm gonna be new to and is excited about. (just bought a wii). The only downside to this is I guess, its not gonna be out in a while... oh well.

woodlandbunny48
woodlandbunny48

I'm really, really liking the look of this game. RE2 was my favourite and I've always wanted a (good) on-rails RE game. Having no experience with UC (as I don't own a Wii), but from what I've heard, it isn't great. A Resi 2 remake would be very nice, if it were to be in the style of the REmake with no significant chnges to the storyline. I'll definately be buying a Wii just for this game. RE2 + on-rails shooter = epic win, in my honest opinion. But hey, that's just my opinion on this whole thing. The Darkside Chronicles looks great, really can't wait.

Newsted_22
Newsted_22

Okay Capcom. It's really cool and stuff that you release another on rail shooter that covers RE2 (which imo should have been in the first Umbrella Chronicles cause the whole Umbrella thing shines the most in the RE2 history but anyway) but you have to stop releasing games that players will have to "endure" due to the fact you are not listening to the community. What we want: (1) RE2 and RE3 remakes (the way you did with RE0 and RE1 kind of graphics) (2) A Megaman X9 THAT WONT suck like x7 and x8. Stick with the 2D thing like u did with SF. Megaman is a 2D game do not make it 3D (3)No more tricks to make money like having to spend 20 bucks to unlock all the costumes in SF4 and a 5$ for a multiplayer mode that isnt really worth it in RE5 Since you kinda bringing back the past on the table with Street Fighter 4, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, bionic commando, you could at least remake resident evil 2 and 3 gamecube style in HD I would and many would be really satisfied with that. Not "rail shooter that let's hope for a remake but hum nope won't happen" kind of thing.

bcroger2
bcroger2

Fail. Capcom could and should of worked harder in their wii games.

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

That's pretty cool how they were able to get the original voice actors. But, hasn't Alyson Court (spelling?) always been the voice for Claire? Except for maybe Degeneration? Also, Birkin Tyrant looks awesome.

ali_hamza
ali_hamza

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thepyrethatburn
thepyrethatburn

Getting rid of the look feature is hardly a big loss as it didn't really make a difference in UC. I was also kinda hoping for it to cover multiple games or, at least, put in Code Veronica as well. Interesting move trying to get the original voice actors although that might be a little jarring as (especially with Leon) we've gotten used to the current one. Still, as a on-rails fan, UC was a great game and I'm looking forward to this.

jorgecartun
jorgecartun

I really missed RE2, im glad theyre digging a bit into their roots, sotrywise at least . I loved RE4, it really introduced a great great great and fun gameplay, but it completely lost its tacky survival horror feel. I really miss that. Games are now so serious about themselves its boring. Maybe, giving the great amount of characters the story has spinned off, we could have some games based on the survival horror gameplay with certain characters, and other ones on the action path. Anyway capcom isnt really about making risky moves for a games quality... i still feel the void clover left. In any case, im a long on reels game fan, so im looking forward to this. Sorry for the crappy english and hello from argentina.

Kaine852
Kaine852

I just hope Capcom Revives Wesker at a mission of Leon...They havent revealed where the hell Sherry and Steve are!

-Katsuri-
-Katsuri-

The game being based on RE2's story line makes me want to get this, and Leon's in it too. I just hope they took the few feedbacks from the first game into account.

hunrugger
hunrugger

Enough with the rails for RE. RE is not supposed to be a rail game - it blows as a rails game. UC blew - I bought it because I hoping its would convince the powers that be to invest in RE5 for the Wii. IMO, RE gameplay for the Wii should be just like RE4. RE4 still by far the best game for the Wii I have played. Out of the 20 odd games I have fo rthe Wii, RE4 and CODWAW are the only ones I play. There seems to be a concensus that RE fans want another game like RE4 on the Wii and not games like UC or Darkside!

ian6432486
ian6432486

Well, I'm still ticked that the Wii's never going to get Biohazard 5, but hopefully this wont flop like Umbrella Chronicles, :D.

sflowers539
sflowers539

I really hope this game is good, Wii will never get RE5, but I enjoyed the first UC so I am looking forward to this.

mastermune89
mastermune89

this looks cool but i think they should give resident evil 2 the REmake treatment.

masterds64
masterds64

Wow, Birkin looks awsome (that isn't leon, who ever asked that XD) but it's a shame that Code veronica isn't used i the story... Oh well, 2 rocks on it's own anyways!

so_hai
so_hai

I suppose I'll probably buy it.

deannatrois
deannatrois

i dont know what to make of this i didnt like uc but i might rent this see how it goes

SmartGhost
SmartGhost

looks kinda sick why dont they just remake re 2 for the wii like they did for GC back in the days...

Gammit10
Gammit10

I can't wait for this game!

GatCloudX
GatCloudX

sweet i still havent gotten the first one i want to though