Resident Evil is hardly a languishing franchise. After all, the series has been around in various incarnations longer than some gamers can claim to have been playing games at all. Current-generation console hardware has opened new technical doors, and the advent of better, cheaper accelerometer technology such as that found in Nintendo's Wii Remote has allowed Capcom to take the series from its survival horror roots to a first-person shooter.
The process to even get hands-on time with the upcoming game on the opening day of TGS is a story in itself. Two waiting lines formed outside the booth, with one offering players a chance to try the game with the Wii Remote controller, and the other to play using the Wii Zapper housing, which turns a standard Wii Remote into a machine gun. We opted for the latter because we suspect that you'll want to play the game that way.
Our time with the game took place on a train-carriage level, and as you'd expect, it was crawling with the undead, zombie dogs, and bugs--no real surprises there. What was a bit different was that rather than shooting power-ups and ammunition dotted around the screen as you would with a game such as, say, Virtua Cop, you'll need to press the Z button to add those items to your inventory. Our demo arsenal included a pistol with an infinite number of rounds, as well as a shotgun, which was great for multiple target kills in one burst. The arsenal also included a submachine gun, which we were forced to use sparingly because ammo was extremely limited.
The Wii Remote's control system is easy to use, and relies mostly on the trigger to get the job done. You'll still need the Nunchuk buttons to switch weapons and pick things up as you go, but the analog stick served only to lean as we moved, not to change the direction of the camera.
Capcom has included a coloured targeting system around the reticle to let you know how much damage you can expect your shots to do. Headshots are the best way to dispatch your enemies while conserving ammunition, and a well-placed shot can do wonders. Umbrella Chronicles also offers helpful guides, and if you're a bit slow off the mark with your aiming, the sticky targeting will help get your shot where it needs to go.
Shooter fans and Resident Evil buffs have plenty to anticipate, with the title already showing healthy signs that it will remain true to the Resident Evil storyline while adding a new type of gameplay dynamic. Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles is set to shoot its way to the Wii this holiday season.