Capcom illuminates Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles' new chapter

TGS 2009: Producer Masachika Kawata highlights details on Wii game's new scenario, Operation Javier, and more; new trailer inside.

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TOKYO---Today at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, Capcom held a stage presentation to introduce the new story addition to Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, its upcoming Wii remake of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica.

Appearing onstage, producer Masachika Kawata started out his presentation with a new trailer, which showed us a new chapter, Operation Javiar. The year is 2002 and the setting is South America. We see Leon S. Kennedy, who has walked into a deserted village together with Jack Krauser.

Leon and Krauser search through the village, only to find their guide gravely injured inside one of the wrecked houses, mumbling something about a girl. Then, the trailer quickly shifts back to the village streets, except this time, they're no longer deserted. Leon and Krauser find themselves surrounded by mobs of zombies all too eager to take a bite out of the two protagonists. As Leon enters a church, he finds a girl in a white dress lying on the ground.

The trailer then suddenly changes to a number of cutscenes in a huge futuristic lab facility, full of B.O.W.s (Bio-Organic Weapons). They include a Tyrant and, more noteworthy, a mysterious fiery being that mentions that it has been waiting for years to become one with the Veronica virus.

The trailer then switches to a scene that looks like a dam or possibly the outside of the lab. Leon and Krauser are together with the girl in the white dress, and we find out her name is Manuela. A couple of gameplay scenes show Leon and Krauser fighting their way through the streets, while also protecting Manuela. A number of interesting lines of dialogue were heard while additional gameplay was shown: "So this is what Umbrella's virus can do, huh?" "Yeah, but there's something different about this one."

The trailer ended with a zoom into Manuela's face, and the screen faded out.

Mr. Kennedy, I presume?
Mr. Kennedy, I presume?

After the trailer ended, Kawata pointed out the highlights in Operation Javier. "For this new episode, we decided to go with South America, which is a setting that hasn't been used in the Resident Evil series up do date," he said. "The main characters are Leon. S. Kennedy and Jack Krauser. They were foes in Resident Evil 4, but this story takes place before that time period, and you'll cooperate together as teammates."

Kawata then introduced two important storyline characters. The first was Manuela, the girl from the trailer, and the second was Javier Hidalgo. While it wasn't mentioned during the presentation, Capcom's official site gives some additional insight to the story. Javier is an internationally wanted drug lord who has absolute power over a region in South America. However, he suddenly disappears, and not long thereafter, information comes in that an ex-Umbrella Corporation researcher was spotted entering into Javier's territory. That triggers the United States to assemble a search party--led by Leon and Krauser--to find out what's happening.

After talking about the characters, Kawata went on to announce that the game will be released in Japan on January 14, more than a month after its North American release on November 27. Kawata commented that the extra time might allow for "additional measures" for its Japan launch. However, he wasn't clear on whether he meant additional game content or some kind of a preorder or retail bonus.

Not everyone is happy to see the Resident Evil series return to the Wii.
Not everyone is happy to see the Resident Evil series return to the Wii.

Kawata then introduced Cavia producer Kentaro Noguchi, whose company is developing the game. Noguchi played through a few minutes of Operation Javier, and he showed that the easy mode would feature an autolock system for novice players. Kawata then explained that while auto-lock makes it easier to hit enemies, it's not meant for advanced players because the scores won't be as high.

As Noguchi advanced through the game, Kawata explained how the developers have aimed for as much realism and advanced graphics as possible on the Wii. Aside from the graphics and textures, they've also put effort to the smaller details, such as a shaky-cam effect.

The auto-lock feature will come in handy when zombies don't want to play nice.
The auto-lock feature will come in handy when zombies don't want to play nice.

In terms of the story, there are about three times as many lines of dialogue compared to the previous Chronicles game, since the two partners often talk with each other. It was also mentioned that the game features a status screen while paused, very much like the mainstream Resident Evil action game series. In the screen, players can take their time to select a weapon and use items on damaged characters without the worry of being attacked by enemies.

For additional details on Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles, check out GameSpot's hands-on preview from the Tokyo Game Show.

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