Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles Updated Hands-On
Capcom shows off its Wii shooter set throughout the Resident Evil universe.
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We had the chance to get another look at Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii at Capcom's recent London press event. The rail shooter is set throughout the Resident Evil franchise, allowing you to take control of most of the key figures in the early parts of the series. The updated version on display at the event let us try one of two chapters, train derailment or mansion incident (taken from RE0 and the original RE, for those keeping score at home). In addition, it was possible to play two levels as Wesker, a big player in the game's unique story.
The levels all followed the same basic flow of mixing cutscenes and gameplay to tell its story. Control in the game was basically solid, giving players the choice to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk or the Zapper peripheral, which was what Capcom had set up at all the kiosks. The basic rail-shooting mechanic worked fine and enhances the linear experience by giving you limited camera control as well as the ability to pick up items if you're quick to press A. When facing off against enemies the control scheme broadens up a bit over the standard point-and-shoot mechanic. While the game handles pretty well, we're not entirely pleased with the overall responsiveness of the crosshair. Thankfully, the version of the game on display was still a work in progress.
The visuals in the game are looking solid and on par with Capcom's recent RE offering on the Wii. The enemy character models, zombie, Dobermans, and assorted abominations that have popped up over the course of the series all looked suitably menacing. The playable characters that you have the option to control in the levels look equally sharp in the cutscenes, which help move the story along. The environments were also impressive to behold, thanks to a good amount of detail and special effects such as lighting and weather. The graphics are complemented by a solid audio suite of ambient effects and voice work that helps set the creepy atmosphere and move the story along with some flair.
Based on what we played, Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles is still promising, thanks to the RE franchise's rich lore. The visuals are looking good and the audio sets a good atmosphere. Our only gripe is that the game's targeting and overall responsiveness still seem a bit off. Hopefully this is tweakable in the game's settings. Fans of the RE series, or Wii Zapper owners looking for titles to use their peripherals with, will want to keep an eye out for the game when it ships.