Takeuchi talks Resident Evil 5

Main character of Capcom's project still unidentified. Next-gen hardware means real physics, meticulous detail, 60 frames per second, and nonlinear gameplay.

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In an interview published in the latest issue of Famitsu Xbox, Capcom producer Jun Takeuchi revealed new information regarding Resident Evil 5. The game is currently in development for Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360, and does not yet have a release date.

Takeuchi began by emphasizing the level of detail that his staff has put into the development of RE5's trailer, which was shown at Sony's PlayStation meeting and Microsoft's Xbox Summit in Japan. The trailer depicts a lone man exploring a desert city, and a silhouetted group of assailants, presumably zombies (although much more fleet-footed than past Resident Evil games), bearing down on the character.

Takeuchi stated that his team worked especially hard on the character's face. He said that each strand of hair of the man's beard was made out of actual polygons. The development team went as far as to actually create the muscles in the man's face, which resulted in natural-looking movement of his skin and realistic facial expressions. The developers apparently also painstakingly detailed areas of the character that aren't normally seen, such as models for each of the man's teeth. However, Takeuchi said he was unsure if the actual game will be able to feature that much detail.

While the appearance of the mystery character may be incredibly detailed, his actual identity is not. Many speculate that the character is Chris Redfield, the hero from the original Resident Evil. Takeuchi avoided revealing the character's identity, but did mention that the core developers of RE5 include members of the original RE team, and that the character is someone that the developers are fond of.

When told that the unshaven man looked a bit too old to be Mr. Redfield, Takeuchi said that the Resident Evil timeline has continued on, and the hardware capabilities of the next-generation consoles are finally allowing characters to look as old as they're supposed to. According to Takeuchi, his staff hasn't accurately represented the age of characters in previous games due to the limited performance of the platforms.

Takeuchi confirmed that that RE5 will be an authentic sequel to the series' main plot rather than a side story (as Resident Evil 4 was), and the developers are considering some kind of a conclusion to the franchise's storyline. When asked if the game will also feature some closure between Chris and Wesker's fiasco, Takeuchi said that Resident Evil 5's production is still in its early stages, so many of the details in the game are still up in the air.

As expected, Resident Evil 5 will take advantage of the PS3's and Xbox 360's high-definition graphics. Takeuchi hopes to use real-world physics in the game so objects will react realistically when the player shoots them. Takeuchi said he is considering adopting third-party middleware for its physics engine, such as Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3.

The gameplay of RE5 should be similar to Resident Evil 4, which adopted an over-the-shoulder third-person camera. According to Takeuchi, Resident Evil 4 stirred a lot of excitement at Capcom, since director Shinji Mikami had successfully made major changes while still keeping the essence of the series intact. Takeuchi also said that he plans to run the game at 60fps, which is double the frame rate of previous installments in the series.

Takeuchi commented that he recently played "Half-Life 2," and he was impressed by how the game's storyline progressed without the need for the player to raise any conditional flags in the game. While he didn't say that he'll take an identical approach, he did say that RE5 is a "next-generation game" and should reflect that in its gameplay. In addition, Takeuchi emphasized he doesn't want RE5 to be too linear, where all that the user does is clear a stage, watch a cutscene, and then follow instructions to go to the next stage.

When asked about its release date, Takeuchi explained that next-gen projects easily spend three to five years in development. He added the title is Capcom's current priority. He added that additional information on RE5 wouldn't be released until next year. Gamers can get a glimpse of the work in progress by watching the game's high-definition trailer at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show.

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