If you’re a Wii owner and a Resident Evil fan, the odds are you’ve played Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. The mix of motion controlled on-rails shooting and familiar RE environments was a sweet treat, and like any good treat, second servings are a must. Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles seeks to satiate your appetite for reliving the horror of Raccoon City and beyond in the first person.
Hit the jump for more on this guided gorefest through the universe of Resident Evil.
Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles features one or two-player zombie shooting action. Using the Wiimote, players aim on screen reticules to laboriously line up shots, hoping to pop a rotting head like a grapefruit. It’s more of a shoot from the hip affair than true marksmanship, so don’t expect for Darkside Chronicles to emulate Time Crisis. The aiming mechanic is approachable, responsive, and fun.
This time around, the immersion into the zombie apocalypse is enhanced by seeing your co-op partner on screen. Whether it’s during a cutscene or watching your partner get munched on by a corpse, the characters in Darkside are more than disembodied voices this time around. Seeing Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy in all their enhanced polygonal glory is truly fan service at its best. Also, Steve Burnside looks a little less like an 8th grader going for the Leo DiCaprio look.
The characters aren’t the only thing that have had a facelift, as both the Raccoon City of Resident Evil 2 and Rockford Island from Resident Evil: Code Veronica underwent graphical enhancements. Seeing these familiar areas in fully rendered 3D is spectacular. A great tweak to the game since the Umbrella Chronicles is that the order in which you proceed through the level more closely emulates the original titles. You’ll have flashbacks as you work your way towards the Raccoon Police Department and pass familiar areas like Kendo’s Gun Shop and the wrecked city bus.
The gameplay has had its share of enhancements as well. The annoying quicktime events of the first Chronicles game are absent from this early build of the game. The tension is pumped up with zombie attacks on your partner which must be extinguished with well placed shots. However, the fluid action is oftentimes made unapproachable by a shaky and unbalanced first person camera view that makes the camera work of Cloverfied look tame. The jerky camera movement makes the action much more difficult and frenzied, but at the same time it is an unfair method to increase challenge.
The weapons usable in the Darkside Chronicles demo are the combat shotgun, submachine gun, and standard pistol. The impact and realism of each weapon seems to have been enhanced greatly. For an added effect, the shotgun can be seen being reloaded on screen. Weapons are selected using the d-pad, with each direction being assigned to a particular firearm or grenade.
Overall, Darkside Chronicles promises to be a fun and approachable on rails shooter. The characters, settings, and enemies are all of the highest quality, and lining up headshots with the Wiimote rarely gets old. All that, and the fact that the other game scenarios have yet to be announced is more than enough reason to warrant keeping your eyes focused on it.
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