hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

E3 2007: Hands-on with Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles

8:36 PM on 07.12.2007 // Aaron Linde

With Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, Capcom showed Wii gamers that their flagship zombie-slayin' series certainly benefits from some innovative new hardware. But could that hardware carry the series through the transition to an on-rails shooter? Being the deathly curious little imp that I am, I hit up the Capcom booth for some hands-on time with Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, complete with the new Zapper peripheral.

After a fair sampling of gore, guts and mayhem, is Umbrella Chronicles a marked improvement upon the RE lightgun games that preceeded it? Hit the jump for my impressions.

Contrary to popular belief (it was an above-average score, jerks!), I really dug RE4: Wii Edition. It was a solid title that truly showcased the benefits of the hardware at work. The success of the game for yours truly helped catapult my interest in Capcom's Wii follow-up, Umbrella Chronicles. After having given the game a shot (with the new Wii Zapper peripheral, no less), I've come to the following conclusion: Resident Evil and on-rails shooter, at least insofar as the demo is concerned, don't mix as well as I'd like, even with the Wii in tow.

UC's first hurdle was finding a way to incorporate the tension and "oh holy god" play scheme into the on-rail shooter model, which is typically oriented as fast-paced action -- something that comes up in many RE titles, but not as often as, say, Time Crisis. It certainly looks like Resident Evil -- the demo features Jill Valentine moving through Raccoon City, eliminating the bloodthirsty dead in her path as she goes along, but without the fear that usually piggybacks the experience that Resident Evil has come to represent.

In slaying the legions of the hungry dead, the demo offers the player a handgun with unlimited ammo, a machine gun, and a shotgun. Close encounters are dealt with by holding the C button on the nunchuk (positioned as the stock of the Wii Zapper) and shaking the remote, and pressing B on the remote in combination with this motion lobs a grenade, great for taking out those big zombie parties.

Aiming feels loose and imprecise, which might be chalked up to the greater range of motion and jitter caused by the remote mounted on the end of the zapper. On the other hand, RE4's aiming feels tight, because your grip is so high on the device; small adjustments are easy to make. When aiming with the zapper, however, motion is guided and controlled by your entire arm via the grip near the front of the remote, which makes getting a precision headshot much more difficult to achieve. It's nitpicky and perhaps easily remedied by simply using just the remote and nunchuk, but it's hard not to complain when you've been spoiled by Capcom's previous efforts.

Taking out these hordes, also, feels somehow less satisfying than in RE4 Wii Edition -- it didn't seem as though shooting particular parts of a zombie made any difference in their slow shambling towards my POV. A headshot would send them staggering backwards, but truthfully, this is one area that I'd like to see explored as much as possible. In a genre in which scripted events and enemy groups reign supreme, giving the player more options in how to deal with these enemies would serve well in engaging the player. Providing different possibilities for shot placement, ranged/melee combos (as in RE4) and so on would go a long way in taking this game from fairly simple fun to an absolute romp.

Umbrella Chronicles differentiates itself from other light gun games by taking advantage of the rich universe that Capcom has created in Resident Evil. But in embracing this form of on-rails gameplay, the ways in which that universe has captivated gamers over time seem somehow diminished -- with any luck, Capcom will rope that magic back in before the game hits shelves.

Aaron Linde,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
For Occams: [img][/img]
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
I routinely listen to the Dustforce soundtrack every week. Incredible sounds. [youtube][/youtube]
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Steam rejected the DP refund. Meh, It's been a long time between when I bought and played it, don't care anymore, heh. Decided to play more MGS4 on PS3 and start replaying Rayman Origins on PC. Fun games that actually work.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Being an asshole, watching this Star Citizen debacle unfold and seeing Cloud Imperium's meltdown about the whole ordeal is incredibly entertaining. Even if the allegations ARE false, CI's official statement comes off as wonderfully bitter and petty.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Alright. Playing off of the Avatar question, why did you choose your username?
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I tried playing Deadly Premonition on Steam from my backlog today and it's a GODAWFUL pc port. I bought it forever ago but I requested a refund. If anything I don't want it in my library....
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you ever dipped a cookie in your coffee, I promise you're doing it right.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Why did you pick your avatar? What about you does it represent?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Wanna eat some meat ? [youtube][/youtube]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Why is it that Sundays always feel so lazy? I always tell myself I'm going to get things done and then...well....
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I plan on using my GameStop Power-Up Rewards points (yes) to buy all the eventual P4DAN DLC. Even though the practices are very suspect. I am so not made of stone. Moreso blubber and Dr. Pepper.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Having a puppy and trying to play legend of grimrock 2 somewhere the puppy normally doesn't get to hang out is a futile effort.
gajknight avatargajknight
Shafts of light emanated from Robo Panda Z's eyes, illuminating the intricately engraved obelisks looming impossibly above him. A whispered voice spoke from the obelisk. Do you pay too much for your Internet? Comcast. Like you have a choice.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I miss Kill la Kill - I think mostly because it was so damn entertaining to have a bunch of people drawling, "Nuuuuuuuuudiiiiiiiist Beeeeeeeeeeeaaaach" at each other.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I took a homeopathic shower this morning. I used extra water.
Shinta avatarShinta
Shinta avatarShinta
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
It's 2am and I'm watching this emulator whiz play Xenia (360 emilator) on PC albeit glitchy This video is hilarious
Shinta avatarShinta
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -