Last night I played through the Resident Evil 0 sections of Umbrella Chronicles, and I have to say I had a blast. While it’s understandable that some people are still disappointed this game is a rail shooter similar to House of the Dead rather than a Resident Evil 4-style free roamer, it’s still a lot of fun. As a long-time Resident Evil fan, I find it definitely pushes all the right buttons so far.
Gameplay is simple, tight and even on normal, challenging. Point, shoot, reload, and pick up what you can. Aiming is intuitive with the Wiimote and the enemies come thick and fast. Precise shots are what you’ll need to take them down. There’s a small sweet spot in the center of a zombie’s forehead that causes the head to burst when you hit it. It isn’t easy, but it’s highly rewarding to see the explosion of blood, bits of skull and brains that ensue when you can pull it off.
Even though you have infinite ammo for your hand gun, ammo conservation is still a huge part of the gameplay, as any extra weapons you get have limited ammo and the pistol just doesn’t cut it for a lot of the enemies the game throws at you.
And it throws them at you. The game is intense at times; scary even. You’ll probably find yourself needing to replay some of the sections to be in a better situation ammo-wise when you hit the bosses at the end of the chapters, at least if you play on normal or hard difficulty anyway. Staying cool and only using more powerful ammo when absolutely necessary is something I’m still working on.
So far, the graphics have been excellent for the Wii; definitely an improvement on what was in Resident Evil 4 (though I’m expecting the Raccoon sections to be worse, since they borrow from the PS2 Resident Evil Outbreak games) and the gameplay is instantly accessible.
The music, be it new, rearranged or classic themes, is excellent, though the voice acting seems a step backwards from the recent Resident Evil games; It’s kind of cheesy.
If you’re a fan of the series from a story perspective, or a fan of lightgun style horror games I’m happy to recommend it based on what I’ve played so far, but if you’re new to the series or only familiar with RE4 you’ll want to hold out for the full review.
Shoot the dead in the Dread Central forums!