TGS 09: Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles Hands-On PreviewBy Sterling McGarvey - Posted Sep 24, 2009
What We Know: Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is the sequel to 2007's Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. Both games are retellings of RE classics from the PlayStation era, redone as light gun shooters for Wii. My last hands-on demo came during E3, when I played through a remixed section of RE: Code Veronica. RE: DC offers up some high-octane co-op action while rewarding both hardcore fans and casual gamers (read: loved ones who couldn't understand why those hardcore fans were so into the series over the years) with individualized difficulty settings during each playthrough.
What's New for TGS: Something big, actually. Although Capcom's been showing off levels inspired by Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica up to this point, the publisher had something completely different up its sleeve today. In a mission titled "Operation Javier," I stepped into Leon S. Kennedy's shoes to play a pre-Resident Evil 4 mission in South America. Leon's partner? Krauser. Yep, "Knife Fight Krauser." The mission aims to provide some backstory to the two characters' mutual animosity in RE4. Both men are special forces members at this point in the series timeline, and they've been sent to South America to track down Javier Hidalgo, a notorious drug lord who's suspected of having ties to Umbrella Corporation. It's no small coincidence that at the same time that the two men are hunting him down, there's been a rash of disappearances in the area.
There are only so many ways that you can describe the play style of a retro-inspired on-rails shooter, but "Operation Javier" definitely has some moments that resemble Resident Evil 5. The flooded village has elements of that game's shanty towns in its art style, and that's no coincidence. Some RE: DC's team also helped out with the level designs of RE5. I also shot my way through new mutated B.O.W. classes, including deadly man-sized mutant frogs. It's an interesting break from the sort of environments I'm used to seeing after 13 years of playing Resident Evil.
What I Want to See: If Capcom can maintain this momentum, I don't need to see much else to be sold on it. So far, if you're a fan of on-rails shooters, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is pretty entertaining. It might come off as a bit anemic if you don't have buddies to play with, but it's a blast (pun slightly intended) to play in co-op. If the stages maintain the same level of slightly brain-dead entertainment I've been testing out for the last few months, then I expect RE: DC to be one of the best shooters to grace the Wii this year.