Resident Evil 4: First 'official' screenshots revealed

Capcom have released the first 'official' screenshots from Resident Evil 4 since the game was first unveiled in November 2002. While a handful of scans from Japanese games mags have been doing the rounds of late, these mark the first proper screenshots we've seen of the radically reworked next instalment of the classic survival-horror series.

The game appears to be much darker in tone that its predecessors and, as previously mentioned, the game eschews the zombie hordes of yore in favour of presenting players with a gruesome collection of 'villagers' armed with flaming torches and chainsaws.

You'll now have a choice of three views - first-person and two third-person views - although the interface will essentially remain unchanged. The levels themselves are reportedly much larger than those of previous Res Evils and will give players the opportunity for more free-roaming and exploration, while the game will at last run in realtime, marking an end to those trademark door opening animations.

A release date for Resident Evil 4 has yet to be announced, although it's expected to hit shelves in the US and Japan later this year, with a UK release anticipated for early 2005