Resident Evil 4: Weapons gore-lore

It may have slipped to early 2005 but Resident Evil 4 is still one of the most eagerly awaited games of the moment and we have a crop of new pics of Leon's face-removing arsenal.

In order of appearance in the shots to the right, at the top we have the shotgun, the said face-removing weapon of choice when it's up close and personal and the halitosis is one bite away. As you can see, we were literal in our description.

The handgun is next up... Indeed, moving swiftly on we come to the 'scoped rifle, idea for popping villagers' heads from a really nice safe distance. Sure, it's a single shot and slow reload but with plenty of metres between you and the melon head about to explode, times are good.

When you absolutely, positively got to kill every, er..., villager in the room. Accept no substitutes, get trigger happy with the bad boy rocket launcher. It's loud, makes a mess and is your friend. Just don't let it off in a cupboard.

Lastly, we see the mini automatic in action up against the game's biggest, baddest and ugliest brute revealed so far. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear up to this particularly big job. Makes mince meat of the priests, mind.

While the guns aren't a huge departure from previous Resi titles, the over-the-shoulder firing perspective is and turns the once annoying shooting element of the series into something to be indulgently savoured, meaning the various guns will add their own special spice to the already frantic proceedings.

We've also included new shots of Ashley, the cutesy president's daughter and the reason you're running around killing rural folk in the first place. She appears to be Resident Evil's version of Princess Peach and rescuing the lass from many a tricky predicament in the rustic outback of Europe is the order of the day. Will she irritate the hell out of us? We suspect the answer to that is "big time".

Resident Evil 4 should arrive on Gamecube during the first quarter of 2005