Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

The first level ended with a run-in against the world's most famous snake boss. At this point it becomes clear that plenty of classic RE moments will be retold in Chronicles, but there will be plenty of embellishment to make the moments more exciting. So, instead of slowly lurking around, you're blasting a path straight to the snake, uttering words like "Something's not right with this mansion!" Once you find the snake, it's in the library, ready to have a two-person snack. The slithery reptile slides in between bookshelves, up the wall and across a banister, constantly trying to take a bite out of you. Your partner will call out paths or options available to you, like a nearby ladder that you can climb to put some distance between you and the snake. Once up top, you can break the chandelier and have it crush the snake's head - too bad it still doesn't die.

After many, many lost lives and plenty of shotgun blasts to the mouth, the snake went down, and our demo came to an end. Overall, it's a solid shooter in the style of House of the Dead (with a few too many cheap shots, especially from the dogs), but the added wrapper of RE makes the storyline more compelling than anything House ever offered. Chronicles is supposed to summarize the entire series and lead up to the end of Umbrella, so we're looking forward to cameos and bonus bosses. We can already confirm Billy Coen and Rebecca Chamers (RE0), Chris and Jill (RE) and Carlos Oliveira (RE3: Nemesis).

Although the game touts branching paths, we never saw someone else take a different route to the snake at the end. It's possible that there are alternate ways to reach the end, but maybe there just aren't any at the outset. Here's hoping there's more to do than take potshots at slow-ass zombies. Either way, look for much more on this game before it launches later this year,sometime after RE4: Wii Edition hits shelves in June.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.