Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (Wii) Review

While Umbrella Chronicles covered RE 0, 1 and 3 as well as giving us a pivotal moment in the RE timeline it’s sequel, Darkside Chronicles, covers RE 2 and Code: Veronica while showing as a bit of background between Leon and Krauser set before RE 4. So… not as interesting. Still, is it still fun to play though? That’s the main question! Let’s find out…

Background:

The classic Hunter… that’s the green thing in the middle, not the statue.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles was released in November 2009 in the US and Europe but didn’t make it to Japan until January 2010. It was upscaled and packaged with Umbrella Chronicles for the PS3 release “Resident Evil HD Chronicles” in June 2012.

Gameplay:

Is that a cheeky reference to Leon killing Krauser in the future? Is it?! … No seriously, is it? I can’t remember…

Darkside Chronicles follows in the footsteps of the previous game in being an on-rails shooter, where you automatically move across the level and only have control of an aiming reticle to shoot things with. It has the same mechanics as well, with being able to pick up other weapons, grenades and readable files by shooting up the scenery, use a melee attack to keep enemies at bay as well as QTE moments during boss fights and occasionally during regular play. There was a greater emphasis on co-op play this time round, with it being unlocked right from the beginning and each player having separate health bars and different coloured reticles. The weapons customising is back and now includes the ability to increase the default handgun. The camera is also a lot more free-flowing and less rigid, like a VR game almost with its “realistic” head turning and bopping. You also actually see your partner walking next to you as you look around, rather than just hearing their voice as you move.

There isn’t much else to say as once again the genre is pretty straight forward!

Graphics and Sound:

Good old RPD car park… looks a little smaller than I remember, but hey-ho…

The graphics are a marked improvement over Umbrella Chronicles, with all new textures and models used across the game and a much more impressive lighting engine. Still not exactly HD crisp but good for a Wii game.

Sound is about the same, music can be heard but is often overshadowed by constant gunfire, and voice acting is just about “fine” but sometimes borders on … not.

Story:

“Hey Leon… Is it okay that my arm’s on fire?” “I mean, I’ve seen worse…”

Alongside non-canonical retellings of Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica is a new story with Leon and Krauser pre-RE 4 on a mission together in South America, looking for drug lord Javier Hidalgo due to his connections with Umbrella. Turns out he got his hands on several viruses and released them across his village and even used the T-Veronica virus to try and cure his daughter Manuela’s illness. Leon and Krauser eventually defeat Manuela’s mother, who had mutated into a beast due to also have been injected with the T-Veronica virus, but Krauser’s arm is injured in the process. In the end the three of them team up to defeat Javier who, surprise surprise, injected himself with a new type of virus and mutated uncontrollably. After the adventure Krauser had to leave the army due to his arm injury and privately begins to think about tracking down Albert Wesker and using some of these mutating viruses to cure his arm and gain more power…

Thoughts Then:

A zombie in a hard-hat, the worst enemy of the headshot expert!

Not being the biggest fan of RE 4’s story my hype for Darkside Chronicles wasn’t anywhere near the levels of Umbrella Chronicles. Seeing Leon and Krauser’s relationship makes RE4 have a little more impact, but it didn’t really add anything, and only covering two games meant it wasn’t even as nostalgic. Throw in no “in between games” bonus missions and it just felt like far less of a complete package, as fun as it was still to play…

Thoughts Now:

“You know when I mentioned I’d seen worse…?”

Pretty much the same, really. It’s a perfectly fine on-rails shooter, but “Operation Javier” isn’t as interesting or significant as the downfall of Umbrella, and the RE2 and C:V abridged retellings aren’t up there with the mansion incident stuff and the bonus side stories in Umbrella Chronicles. It’s fine, but not as significant or nostalgic…

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