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Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles Review

The evil's back in this year's on-rails Resi

A lot can change in two years. When Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles was released on the Wii in November 2007 it felt like a fresh, unique experience because the Zapper had only just been released and there weren't a lot of lightgun games on the Wii at the time. Since then however, the Wii's racked up a large body count of on-rails games, including the likes of House Of The Dead 2 & 3 Return, Ghost Squad, House Of The Dead: Overkill and, most recently, the fantastic Dead Space: Extraction. This means The Darkside Chronicles needs to have more than just novelty value up its blood-soaked sleeve to compete with the rest of the big boys. Does it manage this? Yes and no.

As in the previous game, the levels in The Darkside Chronicles are based on previous games in the Resident Evil series. Whereas its predecessor featured areas from the original Resident Evil, Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil 3, this time around it's Resident Evil 2 (our favourite in the series) and Code Veronica getting the on-rails treatment.

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Stay Still, Damn It!

Visually, The Darkside Chronicles is a great improvement over its already impressive predecessor. Backgrounds are detailed, enemies are suitably disgusting and it's as satisfying as ever to pull off a headshot and watch a zombie's head explode. Unfortunately, the game's graphical style can have a negative impact on the gameplay at times, as the new 'realistic' camera sees your character's head bobbing all over the place as they run through the levels, making it almost impossible to pull off an accurate shot while on the move.

As before, to make two-player co-op make sense, every level is played with two characters progressing through the game together. When playing in single-player mode you get to choose which of the two characters you control, and to add to the feeling that you're being accompanied, you see your partner wander into your line of vision every now and then, which didn't happen in the last game. You even have to help them out sometimes by picking off zombies that have grabbed hold of them.

While this concept of two characters working together is a welcome one that adds greatly to the story of each level (since there's a constant dialogue going on between the two characters) it does mess up the Resident Evil storyline a bit. For example, the whole point of Resident Evil 2 is that the game's two main characters, Claire and Leon, are separated at the start of the game when a huge tanker explodes between them. They don't meet until much later. Since this doesn't fit in with the whole 'two characters together' routine here, the tanker explosion simply doesn't happen and Leon and Claire stick together from the start.

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What's The Story?

These brazen storyline tweaks are frequent throughout the game and, while only minor niggles, will undoubtedly annoy some long-time fans of the series. The selling point

of the Chronicles series was to tell the whole Resident Evil story and fill in the gaps in the storyline to solve unanswered questions. But when you run into the gun shop at the start of the Resi 2 section to find that the owner's already been eaten before he even gets a chance to talk to you, or when you get to the police station and encounter the dying cop in the middle of the main lobby instead of the small side-room he used to be in, it simply raises more questions than it answers as to what the real storyline is. How was William Birkin really defeated on the train at the end of Resident Evil 2? Was it the way it happened at the end of the actual game, or was it the way that it happens here? Rather than telling the definitive Resident Evil story, all this will do is make fans of the series argue with each other over what the definitive plot actually is. Ultimately though it's the gameplay that matters and while the game's pace is initially painfully slow, it does eventually pick up and things get pretty frantic. The best sections are undoubtedly the Resi 2 and Code Veronica ones, even though the others (including one set in a South American village that has more than a hint of Resident Evil 5 about it) are fun too.

What's more, there's plenty of replay value. With loads of hidden items to find and some genuinely awesome unlockables that will please Resi fans, there's definitely a lot of bang here for your buck. It's just up to you to decide whether you're in the mood for yet another on-rails shooter experience once you've got through the superior House Of The Dead: Overkill and Dead Space: Extraction.

Comments

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  1. MetallicA-knight Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 15:59

    SUPERIOR House of the Dead: Overkill? That game was TERRIBLE

  2. Mr Hat Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 16:04

    To be fair, pulling off the entire plot would have been a little hard, as shown in Umbrella Chronicles (which did the same thing). I'll probably get this for christmas, though.

  3. Kiran145 Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 16:19

    ONM is really starting to annoy me. Wii owners actually WANT harcore titles to be made on the system e.g call of duty yet you give these great hardcore games low scores. I mean its getting ridiculous. For example Modern warfare reflex was a game deserving of atleast 89% yet it got 80% because it was ''rough around the edges'' even though everyone knows that it is graphically superior to World at War. Are you trying to prevent hardcore titles from being sucessful on the Wii because thats what it seems like to me...

  4. Paper Luigi Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 16:39

    ONM is really starting to annoy me. Wii owners actually WANT harcore titles to be made on the system e.g call of duty yet you give these great hardcore games low scores. I mean its getting ridiculous. For example Modern warfare reflex was a game deserving of atleast 89% yet it got 80% because it was ''rough around the edges'' even though everyone knows that it is graphically superior to World at War. Are you trying to prevent hardcore titles from being sucessful on the Wii because thats what it seems like to me...

    This is why Wii Fit Plus gets 90%.

  5. capmanchris Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 16:46

    ONM is really starting to annoy me. Wii owners actually WANT harcore titles to be made on the system e.g call of duty yet you give these great hardcore games low scores. I mean its getting ridiculous. For example Modern warfare reflex was a game deserving of atleast 89% yet it got 80% because it was ''rough around the edges'' even though everyone knows that it is graphically superior to World at War. Are you trying to prevent hardcore titles from being sucessful on the Wii because thats what it seems like to me...

    Yeah I agree with your overview of cod reflex. That game improves on waw in every single way imaginable, yet waw gets a gold award and modern warfare gets knocked down 80% for being rough round the edges. What is rough round the edges anyway?! But i do disagree with your word on resi evil. It'd be better if we saw a return to resi evil 4 but improved

  6. Lanky031 Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 17:29

    Another review that im annoyed with ONM....
    Yes it does mess with the Resi story a bit,but it should have got ATLEAST 88%.
    Camera makes aiming harder?Sounds to me like your a tad rubbish at this game :P
    I think the camera angle makes the game more fun,as you try harder not to miss and break your combo.
    Though,HOTD:Overkill was better for me,just because it was soo cheesy+funny.And pretty sick at the end...

  7. ChrisONM Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 19:21

    ONM is really starting to annoy me. Wii owners actually WANT harcore titles to be made on the system e.g call of duty yet you give these great hardcore games low scores. I mean its getting ridiculous. For example Modern warfare reflex was a game deserving of atleast 89% yet it got 80% because it was ''rough around the edges'' even though everyone knows that it is graphically superior to World at War. Are you trying to prevent hardcore titles from being sucessful on the Wii because thats what it seems like to me...


    I didn't review Reflex so you can't compare the way this review was written to the way that one was. We each have our own individual opinions.

    Anyway, I stand by my Darkside Chronicles score. I don't understand your argument that we're "giving these great hardcore games low scores" - we're giving them the scores we feel they deserve, regardless of how "hardcore" we may think they are.

    It was the same deal with The Conduit: we don't owe these games any sort of special treatment just because they're armed at a "hardcore" audience. If we said "well it's flawed but it's hardcore so here's a Gold Award" that's making a statement instead of actually critiquing the game.

  8. Paper Luigi Thursday 26th Nov 2009 at 22:51


    I didn't review Reflex so you can't compare the way this review was written to the way that one was. We each have our own individual opinions.

    Anyway, I stand by my Darkside Chronicles score. I don't understand your argument that we're "giving these great hardcore games low scores" - we're giving them the scores we feel they deserve, regardless of how "hardcore" we may think they are.

    It was the same deal with The Conduit: we don't owe these games any sort of special treatment just because they're armed at a "hardcore" audience. If we said "well it's flawed but it's hardcore so here's a Gold Award" that's making a statement instead of actually critiquing the game.

    Couldn't you of reviewed reflex though, since you could compare them, but I don't see how an improved game, should get a lower score, also your a better reviewer Chris. :wink:

  9. G_R7 Friday 27th Nov 2009 at 01:50

    ONM is really starting to annoy me. Wii owners actually WANT harcore titles to be made on the system e.g call of duty yet you give these great hardcore games low scores. I mean its getting ridiculous. For example Modern warfare reflex was a game deserving of atleast 89% yet it got 80% because it was ''rough around the edges'' even though everyone knows that it is graphically superior to World at War. Are you trying to prevent hardcore titles from being sucessful on the Wii because thats what it seems like to me...


    I didn't review Reflex so you can't compare the way this review was written to the way that one was. We each have our own individual opinions.

    Anyway, I stand by my Darkside Chronicles score. I don't understand your argument that we're "giving these great hardcore games low scores" - we're giving them the scores we feel they deserve, regardless of how "hardcore" we may think they are.

    It was the same deal with The Conduit: we don't owe these games any sort of special treatment just because they're armed at a "hardcore" audience. If we said "well it's flawed but it's hardcore so here's a Gold Award" that's making a statement instead of actually critiquing the game.

    Lets be honest Chris, youíre damned if you do, damned if you donít when it comes to Hardcore on the Wii (But HotD:O shouldnít have got a the score it did. Sure it was fun but the graphics sucked and it was too short).

    Anyways, Iíve got my hands on the game already and done the first level (and I am trying to fit it in around Left4Dead 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Assassinís Creed 2) and I have had some sounds problems. Basically I cannot hear any gun fire unless I go in and out of the Home Menu. All my other games work without a problem as do all the other sounds on the game. Has anyone any ideas why?

  10. MARION64WII Friday 27th Nov 2009 at 09:51

    i thought the camera making aiming difficult was the point in this :roll: i will still get this though. it's weird, it messes with the resi story, but i havent played resi 2 or code veronica so this won't bother me. I'd say this should get at least 85%, your score of 79% was a little unfaire me thinks :wink:. Oh and another thing has anywon played deadspace extraction it looks good so i may get it, can somewon give me the ups and downs for it because i can't find the issue of ONM that has it's review :( .

  11. sivlock Friday 27th Nov 2009 at 10:21

    Im a big Resident Evil fan and have been since the first one on the psone but I didn't mind that UC had slight alterations in the story because I think it's a great game has massive replay value im still trying to get everything.

    I can't see this game being much different from the sound of the review but il definately be getting it. The only Resi Evil game I played that was really pants had to be something like Resi Evil Survivor most of the games are good just the occasional bad egg.

    Any news on Resi Evil 5 for the wii? Is it going to happen ever?

  12. tomonm Friday 27th Nov 2009 at 12:48

    To be fair, pulling off the entire plot would have been a little hard, as shown in Umbrella Chronicles (which did the same thing). I'll probably get this for christmas, though.

    You can't really make excuses for Capcom here though. The Chronicles series have been sold as games which will tie up loose ends in the Resi story. If someone is buying this to get a clearer picture they'll be disappointed as they're not being given what they wanted.

    The camera thing - do you know what the most annoying thing about it is for me? It is meant to be dynamic so it spins around and takes you off in different directions. So you've got a nice head shot lined up on a zombie but before you can shoot your character turns around and runs off.

    Still it's a decent game.

  13. UK Jester Friday 27th Nov 2009 at 18:34

    Wow, another on-rails shooter based on a superior action-adventure/survival horror game.

    I'll stick to Dead Space and Resident Evil's 0-5. I realise the Wii is very underpowered compared to the Xbox360/PS3 but surely some developers somewhere must have the time, resources and advertising skills to put a decent action-adventure/survival horror game on the Wii - I'd be really happy if Capcom did a port of Resi 5 to the Wii that eliminated some of the problems with the HD consoles version (like removing the multiplayer aspects that took all the fun out of the game). I'd even put my cash down for a Dead Space Wii game.

    The Wii is near perfect for aiming and shooting in action-adventure games but all we seem to get is a quick nod from the big franchises, a plethora of cr*p aimed at non-gamer gamers and the occassional immersive game. I firmly believe that Nintendo will experience the Playstation 2 affect of loseing a lot of their customer base come the next generation. The non-gamer gamers will be happy with Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus whilst the hardcore gamers and developers will have defected to the rivals.

    Rant over.

  14. UK Jester Friday 27th Nov 2009 at 18:35

    Wow, another on-rails shooter based on a superior action-adventure/survival horror game.

    I'll stick to Dead Space and Resident Evil's 0-5. I realise the Wii is very underpowered compared to the Xbox360/PS3 but surely some developers somewhere must have the time, resources and advertising skills to put a decent action-adventure/survival horror game on the Wii - I'd be really happy if Capcom did a port of Resi 5 to the Wii that eliminated some of the problems with the HD consoles version (like removing the multiplayer aspects that took all the fun out of the game). I'd even put my cash down for a Dead Space Wii game.

    The Wii is near perfect for aiming and shooting in action-adventure games but all we seem to get is a quick nod from the big franchises, a plethora of cr*p aimed at non-gamer gamers and the occassional immersive game. I firmly believe that Nintendo will experience the Playstation 2 affect of loseing a lot of their customer base come the next generation. The non-gamer gamers will be happy with Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus whilst the hardcore gamers and developers will have defected to the rivals.

    Rant over.

  15. MARION64WII Friday 27th Nov 2009 at 23:26

    Im a big Resident Evil fan and have been since the first one on the psone but I didn't mind that UC had slight alterations in the story because I think it's a great game has massive replay value im still trying to get everything.

    I can't see this game being much different from the sound of the review but il definately be getting it. The only Resi Evil game I played that was really pants had to be something like Resi Evil Survivor most of the games are good just the occasional bad egg.

    Any news on Resi Evil 5 for the wii? Is it going to happen ever?

    probably not and resi 5 no offence is terrible i've got it on 360 and i don't like it, it was way overhyped with Chris looking like an action man and the gore kept to a minimum, stick to resi 4 on wii or gamecube :wink:, however it would be nice to see it on wii, the controlls would be much better.

  16. mewthree Saturday 28th Nov 2009 at 03:01

    As a Resi fan, I'm getting this JUST to see Mr. X again in all his Hull streaker-like glory.

  17. mantisboy1 Saturday 28th Nov 2009 at 12:25

    Geesh, to think I hyped...

  18. kiba-fang-over Saturday 28th Nov 2009 at 13:04

    I like it how you say it messes with the resi evil sotry......-_- the funny thing is i swore UC did the exact same thing, and the aiming, i love it, it adds soo much more depth to the game, its not hard to aim after a little practice, also if you cant aim it has the auto aim where you hold down "A", it deserves so much more, well done to capcom in my opinion, i got what i wanted out of this game so far, and no regrets whatsoever :)

  19. Prince_Ashitaka Saturday 28th Nov 2009 at 19:38

    Resident Evil has a plot?

    I thought it was a series of loosely linked events with bad acting and appalling writing.

    Oh wait, I was right.

  20. kiba-fang-over Sunday 29th Nov 2009 at 00:53

    Resident Evil has a plot?

    I thought it was a series of loosely linked events with bad acting and appalling writing.

    Oh wait, I was right.

    Yeah funny you should say that, i mean the games must sell soo much because of the loosely linked events, bad acting, and lets not forget appalling writing ;) how else are capcom pushing the franchise even further....

  21. kiba-fang-over Sunday 29th Nov 2009 at 01:02

    Resident Evil has a plot?

    I thought it was a series of loosely linked events with bad acting and appalling writing.

    Oh wait, I was right.

    Yeah funny you should say that, i mean the games must sell soo much because of the loosely linked events, bad acting, and lets not forget appalling writing ;) how else are capcom pushing the franchise even further....

  22. Kiran145 Sunday 29th Nov 2009 at 08:46

    Hey but when 'Resident Evil : Mario Chronicles' comes out expect that to get a 96% rating and a gold award...

  23. sivlock Tuesday 1st Dec 2009 at 15:55

    Haven't played 5 at all that's why I want it to come to the wii, big fan here :-D but I tend to only buy Nintendo consoles. What's so bad about 5?

  24. MARION64WII Thursday 3rd Dec 2009 at 11:36

    Haven't played 5 at all that's why I want it to come to the wii, big fan here :-D but I tend to only buy Nintendo consoles. What's so bad about 5?

    5 is one of the worst resi games because 1. it is not as gory as resi 4, 2. the story is rubbish, 3. Chris looks looks like an action man because of his massive muscles, 4. it's on xbox and playstation so it's obviously rubbish, 5. it's realy easy, even on hard, 6. aiming is crap, 7. it just dosen't feel like resident evil, 8. the graphics are terrible and it lags.

    Sorry if this disapoints you but this is my opinion, personaly i will say this is not worth getting. but a wii remake would right it's wrongs. stick to resi games on nintendo consols.

  25. MetallicA-knight Sunday 6th Dec 2009 at 03:37

    Haven't played 5 at all that's why I want it to come to the wii, big fan here :-D but I tend to only buy Nintendo consoles. What's so bad about 5?

    5 is one of the worst resi games because 1. it is not as gory as resi 4, 2. the story is rubbish, 3. Chris looks looks like an action man because of his massive muscles, 4. it's on xbox and playstation so it's obviously rubbish, 5. it's realy easy, even on hard, 6. aiming is crap, 7. it just dosen't feel like resident evil, 8. the graphics are terrible and it lags.

    Sorry if this disapoints you but this is my opinion, personaly i will say this is not worth getting. but a wii remake would right it's wrongs. stick to resi games on nintendo consols.


    DOnt be an idiot all your life. Im not even going to explain why you are a fool

  26. Pappi Sunday 6th Dec 2009 at 10:48

    Resident Evil has a plot?

    I thought it was a series of loosely linked events with bad acting and appalling writing.

    Oh wait, I was right.

    Nothing wrong with 0,1,2,3,4 and CV. I wholeheartadly agree with you about five though.

  27. MARION64WII Sunday 6th Dec 2009 at 11:37

    Haven't played 5 at all that's why I want it to come to the wii, big fan here :-D but I tend to only buy Nintendo consoles. What's so bad about 5?

    5 is one of the worst resi games because 1. it is not as gory as resi 4, 2. the story is rubbish, 3. Chris looks looks like an action man because of his massive muscles, 4. it's on xbox and playstation so it's obviously rubbish, 5. it's realy easy, even on hard, 6. aiming is crap, 7. it just dosen't feel like resident evil, 8. the graphics are terrible and it lags.

    Sorry if this disapoints you but this is my opinion, personaly i will say this is not worth getting. but a wii remake would right it's wrongs. stick to resi games on nintendo consols.


    DOnt be an idiot all your life. Im not even going to explain why you are a fool

    Why is it because i know that resident evil 5 is bad, or is it because xbox's are rubbish full stop.

  28. sivlock Tuesday 8th Dec 2009 at 10:23

    The only bad Resident Evil game I have had the misfortune to play would have to be Survivor on the ps one now that was pretty bad. Surely 5 can't be that bad?

    Im loving the Umbrella Chronicles series even though the review aren't so good, I get glued to them.

  29. MARION64WII Tuesday 8th Dec 2009 at 15:53

    The only bad Resident Evil game I have had the misfortune to play would have to be Survivor on the ps one now that was pretty bad. Surely 5 can't be that bad?

    Im loving the Umbrella Chronicles series even though the review aren't so good, I get glued to them.

    yes it is. actualy i noticed another problem that rather a lot of the zombies has guns, argurably so did 4 but that was a rocket launcher and a minigun. 5 has loads of zombies using guns. Another problem is the text, it says "trade prize for points" when it should be the other way round.

  30. sivlock Wednesday 9th Dec 2009 at 12:08

    Im getting Darkside Chronicles for xmas that should be good I think UC was good quite challenging getting head shots and getting good grades.

    Still think I'd have to try out RE 5 myself to form an opinion. Some people were going mad the way RE 4 was a such a dramatic change I thought it worked really well.

  31. mccurdie82 Monday 14th Dec 2009 at 20:56

    I agree that 79% is a bit harsh, I mean slight changes to the story had to be made to allow both characters to be together for co-op. This is not a flaw and the camera adds alot to the atmosphere so it is a good point not a negative. Id have given it 90% Not a fan of HOTD or Dead Space. It deserves extra points just for being a Resi game!

  32. MARION64WII Wednesday 6th Jan 2010 at 14:05

    Okay resident evil darkside chronicles is so underated it's ubelievable. there is so much to do, loads of levels, the camera is not bad it adds a challenge (getting headshots on zombies walking lopsided is harder than the camera moving) it is the best on rails shooter of 2009. This game is better than resi 5, also onm said it messes with the story correct? well when me and my mate played it on 2 player everything he told me about code veronica was in it, so im not sure why it got 79% it even has better graphics than gta 4 on 360 seriosely, stop giving games that is a series down points either because one of the games is not brilliant or the story has changed.

  33. yubel Thursday 18th Feb 2010 at 20:06

    I found no trouble with the camera, its like you expected the charactors head to stay completely still while moving about.
    I mean, if i were climbing a box of crates for example, my head would wobble around a bit.
    It just adds to the realism, and i liked it.

    I belive 85% would be a fairer score.

  34. sivlock Friday 19th Feb 2010 at 14:57

    Im only just starting to play DC it's pretty good the camera thing is a bit mad I lost out on an umbrella file because of it but they only keeps me coming back for me the lickers are assholes tougher to take out than UC.

  35. xs3mx Saturday 11th Jan 2014 at 19:44

    OKAY ITS NOT FAIR TO RATE A GAME DOWN JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK THE WII HAS SO MANY RAIL SHOOTERS, YOU CANNOT JUDGE OR LOWER ITS SCORE BECAUSE OF THAT YOU HAVE TO JUDGE EACH GAME INDIVIDUALLY BY ITSELF AND NOT THE MARKET THAT SURROUNDS IT.

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