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Resident Evil 5

This year will be the year when the king of survival horror finally starts to emerge from the haze...

Resident Evil 5 facts are still as scarce as a funny David Baddiel joke, despite this A Grade fivequel being announced way, way back in July 2005. The lack of updates isn't that surprising when you consider our moles in Capcom are saying the game's script hasn't even been finished yet. What have they been up to all this time? Well, here's literally everything we know... and a bit we, erm, don't.

The game's producer Jun Takeuchi has hinted that we should be able to work out who the game's hero will be based on the fact that members of the original development team are working on Resi 5 - in other words, the lead character will be series stalwart Chris Redfield. A very good thing that, as Chris has always been a 'shoot first, ask questions later' kinda guy; virtually guaranteeing Resi 5 will be a slam-bang action-fest rammed with monster-murdering gunplay and less concerned with tedious 'find the key' puzzles.

Another pointer towards an action-oriented plot is Takeuchi's revelation that a big influence on the game is Ridley Scott's visceral war epic Black Hawk Down - in particular, the scene where the titular US chopper is blasted out of the African sky and immediately converged on by swarms of Somali guerrillas, gagging to hack off bits of prime US army beef. Imagine that terrifying scenario transposed to Resi 5's brand new, sun-drenched setting. In the teaser trailer you're a lone gunman patrolling the deserted city, and hear the rolling thunder of a hundred rapidly approaching footsteps - and raise your gun to the oncoming danger. Realising the noise is coming from behind you, you turn... and are faced with a dozen sprinting zombies now only metres away. There's only one option: start blasting or prepare to get gutted.

Judging by the trailer and the leaks coming out of Capcom, this is going to be the most cinematic and heart-in-mouth, tension-wracked Resi ever, a notion only heightened by the trailer's other big revelation - fast zombies. We don't yet know whether they're the brain-dead ghouls of early Resi or the more advanced species from Resi 4, but either way they're taking a leaf out of 28 Days Later's book and rushing for their dinner. It's obvious what impact this will have on gameplay: no time to think, just react and shoot or get the hell out of there. And could there be vehicles to aid your escape from the run-o-zombies? Don't bet against it.

Throw in advanced physics that heighten the game's key themes of heat and cold (atmospherics now possible thanks to high def visuals), plus a storyline that looks to pick up after the events of Code Veronica and you have about the most eagerly-anticipated game this side of Halo 3.

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