Resident Evil 4

Special Wii edition heading our way

When the Resident Evil series was announced as a Nintendo exclusive1 way back in 2001, a collection of remakes of the earlier titles was followed up by the unbelievably good Resident Evil 4 - not just the number one reason to own a GameCube but probably one of the best games ever made.

However, the exclusivity didn't last very long at all, as Capcom sought to bring their expensively produced game to a wider audience. A PS2 version arrived barely nine months later, and it was no longer simply GameCube's finest moment.

In fact, the PS2 version had a handful of excellent enhancements, including new equipment, new rewards and a couple of new weapons - one of which you'd be given after finishing the game on professional difficulty.


Graphical comparison
So Nintendo fans, while they enjoyed a better-looking game, missed out on some great content. Which is why Capcom's coders have reworked the game once again, and are releasing the PS2 version on Wii - this time with superior PS2-shaming visuals and a reworked motion-sensing control system that uses the remote for faster aiming.

The most significant addition is Separate Ways - an Ada Wong side-mission that takes place in the same timeframe as Leon's original quest, revealing what she gets up to while she's away from the spotlight. It explains a little of why she's shadowing Leon in the first place, and helps fill in a couple of mysterious gaps in the original plot.

Separate Ways is split into five chapters and includes two boss fights. As far as we're concerned, it's worth the price of admission on its own, and was the one big reason to pick up a copy of the PS2 version even after exploring every inch of the original... but then we are rabid Resi 4 fans.

Returning to its host format also means some significant improvements to the graphics, which were simplified for the PS2 version. The excellent water effects, the realistic lighting and the detailed models for even the most common enemies never made it to PS2, but they'll be back on Wii.

Fogging was added to the PS2 version to reduce draw distance, and the realtime cutscenes were replaced with videos recorded from the GameCube original. This meant that the characters always wore the same clothes, no matter which costumes you'd unlocked during the game. So now you'll be able to see the two new outfits, introduced for the PS2, for the first time in cutscenes.

Totally new
As for the Wii-specific enhancements, the aiming is controlled by the remote, which should be particularly pleasing given the unrivalled solidity of the game's weapons - it's probably the most satisfying shooting game ever. To equip a knife - to save precious ammo when breaking open item boxes - you'll hold B and slash with the remote. Waggling the remote also reloads your gun.


If there's anything else to be added, Capcom's spokesfolks are keeping schtum. Given that it only took nine months for them to port a title designed from the ground up for GameCube to an entirely different sort of machine and cram in a bunch of extras, who knows what other bits are left on the cutting room floor, waiting to be polished up? But even if Resident Evil 4 does turn out to be 'just' the PS2 version with better graphics and new controls, it will still be an absolute must on Wii this summer.