Back in the early days of the PlayStation, Resident Evil was a must-have game. The definitive survival horror game, it aimed to give players the experience of a videogame that delivered the frights and intense atmosphere of a horror movie. The gameplay involved claustrophobic fixed view cameras and required the player to blast at horrific groaning zombies. Two sequels followed for the Sony console, as well as some special editions and a lightgun spin-off. When RE: Code Veronica appeared on the Dreamcast, the graphics and gameplay developed in line with the then-new console's awesome powers. Since then, the series has continued on PS2 in third-person and lightgun versions. In 2002, the franchise came to GameCube with two titles: RE: Zero, an all-new prequel, and Resident Evil, a remake of the original. This remake, regarded as a worthy and laudable endeavour by some, and something of a white elephant by others, was perhaps the first game to show what Nintendo's diminutive and easily underestimated console was really capable of. The terrifying mansion, rendered in real and vibrant 3D rather than pre-rendered graphics, looked amazing. But as new versions arrived on the PS2, it was easy to believe that Capcom were hesitant to commit fully to the Nintendo system. In something of a departure, the fourth instalment in the series proper debuted on GameCube, and was followed inevitably by release on other - more popular - consoles.
As a result of the game already having been in the public domain so long, the storyline is well known, but here's a quick thumbnail for you: the horrific incidents at Raccoon City now exist only in the memories of those who witnessed them. Leon, a US Secret Agent, is assigned to investigate the kidnapping of the President's daughter, and is led to a rural part of Europe in his quest. When he stops to ask directions, he is attacked by hideous monsters that he had assumed were human. Now his only choice is to battle for survival and hope to somehow find what the source of the creatures is. As well as having still very impressive graphics, the game is now played in a free-roaming environment rather than a series of fixed viewpoint scenes. Most exciting for horror fans is the inclusion of a new weapon, the shotgun, which tears chunks out of more than one enemy at a time; it's just as well, because ammo is limited. The creatures you battle all react convincingly depending on where you shoot them.
And shooting these creatures takes on a whole new dimension with the Wii Edition of Resident Evil 4. Players can now use the Wii Remote to aim, fire, slash and avoid the baddies with intuitive movements. RE4 Wii Edition also includes the content from the PS2 iteration which, if you recall, boasted a selection of extras.