When we originally saw Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, it wasn't hard to figure out that it was an on-rails shooter, even without having to touch it. Now that we've finally gotten the Wii remote and the nunchuk in our hands, we can confirm, once again, that it is an on-rails shooter. A particularly boring one at that.
Umbrella Chronicles earned it's new moniker, House of the Resident Evil, by feeling like just that. Our demo of the title had us going through the mansion from the original Resident Evil, only at turbo speed. The Wii remote was used to aim a cursor on the screen, while the nunchuk was largely useless, used only to look around. Inexplicably, reloading is done by waggling the remote, thus becoming a nuisance during hectic scenes. You know, because it's not like the nunchuk doesn't have motion sensors or anything.
Gallery: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles | 33 Photos
It's safe to say that Umbrella Chronicles is a step above the short-lived Gun Survivor series, but that can't really be considered praise either. It largely consists of zombies and other Resident Evil favorites scrambling into view while you shoot, reload and shoot some more. Items are picked up in the light-gun tradition of shooting at them, at which point you then keep shooting. Not contained to just the mansion, Umbrella Chronicles will take players to locations last seen in in RE0, RE2 and RE3, which makes it a fanboy rodeo but no more interesting.
The reason why you don't see many people talking about how "awesome" the latest Time Crisis is (did you realize they're up to four? Probably not.) is because the genre has failed to evolved into anything worth mentioning and unfortunately, replacing a plastic toy gun with a remote doesn't change anything in the slightest. Umbrella Chronicles comes off like an excuse to sell ridiculous plastic shells which, hilariously enough, wouldn't function properly with their control setup.
There is currently no release date in sight for Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.