Resident Evil Online
How the hell will Capcom take Resident Evil online? That's been our question since this project was announced years ago: How can Resident Evil's traditionally awkward combat system and solitary, story-driven gameplay work as an online multiplayer title? It's like trying to imagine Star Wars as a one-man off-Broadway play--you just have no idea what to expect. A first-person shooter in which players choose to play as either police or zombies? That was rumored at one point. A racer with classic RE characters and zombies zipping through the burning streets of Raccoon City on wee go-karts? OK, no, that's just stupid.
Turns out Capcom's plan is far less radical: Keep the basic RE structure--a third-person adventure based on finding keys, solving puzzles, and fighting zombies--and shift the gameplay so that instead of competing against each other, two to four players must work as a team to survive. liRE Online is meant to be a cooperative game," says Capcom Product Manager Robert Johnson. "You definitely want your partners to stay alive. If there's not four players there, it's going to be difficult." Outside the obvious benefit of additional guns helping to keep those damn dirty zombies' paws off you, players can help each other by trading items (ammo, healing herbs, etc.), unlocking parts of the game only their character can open, solving puzzles together, and even saving each other from traps. Johnson gives an example: "At one point, you enter this bathroom--suddenly, the door shuts and poison gas shoots out. You've got to scream for help, and if another player doesn't come to rescue you, you're dead."
But other players aren't the only people who can help you; at least eight computer-controlled citizens are waiting somewhere in the game. The interesting part about these nonplayer characters is that their reactions depend on your actions and which character you're playing. They could run away, help you fight, unlock new areas of the map, or even betray and attack you. As a trailer for RE Online ominously states, "Your best friend may be your worst foe..."