Capcom has cautiously revealed more information about Resident Evil Online, the first PS2 game in the esteemed series since Shinji Mikami's high profile marriage to Nintendo. From the looks of screenshots which have been circulating since E3, it's a couple of steps back from the Cube versions, graphically, but the gameplay is vintage RE. Upsettingly, so are the mechanics.
Still, Resident Evil with four simultaneous players is anything but typical. Resident Evil Zero will give us a glimpse of how well co-operative gameplay works within the game world, but Resident Evil Online is a couple of steps beyond. Players will pick from eight characters - harmless residents of Raccoon City, the game's setting, including a police offer, a plumber, a surgeon and even a journalist. Players will be able to support one another by exchanging weapons and supporting wounded characters.
Although there will be security in numbers, we're expecting greater numbers of zombies to make up it, and we're also warned that in certain scenarios, players start out in complete different areas of the level.
Raccoon City may be in the grip of zombie turmoil, but Capcom is promising that some residents will survive and lurk as NPCs, ready to offer some advice, although the developer is refusing to be drawn on the plot. It is however thought that the game will take a similar organisational line to Sega's infinitely popular Phantasy Star Online.
There's still no official release date for the game, although we're being told to keep our eyes on the end of 2003.