Resident Evil will return to PlayStation 2 this winter when Capcom revisits the Outbreak strain of its infectious survival horror series. Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 will once again be exclusive to the Sony format, with the same cast of characters and new dangers including zombie elephants. Tsk.
Further details from Famitsu Weekly's unveiling of the game last week eked out while we were scoffing chocolate this Easter weekend, and confirm that players will once again pick from eight everyday folks from the infamous Raccoon City as they join forces and try to contain a plague that seems to be turning people into the living dead.
None of which was all that hard to guestimate in advance. However, less familiar elements are borne out in a batch of screenshots we've stumbled upon, which show off locations ranging from a greenhouse to a diner to a zombie zoo, complete with undead animals, most of whom appear to have made it out of their cages without much difficulty. It also looks like we'll be able to swim around in certain areas, although we doubt it'll be any safer going.
Capcom also plans to retain the game's online modes, with four-player co-operative play, although there's no word on whether the developer plans to introduce voice communications this time around. Nor is there any confirmation that the game will be online in its PAL incarnation - the only version of the original to miss out on PS2 Online options - although recent comments from Capcom indicate that progress is being made.
Less likely on the European front is support for the PS2 hard disk, which has still yet to make an appearance on these shores. Sony remains quiet on the issue, and we're beginning to give up all hope. We hope something happens soon - anything - just to help speed up those loading screens...
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 is due out in Japan this winter, and will almost certainly make an appearance at E3 next month. If it does, you can be sure we'll be on hand to take account of it.