Seeing mixed reviews on amazon for this game initially put me off as several people found large faults with the gameplay. Having taken the gamble recently I can honestly say that I can't see where much of the criticism is based, particularly with reference to all the RE4 comparisons.
In the end this is a highly enjoyable shooter-romp with superb production values and easily deserves the sales (if not the press) accolades it is receiving. Whether you're a RE fan or newbie like myself its great to play through these atmospheric (and well-rendered) environments from the FP view.
First things first, it may appear to be a lightgun game but typical it is not. It bares almost no similarity to HOD, Time Crisis or Virtua Cop. Yes it is on rails, and yes it is essentially repetitive but that is where the similarity ends, and this is why REUC excels at what it does.
Firstly it plays out much more like a traditional FPS than you'd expect. There is a sound game engine with destructible environments and hoards of enemies that don't always come at you the same way. Depending on how you manage your weapons you can be picking of enemies at a distance with precision aiming or fighting them off close-up with melee attacks and shotguns.
And this is where I counter many of the game's critics. The control system is perfect for the gameplay. Rather than the unconnected and over the top blasting of SEGA lightgun games, REUC relies on the wii-mote's precision qualities. It may take time to get used to, but once you realise that the game is supposed to be a slow burning, tense, amd accurate shooter, you really appreciate its strengths. In the end it takes concentration, perfect head-shots and great weapon management to complete the game and this, on top of the brilliant graphics atmospherics makes REUC a highly tense, rewarding affair
Other complaints come from the on-rails game play itself. I, like many people was a new fan of the RE4 wii-edition. However, I was not a fan of light-gun games and so this purchase represented a risk. In the end i found i liked REUC for exactly the same reasons i liked RE4.
If you are one of the people who enjoyed RE4 for those moments where you were backed into a corner surrounde by 20 zombies with only your trusty pistol, desperatly saving your last shotgun round, then you'll love this.
Criticism that REUC doesn't allow you to explore is ridiculous for 2 reasons. Firstly this game was never intended or marketed as anything other than an on-rails shooter. Secondly, RE4 is one of the most brilliant but LINEAR experiences of the last console generation and as a resulty I honestly have not noticed one jot that I'm not controlling the exact movement of the player in REUC.
Its also refreshign to see a third party developer put time and lvoe into the production values. The graphics engine is as solid as that of RE4 with lovely ligthing and atmoshpere, if not quite the variety of its sibling. Cutscenes are great and tread that perfect hammy 'macho man and innocent defenceless woman' line beloved of many Japanese games,and in particualr the RE series.
So overall a top notch release. This review has tried to be as objective and realistic as possible to help those put off my less considered reviews (which almost stopped me from buying it). Yes its on-rails, yes its hard, yes it can get repetitive (but what action games doesn;t?) But with great production values, superb controls and an atmosphere loyal to the RE series, I couldn't recommend this game more.