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Even in-the-same-room cooperative play - immediately accessed by turning on another controller - is better than expected. I hate split-screen action, but here, a pair of rectangular windows open on opposite ends of the television screen for an equal view of each character’s action. Suffice to report, the bigger the screen, the better the experience.

Pixel-popping scale: 8.5 out of 10. Fantastic production values make this latest game infinitely more exciting than any of the live-action “Resident Evil” movies. The extensive use of motion-capture technologies offers a new level of realism to the franchise. Also, the monsters are just plain gross nightmares.

The bad: Why can’t I move and shoot at the same time? Why doesn’t the action pause when I access my inventory to choose another weapon or heal myself? Do I look like I need this kind of stress?

Extras and unlockables: Explore to find treaures that have been dropped by enemies or hidden in environments that then can be sold for gold to buy and upgrade weapons. Also, shoot hidden BSAA logos to help unlock three-dimensional action figures of the characters. Finish the game to enjoy a frightening free-for-all-style mercenary mode.

The collector’s edition includes a full-size cloth Tricell messenger bag, a miniature Redfield figurine, a BSAA patch, a Kijuju pendant and a bonus DVD highlighted by a making-of-the-game documentary.

Read all about it: WildStorm Productions offers a six-issue comic-book miniseries called, surprisingly enough, Resident Evil ($3.99). The just-released first issue not only chronicles missions involving the BSAA but also acts as a prequel to the game.

What’s it worth: Resident Evil has evolved from a pure survival horror experience to an action-packed blockbuster that Ridley Scott might have directed. I gotta tell ya, I miss the old days of everything going bump in the middle of the night, but I could get used to the guaranteed panic attacks in broad daylight.

* Visit Zadzooks at the blog section of The Washington Times’ Community pages (www.washingtontimes.com/communities/zadzooks).