Resident Evil 6 Preview
It’s an iconic franchise and one that deserves a top-quality installment that makes the long-time fans rise and applaud. After the debut trailer apparently generated an overwhelmingly positive reaction, publisher Capcom pushed the game up from its initial November 20 date to October 2. Some of the veteran followers don’t like the new action-oriented approach and the switch from classic survival/horror to what the developers are calling “dramatic horror,” but we really just want a fantastic game. Provided it’s amazing, genre is irrelevant, right?
There will be three protagonists in the game; those in-the-know will recognize the familiar names of Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield, and although the name Jake Muller is new, his father’s name isn’t…yep, it’s Albert Wesker’s son. But is he as maniacal as dear ol’ dad, who has given gamers fits in the past? Well, you’ll find out during the course of the storyline; each of the three characters has a story to tell, and their paths will cross as you progress. Leon starts off in the town of Tall Oaks where a bioterrorist attack has turned everyone into zombies, Chris is in China, and Jake is in some fictional European town called Edonia.
During the gameplay, you will be accompanied by a partner, as we were in Resident Evil 5. At first, the idea of a partner mechanic annoys me, but I remain optimistic as the cooperative style worked extremely well in RE5; Sheva was capable and effective and above all else, not a nuisance. Therefore, when we’re playing Leon and US security service agent Helena Harper is by our side, we should expect nothing less than a Grade A partner, yes? Chris gets sniper Piers Nivans and Jake brings along Sherry Birkin, the daughter of Umbrella scientist William Birkin.
You can choose your order of play; if you’d like to go with Chris first, feel free. This reminds me of the branching stories of the three protagonists in Suikoden III but that’s my RPG past shining through, and it’s mostly irrelevant. …anyway. Speaking of gameplay, Capcom has promised a set of all new controls, which is great news because let’s face it— The tank controls just aren’t cutting it anymore, and it especially seemed out of place against faster zombies and monsters in RE5. Tradition is great but sometimes, we really need to embrace better mechanics.
So yeah, you’ll be able to move and shoot at the same time; a common staple of gaming today, but it’ll happen for the first time in this venerable franchise. We’ll even be able to dual-wield and go prone, two very action-y concepts that definitely add new flavor to the series. Oh, and I should probably add that some of the zombies will have weapons, too, so it won’t be like shooting fish in a barrel, as it has often been throughout RE’s history. If you’re particularly crafty and resourceful, you can grab a zombie’s weapon and keep it for yourself…
Lastly, Capcom claims to keep the pacing and style of traditional survival/horror, as the ambiance will be exactly what one would expect: From exploring creepy, dark rooms to sudden, terrifying frights; a rollercoaster ride that is bound to keep us on the edges of our seats. Well, that’s the goal, at any rate. And provided Capcom comes through with stable, responsive controls, intriguing story segments, and a memorable atmosphere that keeps us playing, Resident Evil 6 should be a big-time winner.
4/19/2012 Ben Dutka