You’ve probably seen the launch trailer for Resident Evil 6 by now and if you are of the same mindset of just about everybody I know then you are drooling and giddy with anticipation. This is where I step in and attempt to dispel all that joy and happiness; I’m nice like that you know.
It starts nicely enough by reintroducing Leon Kennedy and showcasing some pretty classic Resident evil scenes. We get enclosed corridors, T Virus zombies and some good looking city street sections. This is the sort of thing I’ve wanted from a Resident Evil game for some time, back to the roots of 1, 2 and 3 which I love so much. I can even forgive the later sections which show Leon in action in a more fast paced frantic style, partly because I could perceive these being more limited and also because sliding under an attacking zombie, spinning around and scoring a headshot on another one is damn cool. Unfortunately this is where any and all praise I have ends.
You see Leon is but one of three playable characters in this outing, the other two being Chris Redfield and an unknown mercenary type, these two appear to have their own play styles and here problems start jumping up all over the place. First up we have the new guy who from snippets of dialogue I have theorised is somehow naturally immune to the virus, he states ‘Not me, just my blood. Well the world can have it if someone ponies up the dough’ in response to his blonde companion (possibly Ashley from Resi 4?) saying ‘The world needs you’. This guys sections seem to be chase sequences where you flee a hulking nemesis type creature with a mechanical claw like arm. There looks to be a lot of corridor style ‘make it before he catches you’ bits interspersed with a melee focused action combat system and punctuated with what could be QTE battles with the tyrant. If this was to occur only a few times in the game I could maybe be content but I imagine it will be split almost equally three ways and a third of the game with this as a base is not on for a Resident Evil title.
Now the major disappointment, Chris’s part. When I saw what was going on here I couldn’t help but say out loud ‘What the fuck…’ here we have Gears of Resident Evil. Chris looks like he’s going to play like a god awful steroid pumped behemoth power sprinting to cover and opening fore with automatic weapons. If that weren’t bad enough his enemies look very like the Las Plagas infected of the last outing, as well as non-infected gun toting gang members. There is so much I loathe about the inclusion of this sort of gameplay in a Resident Evil title that it’s hard to put it into a coherent structure not punctuated by profanity but I shall have a go. Why include Las Plagas AND the T Virus when it’s the later that we all want to see back? Las Plagas was rubbish in 5, if that is what it is in 6 it’s going to be rubbish again. More to the point why have non-infected people shooting at you? There is simply no need and the only thing I can think of for its inclusion is to try and lure in people from GoW and its countless clones. Don’t misunderstand me here I have no problem with cover based shooting, as you may know the Mass Effect series is one of my all time favourites. My issue is that they’ve put it into what I was hoping would be a survival horror game like its predecessors. These mechanics have no place in a Resident Evil game, not even a little tiny remotely justifiable place.
So that’s that over with. I can only hope that the 3DS ‘Resident Evil Revelations’ which I have recently started and will review shortly puts some faith back into a steadily declining franchise. A friend of mine made a point the other day that I shall end on. There’s nothing wrong with them making the huge budget titles such as this one to bring in the big bucks, but why not release shorter, perhaps serial ‘proper’ Resident Evil games on XBLA or PSN? Given the taint that has been put on the series already I could totally go along with this. Several hundred points for a spot of true survival horror that we very rarely get these days sounds good to me. Hell they wouldn’t necessarily have to be short, ‘I Am Alive’ looks to be a stunning game and that’s going to be download only. So how about it Capcom, give us purist fans what we want, please?