At a Glance: Resident Evil 6
Posted by wastelander75 , 21 May 2012 · 539 views
Resident Evil Resident Evil 6 Chris Leon Zombies Shooter 2012 Xbox 360 PS3 Capcom
A Restful Grave, You Shall Find Not
In broken crypts
disturbed by disingenuous men,
the dead awaken.
Fair flesh made feast
for grey and burrowed,
in the deepening cold
no longer hallowed
by the desecration
of these disingenuous men.
Blood and bone once buried,
again they rise.
To slake a hunger for blood,
and for the living flesh.
It is a hunger
that shall never be filled
like black storm clouds
covering the plain.
The dead walk among the living,
a pale and decrepit horde.
And for those who walk
through their dread shadow,
Hear whispered words
from Death itself;
"Abandon all hope
All ye who enter here....."
The dead are once again stirring.
And it seems that, due in no small part to the success of Resident Evil 5 (and to some extent, the sleeper hit Operation Raccoon City), we no longer have to face the dead horde alone. In fact, we can almost hope that certain canon characters will be meeting up for the first time in franchise history, if only for a brief nod to the threads that bind them all together. The only downside to the event is that players should brace themselves for the series to let go the slow crawl in "dynamic tension" (i.e. facing about three or four zombies with only six bullets left in your handgun) for more of the action-adventure flavor they introduced in Operation Raccoon City.
In fact, in a recent interview with Gamasutra, Capcom Producer Masachika Kawata let it be known that the further the series can get from that "slow crawl" gameplay, the better. "I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction," Kawata said. "Resident Evil needs to be an extension of the changes made in Resident 4 and [more importantly] Resident 5. RE 4 started in that direction, and RE 5 kept going in that direction. And I think that, especially for the North American market, we need to keep going in that direction and take [it] a step further."
While one might question that decision, considering that the series was founded on the slow build-up of tension and fear that survival horror games are known for, Mr. Kawata is more Devil's Advocate, looking at the bigger picture. One that can best sustain the series in the long run. "Looking at the data [for survival horror games] the market is small, compared to the number of units Call of Duty and all those action games sell," he said. "A 'survival horror' Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kind of numbers. But....," Kawata says to give hope to the hopeless, ".....I don't think that [RE 6] necessarily has to go all the way in that direction, the Call of Duty direction. It doesn't have to be a straight up shooter."
From a storyboard standpoint, expect differing branches that allow players to experience the same events through the eyes of old veterans, and new recruits alike. Capcom Director Eiichiro Sasaki explains; "The three characters each have their own story and you can choose whichever one you want and play. In terms of length, each character’s story is a little bit less than RE 5 but when you combine them together you’re getting something that is much longer," he says.
Beyond the ability to play as either Leon S. Kennedy or Chris Redfield, expect to play as newcomer Jake Muller, the son of long-time Resident Evil series antagonist Albert Wesker. "While each character’s story stands alone," Sasaki says, "all of the characters wind up in the same area of the game, in China, so there is a certain level of overlap. They stand on their own but they do overlap in certain areas. You don’t have to play them all, of course."
Mr. Sasaki was rather excited in introducing Jake to the RE universe. While trying to be as spoiler-free as possible, he was hopeful that his introduction to the series will pay off and lead to bigger and better things for this up-and-comer. "If you look at the characters in this game you’ll see differences in the way you can use them," he says. "You got to see a little bit of Jake and if you look at what Jake does, he’s not always using a gun. So because of that, the way you control him is going to be different throughout his levels....you’ll see there are many cases where Jake is not using [a weapon], so what that means for the player in how you control him is very exciting but it’s not something we’re talking about in a lot of detail right now."
Yes, despite the movies, you can expect to see a lot of the real faces that help to propel the video game series forward in the first place. "I think fans of the series will get a lot from seeing Leon and Chris [together]," says Capcom Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi. "They know those characters and it will mean a lot to them to be able to play as them again. But the way we’ve designed this game, we’ve created a backstory for the new characters that makes them a part of the Resident Evil world, they’re going to be new to everyone whether you’re a fan of the series or new to it."
"We want as many people to play this game as possible," he goes on to say, "which means a lot of new people will play too. So, for example, in Leon’s story you saw that he shoots the president at the beginning. That friendship with the president, even fans of the series are new to that. So Leon’s relationship to the president is something both fans and new players will experience at the same time. Even if you don’t have a previous relationship to Leon or Chris you’ll still be able to understand who they are. If you are a fan, it just adds that much more to your understanding of those characters, but you don’t need a knowledge of the previous games to enjoy the story in this game."
As far as enemies go, expect to see some, but not all, of the creeping critters that made past Resident Evil games such a blast to play. However, with the virus that originally made them now mutating even further, expect to see some new and creative challenges in the form of what the devs are calling "J'avo Mutants."
"When you shoot them in a body part, that body part will regenerate as something mutated," Hirabayashi explains. "One of them is that the arm [may turn] into a scythe, or the other [becomes a] big arm that reaches out and grabs you." Hirabayashi explains that these mutated creatures have a plethora of mutational effects, and that the scythe and larger arm mutations are simply the tip of the iceberg on what to expect from these creatures.
And if that wasn't bad enough, expect these J'avo to improvise their attacks across the game's narrative. "For example," Hirabayashi hints, "the J’avo can use weapons and guns. So it could be shooting at you but then you shoot its arm off and it becomes a scythe. So now the action has changed. Before it was shooting at you from a distance, now it’s running up and trying to get in close to cut you. So the way you fight that J’avo changes. While you’re fighting a bunch of J’avo, the way you damage them will affect the way they mutate and, depending on how they mutate, that affects the way they attack you. So there’s always a sense of tension when you fight [one]."
Great, zombies that shoot back. I'm so screwed.
Resident Evil 6 is on track for an October 2012 release.
Start saving your bullets now.....