I know I never got around to doing a 2011 recap post. Currently it's a work in progress and I've been a little busy with other tasks lately. I promised more blog activity this year and it will surely come. I just have to adjust my blog activity to my new schedule. Nonetheless I figured I can at least get a quick post in about some good news that was released yesterday from Capcom in the form of a trailer and press release regarding the next entry in the Resident Evil franchise. Hey, I know I previously bashed the movies but they're a whole other entity apart from the game franchise. And quite frankly this new game is looking pretty interesting. Here's the trailer and then I'll bring up a few interesting talking points following it.
All right, lets get down to it. First off we've got the return of every one's favorite Resident Evil protagonist, Leon Kennedy. To be fair, he's not particularly my favorite protagonist but I will admit that the character was used in possibly the best Resident Evil game to date in Resident Evil 4. Anyway, I like the idea they're toying with here as it expands on what was built in the last two games. From Resident Evil 4 we know that Leon has been working for the president so it kind of puts the character in a bind when the president says he's going to reveal the truth about the Raccoon City incident. Okay, this is more story oriented but it relates to the fact that this takes place in more of a old school Resident Evil kind of environment. The following action scenes show chaos in the streets and some pretty dark, more survival horror oriented atmosphere which has been missing from the series for the last two games. The plus side though seems to be some changes to the gameplay mechanics of the game. Resident Evil characters have always had what fans have come to refer to as "tank" controls. The characters were slow moving, you could only aim standing still and your range of movement was just all around limited. Thankfully this doesn't seem to be the case.
At one point I think you even see Leon shooting from the ground on his back which is pretty revolutionary for this series. It's not the first time we've seen something like this recently. If you take a look back a few posts ago at my Max Payne 3 blog post you'll see Rockstar is doing something similar. Not to take anything away from Capcom for doing this. It's still a great change and anything that helps the player not get ripped apart by zombies is a good thing. Should be interesting to see how this relates to the slower pace of the more survival horror oriented portion of this game. And on a brief side note, I have to mention that the character model for Leon looks amazing.
Next up we see one of Resident Evil 5's heroes in Chris Redfield, still working for the same company as the last game. The location of course has switched to what we now know is China thanks to Capcom's press release. Neon lights and all, I have to say it strikes me more as being somewhere in Japan but hey, I'll go with what Capcom says. In any case the story for this particular section seems to be that there is some bio-terrorism attack being unleashed in China and Chris' team has been dispatched to deal with it. No idea how this relates to Leon's section of the story but like before we can glean a few interesting tidbits relating to the actual gameplay. For one it seems there's almost a Assassin's Creed like system at play here in terms of characters moving alongside non-playable characters. We see Chris actually push a citizen aside as he walks by instead of his movement being deterred by them. Minor but that can be handy. Also right after this he launches into a full blown sprint. The fact that the game finally gives us the ability to run is kind of huge. Why it took 6 entries into the series to do this I have no idea but with smarter, faster enemies this will actually be crucial.
It also appears that some of the combat in Chris' scenario will require cover based action. Resident Evil 5 did see a few rare moments later in the game when the enemies began to attack with weapons which required you and your co-op partner to actually use cover. It wasn't implemented very well but from what I've seen in the short gameplay clips here they have greatly expanded on it. Chris' scene also seem to reveal some all new bio-weapons. These aren't your run of the mill zombies or lickers from prior series. Personally I do hope the lickers make a return as they're my favorite creature from the series. No signs of them yet but hey, we've got a ways to go in terms of coverage.
|RE6's mystery character|
The next scenario we catch before the buffet of gameplay action is kind of a toss up. It appears to be a totally new character alongside a character that could possibly be familiar(Sherry Birkin or Ashley). This section is the one that's got some rampant discussion going trying to figure out who these two characters are. Nonetheless, the character seems to have a focus of melee combat versus the gunplay seen with Leon and Chris. It's a nice departure from the regular shoot everything tactics and leans more towards Capcom's Mercenaries mode which saw melee attacks used more often to conserve ammo. In that regard, the only character we've ever seen to really use melee combat in the series versus anyone was Wesker who was killed at the end of Resident Evil 5. Take that for what it's worth but my bet is on this new character being tied in to Wesker in some way. Currently waiting for more details to leak out on this but so far this has more of my attention than the other scenarios.
Overall I'd say the trailer successfully hyped me up for the upcoming game. The action seems to be ramped up much like it was in Resident Evil 4 and 5 while blending some of the atmosphere from the creepier games; tight spaces, the lack of light and pop out scares. Though part of the charm of survival horror games was the fact that you did indeed have to use your wits and couldn't blast through everything. I'd love to see a return to conserving your ammo and carefully crafting the perfect inventory for getting the job done. I also look forward to the new additions to the gameplay. Finally giving a full revision to the tank controls with something more modern is a big step. Some people question if making the character more mobile will take away from the fear induced by knowing that the tank controls limited the way you could engage the zombies. I like to take into account the fact that these aren't the same slow moving zombies we once knew. That just doesn't work against human enemies either. It remains to be seen how it will actually play out but I'd like to think this will be for the better.
Resident Evil 6 releases in November of 2012. Expect to hear more of it in the coming months as we approach E3, Gamescom, and eventually the Tokyo Game Show.