E3 2012 Preview: Resident Evil 6
posted on 06.10.12 at 12:52 PM EDT by (@sqexgal)
Three interacting campaigns. Four-player multiplayer.

One of this year’s most anticipated releases, Resident Evil 6 was easily one E3’s biggest highlights. The upcoming mainline entry in the zombie-slaughtering horror series introduces new enemies, new friends, and new action. 

Resident Evil 6 adds a handful of new characters alongside well-loved and familiar faces. This time, players will be able to choose between three interacting character campaigns: Leon S. Kennedy and Helena Harper, Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin, and Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans. There are moments when these three storylines crossover – in these stages, players will be able to participate in a four-person multiplayer mode. If your friends aren’t available, you can fill in each spot with random online players, or allow the AI to control the remaining characters.

The game’s story picks up in 2013, when the current U.S. president decides to reveal the truth about the events of Racoon City in 1998 in an effort to dissipate biochemical terrorism. However, he winds up becoming infected by the C-Virus, a stronger mutation of the familiar T-Virus from prior games. Along with the infestation of zombies that follows, new enemies called the J’avo are introduced, and they are far fiercer than the average zombie. Not only can they wield weapons and work in groups to some level of intelligence, but they can also cure themselves.

With an introduction from the game’s producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, the closed demonstration shown to us introduced a scene where Leon and Helena are in pursuit of a suspicious individual amidst a burning junkyard. Jake and Sherry happen to be on their way to report to the individual Leon is pursuing, causing Leon to get forceful and demand that Sherry spill the details. Sensing tension, Jake protectively defends Sherry, much to Leon’s disgruntled dismay.

Before their bravado overpowers the scene, the J’avo attacks. This particular J’avo has an arm that serves as an apparatus for different weapons. Not only that, he has a cage on his back with room for one.

This stage demonstrates a situation where four-person multiplayer could come into effect. The groups become separated by the J’avo. Meanwhile, Jake is trapped in the cage on the creature’s back. During this demonstration, we didn’t see what Helena was doing, but on the other side, Leon and Sherry work together to put a vehicle in motion to attack the creature and to rejoin their partners.

Gameplay-wise, it’s apparent that many changes have been implemented since Resident Evil 5. For instance, characters can move and shoot simultaneously. The familiar button pressing action sequences are still prevalent, but the actions that take place are far more fluent and exciting. From watching alone, it’s easy to see how the mechanics of their combat have improved and become a more fluid motion. For example, rather than standing to break a crate for ammo, now players can slide, kick, and smash into them in order to keep the battles from becoming static. Along with that, healing your partners can be done mid-battle, without pausing to equip weapons, which is very useful during these intense group fights.

Each character’s combat styles are different. Leon is a powerhouse, and has the ability to wield two guns simultaneously. Jake’s character is known for his talent at sharp shooting, so naturally he is a better sniper. On the other hand, Sherry is the only character who can use the stun gun. The attention paid to each character’s individual traits really helps break Resident Evil 6 from the mold of aim-and-slaughter zombie shooters. It’s also a fun aspect that players can look forward to during multiplayer if they have a preference.

From my own experience, Resident Evil 5 was a clone of Resident Evil 4 as far as gameplay went. But after seeing Resident Evil 6 in action, it seems that that monotony has been broken, and the game looks to be the best in the series yet. The game will launch for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 2, with a PC version to launch sometime after.

If you missed the E3 trailer and screenshots, catch them here. If you missed the 60 minutes of gameplay footage, watch it here.

  • Nagi

    “it seems that that monotony has been broken, and the game looks to be the best in the series yet.”

    Wow, that is a pretty bold statement, considering that RE2, REmake, and RE4 are all highly regarded by their respective fan bases. That is a lot to live up to.

    • RedWolfe

      @Nagi: Unfortunately this series will never live up to “fan” expectation.

      As is the case with so many long running series, such as this one, the “fans” have their nostalgia goggles on and harp on the “good ole days” of fixed camera angles, tank controls and jump scares (excluding nemesis, that dude was legit creepy) that defined the earlier games in the series. It may have worked back then but the formula was getting stale and needed to change.

      However, we all know how much gamers LOVE change (hint: not at all).

      Whiny people like that don’t know what they want and developers are often damned if they do, damned if they don’t when it comes to situations like this and it’s pretty annoying at this point to look up an article or video about this game and see an endless wall of bitching about how it’s not like the old games.

      It’s been more than 10 YEARS since those games came out. Like…seriously guys, c’mon.

      • rockman29

        @RedWolfe: Pretty sure Resident Evil 4 came out out in 2005. That should be 7 years ago. As far as I am aware, the days were pretty fine in 2005 for Gamecube and Playstation 2 players.

        I can sympathize with people who are worried about the next entry. I was as excited, and as disappointed, with Resident Evil 5 as the next person. I enjoyed the game a heck of a lot and thought it was a lot of fun, but I’m not just putting my goggles on in saying it was missing a lot of why the series got all of our love in the first place.

        Besides, if what you’re saying is true, everyone would have hated the pants out of Resident Evil 4, and obviously that wasn’t the case. This ‘rose-tinted-nostalgia-goggles’ argument doesn’t hold it’s water anymore; it’s just an overused meme for people who are too lazy to look at the game themselves and form their own opinion. Nothing is better just by default.

        To be honest, the interface looks a little boring. I get how it’s all Dead Space and you don’t have a menu anymore, but fitting stuff into a box is a lot of fun. I’m going to miss that sort of stuff. Managing inventory is a heck of a lot of fun to organize in some games. The UI is a little ugly, I’m not sure what to make of it. And Chris’ sections look positively lame so far. It’s the same cover shooter mechanics I did my best to not use in Resident Evil 5. The game looks good on all accounts though. It’s hard to say what the rest of the game is going to be like. I haven’t seen anything to say I want to write the game off or give it a free pass either.

        • RedWolfe

          @rockman29: In regards to the 10+ years ago, I was referring to the games that released for the original playstation.

          And it’s ironic that you say I’m not judging the game itself when I’m specifically referring to people who say that they don;t like the game BECAUSE it’s not like the older titles.

          Amyway, what I was getting at is: There are rational people, like you, who have legit criticisms about the game and for the most part I agree with. And then there are whiners who don’t like the game because it doesn’t play the old games or have very, imo, invalid criticisms.

          In the case of RE5, I enjoyed it and I thought it was a good game but even I have my own share of criticisms.

          However, you have “fans” that will tell you that it was just a straight up bad game because it wasn’t like the old games, which I guess defined the series for them.

          Then you have people who criticize 5 for not “playing” like 4 which is total BS because, from a pure gameplay standpoint, they played almost the same. Now, 5 was in the daylight and didn’t have a strong horror element, while there was a good mix of the two in 4. That’s a valid criticism though, and I agree with that.

          But then you ALSO have people who want RE6 to somehow play like REmake AND RE4 or something. What?

          I just think that some of the complaints are really ridiculous and the fans really don’t know what they want.

          I’m not saying that RE6 will be a sure-fire hit.

          All I’m saying is that there are so many people claiming the franchise is dead and saying that a game that hasn’t even released yet will suck because it doesn’t do this or that in the same way.

          And that’s what I meant in regards to what Nagi said. I know that with this game, Capcom is trying to cater to all of their audiences with each character having their own style of gameplay but this game has some pretty impossible fan expectations to live up to.

          Reminds me of Sonic fans, in a way.

      • Nagi

        @RedWolfe:

        A few things, first is it really change, or is it homogenizing the series to make it look like other leading titles in the industry?

        Some fans like change, its just when a series changes or abandons ideal characteristics that made it unique in the first place, people tend to get upset. Their are a lot of IP’s this gen that have crossed over to the point that their are not even recognizable anymore.

        I for one love change, sequels that take the form of spiritual successors and take on different directions in visuals, gameplay, and/or atmosphere (i.e. games like Zelda: The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Street Fighter III come to mind) retain more of my attention and receive more of my money than direct installments do.

        Hell, my favorite game being Chrono Cross is a big example of that, if you by any chance hold any interest in JRPGS, you would know that game is heavily despised by most Chrono Trigger fans for not being…well…for not being Chrono Trigger all over again, so I know where your coming from with your argument.

        However a personal preference of mine would be, to at least have a series stay within the genres they started in and retain some of the familiarity that made the series accepted in the first place.

        RE4 more or less is a good example when talking about the Resident Evil series, (and if they dialed down the action just a tad bit more, it would’ve been perfect).

        When an IP abandons the staples that made it unique in the first place, and fail to compensate by developing any other unique characteristics, and instead tries harder to emulate current trends, what reason do I have to support it?

        I already played my share action-based third person shooters…many gamers have, so unless Capcom plans on adding an amazing dynamic(s) to the formula, which quite frankly I haven’t seen since Vanquish (which by the way I’m still playing relentlessly XD) why should I go out my way?

        But…what we don’t have a lot of this generation are survivor/horror games. Can we get that? Can we get a Survivor/Horror game that is different from the previous installments, yet at the same time takes the genre to new heights, and achieve critical and commercial success? I don’t know maybe my idea is too farfetched

        The direction of RE6 doesn’t disappoint me, RE5 has already achieved that, but what gets me is that Capcom already knows they have a fragmented fanbase, and they are releasing multiple RE titles every year now.

        So…why don’t they just, make multiple games that go in different directions. Why make Resident Evil 6 all-out action, when you have Operation Raccoon City already doing the exact same thing?!

        • RedWolfe

          @Nagi: Read my comment above this one.

          The thing is I agree with you.

          I do want RE to remain a horror series. I was responding to pretty much your comment about living up to fan expectations.

          I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I think that, for the most part, fans know what defines the Resident Evil series to them but don’t really know how to give valuable input to the direction of the series besides taking all the aspects from the older titles, which defined the series and the genre (at the time).

          Of course I want the series to stay true to its staples but to many fans that means remaking the old games in HD. Some of the design choices may have worked at the time but when examining the competition, even purely in the horror genre, that’s really not the way to go at this point and the games needed to evolve from their earlier iterations.

          I guess the most relevant example would be Dead Space. Obviously not in terms of setting but I think gameplay and atmosphere wise, Dead Space represented the natural evolution of the RE4 gameplay but the atmosphere was still eerie and proved that you could still have a sense of horror without fixed camera angles and tank controls. I can’t really comment on two because I haven’t played it and obviously 3 which hasn’t been released.

          Am I saying that I want RE6 to basically be Dead Space? No, but it can take certain positive elements or mechanics from it and still feel like a Resident Evil game. I mean, in a sense, Uncharted borrowed essential gameplay mechanics from Gears (which probably borrowed from games before it) but they are still unique enough to feel like different games.

          But in the end I basically feel that regardless of what Capcom does with the series at this point, the “fan” expectation overall is just too bloated at this point to meet. You can easily see that in the comments section of any RE6 article when they dismiss it without the game even being released yet.

  • xMCXx

    RE4 was perfect. It had a perfect mix between horror and action elements.
    RE5 abandoned the horror elements in favor of action.
    Hopefully, RE6 brings the horror back to the series.

  • InternatlGamer3

    Sigh Capcom just stop milking RE after RE6. I look forward to this game, but only cause of Leon Kennedy fuck Chris Redfield. Besides CAPCOM you no longer hold the standard for Survival Horror. DEAD SPACE series does, and you can’t top that anymore.

    • xMCXx

      @InternatlGamer3:
      And now Dead Space 3 goes Coop and looks like a 3rd person shooter.
      Yeah…

      • RedWolfe

        @xMCXx: Hopefully the majority of the game won’t be like that and they just want to save all the suspense for the player(s) to experience themselves but yeah DS3’s showcase was legitimately surprising considering Visceral’s direction with the last two games.

        Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • RoboShinKen

    Lol @ people who hate RE5 but, like RE4.

    Seriously, people?

    The only difference between the two is the co-op multiplayer and a little less horror(RE4 didn’t have that much anyway)

    Personally, i find people just think RE4 is a better game due to Leon.

    I hold no grudge against the character but, Leon tends to have a “Sonic” effect.

    The sonic effect is “he’s in the game! so, obviously its better
    than any game before it!”

    I’m glad i play RE now for only Mercs.

    • rockman29

      @RoboShinKen: You can’t be serious… can you?

      Did you play Resident Evil 4? Yea, Leon is sexy (he actually looks kind of hideous in RE6), but honestly… that’s a horrible brush stroke you’re tossing around there. It sounds like you forgot about the huge variety in the gameplay and bosses, or the amazing upgrade system and huge variety of weapons, or the pretty elaborate loot and combine system, or the awesome shopkeeper, or the sweet inventory system, or the fact that a game like that didn’t even seem possible on the Gamecube, let alone Playstation 2.

      I’d prefer one character anyway, as long as it’s not steroid-jacked Chris, which still irks me to this day. I’d rather play as Claire Redfield. Anyway, were we all supposed to welcome the knee-jerk reaction to Chris’ design into a quasi space marine too? And honestly, throwing a three character cast that includes Chris Redfield just seems like a ‘throw everyone in there and hope it sticks’ kind of strategy.

      • RoboShinKen

        @rockman29: I’m dead serious. Of course, there are changes but, they weren’t anything that wasn’t leading to more changes.

        Capcom basically thought they were giving you MORE of what you wanted.(i would’ve too … If you liked the drastic change from RE3 to RE4)

        RE4 was revolutionary and RE5 expanded upon some aspects.(while leaving others behind)

        Now, RE6 will do the same but with RE5.(4 player co-op? anyone?)

        Also, yeah games like that were possible back then. I remember how blown away i was with DMC3.

        RE6 leon is the same … Its that horrid jacket he’s wearing now.

        Did you see how it looks like in real life?(Capcom’s 1000-ish dollar collection that comes with his jacket)

        I’d laugh my ass off if i saw someone wearing that.

        Anyway, back to topic.

        I may not have agreed with their decision on chris’s design but, i wasn’t a chris fan to begin with. So, yeah … it didn’t affect me.

        I see alot of people who hated chris or never cared for the character to begin with complain about his new redesign.

        Now, jill? Thats where i draw the line … RE5 and Revelations Jill makes me sick.(RE5 BSAA was decent though)

        I like variety in my games so, i actually enjoyed the three choices of characters … I liked the characters not the plot though.

        • rockman29

          @RoboShinKen: I think we are riding a totally different band of the spectrum, I’m not even sure I know what you are saying :)

          • RoboShinKen

            @rockman29: … seriously?

            You started a conversation between us … just to end it off like that.

            *wonders if you were trolling me*

  • FearMonkey

    Until Resident Evil gets back to survival horror, this series is dead to me. :(

    I’ll still watch the movies though. Mmmmmm…Milla Jovovich. <3

  • Zero

    Interesting discussion going on here.

    I haven’t kept up with this series much this generation, I will chime in on nostalgia and milking franchises.

    I think it is more or less a sign of enthusiast core gamers longing for the past. Gamers like the ones who post and read this very website.

    We grew up with video games, and during those times video games was a different beast. What was once a hobby for more or less a select crowd of people has turned into a huge business.

    This business aspect of video games fuels so much of the decisions and choices that studios make. It’s why we see less studios willing to take chances, or really allow developers to start new intellectual properties.

    It’s (absolutely – positively) why we see games mimic or sometimes flat out copy popular mechanics from other games. (Oh! …FPS genre is booming! We need to make the next game in this series an FPS! etc.)

    The model more or less now is, find a popular game, and then release as much of it as possible. (Call of Duty is obviously the first example that comes to mind. They pump out game after game, and if Activision could they would release even more.)

    I think this applies to long running franchises as well. It’s kind of a tug of war battle. Developers want to do something new? Publishers allow them to, but only if they do it with well known franchises.

    Sometimes that leads to the next game in a long running franchise coming out… and fans pick it up only to feel something is missing. I think the quick answer they arrive on is more or less, the past games were much better, or something like that.

    Yes, that does mean some fans have the nostalgia goggles on, but other times I think fans just feel lost, and with a long time franchise you expect to boot it up and it feel familiar. Nostalgia is part of the DNA of long running series. Not just in games, but book and movies. (When you go to watch the new Bond film, you expect to see “Bond” like things, and have those “Bond” like moments.)

    With games, it might be something like… They are playing it for a bit and something happens, or they learn a new ability, or something like that… whatever it is, it makes the player say –

    Oh, yeah, this is a so and so game right here.

    I think that helps fans settle into the experience.

    When you change things up so much, I think long time fans do kinda panic at first. First impressions in video games can often times make or break the entire experience for the player.

    The truth is ugly. Most of these new games coming out have one primary goal. Sell tons of copies.

    They hope it more or less can catch fire and become the new “it” software. Right now that title goes to CoD, but publishers all across the world are trying to create the successor to CoD everyday.

    Some are literally just creating FPS games and trying to take over that way, others are tweaking or flat out changing long running series, and a select few are doing it the old school way and making brand new games that they hope turn into the next blockbuster.

    All about the money. And yes…that is slowly but surely hurting video games.

    Edit: What does this have to do with RE6? I think most of the changes are fueled by what I said above. How can we get RE6 to sell more copies? We should just try and make it more like this game or that game, we should put in these mechanics, they were in this game that sold really well. We might draw in fans of this game because we have this in RE6. That type of thinking results in a final product that sometimes feels like something is missing. Does it want to be this type of game, or that type of game? When people are asking questions and confused as to what the game is trying to be, that in itself is part of the problem.

    And let me be clear, I think the above applies to many other games from various studios. It’s not just a Capcom problem or a Resident Evil problem. Absolutely not! You can plug in different titles to the above, just replace RE6 with whatever the games title is.

    That does not mean RE6 is suffering from this problem. Not at all I said above I have not kept up with the game a bunch this generation. Since I haven’t played any since RE4, I will not pretend to be an expert when it comes to the current status of the series. I’m one of those people who refuses to make a final judgement on a game until I play it, and I do my best to play each game without trying to compare it to other games. That has grown more difficult lately, but I try to judge them all individually.

    • RedWolfe

      @Zero: Very good post. Well written.

  • FinalFantasyBlade

    Hey! Where are the abilities from Chris and Piers?