E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 (Impressions)

by: Matt -
Resident Evil has been a franchise that always comes to mind when it comes to killing zombies, at least for me. The behind-doors demo of Resident Evil 6 has done a good job of cementing that notion in my head. With some of the changes on display that weren't on the floor demo, it's interesting to see where this next Resident Evil game will take gamers. The horror has kind of been lost over the years, or rather, the feeling of tension, and perhaps that just because we're used to what these games have to offer. But Resident Evil 6 kind of feels like a, 'something for everyone' kind of game, for those who want their tension, and those who want their straight up action.

The demo, presented by Hiroyuki Kobayashi (Producer) and Eichiro Sasaki (Director), showed quite a bit about the game's three different story paths, and the Crossover feature that connects these stories. Players will choose one of three main characters and their companion, Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, and newcomer Jake Muller round out the main cast, with new characters Helena, and Piers making up the secondary cast. The surprising inclusion of Sherry Birkin from Resident Evil 2 certainly has me intrigued, along with the hinting of another character from Leon's past.

Players will be able to play through the story and at certain point will be matched with other players that are online and playing as different characters, these Crossover points are highlighted by special battles, in the case of the demo, against a hulking beast known as Ustanak, which required all of the characters to be taken down. There were some breaks in the battle that allowed for some characters to be paired together that normally wouldn't be for a short time, which looks like it  has the potential to offer up different takes on the game's story.

Combat has received a major overhaul in that players now have melee attacks that they can perform as they please (or use in special cases to make the gameplay a bit more cinematic), and players can now move while shooting. What used to be a source of tension has now been replaced with more action oriented gameplay, and hopefully the game will not suffer for it. Players can also roll around after being knocked down, or can dive to the ground to avoid enemies.

Resident Evil 6 only has a few months to go before launch, but the gameplay looked like it wasn't receiving any kind of changes that warranted fear from series fans. The new characters have me interested in the story more than ever, and hopefully the gameplay holds up well with the new changes. We'll see how it all holds up this October. 

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