Resident Evil (again)
Resident Evil is one of those series that has changed dramatically from the 4th game onwards; some people have accused it of leaving behind the survival horror roots and travelling almost into Gears of War and Call of Duty territory. 5 was a big step away from the big game that was 4 and it drew the ire of a lot of Resident Evil fans. We liked it though; we liked it quite a lot.
We're also big fans of changes, so when we heard Resident Evil 6 was going to incorporate things like better partner AI, cover, easier melee combat and dodging - colour us interested.
The demo released with Dragon's Dogma was good, but not as good as the demo which came out the other day - the Public Demo of Resident Evil 6 is a far better thing and we're glad Capcom decided to put this one out there. You still get the choice of 3 campaigns, Leon, Chris and Jake but the events in those campaigns are different to those from the previous demo. The whole thing seems cleaner and smoother too, with better controls and each campaign has a distinct feel to it.
Leon's campaign is definitely the most Resident Evil of them all, Chris has twists of Res 5 crossed Call of Duty and Jake is a survival against some pretty nasty badass B.O.W's. These new bioweapons are vicious and easily able to take you down in a few hits if you're caught in a corner.
So you need the new acrobatic dodges, evades, cover based mechanics and move-shoot controls to even stand a chance - this is a whole new breed of Resident Evil and we like it. It riffs off Dead Space in a way for us and that's not a bad thing, since we're huge Dead Space fans and not really bogged down in game journalism's recent trend for hating anything a little bit different or dare we say it, fun.
You get the choice of 2 playable characters too, per campaign and you can see the story unfold from the other person's viewpoint, some missions will change the path that you take as well if you play the second character.
There's also cooperative play out of the gate, so you and a friend can rock out some coop goodness on the 3 campaigns across your chosen connection method. We took the demo for a spin across Jake's campaign and we were given some pretty badass weapons to let loose against the hordes of new bio-terror threats which form part of the campaign. Sadly one of us did not survive against the bad guys - but that's the way the cookie crumbles, even with the new moves and so on, all it takes is to be surrounded whilst your partner is pinned down.
Everything has been refined from the HUD, to the inventory, the systems that you use to access these and setup quick-use items. It's a far smoother experience in this regard and it really helps make the game feel a lot more refined. You can take tablets to restore a health block, health blocks that aren't thoroughly depleted will regenerate after a while, as long as you stay out of danger.
It isn't just the controls which have been refined, nope, the graphics have been smartened up and the game looks great. The lighting and shadow effects are especially nice and provide a superb atmosphere to the various locations, especially Leon's campaign where you're on a campus and there are deep shadows everywhere to hide zombies in.
Yeah, zombies are back and they look superb.
Don't expect your partner to sit idly by, not this time; the partner AI is suitably better than in 5 and pretty accurate with a firearm. There are various commands you can issue but we didn't really bother with those since the AI acquitted itself well enough.
The way that you move
The animations for the game have been redone, there's a lot more to the zombies now, they react to gunfire in a variety of ways and it takes a lot of shots to put one down. Even headshots, which now blow bits of the zombies' head away...it is possible to shoot out the neck enough so the head drops off. It's a great touch to see and makes the zombies seem far more inhuman than they've ever been.
There are QTE's based on various zombie grapples, you can defend against the ravenous hordes pretty well with a gun, with your feet and a melee weapon, but should one come a bitin' then you have to push them off quick and give them a retributive strike with the trigger. Usually this puts them down as the character smashes their skull in.
We can't wait to see what other joys in the animation system there are for this one!
This has only touched on a bit of the gameplay from the demo, we can't wait to see the full game and get a taste of the whole package - until then, download the demo and see what we mean. If you're a Gears fan you'll love the cover based shooting of Chris' campaign and if you're an old-skool Resident Evil fan you should get on with Leon's campaign quite a lot.
Only the retail will tell if the changes made to the game are enough to really make it shine, but from where we are, as addicted gamers to numerous genres, we can tell you, it has us hooked!
You'll be able to get the game when it releases on the 2nd of October
Set your calendars!
Evil is coming back!