After months of rumors, leaks, and creepy viral marketing, Capcom finally lifted the veil off of the long awaited Resident Evil 6, and haters be damned, the trailer they showed was enough to get me hyped for Capcom’s newest foray into “survival-action” (their words, not mine.)
While the trailer gives us a glimpse of the upcoming biohazard outbreak that we’ll have to fight our way through come this November, it also raises a fair amount of questions. With that in mind, I’ve compiled all the confirmed info regarding the game so far, as well as any credible rumors and my own speculation, into one article.
Some background info first: I’ve loved Resident Evil from the moment I played the original PS1 game and laughed my past that game’s infamously awkward opening cinematic. I’ve played through RE2 and 3 multiple times, forced myself to play the weaker entries in the series (Zero and Code: Veronica) and absolutely loved the evolution the series went through with Resident Evil 4. I understand that some people aren’t fans of the shift towards action, but as far as I’m concerned, they can go to Hell (though, do please keep reading,): the series, and the survival-horror genre as a whole, was rapidly stagnating, and RE4’s changes revitalized the franchise and was also a damn good action game in its own right. With that said, I wasn’t a big fan of RE5; I felt that they had to simplify too many elements (the 9 block inventory, the more straightforward level design, lack of puzzles, atmosphere,) in order to make it work for co-op, and the game was generally lacking that addictive, “enjoyable stress” and tension of RE4.
But like I said earlier, the few minutes of footage we’ve seen regarding Resident Evil 6 were enough to get me hyped, and here’s what we know so far:
(SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS RESIDENT EVIL GAMES WITHIN:)
It’s an action game:
Sorry fanboys unwilling to accept change, but like RE4 and 5, Resident Evil 6 will be a straight-up action game. With that said, it looks like Capcom is trying to blend in aspects of older titles in the series, such as classic, slow, T-Virus infected zombies, and hopefully, a dedicated single player mode for those of us who prefer to play RE solo and were frustrated at having to babysit the AI partner in RE5’s single player campaign. (More on both of these topics later.)
There’s three playable characters:
RE1 and 5’s Chris Redfield returns as a playable character, and he’s still got his Gears of War-styled mis-proportioned arm muscles, but this time he’s joined by fan favorite Leon Kennedy, who’s looking slightly older and battle scarred but is still rockin’ that Japanese boy band haircut. RE6 also introduces a new, third protagonist, who’s identity is being kept a secret by Capcom presently, but the trailer hints that he’s going to play a major role in the storyline — he mentions that everyone needs his blood — so perhaps he’s some sort of genetic McGuffin whose blood is a cure for the viral outbreak or something. The three characters are scattered across the globe; Leon is trapped in another American city caught in the middle of a T-Virus outbreak, while Chris is deployed in China, and the new guy seems to be somewhere in Europe. Despite the distance separating our heroes, Capcom has hinted that all of the characters’ stories and paths will crossover and connect with one another’s.
There’s six player co-op:
A recent, official listing of the game by Microsoft on the Xbox 360 website accidentally let slip a few more details about the game, most notable of which was that it supports 6 player co-op. The thought of co-op in Resident Evil was enough to give most longtime fans of the series bad flashbacks to Resident Evil 5, which was designed specifically for co-op at the cost of making the main campaign almost unplayable solo, but thankfully, it seems like Resident Evil 6’s co-op modes are completely separate from the main, single player campaign. Word is the 6-player co-op mentioned in the Microsoft listing refers to some sort of multiplayer version of the series’ traditional “Mercenaries” mode, so unless Capcom reveals otherwise, there’s no need to worry about RE5 repeating itself.
You can move while shooting:
Resident Evil 5 received a lot of criticism for lacking the ability to move while aiming a weapon. While for some reason this lack of mobility felt perfectly fine and natural in RE4, it felt like a bizarre omission when Resident Evil 5 came out five years later. Thankfully, the RE6 trailer shows both Leon and Chris moving while shooting at enemies, so it seems like the developers at Capcom have listened to complaints about the previous game, at least in this one regard.
Ashley is in it too:
Ashley, the President’s daughter whom Leon spent most of RE4 trying to rescue, makes a return in RE6. While some have speculated that the blonde haired girl in the trailer is a grown up version of Sherry Birkin from RE2, it’s pretty clearly Ashley– not only does her voice sound exactly the same, but she also looks to have retained the sizable “ballistics” she was equipped with in RE4. She’s apparently partnered up with the new guy for some reason, and it looks like she’s learned how to defend herself since the Los Illuminados incident.
That’s pretty much what we know about the game so far. Now for the fun part: BASELESS RUMORS AND SPECULATION:
It might be a prequel to RE5:
Capcom is saying Resident Evil 6 takes place “ten years after Raccoon City.” The Raccoon City outbreak happened in 1998, so if Capcom’s words are to be taken literally, that would mean that RE6 takes place in 2008, one year before Resident Evil 5.
This may sound like a minor detail, but RE6’s location on the timeline has major implications: Series antagonist Albert Wesker met his supposedly permanent, untimely end during a particularly ridiculous battle at the end of Resident Evil 5, so if RE6 is indeed a prequel, we could see another appearance by the fan favorite villain. Similarly, if the game takes place in 2008 it would be set during the period in which Chris believes series heroine Jill Valentine is dead, so that would quash earlier rumors that Jill would be in RE6.
Of course, maybe Capcom was just saying “ten years” to sound dramatic. If RE6 takes place after Resident Evil 5, expect a new antagonist (perhaps even another version of Wesker?)
Different enemies in each location:
If you watch the trailer closely, it looks like Leon and Chris are fighting very different kinds of monsters: Leon seems to be up against a hoard of classic, slow moving T-Virus “zombies,” while Chris looks like he’s fighting the faster, more intelligent Ganados/Majini from later entries in the series. This could be an interesting way to mix up the gameplay, as well as satisfy both fans of the old and new Resident Evil game play styles.
No sign of Ada or Jill yet:
While early rumors that stated that RE6 would be set in China and feature the return of Leon Kennedy have proven true, those same rumors also stated that RE2/4’s Ada Wong and the previously mentioned Jill Valentine would also play major rolls in RE6’s story. So far, there hasn’t been mention of either of them, but I think it’s safe to bet that at least Ada is in there; after all, it’s her job to constantly con Leon, isn’t it?
And you can bet that if she is in RE6, 9 out of 10 scenes with her in it will end with Leon screaming, “ADA, WAIT!”