Published on September 19th, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Resident Evil 6 Demo Impressions
The Resident Evil franchise set the standards on how horror games should be developed. With an excellent mix of suspense and heart stopping action, the Resident Evil franchise continues to stand out on its own. Next month Resident Evil 6 plans to shake things up with its slated release this October.
With the demo now available to download on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, we see just how the game has evolved over the past sixteen years.
Gone are the slow suspenseful movements of the characters, and inability to move while attacking. Many would argue that the survival horror franchise was perfected with Resident Evil 4, but started to move away from that slower paced model in Resident Evil 5. From the demo, Resident Evil 6 no longer scares its way into the genre–but smashes its way into the action horror genre due to its new control schemes.
Resident Evil 6 allows you to aim, fire, and attack while on the move. This style gives the game an action third person shooter feel and is similar to Capcom’s other series, Lost Planet. Due to this new ability, characters now move, react, and run much faster. The same goes for the gun wielding zombies you are up against. This is fun, but it is not the Resident Evil we grew up with. The fast pace action eliminates all of the strategy that came in prior Resident Evil games. You do not have to think about conserving ammo, strategic attacking, or managing inventory with the gameplay more so focused around the action.
The controls now feel like a traditional third person shooter. In Resident Evil terms, the controls are simplified.
The attack and breaking objects are now executed with the right trigger. Aim your equipped weapon with the left trigger, however if you get close to a zombie, the right trigger will automatically switch from the shooting action to a melee attack. To clarify, the melee attack is not your knife. Melee attacks are now punches, kicks, and evasive maneuvers. You still have to choose your knife through your inventory to use it, but I did not find any use for it since I could now punch, kick, or smash zombie brains into nearby objects automatically by spamming the right trigger.
While going through the demo, I felt like all I had to do is spam the right trigger and left bumper to pop herb pills to make it through the tough battles. During some intense battle moments, it became extremely difficult to control the character due to their new movement abilities.
Resident Evil 6 also includes a new cover mechanic which is new to the franchise. While running, pressingthe aim button and watch your character slide into cover or slide onto the floor and roll around if cover is not available in the area. The catch to this new mechanic, you can only be in cover if you are holding the aim button. While in cover, hold the left analog stick to the direction you want to fire to and your character will pop in and out of cover. This is a nice addition but, again, I did not feel I needed to use the cover system during the demo action.
Being a huge Resident Evil fan, these new mechanics felt foreign to me. I play a healthy share of third person shooters and playing the RE6 demo still felt awkward. I first encountered this awkwardness in controls after feeling the over exaggerated gun recoil (all of the weapon recoils are similar to the harsh kickback that can be found in the Retro Lancer in Gears of War 3).
However, while playing the Leon campaign in the demo, while aiming I noticed that the center red dot that we are all familiar with in shooters was moving randomly within the aiming cross hairs. I do not know if this is intentional or not, but it made hitting targets difficult and faulted the accuracy. Aiming and accuracy is everything in a survival horror title. Whether it is using one bullet to shoot a leg, foot, or hand, it is these shots that open up an opportunity to strike a zombie with a melee attack.
Resident Evil 6 is shaping to be just an average third person shooter. All of the characteristics that define a Resident Evil game are nowhere to be found. The new mechanics offer a new way to play the franchise but, at the same time, it does not allow the game to do what it does best.
The new mechanics may work for the campaign and offers Capcom multiplayer modes that they were not able to do before. However, I don’t think works well for the fan favorite, Mercenaries Mode.
The older control scheme created suspense and precision aiming that was necessary to get an “A” or “S” rating. The demo does warn that bugs may be present. Let’s hope the mechanics get tighter and the randomly moving red dot is not in the final version of the game.
Resident Evil 6 is set to hit store shelves on October 2, 2012.