Resident Evil Identity Crisis?
The last few days have seen the arrival of the first official Resident Evil 6 trailer. Normally anything Resident Evil related (bar the horrific films) gets my attention and starts anticipation rolling, however this time around I felt a little more grounded. Iv watched the trailer around ten times now and I still cant conjure the same level of excitement or interest I once could. It could be down to how Capcom has somewhat annoyed me with their treatment of the fan base they have. It could be down to the underwhelming impressions iv gained so far of Resident Evil: Raccoon City. I may even be able to tie my current state to the disappointment that was Resident Evil 5. After breaking things down it became quite clear why I felt such a sense of ‘meh’ when viewing the trailer, and it all came down to a few shots from the trailer.
The return of Leon is well welcomed as he as been my most favoured Resident Evil character (though his hair cut has always slightly confused me) but it does raise a few questions that the game will surely answer. Leon’s sections seem to be a mixture of the action packed Resident Evil 4 gameplay tied in with the classic T-Virus zombies. It’s a nice touch to see Resident Evil bringing back the classic zombies but it does present a few issues in terms of how well the gameplay can blend in with the established ‘slow’ zombies. While there is plenty of room to question Leon’s section in trailer I found myself easily looking past them and instead questioning the next showing.
Chris Redfeild takes a large role in the Resident Evil 6 trailer and this is where my problems arise. My issues don’t rest within the character of Chris Redfeild but instead rest with the actions we see him perform. There’s a certain clip within the trailer that shows Chris taking up a very ‘Gears of War’ like position. While its apparent Chris has became the face of the pure full on action side of Resident Evil, this jump to third person cover based shooter seems rather alien given the franchise we are talking about here. While I understand franchises must evolve/adopt to survive (for the most part anyway) I cant quite get past the mish-mash of gameplay styles Resident Evil 6 seems to be.
I worry that the sections I could possibly enjoy could often be broken up too often and the gameplay switched to something I enjoy a lot less (or perhaps even dislike). This could easily lead to the game feeling like a chore to play through which can easily kill any video experience. Of course I’m speaking from a personal point of view, there will certainly be people who enjoy the potential mixing pot of gameplay. The prospect at having such a mix and change in pace within one game, while trying to carry a storyline, is an extremely daunting idea.
Another problem I seemed to find myself having with the trailer stems more from the identity crisis Resident Evil seems to be suffering. Capcom are no strangers to experimenting with the Resident Evil franchise. A look back through the years shows new directions taken by the franchise with some having more success than others. The likes of Resident Evil Survivor showed Capcom were willing to push their franchise into new genres. Even when they met failure they were still willing to try again and use their past experiences improve future efforts. You could not accuse Capcom of lacking ambition with the Resident Evil franchise after the releases of Out Break 1 & 2 which were met with a mixed reception. After a number of experiments and new directions it seemed Capcom had stuck gold with Resident Evil 4. The core gameplay of Resident Evil 4 seemingly set the tone for Capcomls numbered entries into the franchise. This hasn’t resulted in Capcom sticking to just one style of gameplay or genre, but has in fact allowed them to return to their experimental ways allowing them to branch out the franchise. The existence of the Wii Resident Evil light gun titles (Umbrella Chronicles) was further proof Capcom felt comfortable returning to their meddling ways within the Resident Evil world, the same can be said for Resident Evil:Raccoon City. Capcom have also began to embrace new technology in the shape of their title for Nintendo’s 3DS named Revelations.
I may have my issues with Resident Evil 6′s trailer and indeed with Capcom as a company, but I can see to why they have seemingly took the route that Resident Evil 6 is on. The mixture of gameplay is a double edged sword that could allow the game to offer a decent range of experiences or turn out to be a mess. I may be against the ‘Gears of War’ style action we seen in the Chris sections of the Resident Evil 6 trailer but the Leon sections and the sections belonging to the new character did raise a slight interest for me. Resident Evil 6 could be potentially franchise changing event for a number of reasons but until the game ships all we can do it sit back and wait.
Maybe I’m stuck in the past, maybe I’m just jaded but what I do know is I’m willing to have my mind changed. Just don’t charge us for content that’s locked on the disc Capcom.