One of the games I am most looking forward to checking out this Holiday period has to be Resident Evil 6, but like most people I am slightly worried about it. I don’t know too many gamers who think Resident Evil should be more about action than scares, and yet that seems to be the very route that the game is heading down, much more like Resident Evil 5 than 4. Thankfully I was able to try the game out for a short period recently at Gamescom and came away with mostly positive feelings.
The Capcom enclosure at Gamescom was one of the busiest at the entire show. Constantly seeing queues of multiple hours and also autograph sessions with famous developers like Yoshinori Ono, it was a lively yet intimidating place. I decided to leave my visit to the stand as late as possible and headed there after grabbing a Bratwurst (what else?) at 6pm on the Friday evening. The crowds were starting to thin and more people were heading home than were making their way to the games so I figured my wait may not be too ridiculous.
The setup at the Capcom stand was different than most of the other ones at the show however. Rather than queuing for each individual game or having free rein to test out any title inside the enclosure once you were in, Capcom operated a structure which involved each player being allocated a console unit with either Lost Planet 3, DmC: Devil May Cry or Resident Evil 6, and then rotate once the allotted time was up, allowing them to try all three games. Therefore although the queue was slow moving as new gamers only got admitted every 30 minutes, plenty of people were admitted on each occasion.
And so it was that after around 45 minutes of waiting I finally got welcomed inside the chain fence and let loose on Resi 6. I had an appointment to keep back at the Sony stand so I actually only had time to check out the survival horror game for myself, but I had watched people playing both DmC and Lost Planet 3, the former of which particularly impressed me. I would certainly recommend keeping an eye out for it as it seemed to mix the classic style of the older Devil May Cry Games with an even more over the top graphic style and crazy bosses – it could be epic.
Anyway, I was there to check out Resident Evil 6 so I chose a PS3 console unit, stuck on the headphones and got to work. The demo allowed you to pick from three missions, Leon exploring the spooky Ivy University campus, Chris fighting in a snowy town, and finally new boy Jake in a mission set in China featuring a mixture of the two game styles.
I knew I didn’t have long to try out the game so I jumped straight into Leon’s mission where he is exploring an old-school style scary building alongside Helena. After attempting to adapt to non-inverted controls (I couldn’t work out any way to change them in the demo) I stalked corridors and blasted zombies in lecture halls with the help of my AI partner. It felt like a mixture of the co-op action of Resident Evil 5, tied to the kind of location that made the first 4 games in the series so atmospheric.
The Leon missions then filled me with hope, which unfortunately didn’t continue in the few minutes I had left to check out the more action-packed demo mission featuring Chris Redfield. Featuring soldiers and an almost COD style of play but in third person, this just didn’t feel like Resident Evil at all, and in fact came off as a fairly poor shooter instead. Ammo was also limited during these sections, which makes sense when presented with a survival horror scenario, not so much in an all-out war. I am perhaps being a little unfair here as I only tried this mission for about 5 minutes at the most, but I didn’t have anywhere near as much fun as when playing as Leon.
I unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to test out the missions featuring Jake set in China, but they did at least look lovely when I watched others playing – all neon lights and rainy streets. They did seem more like Leon’s missions, albeit with rather more shooting.
The bottom line is that I am still excited for Resident Evil 6, but I kind of wish they had made the whole game more like Leon’s sections. The shooting sections do have me rather worried that although solid, Resident Evil 6 may not quite scale the heights of classic. Either way, we will find out pretty soon now.