Preview | Resident Evil 6 Demo Impressions
Capcom Makes ‘Gears of Evil’
Just last week, Capcom has recently made the Resident Evil 6 demo available for both the PS3 and Xbox 360. For someone like me who’s played (and loved) almost all the major Resident Evil games to date, this is nothing short of a blessing.
To give you a firm perspective on my gaming taste when it comes to the franchise, my top two games in the series are: Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica – yes, I like my Resident Evil games full of scares. However, while both these games are fun, I don’t think discount the fact that Resident Evil 4 did a lot of things right with the franchise that was sorely needed (fixing the tank-like controls for one)…in short, I don’t hate Resident Evil 4 for supposedly turning the franchise into a shoot-‘em-up.
So what do I think of Resident Evil 6’s demo? Seeing as there were three parts for the demo, I naturally thought of dividing my experiences into three, too. While Resident Evil 6 is one game, the contrast to how each section’s different is remarkably big enough to warrant three views on it. As a sidenote, I reference the J’Avo as “zombies” in each section as they’re the easiest terminology most Resident Evil fans will relate with.
Leon Section Impressions – Where Old-School Resident Evil Melds with Resident Evil 4
This is quite possibly the most “Resident Evil-y” out of the three. You’re given ammo but not enough that it feels like a normal third-person shooter. It also focuses more on dark corridors with zombies. If you want a straight-up comparison, I’d say this feels like Resident Evil 4, but infused with classic Resident Evil tropes. One good example is “staged” zombie bodies that do not come to life until you’ve hit the “checkpoint” for them to do so. However, I can see that schtick getting old rather quick.
Out of all the three chapters, I’d say this one will please old-school Resident Evil fans the most – especially those who loved Resident Evil 4.
Jake Section Impressions – Everybody’s Kung-Fu Fighting
This could possibly be Capcom’s way of infusing fighting game mechanics into the Resident Evil formula and it reminded me of Resident Evil 5 for different reasons. Here we’re given more guns to play with but the real factor here is how Jake is a “bad-ass.” Or at least Capcom wants us to think that way. Jake Muller seemed a little too overpowered to be in a survival-horror game, to be honest. This was the same feeling I had playing Resident Evil 5 with Chris. So in a way, it’s hard for the horror aspect to kick in when you know you can kick zombie asses without even needing to pull out your gun.
Resident Evil fans won’t mind Jake that much – especially as he’s a big part of the cannon being Wesker’s son. But concerning the game though? It depends. Did you like Resident Evil 5’s combo-heavy melee? If you said “yes,” chances are you won’t have a problem with Jake’s section of the game.
Chris Section Impressions – Gears of Evil has Cometh
I had the misfortune of playing this section last, and let me be honest; it didn’t do it any favors. This section felt like everything that was wrong with the franchise. If this did not bear the name of the game or featured Chris Redfield, you wouldn’t even know you were playing a Resident Evil game.
I hate to bring up the comparison, but it really felt like Capcom’s take on Gears of War – albeit, an inferior one — and at the same time, trying to nab the Call of Duty audience, too. From the overabundance of shooting that pretty much threw everything the franchise stood for all these years, to the overall “feel” of the section that made me feel like I was playing vanilla third-person shooter #12993. Honestly, the only thing holding me back on going all-commando on them was the scarcity of bullets. Not even the “boss fight” could save it either. This was supposed to be a momentous fight that sent shivers down your spine; but it honestly felt like an Epic Games boss fight reject.
Overall though, this section sullied my experience the most and I honestly can’t relate it to any other Resident Evil game – unless you count the light-gun games or (shudder) Operation Raccoon City.
As a whole, I admit, the demo was not what I expected – and not in a good way. Of course, I’m not ready to swear off Resident Evil 6 just yet. This is not a review, mind you, but just an impression of an early build demo.
While enemy-specific executions did prove to be more fun than I expected, I really hope Capcom fixes some of the things in the game that’s prevalent in all three sections. These are things that I don’t see any purpose being in the game at all and could even be a nuisance.
– Dead zombies coming to life at trigger points: this has been done to death already, please let it rest. If not, at least give us the option to shoot the bastards straight away.
– Melee feels too weighted and clunky at times: I sometimes don’t even know if I register a hit save for the audio cue as both hit and miss “feel” the same way.
– Clunky cover mechanics: I might be spoiled with third-person shooters doing this well (Uncharted, Spec Ops, etc.), but Resident Evil 6’s cover system felt clunky. I sometimes stuck to cover, while at other times, I’d just be standing there.
– Zombies rushing in but only within your vicinity: This “problem” started with Resident Evil 4 and I’m sad to say, it’s still present in RE6. I had instances where zombies would rush at me but only to stop when they’re close within attacking range. While this could have been made to make the game a tad easier for those not trigger-happy, it seriously breaks the illusion that the undead is after your brains.
– The User-Interface (UI) and HUD looks confusing: If you hated the game’s UI and HUD, sad to say this will be the last thing touched-upon and based on what I’ve seen so far, the review build shows the same. Granted we don’t want to constantly be going to our inventory screen, but can they at least make it look in a way that doesn’t resemble an 80s tech design?
– Tripping is not fun and serves no purpose: I might be proven wrong by Capcom here in the final game, but tripping on existing and dead zombie bodies do not serve a purpose and is just annoying. It does not make the game harder, it doesn’t add tension, and it’s just there to make you see an extra second or two of animation.
– Stop making Resident Evil into Call of Duty: Yes, I get it. Every publisher wants some of that Call of Duty/Battlefield pie, but please not at the sake of a franchise that’s already established. If you really want to do something like it, why not make an all-new game and just be done with it (sidenote: Capcom actually did and it’s Operation Raccoon City). Constantly adapting your franchise to capture the “dudebro” crowd is a slap to the face of the fans that made what your franchise is today.
Well, there you have it. That’s my Resident Evil 6 demo impressions along with a handful of nitpicks that I picked up along the way. Do you agree with some of the things I noticed or did you have a blast with the demo and can’t wait to play Resident Evil 6 on October 2?