Just what the hell's going on in the world of Resident Evil? Honestly, I have no damn clue how any of what I've seen in the various trailers for Resident Evil 6 relates to any earlier part of the series. It seems like Resident Evil 6 is more about a ridiculous government and/or some malevolent corporation than a zombie survival horror game. Chuck a little Uncharted-style cinematics into the mix and we have what appears to be a franchise that's on its last bloody, decomposing legs.
The story seems, somehow, even worse than the usual Resident Evil plot, though at least this time black zombies aren't the only ones who'll be getting a cold slug between the eyes. Yes, we've left the scorching market towns of Africa for some more diverse areas of the globe, like China and America. To me, this seems like the last ideas of a development team struggling to string out a narrative. Having the infection on a global scale completely eliminates any chance of ramping up the stakes in a sequel because once we've saved the world it's going to be a bit of a comedown if, say, Portsmouth becomes infected.
Matters aren't helped any by the fact that several character campaigns will have to interlock with each other, making for a sprawling plot. Again, it's almost as if they're trying to wrap up the series with this entry, which sees the return of Leon (who is yet to grow out those bangs) and his new partner Helena Harper, who's seemingly like most other female protagonist in modern gaming - spunky and highly sexualised. However, Leon and his new partner aren't the only faces we're going to see in Resident Evil 6. Chris Redfield is making a muscle-bound return to the franchise, along with Sherry Birkin, Ada Wong and Ingrid Hunnigan, and a couple of new faces. Oh, and let's not forget the US President, Adam Benford, returns as a zombie... not an actual zombie, of course, just sort of brain dead like most politicians (terrible upper-middle class joke there).
The level of survival horror in the series looks set to dwindle yet further, a trend set in motion several entries ago. There’s little fear to be elicited when the series has become so action-oriented. And having enough ammunition to invade a small country when fighting a group of mindless zombies down a short hallway isn’t going to concern anyone.
As for the controls, Capcom are for the most part retaining the Resident Evil 4 set-up, which is great because they're the strongest in the franchise thus far. The addition of shooting while moving is another positive step (this has always been a huge annoyance in the series). So too is the ability to roll and dodge enemies, though the movement looks a little awkward. Nevertheless, like anything that’s doing well, someone, somewhere, has to balls it up by adding a plethora of Quick-Time Events. Now, I don’t mind the occasional QTE, but if they're overused in a game then they serve only to take control away from the player and the game eventually turns into a glorified TV show.
With a release date of October 2nd, Resident Evil 6 is nearing its debut, but this might be one blockbuster release you might want to hold off on purchasing brand new.