My name is Jared Whittaker, one of the hosts and Audio Chewbacca of the Super-Fly Podcast and PCW! Welcome to Game Changer, a weekly burning missive about all aspects of video gaming with a little bit of opinion thrown in for fun. Proceed with caution and tread lightly, gentle gamers. It’s going to be good time. Like the first time you saw Super Mario 3 good time.
On January 19th, Capcom released the first trailer for the next installment in the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil 6. The trailer showed a lot of returning themes, characters and settings this time around. Returning to the series would be fan favorite Leon Kennedy and recent Resident Evil protagonist Chris Redfield along with an unnamed new zombie fighter to head up the the whole “stopping the zombie apocalypse” thing. Actual zombies, bio-mech monsters, slide kicks, going to China, shooting the zombie president, walking and shooting AT THE SAME TIME, Super-Fly Co-Host “King” Travis Ray being super excited. Why is it that I couldn’t be less interested in a return to Resident Evil?
First of all, I preface this by saying that I’m not dismissing the game outright. Anything can happen in the 10 months before the game comes out. This is just first thoughts and concerns I have about the next trip to Resident Evil Land.
First of all, my main issue with the announcement that I’m done being impressed with CGI trailers and no gameplay. For years, game companies have been trotting out trailers that are basically sizzle reels for what the game could do. The trailer for Resident Evil 5 didn’t end up having much of anything to do with what RE5 ended up being. I understand the reasoning behind it. Showing the public the settings, the enemies and the action in-game. But, perhaps taking a page from movie trailers, game trailers often times over-promises or, in some cases, out and out lies about what the game is going to be like. Say what you want about RE5, it was a Resident Evil game in name only. There was nothing remotely scary about the game that time around and the only semblance to a Resident Evil game it had was the very confusing storyline.
“Ok”, you may be saying, “That’s a good point. But Leon is back from the best Resident Evil game EVAR!! Aren’t you hyped for it now?” Not really. See, the thing is that I loved RE4. It’s maybe my favorite RE game, squeeking by RE2. But, that said, I can play RE4 right now if I want to play it. I’m not looking to play the same game over and over with Resident Evil games. While RE4 was a pretty big departure from the series, heading in more of an action direction, but still having elements of the old RE games with situations that made you feel uncomfortable as you played through in the new game. Less jump out at you scares and more tight corridors and frightening bad guys to make you panic as to what to do. The fact that Leon is back right after so many complaints about RE5′s distinct lack of feeling like an Resident Evil game doesn’t well me up with a lot of hope. It seems like Capcom is looking like they might overcompensate for RE5 by making RE6 more RE4-2.
I’m not trying to play Dr Doom and Gloom about the game. I really, REALLY want to like the new Resident Evil game. Despite RE5′s “Action game in Survival Horror sheep’s clothing” and very questionable decisions in portrayal of African tribesmen, the game was ok. The boss battles were kind of interesting, if not anything special. The co-op gameplay was pretty fun at times when you played with another human player. (God help you if you were depending on the completely stupid computer AI) But there in lies the problem. A Resident Evil game shouldn’t just be ok. Survival Horror as a genre has been shriveling up in the face of massive action games looking like Michael Bay movies taking over much of the gaming landscape. And Resident Evil 5 tried to keep up with the times. Co-op gameplay, multiplayer, (The less we talk about that, the better) and more action and less scares might have seemed like a good idea, but it amounted to a muddled mess of a game.
Resident Evil 6 needs to be a return to it’s roots with a little RE4 mixed in. The story needs to be something that moves the action forward. As ridiculous as the story was in RE4, it moved you from place to place and you didn’t “get any on you”. It wasn’t so in-depth and flawed that you put down the controller and wonder “Wait….how did they get on an oil rig?” Ok, maybe RE4 DID have some head-scratching moments, but overall, it wasn’t game breaking or that distracting. You were too busy shooting zombies in the face and trying to save whatever situation Ashley Graham had gotten into. For RE6 to really make a comeback, it has to remember what brought the game to the dance: thrills, scares and shotguns shooting monsters. But the announcement that RE6 would include a six-person co-op mode and a competitive multiplayer mode for up to eight players doesn’t well me up with a lot of confidence. I guess we’ll all see when Resident Evil 6 does the creep into stores November 20th.
What do you think about Resident Evil 6? What should the game do more or less of? Let us know…
Jared Whittaker plays a lot of games. Not as much as he’d like, but as much as time and money will allow. If you want to play some games with Jared, you can find him on Playstation 3; PSN tag: JFX. He is also on Steam and Battle.net as JFX316 and while he doesn’t have an Xbox 360, he has the coolest Gamertag in the world: Obiwan Jaborni. Feel free to add him as a friend or email him at JWhittaker@PanelsonPages.com. and on Twitter as JFX316