The Average Gamer

E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 – Hands-On and Gameplay Vid

I played Resident Evil 6 during E3 and now Capcom have released the gameplay streams that were played by Greg Moore and Brett Elston during the show. There were three characters available: Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield and new mercenary Jake Muller. I played through Leon’s and Jake’s sections of the demo. They have very different styles and both were fun but also flawed.

Here’s Leon. Jump to 3:20 to skip all the introductory twaddle and get straight to the 10-minute gameplay section:

(Or watch Leon’s full HD gameeplay vids without commentary: part 1 and part 2)

In contrast to the action-filled trailers, Leon’s story was very slow-paced and suspenseful. As Moore and Elston say in the video, Leon’s ammunition is very limited so you can’t even run and gun if you want to. They talk a lot about how you can move and shoot and slide around the floor but what got me was the fact that Leon is sometimes prevented from running, for no reason at all. Oh right, no. There is a reason. They want you to appreciate the spoooooookiness of the abandoned banquet hall and other areas designed to be scary.

I dislike this style of game design intensely. It reduces the game to an interactive movie when I’d much rather have the freedom to explore and make mistakes. I didn’t even find the hall all that spooky because the heavily scripted nature of everything just made me feel like a puppet being pulled along. Things will happen when they happen and there’s nothing I can do to minimise my danger.

ZombiU is scary because you have autonomy. Spend too long faffing about with your inventory and zombies will get you. Neglect your zombie sonar and – as you can see in my gameplay video at 6:22 – zombies will get you. There’s an incentive to paying attention that I just didn’t feel with Resident Evil 6.

That being said, the elevator sequence shown from 8:05 was pretty horrifying. Predictable but very well executed (so to speak).

Here’s Jake. Gameplay starts at 2:40 and again, lasts for 10 minutes:

Jake’s bit was very combat-heavy, needing you to combine dodges with quick aiming. Since the demo didn’t let me invert the Y axis, I was pretty much screwed but put up a good fight in the warehouse nonetheless. It was enjoyable, despite being a pretty standard set-piece of killing the big guy with bullets exploding barrels.

As you’ll see, there’s a lot of classic gameplay in this section. Go exploring in the side rooms to find sweet loot and hidden bonuses. Kick and slide your way through the zombies and other monsters. On that note, comparing 6:29 from this video and 10:45 from Leon’s looks like Jake and Leon have exactly the same repertoire of moves. Bit depressing but I suppose all the storytelling is done through the cutscenes, not by inhabiting the characters.

Two things in the demo that Capcom aren’t talking about yet are skill points and your companions. During my playthrough I noticed buttons marked “Thank” and “Praise”. Could be that they’re working on a Binary Domain-like system of keeping your teammates happy? Maybe your companion gets a bonus if you praise or thank them when they do well? Might just be a way of communicating with an online co-op partner without having to speak to them. Who knows…

Here’s Chris’ 10-minute section starting at 3:48

I didn’t play Chris. Watch the video. Lots of shooting, lots of jumping. A bit of “divergent gameplay” where one person has to shoot while the other QTEs across a pole. Yup, this is definitely an action game with a horror setting. Perhaps disappointing for our Kev but not surprising in the least.

The UK release date for Resident Evil 6 is 2nd October 2012 on Xbox 360 and PS3.