Tuesday Capcom released a demo for the upcoming game Resident evil 6. It hosts a new set of character movements to fight the zombie hoards including dodging and melee attacks. Melee combat is no longer context sensitive like it was in the previous games but does give you a limited amount of energy with which to use. Jake Muller, a new addition to the Resident Evil franchise, has the option of fighting hand to hand for some devastating combo attacks and finishing moves. If, however, you do get hit, there is a big chance that you get knocked down to the ground if only for the reason for you to shoot your enemies while on your back, roll out of the way and continue fighting. Your health is now constituted by blocks, which can regenerate if only a partial block was damaged. Item management was made simpler with you picking up herbs and turning them into small consumable pills that can be used on the fly. Simply tap the RB for however many blocks you want to heal yourself for and you’re back in the game. You can also combine herbs and set them up to be consumed without needing to go into your inventory screen. All these changes designed to not take you out of the game an search through the infamous menu and inventory screens.
The demo consisted of three different campaigns each starring a different character. The first campaign starring Leon S. Kennedy and secret service agent Helena Harper takes place on a college campus shortly after shooting a zombified president of the United States, and now you have to fight your way off campus to escape. The game seems to be sticking to the creepy indoor horror that is Resident Evil. You can hear the slow shambling of the zombies who are easy to take out one-on-one, but are more difficult in large groups. The second campaign follows Chris Redfield and Piers Nivens as they fight for survival against newly created Bio-Organic Weapons (B.O.W.’s). Chris’s campaign is more action orientated and felt like it borrowed a page out of Gears of War than Resident Evil. You’re found jumping from cover to cover as you fight enemies wielding machine guns and sniper rifles only to mutate and transform into more disgusting BOW’s. The last campaign has you playing as Jake Muller and Sherry Berkin cooperatively fighting through city streets similar to Chris’s experience. On occasion you end up getting separated and have to cover each other’s back from a distance with a sniper rifle. There were a lot more creature BOW’s in this campaign alongside the altered humans so you always had to stay on your toes and know what weapon works best on what enemy.
The Resident Evil 6 demo is not without its faults. I particularly miss having a laser line from my gun to where I’m pointing, which was showcased in other gameplay videos. The movement controls are tight so long as you know which objects you can vault over and from what angles. I found myself running into a bench from the front side only to be stopped dead in my tracks. It wasn’t until later I found you can only vault it from the backside. You also cannot kill zombies that you know are playing dead and have to walk up to them so they wake up for them to take any damage. Changing game options such as aiming speed, reticule color, and camera controls does not pause the game, so don’t expect to change your controls on the fly as the game is still playing in the background.
Overall, each character plays very similar to each other with a few differences in weapons and melee attacks. It feels as if Capcom is trying to please everyone by including major characters from the previous games and merging them into one. Time will tell if these campaigns we be separate parallels to the main story or if you will switch between them throughout. Resident Evil 6 will be released on October 2, 2012 for Xbox 360 and PS3.