Adam's Rant: Resident Evil 6 Has A Lot To Prove

By Adam Ma on February 5, 2012, 7:32PM EDT

After being rumoured for quite a while, Resident Evil 6 was announced by Capcom a short while ago. But it feels like there are only two reasons that Resident Evil 6 is happening the way it is. And by that, I mean, with such brazen force and action-oriented style.

The first is that Capcom is simply taking the next logical step. Despite all technical errors, dated third person controls, terrible AI, and a lack of immersive storytelling that featured in Resident Evil 5, the franchise is still selling strong, almost thriving in its own sick way. It feels like the Resident Evil series is almost like a zombie itself, something fans of the series will never truly have the urge to double tap, because from far away it still has the semblances of a loved one. Constantly kindling the hope that the next game will bring back the more action-oriented magic of Resident Evil 4, or the unique fixed camera horror that was Resident Evil 2, fans will surely always be ready to buy into the next game.

The other reason is that Capcom doesn't know when to stop. By this, I mean that they seem to have no real clue what defines a game as horror any more. Recent installments have seen such great ideas like, turning Jill into a mind controlled zombie ninja assassin, and having Chris punch a boulder into an active volcano. These are action sequences and plotlines that most would toss aside as madness, but Capcom instead incorporates into their sinister AAA titles, which are supposed to be serious. In that sense alone, Resident Evil may truly be the most horrifying game series on the market.

It's not that Resident Evil games aren't fun to play in the right circumstances. Revelations provided a glimmer of hope and while Resident Evil 5 may have been a total disappointment in single player mode, at the very least there was some fun to be had in co-op. The series has jumped the shark to such an extreme level that it's impossible to take seriously anymore. On one hand the most recent trailer had all the semblances of what could be a very cool game. There were big action sequences, a few epic looking QTEs and some decent looking enemy variety. These are all the things that make a third person shooter fun all seem to be there. Pushing the ridiculous plot of the game aside there are a lot of really great points to the series.

Unfortunately most of those points were made in Resident Evil 4, and have never really been improved upon since. For as exciting as it is to see players getting a 'dive and shoot' ability, or being able to dual wield pistols, the clunky and outdated aiming system still appears to be in effect. One can only assume the once extremely innovative, now incredibly predictable Quick Time Events will be stealing the show for a majority of the game. In fact, outside of new monsters (something Capcom has always been good about creating) there's not really any key differences that stand out between Resident Evil 5 and 6, or even 4 when you really consider how far the series has come.

The purpose of a trailer is largely to get gamers looking at some of the major changes you've developed for your game, introduce them to the foundations of the plot, and get everyone hyped. But considering the story for Resident Evil 6 was leaked months ago, and the gameplay looks nearly identical to its predecessors, I'm not entirely sure what there is to get hyped about. If all the most action packed parts of the game are sections where I sit around waiting to hit the A button while I watch a movie, spliced within a boss fight that requires me to work with some of the slowest and clunkiest third person controls ever implemented in a shooter, I just may pass. If I wanted to play Resident Evil 4 again with a few goofy tricks I would simply invent a drinking game where I would take a shot anytime Leon grunted, flexed, or dove during a QTE.

It's disappointing to consider that the best a 600-man development team could come up with is a trailer that works as a bad case of deja vu, though there is always a chance I could (hopefully) be wrong. I would like to think that for as much as Capcom enjoys recycling their game concepts this would have been the title where they finally pick up their semi-horror franchise and actually do something new with it. Instead it just looks like they've simply walked over to Resident Evil 4's corpse again, injected it with a bit of T-Virus, added a fresh coat of paint, and walked away. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

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