Written by Twisted Ideas
Early this week the Resident Evil 6 demo was released on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. It’s very uncharacteristic of Capcom to release demos but take it as gift to try out their next big title. Have they changed up the formula or will we see another clone of Resident Evil 4.
The demo is divided into three campaigns: Leon and Helena, Chris and Piers and Jake and Sherry.
The game no longer uses the tank controls that have been used in most of the previous games. You have more freedom of movement, your aim and overall speed is greatly improved. You standard walking speed feels more like the running speed in previous games and there is still a sprint button which is more useful in long distances. It is easier to evade enemies now that you can turn move in the direction you are pointing to immediately.
Finally you are able to move while shooting.While aiming you can are able to dodge and if you continue to hold your aim you can shoot off the ground. Some guns have secondary fire options that can be accessed while aiming. Pressing the aim and shoot buttons at the same time will do a quick fire that will home onto nearby enemies for a few shots. You only use cover when you are aiming and pressing the button prompt. Against some objects you will vault over cover if you are not aiming.
Melee now can be used freely instead on specific prompts. Melee is weaker but it can be used successively for deadly combos. The position of you and your enemy can lead to instant kills. This is usually prompted by the game.
The inventory system has changed. It is still accessed in real-time both and has a limited amount of slots. Weapons and items have their own dedicated space. You can quickly switch weapons with the D-Pad but you can also access you inventory by pressing the Triangle/Y button to manage items.
Your health is managed differently as well. It is broken up into six segments with a green herb healing only one. When you mix green and red herbs instead of a combination that heals full heath it will give you six green herbs. Mixing two green herbs give you three and another will give you six. You can heal yourself instantly by pressing the R2/RT button; Pressing it repeatedly will use multiple herbs at once. You can only carry a limited amount of herbs in your case but you can refill it in the menu or by a quick refill.
The game is once again co-operative similar to RE5. The demo does not have split screen co-op but there is online co-op available. There are some character specific actions but much more limited than RE5
The HUD actually varies between character. Also, by default, the HUD changes position if you change which shoulder the camera is over by pressing the right analog stick. The HUD is transparent and non-intrusive but you have the option to remove it.
There are objects that look like chess pieces called skill points. The demo does not explain what they are or do but it seems to have replaced money in the game.
This is the step forward (in terms of gameplay) the series needed after Resident Evil 4. Even though the game has become even more like an action game the changes in control will be move accessible to more players. The game is much faster in shooting, movement, aiming and enemies making it feel more dynamic. Most of the AI are able to use guns and zombies are even able to throw and swing weapons to complement the new engine.
There are things that bother me about the game still. The game is very dark. It isn’t an issue when navigating but enemies often appear as a dark outline. When trying to fight dark outlines in dark rooms it makes things it hard to know even if you have killed enemies let along find them. This seems intentional possible to give some “horror” elements of not seeing your enemies. Even with the in-game brightness cranked to the max and even in brightly lit areas it is difficult to see when an enemy even looks like.
The other problem I have is that you move too fast when in tight spaces. I found myself bumping into things frequently and you stumble over bodies on the ground. It’s probably is something that I have to get used to but it stands out.
I’m a big fan of the Resident Evil franchise but even I was concerned that the game would be too similar to RE4 and 5. This wasn’t the case and I cannot wait until the game is released October 2nd.