Is Resident Evil 6 becoming more like the movies or the original game?
OMFG Resident Evil overload. There's only so much action footage that's strayed so far from the series' origins that I can take in one day. We have been treated to a three minute trailer for Resident Evil 6 and a short trailer/Sony products advertisement for Resident Evil: Retribution. The bigger news, obviously, is the announcement and trailer for Resident Evil 6. We see more over-the-should action, with some cool cover shooting, sliding and shooting from back moves, and other more action-centric gameplay, as opposed to the survival-horror that the series started with.
So is Resident Evil 6 closer to the movie adaptations than it is the original Resident Evil game?
Resident Evil started out as a horror-survival game with puzzles, item and ammo management, and combat that required caution and strategy. With limited ammo, you had to decide when to fight or run, which weapon to use for which enemy, when to use a knife, when to use a green herb or first aid spray, all while not knowing what new enemy would be waiting around the corner of those creepy wallpapered hallways.
It was an intense experience to say the least. Enemies would crash through windows, zombies out of closets, and me out of my chair to get a change of underwear. The face that you would have to stop moving to shoot made it even more tense, as multiple enemies could be coming at you.
With Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 came a huge difference – an over-the-shoulder camera view. The games were getting less about puzzles and more about how many enemies you can shoot down. They were moving away from item and ammo management. They stopped using zombies and starting using crazed/infected villagers mixed in with huge, genetically mutated monsters. Where were the creepy mansions, the abandoned police stations, the small cities filled with destruction, and the haunting locale that the first few games captured so well?
The moment you knew everything would be okay...until you left the safe room.
Especially with Resident Evil 5, the horror aspect was completely gone. Just because it has monsters does not make it a horror game. I guess it was survival in that you had to kill enemies so they don't kill you, but it wasn't survival in the sense that you were worried about supplies. Co-op also took a lot of the scariness out of the game, knowing that you can count on a teammate makes a big difference in emotional setting.
Let's take the movies now – has there ever been a horror aspect to them? I guess the first movie was the closest to the game series, but that's a reach. The movies feature over-the-top fighting scenes, and not necessarily with guns. Milla Jovovich and her character Alice gets shit done with her fists... and chains... and swords.
Yea, that screams Resident Evil
The movies feature her flipping around enemies and killing them, doing slow-mo fighting moves, and battling less zombies and more huge baddies with every movie. Hmm, less zombies and bigger monsters ya say? What does that sound like? More melee combat. And yes, I realize zombies are still in the movies, but are they any threat? Ever?
I can't help but notice that the games, along with their change towards more Gears of War-esque gameplay, started featuring less zombies, more huge monsters, more action, less horror, and more melee. I don't need my Resident Evil characters doing jumping punches and leg sweeps to zombies and infected. I understand that members of S.T.A.R.S should be well-trained in melee combat, but the game has never needed these types of combat moves. The new Resident Evil 6 leans closer to the movie and less towards the original game when you see assault rifle battles and Leon sliding through an enemy's legs, onto his back, and shooting off some rounds. Really?
The games are more shooter and less horror-survival now. The well-equipped Chris Redfield doesn't look like he's going to be worrying about how many levers, first aid sprays, and ammo he's going to be able to hold at once. Puzzles? Why do you need puzzles when you could just battle a bigger enemy with more firepower? Dead Space did horror and action right, and it seems like Resident Evil forgot to add horror to the equation. They have to remember that monsters doesn't make it horror. Zombies doesn't make it horror. It's the suspense and the unexpected that makes your heart race; it's the moments where you're nervous to play the game with the lights off; that's horror.
Did Capcom do this on purpose?
I think that Resident Evil 6 is leaning more towards resembling the action in the movies than the action that made the series popular in the first place. Yes, there are moments when you watched the trailer where you thought, 'Wow, that looks like it could be an entry from earlier in the series' Then you see the bro shooting gameplay and you just sigh.
Watch the trailers and you tell me, is Resident Evil 6 more like the first game or more like the movies?
You can follow Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ