The trailer for Resident Evil 6 launched about a month ago, and over the past several weeks, I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've been thinking about the outstanding Resident Evil 4, which was a wonderfully atmospheric and truly chilling experience. I've been thinking about Resident Evil 5, which was a fun time, but really derived from the series' tone. And of course, I've been thinking about that Resident Evil 6 trailer.
To be quite honest, I have mixed feelings about the game. On the one hand, I really want a new Resident Evil, and a few things I saw in the trailer really got my attention. On the other hand, I'm not too excited about some of the changes that appear to have been made to the series' classic formula. After watching the trailer, I'm stuck between a "I really want to see the final product" mentality, and a "I probably won't buy this at launch" mentality.
The following is a list of pros and cons that are making it impossible for me to lean more toward either side.
Pro: Darker Atmosphere than Resident Evil 5
The last truly great Resident Evil game I played was Resident Evil 4. Though that title featured a lot of the elements that were present in Resident Evil 5 (which just wasn't as good as its predecessor) it presented them in a wonderfully dreadful environment. Locales within Resident Evil 4 were dark and eerie, and there was a constant sense of fear throughout the experience. Resident Evil 5, on the other hand, was bright and sunny. I'm glad to see that Resident Evil 6 is utilizing darker environments in at least some spots, because anything else is too unlike the series.
Con: Too bro
When I first watched the trailer for Resident Evil 6, I was one of the many individuals who said the game looked too bro. Seriously, they could have just as easily called this game Gears of Evil or Resident Gears. The way the characters carry themselves, the voice acting, the dialogue, and the shooting gameplay all make it seem as though Resident Evil 6 is some joint venture between Capcom and Epic Games.
Pro: Some cool monsters
Resident Evil has always been about being outnumbered by enemies. When you're not outnumbered, though, that's usually because you're about to face some imposing force that's either crazy, scary, or both. While watching the Resident Evil 6 trailer, I saw this giant, intimidating beast, and I can honestly say I want to see how that battle plays out. That thing looked pretty sick, and if there are plenty of instances where massive creatures act as roadblocks to the protagonists' progress, that will be a welcome addition to the game.
Con: Cover-based shooting
Of course, huge monsters will only be a cool addition if there isn't a bunch of cover for the heroes to hide behind. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like this will be the case because the trailer clearly showcased some pansy cover gameplay. Yes, that's right, pansy. Real Resident Evil heroes don't need to shoot from behind a wall. Real Resident Evil heroes take on enemies head-on … or run away, turn around, and look for openings. I really hope Resident Evil 6 won't fully be a cover-based shooter, but it looks like it will be. Damn.
Pro: Return of Leon S. Kennedy
Leon S. Kennedy is a Resident Evil fan favorite, and it was great seeing him making a return to the series in the trailer for Resident Evil 6. It's going to be fun playing as Kennedy once more, and he'll undoubtedly bring a self-confident yet never pretentious attitude to the upcoming game.
Con: Return of Chris Redfield
Speaking of pretentiousness, I don't know what it is, but I'm not too fond of Chris Redfield. Oh, wait, I do know what it is: He's so freakin' bro it's ridiculous! Did you see those arms? Seriously, this guy belongs in Gears of War. The only reason he's probably not in that series is because his head, while still not proportionate to his body, doesn't look as tiny as Marcus Fenix and company's. I don't hate Chris; I just didn't want to see him in Resident Evil 6. He was hard to care about in Resident Evil 5, and I'm sure he'll be hard to care about in the upcoming title.
Pro: A few classic Resident Evil elements
The trailer for Resident Evil 6 was pretty fast-paced, and it was difficult for me to catch a clear look at everything that went on. That said, there were a few moments that really reminded me of past entries in the series. I look forward to seeing mutated freaks trying to bite Leon's face off, only so that he can fight them off with a knife and then deliver a fatal blow. Seemingly ordinary people turning into weird and gory mutations will also be really cool to watch. Also, I'm more than willing to let a mutated freak bite Chris's face off.
Con: Still not Resident Evil enough
Even with a few nods to the series' revered gameplay mechanics, Resident Evil 6 seems like it may be an almost entirely different animal from its predecessors. Resident Evil 4 introduced some changes, but it offered awesome horror elements, puzzle-solving, and tense situations. Resident Evil 5 removed all of that and delivered straight shooting that at least felt familiar. Resident Evil 6, though, looks like a completely different game. Despite a few classic features, Resident Evil 6 seems like a massive departure, and that's pretty upsetting.
Resident Evil is a great franchise. Over the past few years, though, its greatness has diminished because it's taken cues from the third-person shooter genre rather than exuding that chilling survival horror vibe that made the series such a hit. I want to care about Resident Evil 6 entirely, but sadly, I only care about it partially. I hope it's a solid game, but what I'm dreading is that even if we get that, it's highly likely that it will be a solid shooter rather than a solid survival horror game.
Ugh … Why did it have to be so bro?