Everyone knows that I am a fan of the old school Resident Evil games; specifically 1, 2, 3(Nemesis!), and Code Veronica. I liked the cliche scenarios that those games offered.
However, the new Resident Evil games, which actually not changing much in terms of game play, never thrilled me with their plot. Though, I might have just been too stuck in my old ways and too stubborn to enjoy the new things.
With the Resident Evil 6 demo I am giving the latest iteration into this IP a chance since I was not so kind with the previous ones, starting with Resident Evil 4. Read as I give my impression of CAPCOM’s Resident Evil 6 Public Demo!
My reviews are normally elaborate in describing my thoughts and feelings; so hints and/or reveals of the story, character development, and any plot twists regarding the subject that it covers may arise due to the amount of detail needed for explanation. Being mindful of the fact that spoilers could come into play, it may be better for you to watch, read, and/or play the material before reading this review. Thank you and happy reading!
A friend of mine really wanted me to play Resident Evil 6, but I was not very sure because nothing after Resident Evil 3: Nemesis seemed like a good game to me. With me glancing over my twitter, I saw that the Public Demo out for RE6 and I decided to give it a go.
Heading towards the Xbox Live Marketplace for demos, I click on the “Newly Released” tab and choose to download the demo for Resident Evil 6 (889.07 MB), pretty substantial size but the average for a demo I suppose. I pretty much sit around and twiddle my thumbs untiil the initial download is finished. I click on “My Games”, choose the Resident Evil 6 demo and we are good to go.
The screen comes up that says “Resident Evil 6 Public Demo” not too long after it finishes showing the disclaimer about how bugs might be present cause it is a work in progress, etc. etc. I push the start button and they said, “To play online, you must be signed into a profile capable of playing online”. Well, first off I checked my Xbox Live profile to make sure I was signed in, second I was hype that you can actually play this demo online (At least that is what I am assuming). I push start a second time and choose the option to “Play Game” (Also, at the same screen, there is a “Options” menu. It contains basic settings, such as: Controls, Camera, Game Settings, Display, Audio, and Default). Two more options come up, “Campaign” and “Join Game”. Well, time to see what this demo is all about.
Campaign Scenario Summaries.
For this portion of the demo, it seems you get your choice between one of three scenarios which include Leon, Chris, and Jake. Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield are familiar to me because of their presence in the original games, I have no idea who Jake is. Well, seeing as Leon is the first one listed I decided to start with him and go down the list in the order they list them, Jake being last. Oh something I also forgot to mention is that creepy silhouettes are shown in different spots when you high light each of their names. For instance: Leon’s show zombies walking, Chris’ shows a man transforming into a creature, Jake shows something which reminds me of a Tyrant hand.
Also, I will not detail both characters for all scenarios, just the main starting character because they are all basically the same. For instance: The game play with Leon and Helena, nothing is different about the cinematics and the brief cutscenes only has them saying a few lines instead of the other character; there seems not to be any significant differences, at least demo wise; even for Chris’ scenario, Piers is in the car when it flips over, but after that everything is the same for the rest of the demo.
Choosing the option of “Leon” gives me the chance to play as either him or Helena, both are depicted as being on the subway with Leon leaning against a rail and Helena sitting down. I choose Leon to start with. I am then given another option of choosing whether I want my Network Selection to be Xbox Live, System Link, or Offline with the ability to turn the “Partner Join” function to “Allow”, “Don’t Allow”, and “Private”. I do admit that it is a nice touch to choose what type of settings you want, because maybe you want help going through the game but only from a friend and not some random stranger. For the first play through I am going with “Don’t Allow”.
After choosing to “Start Game”, it says “creating game selection” and comes up with a little legend on the control scheme, then immediately cuts to a cinematic. Starts on June 23, 2013 in Tall Oaks U.S.A. Seems that the virus is spreading around and Leon has to shoot the President of the U.S. to the woman named “Helena”. Finds out she is a secret agent like he is and convinces him to come with her to the “Tall Oaks Cathedral” where she’ll “explain everything”. This is where the game play actually begins and you get to take control of Leon or Helena.
You seem to start off in an abandoned building and make your way forward, finding out that the fog on “campus” may have made everyone who breathed it in infected, meaning this is probably a school which is backed up as you head into the lecture room and kill a few zombies. Eventually you navigate to an outside part where you have to get through a security gate in order to make it off campus. An alarm sets off and you are forced to deal with all of these zombies, it was a pretty good opportunity to find out how to use the herbs I picked up outside. Soon after finding the keys some of the zombies that you come across that were inanimate come to life and attempt to attack you. If you make it through them and get into the building with the campus key card and go through the metal detector, it brings about another horde of zombies.
From this point you have to go down and then make a right, doing so will bring you across another horde of zombies. Eventually you come to a police car and must look around to find the keys, afterwards you flip the car over trying not to get bitten by a zombie that managed to get on top of the car. The agent you contacted at the very beginning of the mission tells you there is a safer route, but you will have to go underground into the sewer (And I do not like where that is going).
Choosing the option of “Chris” gives you the choice to play as either himself or Piers, both are depicted as being in a helicopter with both of them seeing opposite and adjacent of each other (Chris in the foreground, piers in the background). You get the very same options as you did from before with the Xbox live, System link, and Offline options and configurations.
The game starts off “December 24th, 2012. Edonia, Eastern Europe” and it seems to be at a remote location where the BSAA (Introduced in Resident Evil 5 I believe) has Chris Redfield in charge of a squadron; seems someone was injured running recon alone and he wants everyone to get it through their heads that they need to stick together to live. Piers seems to be the next in charge after Chris and seems to also a veteran in the field (Bioterrorism eradication). Piers instructs someone to give them the update about the new bio weapons known as “J’avos” which are intelligent, strong, and can mutate according to any physical trauma. Chris splits everyone up to three man teams where he is paired with Piers and the new guy that gave them the rundown on what a J’avo is.
It cuts to a scene of Chris manning the turret while in a convey and says they are taking fire down by “The Two of Hearts”. This is where it actually cuts to actual game play as he hopes from the turret down onto the ground. You proceed to fight them in third person shooter style, kind of reminds me of Ghost Recon. Well, they have bio engineered soldiers and those “J’avo” things that mutate remind me of the silhouette you see for Chris’ story when you high light his name on the select screen. You run into a house after a few small explosions and clear it out, afterwards you and Piers run through a door.
Eventually it goes to a scene and a B.O.W. (Bio Weapon) who is as big as a house comes from between two houses, falls down, and then begins towards you and Piers. After Piers makes a comment about “Didn’t know they came in extra large” and asked how many species there were, the thing picks up a car and throws it at you. It smashes the bridge you are standing on, forcing you and Piers to jump down to the ground. After realizing it is too big to handle it on your own, Chris asks for back up from an APC. After shooting it on the large red part on its back (Its weak point) enough times, an APC comes through and fires heavy artillery forcing the B.O.W. to flee.
After forcing the B.O.W. off, they alert them that their route is cut off by it, and they are advised to switch routes again. You keep fighting your way through the path until you have the rookie blow open a gate. Directly after he has to blow a truck that is blocking your path and you have to fight off B.O.W.’s to buy him time. Once you do that, the truck blows but only up enough to rest against the side of a wall, you manage to make it under the truck and through the gate right before the truck comes back down and blocks the path of the B.O.W.’s following you.
Choosing the option of “Jake” gives you the choice to play as either himself or Sherry Berkin, both are depicted as being on a pole(?) while it is snowing with both of them seeing opposite of each other. Jake is standing up leaning on the pole and Sherry is sitting down. You get the very same options as you did from before with the Xbox live, System link, and Offline options and configurations.
The game starts off December 24, 2012; Edonia, Eastern Europe. Jake is whistling initially and is throwing around an apple. He is then seen stabbing himself in the neck with a syringe with some type of liquid. The scene cuts to Sherry while she is sneaking around only to stop abruptly and peer into a room where people inject themselves with syringes just as we seen Jake do previously. My idea is that they are probably turning themselves into B.O.W.s Sherry sneaks past them, and the scene cuts right back to Jake, who is wondering if it was an “Energy booster” but said it did not work. Someone comes into the room and attempts to cut him with their knife, Jake leans back and they slice the apple in half instead and their knife gets suck in the wall; you can tell from this point-of-view that it is a B.O.W., but Jake does not seem phased and instead proceeds to beat the hell out of the B.O.W. with just his bare hands. Sherry finally catches up with him, and she said he was injected with the antibody and he could be humanity’s salvation; this leads me to believe that Jake could be something along the lines of Wesker. Heading down a chute, they arrive outside and this is where the game play begins.
You are immediately confronted by zombies, fighting them off and you come across something that seemed to be a mutated rat. You keep fighting your way through the opening area before you come to a door that is barricaded from the inside. Finding a ladder you climb your way up it and unlike the door, killing a few more of those mutated rat things, you come into another door that leads into another area. After trying to cross from building to building by standing on a ladder, Jake will fall down and you will have to fight by your lonesome at the bottom. Eventually you come across the same situation where a door is locked from the inside, but instead of you doing it you boost Sherry Berkin up the ladder and she finds a way to unlike the door and then you fight the mutated rat things again (Which seem to mutate from J’avo when they freeze over in some type of slime stuff instead of disappearing). You keep it moving and climb another ladder to run through a narrow passage, go down a ladder and arrive at a door.
A cinematic will start nearly immediately once Jake and Sherry get through the door. Something will fly through the air and strike one of the signs and fall down right before you and Sherry in front of a Bus. As it gets up, it looks like a fully mutated J’avo compared to the ones that just mutated their arms and used it for a shield, it strikes the ground with its chainsaw like arm and the bus and the ground around it catches on fire.
Campaign Scenario Opinions.
The very beginning of Chris’ Campaign in the demo
With me finishing off all of the scenarios, I want to give a brief opinion about my experience with all of them and my eagerness to play them if I choose to get the game when it releases.
This was my introductory game and I was a bit concerned about what I was going to be getting into; I am glad that it did not disappoint me and gave me a good impression of the game first off. The scenario they gave seemed very reminiscent of the conditions from the original games, which I absolutely love. The best part about this whole scenario to me was when you set off the alarm because you could not get into a room and the zombies began to burst through the windows (Reminds me of that one part in Resident Evil 1). The graphics in this game are absolutely astounding, in this scenario they really nailed the colors and the lighting in order to give a dramatic presentation of the entire thing. The way it was setup reminded me of an actual college campus.(
Though, something that got to me about this scenario was the generic “Get the Key” thing instead of the previous games flair: Eat a banana to open a trap door that makes the water fountain spurt blood to make the key appear in the locker room. You know, that sort of thing (But I guess it cannot be helped with this series trying to get more true-to-life). But everything aside, the way they executed getting something as simple as a key was beautiful because you were afraid of the number of zombies that were going to come. Especially when trying to fight in the little passage right before you get to the car, as your best choice is to run because the zombies do not stop coming.
This scenario was executed excellently and fulfills my old school needs. I am interested to learn the origin of the chemical outbreak that turned the president into a zombie and the connection between Helena to the events that are occurring.
I was wondering what Chris would be like since he was part of the BSAA in Resident Evil 5, and it appears as though he makes a comeback here as still part of the team. They make sure to outline that Chris is now a trained professional and he confronts B.O.W. with a head on approach.
This scenario reminded me more of a Third Person shooter with Resident Evil style qualities; it was very frantic and sometimes when I ran out of bullets I was worried because it takes a while to kill them with just melee attacks (Though, having a hunting knife does help dramatically as Chris, but still pretty slow).
From the other scenario I was thinking it was almost impossible to get killed if you and your team mate had some pills, mainly because I was either knocked down and revived (You are invincible while reviving a fallen ally), or I simply had enough pills to heal afterwards. However, during the fight with the large B.O.W. I actually got stepped on and killed, similar to when we squash a cockroach, petty disgusting stuff.
I think this scenario shows how fast and furious Resident Evil can be and adds quite the different flair when compared to the medium-pace of the first scenario.
I did not really know what to expect when I came to this one, but Jake himself seems to actually have more weapons than Chris did in the 2nd scenario. Hand-to-Hand combat, “Elephant Killer” gun…. he was pretty fun to play despite the fact I think this scenario sucked pretty terrible compared to the first two.
This scenario seemed like they lazily put it together because they did not have enough time, at least that is what I am gathering. Two exact same scenarios within 5 minutes of each other, having to climb ladders and do things unnecessarily when Jake could have used the very same maneuver he used to boost up Sherry to a ladder to scale the actual door way itself and save time. Also, the scenario was not long or diverse enough to really put Jake’s close combat skills to use.
Overall, the scenarios look like they will all be pretty fun, but the last scenario (Jake’s) will have to really evolve itself into something that is worthy of the other two because right now it is the eyesore of the demo. While I still believe only the first scenario is really the style of the old school Resident Evils, the other ones are not bad at all. The order in which they appear in are the order of my favorite scenarios, ironically. I am highly interested in how each of the scenarios develop.
Practicing in the little area right where the demo starts with Leon and Helena, I get a fill for the controls. The Y button brings up your inventory, you can switch weapons by pushing left or right on the dpad, you can adjust the camera to look in front of you by pushing in on the left analog stick or tapping the A button (Which also allows you interact with things, such as doors), you can also look behind you with the B button. You can hold the left bumper to view objects. Holding Left Trigger allows you to aim (Also allows you to press yourself flat against walls) and pushing Right Trigger allows for you to shoot, where as pushing Right Trigger without holding Left Trigger allows you to melee attack, and X is to reload. Also, while you are aiming you an hold backwards and tap the A button to jump onto your back and even crawl while shooting, holding forward and tapping A executes a forward roll (If you have the knife equipped, you can also push the A button to momentarily duck), you can also hold down A to run. All-in-all, CAPCOM did a good job with the controls as they are very easy to get the hang of and do not take too much thought into figuring out what to do at the right time.
The movement in the game is pretty smooth for the most part, it feels really nothing like the old school Resident Evil games besides the fact you have to aim before you shoot (No firing from the hip). However, using the A button and the Right Trigger you are able to press yourself up against walls, run, jump over objects, duck, and a variety of other things. This game seems to focus upon making it as true-to-life as possible if a zombie situation did occur, being able to roll and jump back has huge advantages when you see an enemy coming and need to get out of the way of it. I would say they completely optimized the control scheme to fit this game perfectly.
As far as the combat goes, I would say that is pretty smooth all the way around. I like the fact the aiming and shooting is so easy, and they even let you what color you want your laser sight to be in the options menu if you have a preference besides the default red. I am also finally glad you get to attack without the need for a weapon, especially since they are agents with hand-to-hand combat training (I often kicked Zombies in the back and then stabbed them with the knife to kill them). When a zombie gets a hold of you, it seems you have a Quick Time Event to get them off of you before you take too much damage. Though, the combat this time around is really, really exciting to me. You can do a variety of other attacks, such as me running at a zombie from the back and tapping A allowed me to “Bulldog” him and smash his face into the ground. I was also able to grab a zombie by the head and smash his face into a wall, all at my astonishment.
A few things I do think they need to work on though, is the mechanics of rolling and the whole “wall cling” thing. When you cling to wall you should be able to duck
Though, I do think it is very easy to kill zombies, but it is even harder when they are all clumped up together and some are coming at you quick; can feel very overwhelming sometimes and you have no idea how the hell you are going to get out of that situation. One thing that disappointed me though is when you kill a zombie, they fall down and just seem to evaporate into nothing. I am against this idea because I liked the idea they had in Resident Evil 1: Remake where they would transform into “Super Zombies” if they were not burned or killed with a head shot; it puts more emphasis on the way you actually kill them and sometimes forces you just to run past zombies instead of using your ammo. On the other hand, in the original games before the remake it did not matter, at the very least though I would like their dead bodies to remain around after they are dead.
Resident Evil 6 seems like it will be a really good game regardless that it seems to break some of the customs from the originals, but I am sure it carries things over from Resident Evil 4 and 5. The game play mechanics are actually pretty good and the controls feel a lot more fluent and immersible the more you happen to play.
The scenarios seem pretty fun, while they are not exactly the type I would think “Resident Evil” when I play them, they seem like they could be quite enjoyable. Chris is a lot more action and rush oriented than I was expecting, A LOT more, but is a good thing (It was like a third person shooter with zombies in it).
I do not know if I will be picking this game up, but I know for fans of the series who are looking for something that combines the old school feel with additions that were made in the most recent games will not be disappointed by what they find in Resident Evil 6.