The announcement of Resident Evil 6 didn't go to plan. The game was first shown privately at TGS 2011 - but then the footage leaked. Capcom kept schtum and instead concentrated on creating a teaser site that would lead into the 'official' reveal of the game. Then more leaks: a promotional poster, plot details, even gameplay tidbits. Except, when the trailer hit, none of it mattered anymore. Because Resi 6 wasn't just spectacular - it was a radical change for the blockbuster series.
The headline news is that Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, and a mystery mercenary ably assisted by Ashley Graham are the main playable characters, and each has their own campaign that intersects with the others'. The trailer's easy to find online, so we'll skip the blow-by-blow, and instead explain why this is the most ambitious series entry since the genre-defining Resi 4.
It's a legacy Resi 6 confronts head-on. Tall Oaks is the setting for Leon's part of the game, and Ingrid Hunnigan is back on radio duties to tell him there are over 70,000 hostiles. His reply: "It's Raccoon City all over again." Beautiful.
Leon's part of the game is all about old-school survival horror, with a gothic castle and a terrifying trip along a zombie-infested subway tunnel channelling the earlier and more spooky entries in the series. That doesn't mean he won't be getting his hands dirty. These are proper, old school, neck-chomping Resident Evil zombies, and at points there are ten attacking him at once.
Luckily Leon's more capable than ever, delivering roundhouse kicks to clumped groups, sliding past enemies and shooting them from the floor like Max Payne, and smashing fireaxes into a zombie skulls.
Recent entries in the series have all emphasised the role of bioterrorism in Resi's world, but Resi 6 finally shows it: Chris's sections are set in a Chinese city under attack. The feel is more like Cloverfield than anything, with a special forces team running towards what everyone else is running away from (there's a glimpse of a Godzilla-sized beast that's clearly some relation of El Gigante), and bespoke animations as Chris jostles through the crowd and shoves eager journalists aside.
In contrast to Leon's sections, this is a straight-up Gears Of War shootout, complete with a cover system and heavy firepower. Chris and his squad blast through Las Plagas (from Resis 4 and 5), a mutating Regenerator thing called the Navo, and an all-out vehicular assault.