Resident Evil 6: The First 15 Hours
29th Jul 2012 | 13:00
In many ways, the monster embodies the
The campaign is a triple-pronged attack, a one-size-fits-all narrative following the separate stories of three two-man teams, combining classic Resi sneakery, nu-Resi shooting, and blockbuster action beats that are only now possible. This is Capcom's biggest game ever - more money, more men and more development time.
All of which is running through my head as Deadward Scissor Hands (alternative name) gives chase. I'm new guy Jake Muller, son of big blond bioterrorist Albert Wesker who was last seen in
Partner Sherry Birkin is with us. Using the D-pad, I can beckon her, halt her, or flash her a friendly thumbs up, because even special agents need love. We're now in a dilapidated hall just wide enough for something large to burst in and give chase. Which is what Ustanak does. It's a boss fight similar to
After, we head outside into absolute chaos. The Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) is battling mutated mercenaries through a cliffside village. As we navigate mazey streets the carnage is incredible: helicopters unleash missiles, infected villagers explode in showers of innards and platoons manoeuvre en masse. After five hours, I need a breather.
WAR ON BIOTERROR
Ivy University, Tall Oaks. President Adam Benford is about to spill the beans on 15 years of government secrets when, wouldn't you know it, they do it for him. The whole campus is zombified in a bioterror attack, and just as he did in Raccoon City in 1998's
The campaign he shares with Helena counters Jake and Sherry's hands-on headslide; it's pure Resi all (or most) of the way. There are long stretches where all you do is inch down a wood-panelled corridor illuminated at intervals by lightning, or passing through a barren convention hall, balloons indicating we just missed the party. It's the necessary prose before the exclamation mark. The glacial pace affords me a look at the scenery, and I'm impressed.
A lecturer finds us. He's looking for his daughter, so we help. Along the way he complains of skin irritations. This might come back to bite us. We find the daughter barely lucid. The man props her up and drags her to a lift. A confined space. I can't help thinking that wasn't such a good idea. She turns, lunges for me.
Two things cross my mind. One: aaaahh! Two: the zombies look different. She, along with 70,000 other Americans, is infected with the new C-virus. After a zombie girl QTE then a cathartic car park shootout, it's off to China to clear my head. With five hours left on the clock, up steps Chris Redfield. This is the campaign for thrill-seekers. Barely a second elapses without the opportunity to shred something with a PKM or a Heckler and Koch UPM, or get stabby with a giant serrated knife.
Chris, now BSAA captain, along with fellow agent Piers Nivans, is seeking a VIP in fictional Chinese coastal town Lanshiang. My chopper lands and I set off, sending a J'avo, the baddies you'll fight in bulk, sprawling over a high-rise railing. After turning 180 degrees and dodging away, putting fluid new controls to task, three more J'avo flank me. The ceramic mask-wearing foes are similar to RE5's spontaneously mutating Manjini, sprouting icky limbs, tentacles, spines and even wings. They're smart enough to wield weapons, as I found out upon clearing a gap and almost getting decimated by an RPG.
HOURS OF NEED
Next, I've got to shimmy across a pole with quick taps of a while Piers provides cover fire. It's a tantalising glimpse at better co-op moments, but on this occasion I get the raw end of the deal wrapped up in a QTE. My 15 hours is topped off with a "hold your position" climax as teammates take their sweet time arriving. A fitting ending, when you think about it. Just as Chris held his position, so too are Capcom maintaining Resi's genre-defying status as a bubbling mix of features culled from East and West. Currently,
As it stands, Capcom's Frankenstein's monster of gameplay styles is teetering in the balance. We can't wait to play more, and see how it holds together in the full story context.