There are only a few short days left until the release of Resident Evil 6, the latest in Capcom’s classic survival horror series. Join us for six days of ghouls, guns, and gore as we count down the days, right here at FEARnet!
Resident Evil has, for the most part, been a strictly survival horror experience that has followed a direct path of isolation, with players facing off against the nightmarish hordes alone. There have been several short-term diversions over the game’s multiple iterations, such as RE5’s coop with Sheva Alomar and the insufferable escort missions of RE4.
Resident Evil 6 hopes to blow apart all preconceived notions as to what survival horror is by exploring three distinct types of horror, differing between each of its three campaigns.
Campaign 1: Leon & Helena
The first campaign, which follows fan favorite Leon S. Kennedy (and his oh-so fabulous hair) and his new sidekick Helena as they try to escape the decimated town of Tall Oaks, which has been overrun by the new C-virus menace. The focus in this campaign is more of a classic RE experience, with players slowly creeping around in a more traditional survival horror fashion, in spite of the post-RE4 perspective and gunplay. According to Eiichiro Sasaki, the game’s director, “With this stage we wanted players to experience the fear of walking through the darkness. Light and shadow play a very important part.”
Campaign 2: Chris & Piers
With Chris Redfield taking on a new, more militaristic role with the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), his campaign with new ally Piers focuses more on high-powered gunplay than the others. However, horror is still very real, based on your own sense of encroaching mortality as your squad is picked off one-by-one by the B.O.W.s that they are hunting. Remember the sense of dread in Predator as each steroid-addled gun tripod was whittled down until only Dutch was left? That’s what Sasaki and Capcom were going for. Sasaki commented, “Chris and Piers are accompanied by an entire squad of counter-bioterrorism specialists who should be the ideal allies in this situation, and yet even this cream of the crop are picked off one by one by unknown horrors That's what this part of the game is all about, the escalating fear you feel as your team grows smaller and smaller. It's a kind of terror you can only experience in a group scenario.”
Campaign 3: Jake & Sherry
New character Jake teams up with Sherry Birkin, who is all grown up after the events that happened waaaay back in RE2. The fear in this campaign stems primarily from being stalked by the nigh-unstoppable Ustanak, a cybernetically-enhanced B.O.W. who relentlessly hunts Jake. Thankfully, the game’s previously mentioned Crossover mechanic comes into play (you read Day 1: New Game, New Features, right?), allowing up to four players to team up to take down the hulking horror. Sasaki explains, “The Ustanak can attach different devices to his right arm. One of the interesting ones is the apparatus he uses to grab and crush the player. During gameplay he will start taking out the players one by one, so what starts off looking as a four-on-one fight where the players have the advantage can quickly becomes a massacre. With his right and left arms and the cage-like device on his back, Ustanak can hold up to three players at the same time, leaving just one player left to fight him.
Of course, players can help each other out if they get captured by Ustanak, but they have to get up close to him in order to rescue their allies. Getting near greatly increases the danger of him killing you, so it's a risk you have to take for your team.
In a way it's like the variation of tag chase games sometimes called cops and robbers, where the cops capture the robbers and put them in "jail" where they can't move. Other robbers can free their companions from jail, but as the cops will keep it guarded closely they risk getting caught themselves...”
These three different flavors of fear should keep Resident Evil 6 fresh and exciting across all of its campaigns by returning to the original tone that made the series great as well as exploring new avenues to broaden its scope.
Be sure to join us back here at FEARnet again tomorrow, for Day 3 of our series: New Foes, New Fears!