Videogame Mini-Review: Resident Evil 6 Demo
By the time you read this, the public demo for Resident Evil 6, the latest in Capcom’s ongoing survival horror series, will have been out for a few days.
As a long-time fan of the franchise, I picked it up as soon as it came out and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.
The demo, much like the game will be, offers three choices of playable campaigns. Each one features a new character to the series alongside a returning face. You can either play solo, in which case your companion is AI-controlled, or you can open up your game to friends or random strangers.
One campaign features Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil 2 and 4 alongside new character Helena Harper, fighting their way through a generic American university town. The second on offer has Chris Redfield, the ridiculously-muscled star of the original Resident Evil, Code: Veronica and Resident Evil 5, partnered with fellow soldier Piers Nivan, fighting their way though the fictional Eastern-Europen country of Edonia, combating rebel forces armed with the games’ signature “Bio-Organic Weaponry”. Last but not least, we have Sherry Birkin, late of Resident Evil 2, in an uneasy alliance with new guy Jake Muller in the Hong Kong-alike city of Lanshiang.
Don’t let my sarcasm there let you think I didn’t enjoy the demo, because I had a lot of fun with it. The Leon/Helena chapter in particular felt tight and well-balanced, something of a return to the more controlled and focused environments of the first few games. I’m not sure I can say the same about the other two chapters though. Chris’ section in particular suffered badly; a much more action heavy and faster paced style of gameplay, it ended up feeling like a sub-par generic third-person shooter. The cover mechanics especially felt quite weak, and the AI controlling your partners was about as dense as can be expected; blocking your line of fire and running headlong into your grenades. That said, more than once they came to my aid quickly when I was pinned by a zombie.
Don’t let that out you off though, it’s a sign of how much fun the Resident Evil series has always been that it tends to succeed despite the problems caused by things like its questionable controls, terrible writing, and painful plots. At the very least, grab the demo and see how it fares when put up against modern-day survival horror games like Dead Space. I’ll be picking it up, definitely, but that’s coming from a man who bought Resident Evil 4 for three separate consoles. Your mileage may vary.
Resident Evil 6 is released on the 2nd of October for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Look out for a review some time after that.
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