Resident Evil 6: The Third Guy Is Wesker's Son

And the blonde girl is Sherry Birkin. Also: real zombies, "horror entertainment."

Is the future of Resident Evil action or horror? The series of late has been evolving towards action, and you could call it adapt or die; the producer of the 3DS instalment Revelations says the market is too small to support horror as we once knew it. But the makers of Resident Evil 6 talked up a "return to horror" at Capcom's annual Captivate showcase, where they balanced the all-out action of January's announcement trailer with a slower, darker gameplay presentation.

First things first, though, since they settle a great wodge of the speculation raised by that trailer. Resident Evil 6 stars a trio of protagonists: series veterans Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield, plus buzz-cut mercenary Jake Muller, son of one Albert Wesker, the longtime Resident Evil villain last seen taking a faceful of rocket inside a volcano at the end of game five.

Each member of the trio has a story path to tread. Leon's begins in the American university town Tall Oaks, where a bioterrorist attack has zombified the visiting president, while Jake starts out in the fictional Eastern European nation Edonia. In the course of the game, he and Leon converge on Chris in China, Resident Evil 6's main location, where the bulgingly bicepped one and his squad are tackling further bioterrorist atrocity. And with three tales to follow, each a bit shorter than Resident Evil 5, expect a reasonably lengthy adventure.

In the actual action, which we are, by degrees, getting to, each protagonist also has a partner. Leon's is US security service agent Helena Harper; Chris' is sharpshooter Piers Nivans; Jake's is Sherry Birkin, daughter of Umbrella scientist-turned-mutant William Birkin. As in Resident Evil 5, these partners are controlled by the computer or a second player--but with less fuss than in the previous game, we're promised, now that co-op play is properly drop in and drop out.

In old-school Resident Evil fashion, you choose the order you play each of the main characters, though executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi says he would prefer you take Leon first. Accordingly, the Captivate demo took in the very first part of Leon's story, which "really encapsulates" the horror flavour of Resident Evil 6, claims Kobayashi.

The longish section is dark, spooky, slow, and taut, set in a big old university building that harks back to the haunted mansion of the first game. How fully it represents the whole game experience remains to be seen, but this early segment could have been engineered specifically to placate grumpy survival horror fans. In it, Leon has just been forced to kill the zombie president and must escape the university and the city with co-op sidekick Helena.

They work their way through the Tall Oaks campus building, navigating grand lobbies, dark corridors and kitchens, and a great dining hall still decked out with streamers and balloons for the presidential reception. The lights are out in the wake of the attack, a storm flashes outside, and a handful of victims' corpses lie slumped along the way, awaiting eventual reanimation.

For entire minutes, though, there's nothing to shoot at or run from, just dark rooms to explore, a survivor hunting for his student daughter, and a spot of mysterious distant piano playing. It's a slow and deliberate buildup to a genuinely good jump scare, embellished with the classic violin horror sting. If anything spoils the atmosphere, it's the waypoint marker, hovering white and obtrusive over the gloomy environment.

But determined to show off its horror chops, the game quickly follows that fake-out scare with a grisly real scare: Leon and Helena trapped in a lift, in pitch blackness, as the survivor's daughter suddenly turns zombie and tears into her dad. In the dark, flashlight swinging about, there are only glimpses of gore, but the squelchy, gruesome sound effects are more affecting for it.

The panicky lift fight marks the demo's shift into upper gear, as from here on there are flocks of zombies to battle through. These are honest-to-goodness real zombies, too, as the gamemakers take pains to point out: shuffling, shambling zombies, slow at a distance but with a fast lunge up close. Leon wades out of the lift into an underground car park, busting out his new melee moves--a wide-ranging mix of contextual strikes and grapples, among them an unlikely running bulldog takedown.

The controls are "all new," we're told, and though a hands-off demo can't prove they feel right, they look just the job, properly enabling--whisper it--moving and shooting at the same time. It's not quite flat-out running and gunning, but that suits us fine. There's dual wielding too, and shooting from prone; after diving to the floor, Leon can blast away at the swarming undead from on his back.

Among the horde of "real" zombies are a few with weapons, a point of contention for purists, but for what it's worth, the weapons are things they would have been carrying pre-zombification. One ghoul swipes at Leon with a pipe; Leon can wrench it away in a contextual melee move.

Leon and Helena at Tall Oaks' Ivy university.

Everything looks mighty fine, as dark and moody as Resident Evil 5's opening was bright and jarring, but it's the minor show-off details that leave an impression. When Leon gets bitten, his arm spurts blood. When he shoots a zombie in the midriff, fleshy chunks blow off. When you steer him against a doorframe or a banister, he reaches out to touch it, convincingly natural.

It's all very promising, then, but is it horror? Kobayashi diplomatically calls it "horror entertainment"--horror in the service of a plot rather than horror for its own sake. That's borne out by the second, story-led trailer, which emphasises the three protagonists' intersecting paths and the game's globe-trotting plot, playing down the full-on action elements of trailer one (gunfights, a cover system).

It's telling that our demo didn't include the game's "main" enemy, a quick-mutating creature called the J'avo. Leon's mooch around an ominous old building could play the same part in Resident Evil 6 as the opening of Resident Evil Revelations, in which Jill explores an abandoned luxury liner (another haunted mansion stand-in): a slower, spookier intro to anchor a game that later tips the scales away from creeping horror and towards frantic action. But what we've seen so far is encouraging--if finding the perfect balance between the two is the future of Resident Evil, so be it.

Capcom has brought the release date for Resident Evil 6 forward from November 20 to October 2.

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117 comments
Omar_Aly
Omar_Aly

 @CeaselessDisco Haha yeah you are right RE5 wasn't the best , RE4 was my favorite , I just hope that RE6 come soon , I've been waiting for it for so long .

titortastic
titortastic

Capcom....I think you vastly underestimate the value of survival horror as it pertains to the game that spawned its popularity in the first place.  Don't undercut your own series just for an extra few "projected" dollars when you can make the game your core fans want and need, not only will you take a leap of faith (which will say wonders about your company) but you have the chance to create something long lasting in the heart of many discouraged fans and maybe convince the new generation to slow down and enjoy what great 'Classic' games are supposed to be like. Because at the end of the day numbers are just numbers. If you really feel like you've created something new and worthwhile, then it becomes legendary. Kinda like when you created Resident Evil :)

dorianyates
dorianyates

Make a fps camera because your third person cameras are horrible. Or learn with Epic team how to make a good one.

Hirouakan
Hirouakan

The fanboy inside me are looking forwad to it, but man, Capcom is trying to add a lot of things that are not needed to this franchise. Cover, "dramatic running" and even waypoints! Ok, older series are suffering from the new tendencies of modern gaming, but i don't want to see all of the good things about RE die just so we can have a new game that's gonna atract more players. Unfortunately this kinda thing happens everywhere, even with bands and movies.

Cataclysmm
Cataclysmm

RE1-4 was great 5 was just ok,i hope RE6 gives me the feel of RE4 close are better,i am looking forward to RE6.

simon1812
simon1812

I understand "adapt or die" but still I hope Kobayashi doesnt forget the roots that made the franchise great. PS I do hope they make the game as lengthy as possible (as long as RE2, 3 , C:V & 4 maybe?) RE5 was too short glad I got it as a loan from a friend.

s3p41ro7h
s3p41ro7h

They're trying way to hard to emulate the success of RE4, but it's just not going to happen... They should have stopped and not continue to beat a dead horse, but we'll see when it gets here.

Connor728
Connor728

I'm still looking forward to it. I can't believe some people aren't going to give resi a second look after 5, even this early!

Sojiro_Blue
Sojiro_Blue

Wesker should have gone home and been a family man.

vivekraikkonen
vivekraikkonen

@JaneDouglas Fair Enough. Also, was the demo console-based? Do you have any details about keyboard/mouse control scheme? Because I only play on my PC, don't have a console, and the keyboard controls and mouse targeting system were absolutely dreadful in both RE4 and RE5, pretty much unplayable without a gamepad. Is this one looking any better?

Sporkum
Sporkum

Please please PLEASE stop beating a long dead dog... RE hasn't been RE in quite some time, and now you clowns are just pulling crap outta left field.. Weskers Son.. gimme a break.. I honestly can't decide whats worse.. another RE game.. or another RE movie.. both give me chills and not for good reasons!

janedouglas
janedouglas

@vivekraikkonen Creeping dread is harder to do when the player character isn't all alone, for sure. Other kinds of scares can still be effective, though--there were a couple of sudden shocks in the RE6 demo, those were pretty powerful.

mack10
mack10

I just want a good storyline, solid gameplay and nice graphics....that's it.

vivekraikkonen
vivekraikkonen

"the producer of 3DS instalment Revelations says the market is too small to support horror as we once knew it." Alan Wake did quite well, didn't it?? I think it did much better than the dreadful Operation Raccoon City(I left the the Resident Evil tag from the title which it truly doesn't deserve) which caters to "wider market-base". The point is, a good game will do well, whatever the genre. I feel that gamers(or at least, PC gamers) like variety and versatility in games, and enjoy all of them. Consoles are mostly about action games. While there's nothing wrong with that, it is streamlining the genres into the action mould. And everyone is following that, because thats where the money is. @JaneDouglas On a separate note, don't you feel RE works better when Leon/Chris are alone, because having someone around watching your back all the time kinda kills the horror?? Take RE4 for example, Leon was alone most of the times, making him feel vulnerable and always heavily outnumbered. And when he had Ashley with him, it added to the vulnerability because she added to be protected and watched over at all times, which added more depth and tension to the gameplay.

ss-db-ss
ss-db-ss

Don't worry people. As long as Six Slant Games has nothing to do with this game, we may expect a good game from Capcom, I hope.

freefadi
freefadi

I hated having a partner following me around in RE5, it takes away the sense of being alone against all danger. Well at least Capcom admitted that they follow the money since the horror marked is "too small". Greedy greed. I miss the days when the game developers made games that were really great and not quick money makers and games that appear only to the casual non hardcore gamer. Goodbye RE you were definitely my favorite franchise in the 90's...the best period for games.

chechak7
chechak7

hope it will bring horror game -back to roots with old heroes -

starduke
starduke

Hmm, sounds like it might be cool.

TheGame50401
TheGame50401

you guys hear about the Japan only Premier edition? Comes with authentic Leon Leather coat, Ipad/and or phone cases, the game itself, and a few other goodies for only 1300 american dollars....!!!

neogeta8
neogeta8

RE 1-3 were great games and the survival horror was exactly what was needed and what made the games great. RE 4 was okay but the more action based gamplay made it less gripping and involving. I played the start of RE 5 but the action focused gameplay just put me off and I didn't bother with it. If RE 6 goes back to the RE roots then I will look to invest but if it goes down the action gameplay root I won't be parting with my hard earned cash I'm afraid.

YummyMango
YummyMango

RE Franchise is one of the very good examples where company forgets the roots and starts to make what is "hot" and ruins the product. Not saying RE4 and 5 were terrible, they were ok to play but Not even close to RE 2, 3 and code veronica (1 was ok but that's me). No more puzzle solving, picking clues, linking threads, checking each and every corner for ammo, carefully treading the corridors. All is gone. Now it is more of just another action game. I will still play it because of my love for RE franchise but I hope Devs know what they are getting into.

CeaselessDisco
CeaselessDisco

@Omar_Aly How you managed to turn Dark Souls into 'Dark Crap' is beyond me, you are a genius with words. On the other hand, Resident Evil has lost what it's known for, and many fans are certain that it would be better if it didn't transform completely into an action game. RE5 contained very little thrills, and until you at least play the first 2, which are still playable even after these years, you can not say you hope this is like 5, as they combine action with horror with story with suspense, just like you want.

Chronologo
Chronologo

"lulz i wunt unly action coz i unly plyd re 4 and 5", as someone said below they're the cancer of gaming, I bet if they played RE 1 in hard they would **** their pants out and couldn't even finish the game.

PCsama
PCsama

wesker's son ..ohh comeon

erMonezza
erMonezza

Oh, to hell.. I played every major RE game, I'm gonna play this one too. I prefer the slow paced re 1-3, but times change and as the game addapts to the wide consumer prefrences, we'll have to do the same. Bring it Capcom. P.S. Maybe another game will arise with a more horror feel and less 'horror entertainment'.

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

vvvvv all the lamers below saying they want action and only played RE 4 and 5,youre the cancer to gaming,youre also confirming what I said below : Xbox owners are god damn kids who were not even born in the 90s. ffs shltcom thx for both ruining the gameplay style of a franchise,but also now promoting it to an audience of 12-17yrs old with some completely out-of-place stuff and stupid console release first.

Omar_Aly
Omar_Aly

I hope this game would be like RE4 and 5 , didn't even play 1-3 . finished 4 twice and 5 with all difficulties , love this game , it combines action with horror with story with suspense unlike Dark Souls more like Dark Crap , played it like 17-19 minutes didn't even try to continue , still wondering how is this game the best in 2011.

aamir69
aamir69

I would bring in a new villain instead of this lame idea of bringing Wesker's son. Seriously, in this modern age, how many sons follow their fathers path? Capcom is surely out of ideas but still yet thanks for not bringing Akuma in RE series or maybe you will as on disk locked content for 20$ lol

dark_rage864
dark_rage864

Haven't we got enough action as it is with all these big titles? we need survival horror cause that is what's lacking this generation!

ShambyIzaZK
ShambyIzaZK

I dont care about the survival horror, BRING ON THE ACTION! Yes I only played RE 4 and 5

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

wesker jr?sounds like they have ran out of ideas this time..

RaveNRolla
RaveNRolla

ah, i love every single resident evil maingame.. and i like ORC too. from all you guys i think i got the happiest life ;)

Aentikraist
Aentikraist

i did like the trailer and this info is quite promising nice to know the zombies carried the same weapons when when they werent i though they can grab weapons that would be really absurd and dual wielding thats one thing i wanna try really : )

Chronologo
Chronologo

I just hope this isn't another CRAPCOM, release as they're getting used to.

Lord_Nobunaga
Lord_Nobunaga

The game looks good and so does the storyline. As for survival horror ... I'm afraid that won't happen again in our beloved RE series :( !

h00li9an
h00li9an

every time I look at Resident evil 6's logo....

jwsoul
jwsoul

@Sscool88 If each storyline is a little shorter than RE5 then that means each story line is almost the same length as Re5 IE Triple the Storyline playtime.

Chavis02
Chavis02

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

maitkarro
maitkarro

Eastern European nation Edonia, hmm I live in Eastern Europe nation Estonia ...

Hail23
Hail23

@Sscool88 If each if the 3 story lines are just a bit shorter than 5, wouldn't that make 6 longer than 5 since it has 3 separate story lines?

Mrod1212
Mrod1212

@raze-boi Why do people keep saying that lol? It looks more like a sea horse to me.

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

RE is by far one of my favorite franchises...from PS1 - current..back in ps1 days, re1 was like nothing I've seen before on A game...then 2 released..was like ho-hum over the makeover..but it quickly grew to be one of my favorites of the series.. (re3 did nothing for me compared to 2..) This actually has me more hyped than I was for re4..(which also was another of my favorites..) re5 was like.ok...play it when I get chance to..this on the other hand IS..must-play..Just hope they don't kill Leon..or Chris..would be nice to find out what happened to Jill as well after RE5..

TKavney92
TKavney92

This one actually looks promising. I hope we don't have just a fancier RE5. That game was a major disappointment in my eyes and I've been a fan of the series since the beginning.

Sscool88
Sscool88

Well hope this resident evil 6 is better than five. Too bad each of the storyline is shorter than re 5. I hope for a longer storyline.

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

yayyy PC gets delayed release again weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee just so I hear it gets another 4.5 score and doesnt make me wanna buy it 3 months later when it releases for PC(just like that BS of OP racoon city that comes out in MAY!?!?!?!? rofl) f*cktards are creating videogames from computers but cant have it releasing on the mother-platform of all time instead they promote that dumbed down ass trash thats 10yrs old and mostly owned by kids under 18 who shouldnt even be allowed to play M rated games. dumb devs are dumb.

playtaion999
playtaion999

Bring Shinji Mikami back to direct the game.

gkhalifa
gkhalifa

capcom im really not ready for a disappointment please make a survival horror a real RE game

Mpakistanos
Mpakistanos

 @titortastic Survival horror shit 5 bullets and 150 zompies so lame....I like to take a Minigun with 10k bullets and start slaughtering the stupid zompies and bow's.Resi 5 and resi:operation raccon city are the best of the series for me.