What Operation Raccoon City Can Teach Us About Resident Evil 6

The Future of Resident Evil is right before your eyes. But is it really Raccoon City all over again?

Like a nasty strand of T-Virus, the Resident Evil series continues to evolve. Shambling zombies become tricky infected, lickers become hunters, and Wesker transforms into a character from The Matrix. In its recently revealed trailer for Resident Evil 6 (seen below), Capcom sets the tone for a high-stakes, action-filled adventure brimming with excitement. So, what can we infer about this game, and what can the upcoming Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City tell us about the next entry in the main series? No matter the answers, one thing is certain: we're not in Raccoon City anymore.

"The dream would be that the millions of Call of Duty fans that are enjoying these fast-paced online games are attracted to this Resident Evil." That's a quote from Capcom UK's head of marketing, Dave Turner, via Joystiq, speaking about RE6. Add to that executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi's quote that "over 600 people" are working on Resident Evil 6 and producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi's use of "dramatic horror" to describe the tone, and the intention is clear. Capcom is pulling out all the stops to make this sequel--as philosopher Clifford Bleszinski would say--bigger, better, and more badass.

Operation Raccoon City feels like a petri dish of new ideas that are being field-tested for RE6.
Operation Raccoon City feels like a petri dish of new ideas that Capcom is field-testing before the release of RE6. What if Resident Evil had free-flowing melee combat? Faster gunplay? A dedicated cover system? Nearly every aspect of this game tweaks the Resident Evil formula. Chief among these is cover, which is seen in both the RE6 trailer and ORC. In the trailer, Chris slides into and sticks to cover, enemies pull him out of cover, and he even shoots people from cover.

The prevalence of cover changes the flow of combat. In ORC, cover-based firefights are about acting fast and shooting the enemy the second he sticks out his head. Therefore, RE6 needs an aiming system that's faster than in Resident Evil 5. It also needs to move the player into and out of cover faster--something glimpsed when Chris slides into cover. Cover could also change how melee combat works. In ORC, when you're fighting off zombies that take just a few shots to drop, there are few opportunities for context-sensitive melee attacks. The solution is a free-flowing melee system. And if RE6 wants to match that scale of action, it would do well to adopt similar mechanics.

Additionally, if Capcom is serious about attracting "millions of Call of Duty fans," it will need something that speaks to them: competitive multiplayer. They already have the mercenaries game mode, but simply remaking that seems insufficient. Since the core experience is built on teamwork, a Left 4 Dead-style mode with two teams competing amid hordes of AI-controlled zombies makes sense. This would be a massive new addition, but thankfully ORC gives Capcom a chance to figure it out. Gaining experience and unlocking weapons, customizing loadouts, and assigning perks--it's all there. Naturally, there will be adjustments based on the game's reception, but the framework is in place.

Will Resident Evil 6 simply be a reskinned version of ORC? Absolutely not, but it would be foolish not to consider the parallels between them. But there's also another angle to consider: back in the mid-'90s, Resident Evil was the talk of playground legend--a mature, terrifying game from Japan filled with all sorts of horrors. We'd never been ambushed by a zombie-dog in a hallway before. These games were an unknown quantity and had some of the best production values on the market. It was easy to get sucked into the flames of Raccoon City.

Restrictions helped make the classic Resident Evil games so scary. The act of moving a character through the environment using those tank controls was challenging. We've all had that moment when we're trying to escape from some impending doom that's right offscreen only to get stuck turning circles in a corner. It's right behind us, just turn around! Your character was weak. The technology didn't exist for giant environments that you could fly through while gunning down hordes of enemies all at once. Instead, you fought fewer, tougher foes. And since we didn't know the conveniences of modern 3D movement, the chunkiness added tension.

In the RE6 trailer, the ease with which Leon dispenses zombies makes him look like a superhero.
Today, we live in a post-zombie-dog world. As video game technology has evolved, so has the Resident Evil series. Better technology means giving the player more options and more abilities. Those encumbering controls just don't cut it anymore. In the Resident Evil 6 trailer, the ease with which Leon and friends dispense zombies in hand-to-hand combat makes them look like superheroes. You can't instill the same dread with characters that powerful.

Not that Capcom hasn't tried, and it will surely try again. In Resident Evil: Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS, the selling point is a return to the classic Resident Evil style of horror. There's Jill, creeping through the poorly lit halls of the Queen Zenobia, just like old times. Except it isn't. This is now a known quantity, and the emotional response isn't fear, but nostalgia. Then, there are sequences with different characters in which you mow down hunters or mutated wolves by the dozen. When we return to Jill, we're supposed to come down from that combat high and start feeling spooked again. But how can you when you know these characters are so capable?

The Nemesis in Resident Evil 3 was designed to make players feel weak and helpless.

Ultimately, there's a do-it-yourself solution for determining what to expect from Resident Evil 6. First, recall the Del Lago boss fight with Leon in Resident Evil 4. You were in that tiny wooden boat on a fog-choked lake--so small against that massive beast. Second, recall the Irving boss fight on the yacht with the machine guns as Chris in Resident Evil 5--just you and a friend roaring away on those chain guns. Finally, ask yourself, "How will Capcom top itself this time?" Answer that, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what's to come in Resident Evil 6.

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127 comments
Ninja_Kinshu
Ninja_Kinshu

I'll wait a while on ORC, but RE6 will likely be a must buy for me. But I what the article brings up about character strength rings true. If you have a character who can mow down hordes of zombies, bare handed even, then where is the horror?

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

i`m getting orc and re 6.to be honest though orc look more like socom than a cod game really.in the end i`m gonna love both orc and re6 because there both still resident evil no matter how there made

dazlaa12
dazlaa12

RE6 will be epic no matter what just like all the other RE games

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

No split-screen = no buy. How can they make a 4 player team game with no split-screen? L4D2, GOW series, Halo series, Borderlands, (just to name a few), all awesome split-screen games and all hugely successful. If I can't yell at the screen with my buddy playing next to me, it's not really a team game.

Devin-B
Devin-B

When did this become about COD? Ok, if we are going to talk COD, i'll put in my two cents about why it is no longer a good game. Simply stated, COD has used the same engine developed in 2006 or earlier for 5 games in a row. Nobody needs to emulate something like that.

botsio
botsio

i beg to differ with slikjohnson COD doesn't suck.check ur facts right and u see what i'm talking about.COD set the standards making the evolution of FPS more interesting.were it not so it wouldn't have been a huge hit.much effort is put into the making of this game and it pays off.now other developers want to emulate that.i just don't know why there are a lot of COD haters out there.face the truth its the best there is BF who?

hurt21playa
hurt21playa

this game along wit resident evil r goin to be the buisness for me... every thing evolve.....including one of the best game series in capcom back pocket

Shytink8965
Shytink8965

I'll buy ORC, but it looks to much like COD. COD isn't bad, but at times I feel it's somewhat overrated, almost as if people have never seen people shoot other things of nature. Overall, I believe Capcom will release the best it has to offer in a long time this year. I hope Capcom upgrades its concept to the RE franchise,but not to the point we can't even recognize RE.

J-007
J-007

COD just doesn't work for me as fun because its plain and only involves humans as far as I have seen. Resident Evil has been keeping the franchise lately in such stiff detail for me although maybe some story lines may have been reinterpreted but the legend lives on keeping the horror always and even when heroes are still mortals, they have enough competition. I'm proud and honest to say that the franchise even makes me feel that such fear makes it realistic in life when playing these titles with the fact that such domination of evil could exist and it goes to show the way life is today compared in a particular sense. The dead and undead versus technology versus virus outbreaks versus the feel of reality and this franchise comes close to my heart ALWAYS

slikjohnson
slikjohnson

I understand why developers want their games to be as popular as COD, but lets be honest COD started to suck after the second title. If being as popular as a crappy game is what motivates you then you do not have the right fan base in mind. Do you really want to hear 12 year old's on RE whining about how they are getting owned and spamming horrible music over their mics? I just hope RE titles don't start gearing their games towards multiplayer and forgetting that people play these games for the campaign not for the multiplayer.

nate3031
nate3031

As if the wonderfully entertaining world of FPS's and so on dont already have enough zombies games to last us for the next decade, but hey this is RE6 man, I'm a huge fan of the franchise and judging from the trailer it looks like RE4 and 5 that I simply loved to play over and over. I've been antiscipating another sequel, even with ORC that I already got my reserve on, all I got to say is COD has absolutely NOTHING to do with it! its all been blown way out of proportion when theres so many other better FPS titles coming out this year. the sheer fact that this reviewer made some relative comparison to RE is just downright insulting. COD aint all that. just sayin.

Raxyman
Raxyman

I don't know what to expect from this game. The gameplay of the fifth was good, but they screwed the story big time... I can't say the sixth will be good or bad, i'll just wait for the real thing, and hope Capcom doesn't outright kill RE franchise just to attract "CoD fans".

Pyrobolo
Pyrobolo

I think that they will make a great game. and I compleately agree with this article in the sense that the game has to evolve with technology, but at the same time I hope they are able to capture that horror from RE4 in the slow yet intense controls.

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

capcom needs to bring the new but make sure to keep it classic as well. 1 i can care less about the cod fan boys id rather not play with 35 year olds who act like there 7 and talk about tea baging ppl. or the kids that sound like there 5 talking about killing ppl. i want orc to be about team work i want to feel that my buddys got my back and i got theres just like in resident evil outbreak. i want to meet ppl online who love re or who care about team work. not tea baging as for re6 i want it to stick to what re4 had re5 was a wast and a sad re game i want to jump as i play 6 and say omg whats that sound behind the wall or damn thats creepy. but only time will tell

urma0202
urma0202

If they can give me another RE5 mercenaries mode, (not the DLC Version of mercenaries, horrible scoring system) i will be extremely happy. Mercenaries mode is the reason I still play RE5 today. I've put in over 570 hours of game time.

crlegend
crlegend

From the look of things RE6 is going to be epic just like RE4 and RE5

tarikm92f
tarikm92f

i want it to be scary, dark atmosphere, with scarce ammo, no coop, zombies and monsters popping out of nowhere.. make us feel the fear Capcom please.

Kero100
Kero100

I love RE1 and RE5 and Dark Souls. Gave up on FF. I am normal doctor?

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

@panda0nX; I Should say that I do think this will actually be a really good game, and I'll probably even buy it the week it comes out. I think it's about time you can run and shoot at the same time in RE. Still.. It doesn't look scary at all. It will probably be a great game, just not a true Resident Evil game. @ChrisX2012; I think RE:Revelations looks like a good example of what future RE games should be like. They should take the tension of the original games and combine them with the action from recent RE games. That would make everyone happy. The main problem with RE 5 was that it felt more like a Military game and less like a horror game. The environments in that game just weren't creepy.

Xxthesorrow90xX
Xxthesorrow90xX

@eddie_bcha No more remakes, unless they remake it like they did on the gamecube with the first resident evil. Other then that they will ruin a classic and wonderful series. More then they already have.

eddie_bcha
eddie_bcha

i still love the resident evil series no matter what. true that as time has passed the game has evolved into a shooter but remember the DLC "lost in nightmares" in RE5? that was INCREDIBLE!... now capcom listen up! remake RE1 and design it like how you did the DLC "lost in nightmares" and you will regain RE fans once again!... and while you're at it you can just remake RE2. :-D

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

"Today, we live in a post-zombie-dog world." "Those encumbering controls just don't cut it anymore." And then, video game genres die and all games became cover-based shooters. All games became the same.

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

"Those encumbering controls just don't cut it anymore." But Dead Space isn't encumbered and it still offer a perfect "Resident Evil" feel. Oh What the hell, I give up. Let's play these shooters with Resident Evil name on the box. I'll start with RE4 (yeah, sice RE3 I didn't touch the franchise).

GreySeven
GreySeven

The zombie genre needs a nap.

hella_epic
hella_epic

RE6 will be a great action game too bad it's a survival horror and not an action game

AntauriX22
AntauriX22

This will undoubtably be a good game even though i cry for the good old days of RE i'm still sure i will enjoy this. It's understandable that Capcom wants to market itself to a bigger audience i just hope that for the sake of us old RE fans they'll manage to hit the atmosphere (Dead space is a great example), and bring in some tough smart enemies that will make you feel the dread amidst the action (for instance: Nemesis, Stalkers from Dead Space 2 or even the Krauser Boss battle from RE4), if they don't i'll just be unloading on a bunch of charging freaks and be completely calm about it...

Hodge996
Hodge996

Sure this will have been pointed out somewhere, but Dead Space showed that you can have slick "modern" character control in a fully 3D environment and still have genuine survival horror gameplay. In my opinion it comes down to 2 things; lack of resources and atmosphere, two things that the early RE games (and Dead Space) got spot on. I actually really enjoyed RE4 but did feel it had strayed too far from the original style. The point is, it's more than doable, it's just that Capcom are trying to open the franchise to a wider audience by making it more action orientated. You can't blame them, they're a business after all and selling units is what they do, but I just wish they would keep the core RE games as survival horror and use spin offs for the action stuff.

Rogun360
Rogun360

I'm having this feeling that RE ORC won't feel like a survival horror game....playing with 3 or more people(or AI) just doesn't make a game scary

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

The only real survival part of RE, aside from the terrible controls and camera of the old games was the scacity of resources. In the new games, that's still a factor. Everything else like off screen enemies that your character is turned to look straight at but you can't see yourself and bad controls only hurts immersion. I for one am all for the faster,more mobile and nimble movements of the modern RE characters. What they need to focus on is pulling the strings of tension and dread about what's around the next corner. The easiest way to do that while keeping characters that actually move and aim properly is to make the enemies more deadly,and ammo more scarce.As was said, RE is a known quantity, what needs to happen now is an exercise in how to make these nimble, powerful characters vulnerable. And personally I would much rather have a well handling character who dies if the enemy reaches him, than one with enormous amounts of health that moves like a like a brain injury patient whose lost 98% of his motor skills.

TheMacbeths
TheMacbeths

@liam82517 Not bad ideas indeed... Adding tension to a fast paced action sequence... Sounds a little like Left4Dead meets RE5, but in a good way, considering where RE's going to right now.

TheMacbeths
TheMacbeths

@axlroselm I agree. Fast paced action is a good thing...RE5 is a good game...And RE6 will probably be a good one too. The point is that RE is not a survival horror franchise anymore, it's becoming a zombie war shooter. And while shooters' fans already have CoD, GOW and tons of other excellent games to play, horror adventure fans have to conform to live in nostalgia... Not because developers are not able to create a good thriller for the current generation standards, or not because action and tension don't match, but only because shooters attract a larger crowd of players. Capcom wants CoD fans to play RE. But some RE fans are not into CoD... People might say "Don't like it, don't buy it". Ok, fair enough, if only we had some good options around to choose from, we wouldn't be crying for RE's lost soul. Innovation is good and always welcome. Trying to attract new players with new features is fair and nice too. But they're not innovating survival horror, they're leaving the tension, mystery and fear behind to do what is already being done in other genres... and calling it innovation. This is not fair to RE's long time fans.

panda0nX
panda0nX

@thereal-15-cent true man you are so right , even though iv enjoyed playing all the re games (excluding the 3ds one cuz i dont have a 3ds) its not the same anymore ... rest in peace residents of... evil? lol

axlroselm
axlroselm

There are too many COD and GOW clones around. I dont have anything against these games, they are enjoyable in their place. but i want my RE to be scary and survival style. Because that was the "essence" of RE games. If Capcom wants to give us COD and GOW clones, they better have balls and make a new ip for that. There arent any good survival horor games around for years (if we exclude amazing Dead Space 1).

liam82517
liam82517

Ok heres my idea for topping itself(lol) A run and gun multi level arc. Have your characters running and gunning with limited ammo away from a swarm of zombies. Have a narrow pain in the bum path to follow thought streets littered with abandoned cars etc. Have those car be explode-able. Have your player/s get to a secure room/house/whatever, but instead of instant check point, you have to have your players secure it while the zombies attempt the break in. If you dont secure it properly the zombies get in and you have to keep moving as long as you can get out. How fast you move ahead of the swarm will factor into how much time you have to board up windows doors etc. If you have 4 player co op. You could have an option of infection. Where a team mate can be infected and choose to tell you or not that he was bite. At some random point the player just dies and the character turns zombie and goes for teams mates without warning. It would have you watching each other as I know I have friends that would be dicks and not say anything. 2 ideas to take or leave.

franzito
franzito

RE left Raccoon City since Code VERONICA but it become more apparent in RE 4, when the "action part" took place for good. RE 6 should innovate instead of just "copy and paste" like RE 5 did it. Nostalgia won't come back.

RIIIIKU
RIIIIKU

....when i saw Nemesis holding Jill i had the Most Nostalgic felling :D ....RE 3 was one of the Greatest !

ChrisX2012
ChrisX2012

The fact of the matter is that most people hate change!!! You can see that in the state of the world right now..... I feel that if there is no change in a series it get's stale and get's boring. I when back and read reviews on all the old RE games. And you know what? The main problem people had with almost all the games (RE-RE3 mostly) was that the controls sucked! Most people were saying good game but I cannot wait for the day when the contols are better.... These are those days... But yet their are still complainers saying this sucks and all I have to say to them is go back and try and play those old game the controls are horrible... One reason the first Online RE failed was because the controls had not changed. But nothing anyone says will stop someone that want to try'n make people angry. That's what some people do these days... Spewing toxic waste from their mouths. All I can say is the best way you can deal with them is to ignore them.... They will hate that the most!!! I for one am first to say that when I heard about O.R.C. that I hated the idea, but I never voiced it to anyone... Now I see it is a decent game. It's nothing like the old RE's, but really how do you expect to get those same feeling like we had from the old games? We've grown-up on these games going back is not and option! And instead of just saying this suck I'm not playing it how about voicing what should be done to fix the problems... Because no one is giving ideas just grief.

Dark0rator
Dark0rator

why is any kind of modern shooter automatically Call of Duty? The series is trying to stay fresh and innovative. New ideas are needed for the series to survive, and to be honest I'm not sure on Res 6 yet - I'm excited - but with only this first trailer it's early to be forming any concrete opinions. As for ORC, I think it's a brilliant idea - a chance to see the carnage off Raccoon City once more, but from a different perspective rather than just a flat out remake. As it was mentioned further down the comments page; enjoy resident evil for the characters and story. Sticking to older, redundant mechanics and conventions would have killed the series long ago.

gladin09
gladin09

I have and will play every resident evil game! cant get enough I love them all :D

termadoyle
termadoyle

Capcom's strategy for dumbing down both the horror and survival elements in the RE series is sad indeed.

JohnMark320
JohnMark320

RE6 looks amazing!...but I'm still sitting next to my Gamecube for REmake 2 and REmake 3 Nemesis :,)

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

I'm not your typical anti-Call of Duty GS user, I even like MW3.. But this sounds like a horrible idea to me. It reminds me of the Splinter Cell series, (R.I.P.) They're ditching the things that made the series popular in favor of making it "Main-Stream". RE has been getting farther away from survival horror with every new release. It sounds like they just want to mix together Gears of War and Call of Duty. I'm fine with a better, more expansive multiplayer mode, but that won't justify cutting the campaign length in half(It will happen if they think they can get away with it) and completely changing the series. I enjoy Call of Duty, but not every game needs to copy CoD. Originality FTW! I offer my condolences to hardcore RE fans.

Llama345
Llama345

I like it when there is a video to read this to me.

ghost2832
ghost2832

I guess Mawy_Golomb is not allowed to have an opinion Dash? I dont think he is wrong in wanting Resident Evil to retain some of the traits that made it as popular as it was. I think he understands that games evolve, but to change completely just to capitalize on the COD crowd is a little ridiculous. I guess its wrong to want a little variety in games. But I guess you know everything there is to know about the gaming industry while he knows nothing. God knows I wouldnt want to call someone out on something I knew nothing about myself. You are right. It is up to capcom, but it is also up to him to voice his opinion. It would probably be nice if he could do it without someone telling him he is too ignorant to know what he wants(and several other people for that matter).

everlast219
everlast219

argh... RE was good until the first god awful movie came out. Then for some reason Capcom decided to abandon what they were doing and copy the movie instead, by thinking it was cool to have stupid melee action sequences. I just wish they'd remove the stupid melee attacks. At most you should be able to push zombies away. How can an uppercut do more damage than a freakin bullet to the head!? It's just ridiculous.