There's been a lot of buzz going around Resident Evil 6 since it was first unveiled later this year, though fans have been a bit concerned that Capcom is going more for the action game approach, rather than the usual survivor horror that the series has become known for over the years. After being able to go hands-on with the game, though, we can easily confirm that Capcom hasn't lost their golden touch when it comes to the spooky and scary. In fact, there are moments within the demo by itself that may require you to put on a pair of Depends, just for safety's sake.
Now, the demo we played was a bit different than the one that's currently available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, but you're likely to take away the same experience that we did, with plenty of tense cinematic moments and thrilling action that really make you feel like you're fighting for survival. So, yeah, it's Resident Evil through and through, and you won't have to worry about bumping into Milla Jovovich.
The game is divided up amongst three characters, and the first one we got to experience is Leon Kennedy, the main hero from Resident Evil 4. Like always, he's in the wrong place at the wrong time, but willing to do what is right when it comes to people's safety. Being assisted by a Secret Service agent by the name of Helena, he's stuck in the middle of a college campus just loaded with freaks, wreaking havoc following a speech by the President. The mission is divided into basically staying alive and laying waste to whatever undead stumble in your path – and there are quite a few – but you've also got to trigger cinematic events that really shake you up, such as an explosion or a discovery that you're not quite ready for. We won't spoil it here, but we can assure you that Capcom hasn't forgotten how to shock people.
The graphics in this section alone are beautiful, and definitely a step up from what we saw in Operation Raccoon City earlier in the year. The lighting is both authentic and haunting, and some of the enemies you'll run across in this section will really send chills down your spine. What's more, the action scenes, while a bit more over-the-top than Resident Evil fans are used to, make this feel like a true epic, unlike the Resident Evil: Retribution we sat through over the weekend. (Sorry, maybe it's just us.)
After finishing up Leon's section with a cool escort mission involving a possibly infected ally (someone shoot that guy), we moved on to Chris Redfield, the main hero from Resident Evil 5, battling the undead while trying to save UN aid workers in the heart of China. It's here that Chris really gets to test his mettle, just as he did in the previous game. Like Leon's segment, this one's fast paced and loaded with the kind of shooting action that'll rattle you if you're not completely prepared for it. It may take a little bit for some of you to get used to the pacing, but we assure you it's time well spent, especially with the great controls that Capcom has put into the game. No longer will you have to worry about awkwardly swiveling around to target an enemy, nor scrambling madly for ammunition (unless you're a wasteful kind of person, mind you).
Finally, there's the last character, a newcomer to the series. Jake Muller is the son of series villain Albert Wesker, and while he's not as supernatural as his dad, he is able to withhold infection from the virus. He's stuck in the middle of a run through an Eastern village in Europe, with the help of Sherry Birkin, and his part of the campaign involves solving puzzles with a partner. This may be the best storyline for those who wish to play the game in co-op, as some require two people (or AI support) in order to get through them. There's still some pretty good action here, but it's scaled down, probably to bump up the intrigue surrounding the events that unfold around Jake.
Overall, these three manage to come together into an interesting campaign, one that really ties around a general story with plenty of creepiness and action to go around. Though we didn't play through the complete game just yet, the demo we played – as well as the downloadable one available now – really set the pace for what to expect. And, sure, it's different from previous RE games, but it's still got the stuff to keep you fans happy.
Look for Resident Evil 6 on October 2nd for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.