Whenever someone mentions the Resident Evil series these days, my initial response (no longer a “master of unlocking” joke) has now become “what race of people will I have to mow down this time?” It’s hard to forget the waves made by Resident Evil 5 and its possibly racist depiction of Africans, and whether that was intentional or not, it definitely didn’t deter Capcom from making a repeat performance with the recently announced Resident Evil 6. While thinking of Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy tag-teaming to slaughter the Chinese and kill the U.S. President, I can’t help but feel as if Capcom is just setting up these controversial scenarios for the free publicity.
The game’s press release describes the story as follows:
“It has been ten years since the Raccoon City incident and the President of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place in the belief that it will curb the current resurgence in bioterrorist activity. Due to be by the Presidentâ€™s side is his personal friend and Raccoon City survivor, Leon S. Kennedy, but when the venue suffers a bioterrorist attack, Leon is forced to face a President transformed beyond recognition and make his hardest ever decision. At the same time, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance member Chris Redfield arrives in China, itself under threat of a bioterrorist attack.Â With no country safe from these attacks and the ensuing outbreaks, the entire worldâ€™s population is united by a common fear that there is no hope left.”
What is very interesting about the upcoming title is that Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy will be joining forces, something that only ever happened in my fan fiction scripts (anyone want a copy?), and even better still, there will be some sort of co-op where hopefully the two heroes can punch zombies side-by-side. The co-op aspects of the series’ fifth title worked well, and the ability to move and shoot at the same time changed up the formula more than one would expect. My only personal concern gameplay-wise is for the horror aspects of the game. While the daylight setting of an African village may have reduced the scare-factor for many players, for me nothing really ruins a scene of desolation and dread like your buddy singing “Dancing Queen” into your headset. With the recent release of Dark Souls preventing conventional forms of communication even on Xbox Live, I’ll be interested to see how Capcom deals with this issue. Katsuhiko Ichii, Capcom’s Head of R&D and Global Marketing says about the game, â€śFrom the outset the teamâ€™s intention was to create an experience that delivers a gripping storyline, tense single-player and co-op action all set against a constant theme of horror. We are calling this fusion dramatic horror and are confident it will resonate with both existing fans of the series as well as newcomers.â€?
There is also a pre-order campaign for the game at GameStop, Best Buy and Amazon, who will each feature an “exclusive map that will function with various modes in the game.” Considering the polarizing nature of the multiplayer online mode in Resident Evil 5, I’ll be interested to see if this game will go in another direction and leave the online multiplayer to the upcoming Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. No word on what the maps are yet, but you can follow the details on these pre-orders at www.facebook.com/residentevil.
All things considered, I doubt the Chinese slaughtering will cause as much controversy as the Africans did (unless they eat brains with chop sticks), and with Resident Evil Revelations and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City coming this year as well, this is shaping up to be a very good year for
survival horror survival action dramatic horror fans the world over, controversy or not.
Watch the debut trailer below:
Nick HawrylukÂ is the senior pruducer, director and editor of Press Play the Webseries. He also runs and contributes articles to the Press Play website.