Resident Evil 6 Demo Impressions

Capcom released a demo of “Resident Evil 6” to the public for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on Sept. 18. The demo consisted of three different sections that go through each of the main character’s own storylines, which will eventually cross paths with one another, as well as their different play styles. Series veterans Leon S. Kennedy (“Resident Evil 2” and “Resident Evil 4”) and Chris Redfield (“Resident Evil” and “Resident Evil 5”) star in the first two sections while Jake Muller, a new character and the apparent son of famed series villain Albert Wesker, acts as the third section of the game. Though each part of the demo did not last long, it gave a good impression of how each section will be played.

Chris Redfield (left), Leon S. Kennedy (middle), and Jake Muller (right), the main characters

Leon’s section was the first to the frontlines where he and his ally must find their way off of a college campus while fighting through hordes of the undead. This part is definitely the closes we will get to the series’ survival horror roots. The dimly lit college campus gave an eerie atmosphere as well as the traditional slow zombies that started the series. There were some intense moments where I was desperately trying to get from point A to point B with zombies appearing from every corner with few methods of escape and even less bullets to spare.

Up next was Chris Redfield’s story where we find him located in a fictional European town called Edonia. Instead of creepy environments and slow-moving, stupid zombies, we are faced with a new type of infected who are intelligent, strong, can wield weaponry and have special mutated powers. Chris’ section is by far the most action oriented and, other than infected people, contains almost no horror in it, but it was still enjoyable

Finally we have Jake’s story, which is more comparable to Chris’ segment rather than Leon’s. It contained more weaponry than the first two sections combined, but it was also the only part in the demo that had creatures in it alongside the intelligent infected. It resembled “Resident Evil 5” where it was more action than horror, but the creatures were quite repulsive and intimidating.

Though “Resident Evil 6” borrows heavily from its past two predecessors, there have definitely been some changes made to the core gameplay. The biggest things are some of the new mechanics added. Unlike the previous games where you had to wait for an enemy to attack you, there are now the abilities to dodge and use physical attacks whenever you want. When you dodge, you have the option to hold the dodge button and shoot enemies as you lie on the ground on your back, which came in handy during several moments of the demo. Not including the spin-off game “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City,” you can finally move for the first time on a console Resident Evil game while shooting or reloading at the same time, something that fans have wanted from the series for a while now. It is also much easier to access thing you need by simply using the D-pad to select weapons or other things such as healing items. The AI partners if you are playing by yourself are not completely useless either, something “Resident Evil 5” severely suffered from.

Zombies won’t be getting Leon’s $1000 jacket that easily

There were noticeable problems in the game though, mainly with the frame-rate. The game looks good and the lighting takes the opportunity to give the game a specific atmosphere, it pays the price of having a choppy frame-rate, making the game consistently have small lag as well as shadows looking pixelated. Movements on whichever character you are controlling look and play a bit unnaturally to where it looks like character movements are limping even if they are unharmed. Overall, controlling your character in general felt more fluid in past games.

Even though this demo released for the public recently, it is actually several months old. Early access to the demo originally came packaged with “Dragon’s Dogma” – another game released by Capcom – upon its release. However, according to several gaming sites, some of the previously mentioned issues have been corrected since then, so hopefully the final product will be more polished. Overall, the demo was still fun and has me more excited to play “Resident Evil 6” when it releases on Oct. 2.