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Why Can’t Resident Evil Be Resident Evil Again?

I will admit, the impending release of Resident Evil 6 has got me giddy. Could those be zombies once again in a Resident Evil game? What’s Leon been up to since the end of Resident Evil 4? Could the series be finally moving away from Albert Wesker as the main enemy (granted, he was a pretty cool villain, but his shtick was getting old), even though it seems like Wesker Junior is the main villain?  These are just few of the questions I have for Resident Evil 6, but will they be answered?

I was a little late to the Resident Evil party, with number 4 being my first experience with the franchise, and still my favorite in the series. It combined the scares that the franchise was known for (Regenerators are one of the creepiest, if not THE creepiest enemies in the series), along with updated mechanics (The ability to control the camera, etc).

With Resident Evil 5, the only connection it had with the previous games in the franchise was Chris Redfield and the “Resident Evil” name (And for that matter, less-than-stellar voice acting). It borrowed everything from Resident Evil 4 (Las Plagas = Uroboros), but somewhere along the way it forgot to include the most important element in the franchise: the scares.

It wasn’t a horrible game — far from it — but if Capcom insisted on making a fast-paced action game with mutated creatures, they could have at least done away with the Resident Evil name, and created a new series.  My hope with Resident Evil 6 is that it returns to what made the franchise great to begin with. I want zombies jumping out at me from places I’m not expecting. I want to feel hopeless and fight for my survival (hence, “survival horror”). I want zombiefied dogs popping out of windows. Anything to make me jump out of my seat.

But what I don’t want, and never want to see again, is the horrendous controls. Yes, those optimistic might see them as adding to the suspense, but really, if I can’t move and shoot at the same time, I’ve lost all hope with the franchise.

It seems like Resident Evil 6 is a combination of both numbers 4 and 5. We’ve got the Leon portion of the game, with (hopefully) some zombies and scares, and then we’ve got the Gears of War-esque Chris sections, where fast-paced gun action and hordes of enemies are key (if not very Resident Evil-like).

Yes, I know action is more popular and sells better in this country, and Capcom is doing themselves a favor by tapping into it. Perhaps this just reflects the changing landscape of the industry; Action is good, but slow suspense is bad. Or maybe pining for the past is a sign of old age. But come on, just scare me. That’s all I ask.

Maybe some of my questions will be answered when the demo hits on September 5.

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