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Another Resident Evil? Okay, sure. I suppose between next month’s Revelations on 3DS, Operation Raccoon City in March, the Milla Jovavich movie Retribution this Fall, and the animated Damnation, I suppose I can fit in another Resident Evil thing this year. In fact Capcom would have to be crazy to NOT put out Resident Evil 6 this year!
Following months of coy hinting and a viral site about a global pandemic, we have official confirmation in the form of a new trailer that gives us some hints about what to expect in Resident Evil 6. Notable is that Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy will both be playable. For people who aren’t familiar with the Resident Evil franchise history, Leon and Chris are both hotshot cops from Raccoon City who go on to become international zombie killers. But they have different haircuts.
Given they were pretty much identical in all the previous games this isn’t terribly exciting news. Some minor gameplay difference can be seen in the trailer, Leon plays much like he did in Resident Evil 4, although he’s depicted in one sequence sliding on the ground while shooting like Max Payne. Chris Redfield who, I assure you is a different guy, is repeatedly shown taking cover like he spent some time training with the guys from Gears of War. While it doesn’t look like the zombies are shooting back at him, there are tentacle attacks that Chris is taking cover from.
The trailer shows a New Guy. We don’t know his name yet, so let’s just call him Newguy. Newguy is depicted as having superior hand-to-hand combat abilities. He's also some sort of mercenary, and most of his footage shows him being followed by a suspiciously familiar blond woman; is this Ashley from Resident Evil 4, or perhaps it’s little Sherry Birkin from Resident Evil 2 all grown up.
In addition to Newguy putting the kung fu on zombies, we also see a montage of other characters using melee attacks, including Leon ramming an axe into a zombie’s head. Hardcore fans of the franchise might remember the Gamecube rmake of the first Resident Evil, and that had the unique feature of giving the characters disposable melee weapons like daggers that could be used to fend off zombies that got too close. These could only be used once, and the shot with the axe looks a lot like the old dagger move from the Gamecube.
Leon sums up the game with the line “This is like Raccoon City all over again”. Yes, Leon, it is, indeed. The franchise spent the last eight years trying to twist and subvert its own tropes and cliché, but has now revamped itself right back to where they started. Following his European adventure against Las Plagas, Leon sets aside his war against Spain to take on some Undead Americans in the town of Gopher Prairie. It’s nice to get the series back to that familiar American small town setting, but I’m not sure what sort of nostalgia I’ll have for it after I spend all summer playing Operation Raccoon City.
Meanwhile, Chris Redfield is in China, fighting Commie Zombies as any red-blooded American should. Newguy seems like his adventures take place in yet another location, so as news rolls out we can expect to hear about numerous playable characters fighting zombies throughout the world.
Missing Halloween by a few weeks, Resident Evil 6 will come out for Xbox, PC and Playstation 3 on November 20th of this year. If you just can’t wait, be sure to try Resident Evil Revelations on your 3DS February 7th, Operation Raccoon City on PC, Xbox, and PS3 on March 20th, the animated movie Damnation sometime this year, and the fifth terrible movie staring Milla Jovovich in September.