So, in November we’ll see – arguably – the conclusion of multiple storylines within the Resident Evil universe.
The trailer for Resident Evil 6 is a little jumpy and schizophrenic, but at this early stage we can deduce some basic plot details and get a feel for what is going on within some of the elements of gameplay.
It has been ten years since the Raccoon City incident, and unable to carry the burden any longer, the current President of the United States – a close friend of Leon S. Kennedy – has decided it is time to declassify the case files and go public with the actual reasons behind the massacre, which had been blamed on a nuclear fault.
However, things do not run smooth and the night before the President is due to give a speech explaining his decision, there is a bio-terrorist attack, using a latent strain of the T-Virus. The president, sadly, ends up succumbing to the virus and Leon is forced to make the worst decision of his life… and considering the United States don’t take kindly to “Presidential Assassinations”, Leon goes on the run – with Ashley Graham, the girl he saved in Resident Evil 4 and daughter of the President, in tow, as a viral outbreak begins to seep out…
Meanwhile, a related and seemingly co-ordinated attack takes place in a city in China, and with new technology available it is impossible to keep the goings on a secret. Chris Redfield and his team are sent to China, where they must battle the undead and the mutants which are mounting up rapidly, due to the amount of people exposed to the virus.
Also meanwhile, it seems a new face is on the block, as of yet unnamed, who seems to also have a good understanding of what is going on. He is a fighter; a brawler and arguably a bit of a show-off, also battling another outbreak of the virus – although whether this is related to the previous two, we don’t actually know. The details on this third character are vague.
The gameplay looks to be split a little, with areas where there are “assistant AI characters” (I can’t see this being co-op in the strictest sense of the word), moments of solo play and moments of stylish fighting mechanics. There are shades of Gears of War in the scale of the street battles; Ashley Graham gets stuck in too it would seem, and everyone is pulling together.
The question is clear – why three simultaneous outbreaks of an allegedly extinct virus happen on the same day. Is it a message? Is it a play for power? What are the reasons, the motivations behind such an attack?
Gameplay looks to be faster paced than Resident Evil 4 and 5, with an emphasis and detail that even the series hasn’t quite reached for yet. And of course, being a trailer, it is impossible to deduce if these are simply moments of action, or whether there are slower, more measured elements of horror hidden within the game.
Until we see a hands-on, or more gameplay footage, it’s impossible to deduce much else. The only thing I know is that I am glad the zombies are back; I am glad that the scale of things has been ramped up (People complain about ruined streets and alleys – umm, did these people play Resident Evil 2 and/or 3?) and I’m quite looking forward to seeing what Capcom do with the series; the games storyline has been ramping up towards this kind of epic conclusion for a few games now, hinting that the future will bring with it a world-defining attack that will fundamentally change the human race and how it perceives itself. No longer hidden from view; the dirty, ugly truth of the Umbrella Corporation, Tricell and that nuclear attack on Raccoon City exposed to the world to judge and be judged.
Resident Evil 6 then is likely not going to be a reinvention – more of the same, but on a much grander scale. But then, this seems to be it – this is the defining moment when the world within this series literally goes to hell; when all cards are faced up and everyone is held accountable for their actions, likely even Leon and Chris themselves.
This looks to be the conclusion that the series has been building towards for 16 years. This is it. The end of the road for the current timelines; a moment to conclude and maybe wrap up loose ends for possibly a more drastic reinvention in a few years.
There’s no mistaking it though… Resident Evil 6 could be amazing.
Here’s hoping that it really is.