Capcom has released the public demo for Resident Evil 6, giving us a taste of the game’s three arcs before it hits stores on October 2nd (or 4th as it says on the demo, for Japan).
The demo is split into the story’s three perspectives you’ll be see through Leon, Chris and Jake’s eyes, all unlocked from the start, like it would be on the final game, although it appears the three arcs have their own level of difficulty, or at least for what’s portrayed in the demo. Playing the six different characters will give you access to their own unique weapons (you won’t be able to buy weapons in RE6). The demo also features online co-op, but no offline split-screen co-op. This demo is also different from the one in Dragon’s Dogma and the one showcased in SDCC.
What follows are the impressions of all three arcs and their playable characters, played on the PlayStation 3 version of the demo.
Leon and Helena
If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know the one where Leon shoots the President. And he does. He is joined by Helena Harper, the late zombie president’s bodyguard and member of the Secret Service. This portion of the demo will have you escape a university campus. Most of this will take you to a more traditional Resident Evil fashion with its dark corridors and “dead” people. One assumes that’s the way it plays out, because the area is so dark, you’ll mistake sleeping zombies on the floor to be bloodstains, before you get the nasty surprise.
You’ll basically encounter the usual problems like the locked gate, the noisy alarm and eventually the zombie horde corridor (twice), before making the rookie mistake of walking through the metal detector with a gun in your pants and gunning for the exit pronto.
Interesting points of this portion were the little co-op sections. One part will have you forcing the door close before the zombies overpower you and pry it open. Playing as Leon will require you to shoot the zombies hands off the door while playing as Helena will need you to bang the door shut with the jiggle of the left stick.
Chris and Piers
Chris Redfield will find himself in Eastern Europe with new teammate Piers Nivans fighting as the BSAA, which pretty much brings the manly-man war shooter to the Resident Evil series, except the insurgents are all bio-organic weapons who can work together, use guns and make their own riot-shield with a mutated limb.
If you do play this campaign first, expect to be pummelled with miniguns and miscellaneous rifle fire, and the game has a cover system it won’t tell you about. One has to be aiming before hitting X will allow you to take cover from enemy fire. Soon, the enemy will be fed up and will bring in a giant B.O.W. to flatten you. Naturally, it has a giant weak point on its back you’ll have to annoy it with before backup arrives.
I didn’t care much for this campaign because zombies using guns is still pretty much very far-fetched.
Jake and Sherry
Slightly disorientating, this one, because the cutscene has Jake in Eastern Europe and he warps to China for the playable portion. The characters have plenty of weapons on hand for this one, not a good sign. The enemies in Jake and Sherry’s portion of the demo don’t just use weapons, they turn into what Conan O’Brien calls “lobster pasta guys” and eventually some of these lobster guys and enemies will solidify and a huge iguana monster will emerge from the “cocoon”.
Facing them face-to-face is just asking for trouble, because they can knock you down and leave you dead in an instant. Two shots from Jake’s magnum gun will fix that problem, but he only has so much ammunition. If you’re only as capable as I am, this part of the demo will only prove that playing with the AI will get you into serious trouble when you are down for the count.
Most of the demo was the feel-good zombie shooting game you’d bought RE5 for. The main issues I have were the new UI. Looks like Capcom went for a futuristic feel with it and the symbols-only options menu, that doesn’t pause the game, is a wordless mess, especially if you want to frantically change your settings on-the-fly with 10 zombies on your back. The new inventory system gets rid of the 9-slot problem RE5 had, but it’s not very intuitive either.
I’m troubled by the fact that RE6 won’t have a weapons shop, and the demo doesn’t exactly show what the skill points we collect in the demo is for, possibly just for skill and weapons upgrades.
Nevertheless, I’m staying for the offline co-op and the general action title the franchise has become since RE4.
The Resident Evil 6 demo is out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with the actual game bound for October 2nd.