This fall is full of big time game releases that sees a colonial trip as an assassin, the return of the “Chief”, and a promising new IP. One title that looks like it can very easily get lost in the shuffle is none other than Resident Evil 6. Is this a fault of the game itself or is it simply a case of gamers getting tired of the franchise?
Looking back at how the Resident Evil franchise has progressed throughout the years brings up some interesting points. The even numbered games (RE4 and RE2) are generally seen as the cream of the crop amongst fans while the odd numbered ones (RE5 in particular) left much to be desired. The franchise as a whole has personally felt like an ex-girlfriend I know is nothing but trouble but pulls me back in with her charms.
Resident Evil 6 will introduce a typical gaming mechanic, simultaneously moving and shooting, for the first time in the series. Along with that, will be the return of RE5’s partner mechanic (ugh) as well as three playable campaigns (oooh!) with an extra fourth one that stars fan favorite Ada Wong. The more action-oriented direction leads many to wonder if this will be a leap in the franchise like RE4 or an impending misstep past its horror roots.
I am legitimately excited for Resident Evil 6 and for more than just my even number superstition. The previously mentioned multiple campaigns ought to add plenty of replay value depending on how long each one ends up being. If my understanding of the direction is correct, the addition of action mechanics while popping zombies in the head will be sure to make combat the most robust in the series. The new character, Jake Muller, looks like a great addition with a real interesting plot (Wesker’s son as a mercenary? Hell yeah!). Even having my personal man-crush Leon Kennedy on board tacks on an extra point in my book!
Unfortunately, we do have to keep in mind that video games are a business. Just like how the release of a big-budget movie is important, the same has to be said for a title like RE6. Capcom is expecting 7 million units to be sold by the end of this year. I have to say, I think they might be overshooting that number a bit. Yes, it’s Resident Evil and yes, the holiday season is approaching. I just don’t see how you plan to sell that many copies when you’re up against huge FPS franchises like Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. There’s also the major hype around the latest Assassins Creed title thanks to its unique setting and brand new character. It’s almost like a brand new IP! Speaking of which, Dishonored has a lot of buzz going for it as well and promises to bring something fresh to a market aching for innovation. A title where you play as a supernatural assassin who can control rats sounds like it will satisfy that need.
Don’t get me wrong, Resident Evil 6 will do good business. I think it may require some slick marketing to convince the average consumer that it’s not just “more of the same”. A demo will be available for download on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network next week. That’s a good move for Capcom and shows confidence that the title can win over consumers on its own merits. Will this be enough though? Is RE6 on your wish list or will you wait for it in the bargain bin? Comment below with your thoughts.