Presidents Vs Zombies: 20 Minutes Of Resident Evil 6

By Nathan Grayson on June 21st, 2012 at 8:00 am.

This probably won't be good for his approval ratings.

When your game more or less begins with its main character shooting the President (who is, mind you, a zombie by this point), you’ve got a lot to live up to. Such is Resident Evil 6‘s plight, and I imagine Capcom’s hoping 20 solid minutes of gameplay footage might help assuage our fears. Or at least replace them with other fears – you know, the kinds that generally accompany the prospect of grotesque, entrail-devouring death lurking around every corner. But, after watching Leon Kennedy somberly subdue the President, talk for a while, shuffle down hallways of dramatic tension, talk some more, shoot zombies, and generally do whatever’s needed to avoid becoming a dead Kennedy, I’m not entirely sure what emotion I should be feeling.

So that sure was more Resident Evil. I mean, yeah, it was nice to see a slower-paced section after Resident Evil 4′s creepy chaos and Resident Evil 5′s treetrunk-armed shootpunch co-op killfest, but this section didn’t really do¬†anything with it. It was just walk-talk-walk-talk-BOO-I-am-a-scary-ceiling-tile-falling-for-no-reason. Compared to more recent strides forward in gaming horror, this just feels cheap.¬†Also, it amazes me that Leon could continue to be so braindead about brain-munchers after dealing with them for so many years. Yes, let’s bring the obviously infected people onto a rickety elevator. I’m sure it’ll be no trouble at all.

The new move-and-shoot mechanics at least look a little more mobile, though – even if sudden moments of fluid motion seem oddly tacked on to RE’s typical herky-jerky tank controls. And honestly, I squealed a little when Leon finally unleashed a couple of his trademark pointlessly show spin-kicks, because I love me some Resident Evil B-movie silliness. On the whole, though, this demo struck me as an awkward middle ground between old-school RE scares and the series’ modern obsession with extravagant big-budget action.

Admittedly, though, this was only a look at one of three playable characters. And honestly, I’m not expecting much more than a big, dumb romp out of this one anyway. Still though, it’s a shame Capcom doesn’t seem particularly interested in trying anything the least bit new. I mean, we’ve played five of these things – by which I of course mean 12 billion, if you count spin-offs – so a bit of fresh air couldn’t hurt.

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54 Comments »

  1. Zepp says:

    Fresh air? Zombie dating sim with guro/vore wouldn’t be bad IMHO.

  2. thepaleking says:

    He’s had encounters with zombies in 3 separate games, yet Leon still waits until the zombie is about to bite someone’s face off before taking the shot. I had heard the Leon segments of this were supposed to harken back to the days when this was actually SURVIVAL horror, but yeah, no, it just looks like Gears of War with zombies, more so now that you can move and aim at the same time. The voice acting and writing are still delightfully awful though, so there’s that…I suppose.

    • evilcid says:

      I agree with the first part where he hesitates, but gears of war with zombies? Obviously you haven’t played RE4, which came out before gears of war:)

      • thepaleking says:

        Um, yes, I did play RE4. I still think 5 was more was more similar to Gears than any RE game, hell the zombies even had guns, and from what I’ve seen of the Chris Redfield sections in this game.

        • Milky1985 says:

          Well in 5 they didn’t have guns from whati remember, in 6 in the chris redfield section they will have, as they are not traditional zombies.

          They ahve already said there will be 3 different playstyles in this, leon themore tradition , crhis the action one (cover shooting) and mini wesker will be a bit of a hands on brawler (i assume hes immune to the infection otherwise that sounds like a bad way of taking out zombies)

          • Enso says:

            100% they definitely had guns in the later sections, along with cover mechanics.

          • Shooop says:

            Oh they had guns alright. And chest-high walls to duck behind.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Although most of them still ran at you and tried to beat you in the face, or liked to toss grenades, which was hilarious if they kept missing and kept hitting their friends.

    • Shooop says:

      The problem is there aren’t enough zombies and there’s no sense of the game letting you just figure everything out by yourself.

      The reason the classic games worked was because you figured out the pieces of every puzzle on your own by just exploring: “Oh I need a lighter for this fireplace” and “Hey, this keycard probably opens that one door I saw in that other room.”

      Now it’s just “Get to door. Now go to elevator. Now go to next door while not being eaten by an easy-to-handle group of 4 zombies.” The movement is a change the games did need – what they didn’t need was the step-by-step directions.

    • TrueBlueGamer says:

      I know right, I was wondering the same exact thing, Capcom likes to give exposure to the previous games by making some new character commenting on how they’ve heard the stories of the great Leon Kennedy, yet the supposed character is oblivious to everything, see a guy coughing in a weird way, does nothing, sees a girls all soaked in blood, does nothing, tries to kill the zombie of his former president even though he knows it’s useless to reason with him, and waits for the very last dramatic second, seriously Capcom, I know japan is weird with their narratives but this is just plain dumb, it’s like they chose to hire those guys who normally write fan fiction to be the main story designer, fuck logic. XO

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        ffordesoon says:

        As someone who actually writes fanfiction, I feel compelled to ask you not to pin this madness on us.

  3. Tridae says:

    Love me some classic Resident Evil. Completely lost interest as soon as I saw 4. Code Veronica on the PS2 has to be my top favourite of the series.

    The more retro they go the better. Heck – bring back the tank controls even, I loved the struggling that brought.
    “oh shit it’s coming at me but. . .I . . can’t . . quite . . run. . .damn” Perfect

    • Desmolas says:

      I played Resident Evil 4 on the Wii and the controls there were probably at their best to be honest. Tank controls PLUS the analogue aiming that the Wii remotes afford. Of course I probably hated it at the time, “Whats with this guy! Why cant he shoot while moving his legs!”, but in retrospect the awkwardness did kind of lend itself to the tension. It was unique.

      • Toberoth says:

        Yeah… I think a lot of people forget how much the clunky control scheme added to the tension in the first few games. It was a pain in the ass, but ohmygodthatthingiseatingmyfaceandIcan’tgetaway.

        This article might be of interest: http://gamasutra.com/view/feature/172168/fight_or_flight_the_neuroscience_.php?page=1

      • derps says:

        Not being able to shoot while moving made the game tense and more challenging which I liked.

      • db1331 says:

        The Wii controls were awesome for that game, because they allowed you to be so accurate. I played through the game on the GC the first time and did alright. On the Wii though, I felt more like the badass special agent I was meant to be. I could shoot two knives out of the air with my pistol, or shoot a stick of dynamite as soon as a baddie lights it. Even the motion controlled quick knife was great.

    • Shooop says:

      That’s the one part of RE that should stay dead forever.

      The tension of RE was “OH FUCK ME THERE’S 15 ZOMBIES IN THIS HALLWAY AND I ONLY HAVE A PISTOL” and the dread of running into another room just like it in the near future if you somehow survived that. It was about being outnumbered and isolated, not having your feet encased in wet concrete.

      The genius of RE was it let you go explore and figure out the puzzles on your own – “So I need a lighter for that fireplace, and hey a keycard. I bet that opens the door in that one other room I saw 5 minutes ago.”

      The turn-then-move controls were exclusively technical limitations and good riddance to them.

    • Renfield says:

      I’m inclined to think the modern mechanic that most kills the ‘horror’ aspect is the hand-to-hand combat. Watching the above, I was thinking it could manage to be an improvement over RE5 in terms of a survival horror atmosphere – and then the kung fu started.

    • aerozol says:

      Honestly, when people say this i don’t believe they played very much of 4.

      Resident Evil 4 was an incredibly courageous leap, and it totally paid off. This is coming from a BIG fan of the earlier games (starting with the ’96 PC release). A lot of people couldn’t give it a chance- yeah it’s a completely new take, but an absolutely superb game, and it stands on its own two feet without just being a re-do of previous games.
      That Shinji Mikami designed/directed both 1 AND 4 is ridiculous. What a versatile game designer.

      That being said, 5 was boring as hell, and this doesn’t look any better.
      Looks like people taking the reigns after Mikami missing the point of what made 4 good, and just trying to squeeze ‘more’ in to try and make it ‘better’. But RE 1 and 4 (and most in between) are good because they know when to NOT put more things in.
      I’ll give this a chance, like with 5, and will be sad if/when it turns out to be equally unfulfilling :(

  4. BULArmy says:

    I am a RE sucker(even thought I played only the awful PC ports), but 15 min. of one big nothing, with a lot of chit-chat is not something I consider even a bit of horror. Even though people say RE4 is mostly action, at least it did right some of the things the series is known for. Now we really just have a nice TPS(RE5 was nice with a friend). I am for that franchise in the sheep department, where only the name can sell me the game(except for RE:Raccoon City good lord that was released on PC on a latter date to see that is utter garbage), but I really hope that this is not totally representable for the whole game.

    Also it is funny haw console noobs say controllers are better for TPS action games, but the player fails miserably to land a single headshot, even from point blank. The fast precision with which you can aim with kb/m is unrivaled. Shoot them in the head, but not a single bullet landed there, yeah nice lack of consistency with the mythos of the genre. I really am starting to get pissed off by the insults thrown at us by certain game developers that we all are braindead and can’t manage with little complications…

  5. derps says:

    RE when downhill after Leon jumped that giant fish in RE4.

  6. Toberoth says:

    President Evil.

    • Guvornator says:

      + 1 Resident President

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Don’t forget the Undead Kenndys

    • Toberoth says:

      In other news, OH GOOD, OBJECTIVE MARKERS. Because I am definitely too stupid to navigate down straight corridors without getting lost or trying to eat the skirting board.

      • Enso says:

        I think “Oh, well maybe it’s an option you can turn off” but then why would they put it in the footage? How many people look at a game and think “Oh shit, no waypoints, I’m out?”

        • Toberoth says:

          [Edit] Totally misread your comment, missed the “no”!

          But yes, not only does it patronize the fuck out of the player, it also kills immersion by throwing all this crap on the screen. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember the old Resi games doing that. You had a map you could look at, sure, but you had to more or less navigate your own way around it, and it didn’t show up on the screen unless you explicitly called it up. Seemed like a much better system (very similar to what Lone Survivor does with its map system–it’s confusing, but appropriately so).

    • Toberoth says:

      And also:

      Leon: *watches people waving help signs on the monitor for about fifteen seconds*

      People: *get eaten, oblivious to wave of zombies approaching behind them*

      Leon: *watches for a bit longer* Let’s go!

      Female character (didn’t catch her name): Leon, it’s too late! There’s nothing we can do.

      Leon: *five second delay* You’re right. Let’s get the hell out of here.

      Question–is Leon on tranquilizers??

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        Makariel says:

        He might be an advanced version of those robots from the robocup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l19cKz9QCfA

        Might also explain why he had so many troubles with moving and shooting at the same time.

      • Shooop says:

        That was the only part of the video that got any kind of reaction from me. Probably not the reaction the writers hoped for though – I laughed.

      • TrueBlueGamer says:

        looooooool Yeah, was thinking the same think, it’s the same way with RE5 or any other single player game made by Capcom in these past few years, they tend to exaggerate the drama of it all without realizing what drama is supposed to be, take the scene where the daughter of that guy dies for example, the voice acting of him crying was actually, to me, kind of sad, but then I see things like this and the supposed “crescendo” they try to build with the cut scenes and I’m left wondering what the hell is happening and why the hell is it so dramatic, especially after watching dumb dumb Leon seamless agreeing after that whole time, waving his swooshing hair in the process. XD

  7. crinkles esq. says:

    That dialogue is horrid. Horrid even by Japanese standards.

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      Makariel says:

      It’s a step up from Resident Evil 5. Which still means it’s a step down from any game with halfway decent dialogue.

  8. Xzi says:

    Color me completely unimpressed. That bit with the car alarm just reminded me of how much better Left 4 Dead 2 is than any Resident Evil game we’re ever going to see released from here on out.

    Running from cutscene to cutscene is not my idea of a good time. Max Payne 3 already did the $60 movie thing better, and even in that case it wasn’t all that great.

  9. Mordsung says:

    Can you strafe yet in RE games?

    “I know there’s a zombie behind that corner. If only I could somehow walk side to side I could come around the corner and cap the mother fucker… wait, I forgot I can’t move while aiming a gun. I was sick that day of cop school.”

    Shock scares through artificial movement limitations… yay.

    • Enso says:

      Damn, you’re right, *Goes back to playing all the other games that perfectly represent every single movement of the human body and physical possibility of the world around them*

      PS – http://www.foddy.net/Athletics.html

      • Mordsung says:

        I’m not asking for perfection. I’m asking a game with third person shooting have the industry standard ability to both move while shooting and step side to side.

        The RE control scheme creates a severe disconnect between the player and the character due to the very odd movement controls and very limited movements.

        It makes it harder for the player to become engaged in the game as they’re constantly reminded that they’re in a limited game due to their character’s inability to pull of very basic movement.

        Immersion is what makes a game scary and it’s damn hard to be immersed in a game with controls as poor as the RE series.

        • Enso says:

          Fair enough request, although I disagree. I enjoy the limitations of the control scheme and believe other games do similar, if not necessarily for a horror effect. It’s not really shock either, as shock comes from a sudden jolt. Although the controls could help add context to why a sudden moment could be more scary, I think it’s more of a tension building/creating mechanic.

          To me, Resident Evil’s limiting controls simulate frightened fumbling far better than, say, that one section where your character drops the shotgun shell in The Walking Dead. You are actually fumbling with the controls rather than an automated sequence. Now that’s breaking the immersion and why The Walking Dead wasn’t at all frightening.

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    Sinomatic says:

    I watched this and instead of thinking “Why, oh why is there a cutscene every 5 seconds?”, I found myself pondering why they were ruining this movie with all these awkward looking interactive bits.

    So yeah, I doubt this is my cup of tea. On the upside, I’ve just remembered that I have a CGI Resident Evil movie that I’ve never seen. Are they any good? (It was bought for me by mistake, so I don’t know anything about it).

    • Jay says:

      The CG Resi movie is absolutely terrible. The most common description I’ve heard is “one for the fans” which should really be appended with “.. who’ll buy any old shite with the RE name attached”. It’s essentially a 90-minute cutscene that plays out in the most cliched, typically RE fashion imaginable. It’s got a strangely cheap look to it, notably more so than the games, with the characters barely emoting at all. Oh, and they’ve done something with Leon’s model where he switches between looking like regular, scrappy old Leon and some kind of androgynous K-Pop star depending on the scene. It’s all a bit odd.

      It’s widely defended by a certain type of fan as being far superior to the trashy live-action movies, but it’s not really. I wasn’t expecting much at all and was still massively underwhelmed.

  11. Tom Walker says:

    Hmmm, it’s is a Resi-flavoured release of every other bastard game out there, isn’t it?

    I don’t think shooty Resident Evil can really improve on what RE4 did, so I guess what I’d hoped for was something more like the (Gamecube remake of the) original one, only with puzzles that make sense.

    • Toberoth says:

      That would have been wonderful… <3 Unlikely to happen though. I'd recommend Lone Survivor to people still after that survival horror kick.

  12. Shooop says:

    What’s this, real honest shambling zombies again? I suppose that’s a plus. But again, just seems like a “Point A to B, and then C” movie instead of a “Here’s the situation, now figure it out. Oh, you have a gun but only 20 bullets. And there’s who-the-hell-knows how many zombies out there. Good luck folks!” game. No thanks.

    Anyone else laugh at how Leon watched those two guys asking for help for a good 3 minutes while they don’t even bother to turn around to defend themselves before finally deciding he should do something other than watch them be eaten?

  13. bill says:

    Resident Evil has SO jumped the shark these days. I’m constantly astounded that anyone still has the slightest interest in it.

  14. fuggles says:

    “It’s your Daddy, Liz!”

    Damn straight, creepy old man, damn straight.

  15. Shooop says:

    In other much more important news, Amnesia is going for only $5 on GamersGate.

  16. Beelzebud says:

    Just like Tomb Raider. Another series that lost it’s way. Resident Evil wasn’t about being an action movie. It was a about survival, combat, horror, exploration, and solving puzzles. It looks to me like they’ve just gone for pure combat, at the expense of everything that made the early games so cool.

  17. anduin1 says:

    as long as wesker isnt in this one…