There is a heavy mist in the dark room. The glittering lights in the background break the mood. There is someone or something strange in front of you, and this someone is making sounds that hardly seem human. You raise your gun and take aim. You scream and he turns around. Your arms are trembling lightly. There it is. A zombie, but it seems familiar. Could it be... Yes, what was once your best friend is now coming towards you intent on causing you harm. Do you have what it takes to pull the trigger?
These are the kind of scenarios Leon S. Kennedy will face in Resident Evil 6. The developers have aimed to return to the sense of fear and suspense found in the original games. You're supposed to be scared by the story and the concept. Fear should be ever present.
It's easy to see that it's an ambitious undertaking. In order to be able to portray as wide range of emotions as possible you will play as three different character during the adventure. Each character have their own start to the story, and for one reason or another (likely some kind of virus), they end up in Lanshiang, a fictive coastal town in China. Apart from franchise mainstays Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield you will also play as a character new to the series, Jake Muller.
Leon's story starts in Toulouse, France in 2013 as the city gets set to play host to the president of the United States. A bio-terrorist attack puts an end to these plans, and Leon has to try and eliminate the threat. Unfortunately the president has already been infected and turned walking dead.
Leon is faced with a tough choice, but as America has a zero tolerance policy against bio attacks, he tries to find out the truth about the event with the aid of Secret Service agent Helena Harper. That is, after he puts a bullet through the president's head. Sadly, he finds himself accused of the president's murder, and when the evidence points in the direction of China, they have to make a run for it.
Chris Redfield's story starts out in China, six months before the game kicks off. A biological epidemic has broken out, and BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) sends out Chris and his crack team of elite commandos to investigate and eliminate the threat. He is joined by Piers Nivans, the best marksman in all of BSAA. Something goes wrong during the operation, and the team is captured by terrorists. Only Chris and Piers managed to break out, while the rest of the team is subjected to the terrorist's latest threat, the C-virus. Chris vows to avenge the death of his comrades.
The final character you get to play as, Jake Muller, is a brand new character in the Resident Evil universe. Jake is a mercenary who makes his living in the fictional country of Ardonia in the Middle East. The country is caught up in a civil war, and Jake is one of many mercenaries hoping to earn a lot of money lending out their services. Jake is the son of the late Albert Wesker, and as such he presents an attractive target for terrorists.
You get to pick which one of these perspectives you want to experience from the start, and if you want something different you can always play the customary Mercenary Mode. Unlike previous games you don't have to finish the game in order to unlock this mode.
The concept and game mechanics have also been updated in order to streamline the experience somewhat. The biggest change is that you can now move while you are shooting. Various positions have also been included and you will now be able to fight lying on your back or flat on your stomach. But don't expect this to make things easier for you. The zombies in Resident Evil 6 are more aggressive than ever before. Special zombies capable of things such as shooting, running or jumping have been added to make the experience more varied. This adds an extra layer of tactics to any given situation and picking the correct strategy will be key to survival.
When you run out of ammunition you can turn to your trusted knife. You can also equip weapons the zombies are carrying. And if that's not enough for you, you can send them flying with front kick, take them down with a wrestling move, or give them a good old elbow to the face. If things go wrong up close and personal a quick time event is triggered where you can try and escape.
In addition to the regular and more special zombies there is a new super monster, the most potent result of the C-virus, called J'avo. Intelligent and fast, and with regenerating health and claws that grow out of its hands when attacked. According to the developer each encounter with a J'avo will be unique as you never know what abilities he will gain during combat.
Sadly the inventory system has been done away with, and instead you're presented with a menu where all your equipment is placed side by side. Possibly a necessity when you can run and gun simultaneously. The classic green and red herbs have also been changed somewhat. Instead of combining them into different potions they can be turned into pills and consumed at any time. The benefit is that you can map a button to the pills so you don't have to pause the game in order to heal. This system is similar to what players are used to in other action games, but it remains to be seen how it impacts the Resident Evil experience.
You will also be able to team-up in Resident Evil 6 as the co-operative experience has been given a lot of extra attention. Anyone can join another player's game, regardless of where in the story you are. Quick commands have also been added so you can let your partner know if everything is fine, or if you need help.
Resident Evil 6 has the potential to be a brilliant game. A lot of improvements to the formula have been made, and lessons learned from previous titles. And the good news is that we won't have to wait very long for it as it will be made available on October 2. Mark the date in your calendars, and get ready for what promises to be the most intense chapter in the series to date.