Weighing in at just over three minutes, the announcement trailer for Resident Evil 6 packs a hefty punch and - if you blink - you'll miss some key information and teases. Here we break down the trailer for you to digest.
The trailer's structured into four sections, the first three revealing separate story lines, the fourth slowly linking them together and teasing some big reveals. We've broken down the article accordingly.
PART 1: SURVIVAL HORROR
1. Leon S Kennedy is back, iconic hairstyle still in place. He's likely been too busy down the gun range to go to a barber's. First thing to note: the targeting attachment on the underside of his pistol: weapon upgrades?
2. A shot of the spectacled President: Leon saved his daughter's life in the events of Resident Evil 4.
3. Our first zombie shot: the angle echoes the very first undead reveal in the original game. As to does the close-ups of a newspaper headline detailing the tragedy about to unfold: the original Resident Evil opening showed clippings of the incidents in Racoon Forest
4. "It's not my fault." A woman clutching a gun, same angle as Leon: but despite careful editing, we're seeing two different scenes. Could this be a grown up Ashley?
5. The zombie's revealed as the President: his outstretched arms and shambling gait tell us the classic undead foe is back.
6. The first flash of the logo design. Menus and logos have always mimicked in the source of each game's infection. Should we then read more into the fact this looks like a spider's web?
7. "I did this," the woman's voiceover continues. We get flashes of devastated streets, on fire and festooned with zombies.
8. A location revealed! We're in Tall Oaks, specifically for this section, the entrance of a train station.
9. Capcom's resurrection of the survival horror sees it take more subtle cues in emphasising the latter word. Note the atmospheric use of the single light source and the garish shadows it casts: the studio is drawing reference from modern horror cinema. In this case a key scene in 28 Days Later.
10. Headlights from a bus illuminate a forest full of undead. A clip later reveals Leon and his female companion are the occupants, and suggests Kennedy's story will be classic Resident Evil, tracing an escape from city into the suburbs beyond.
11. "90% of the population of Tall Oaks has been infected with the virus." Multiple points of interest here: there's a suggestion in the phrasing that whatever the reason for the outbreak, the fallout is similar to Racoon City - a parallel mentioned by Leon in a moment. Capcom's keen to recapture the spirit of the franchise's finest entry.
Note the small video player in the bottom of the screen - Leon and his companion obviously have some contact and support with the outside world: does Leon still have connections with the Secret Service, or is this B.S.A.A.?
Their contact predicts the outbreak equating to "70,000 hostiles", Not quite matching the 100,000 zombified souls lost in Racoon City, but enough for a small group to contend with. Will Tall Oaks suffer the same fate to neutralise the spread of the virus?
12. More in-game action, as Leon's fighting his way the heart of Tall Oaks. The zombie count shambles close to double figures: eight or so can be spotted in this sequence, and they change from shuffling brain-dead to snarling, leaping killers when near.
13. Roundhouse kick! Melee attacks for gaining some breathing room are back in. Also note the church in the background: RE6 will continue the franchise's love affair with creepy locales and fantastic level design.
14. We get a lightning quick glance at what will likely be one of the mini-bosses early in the game, a bloated monster whose skin textures show off the visual upgrade between this and RE5.
15. The action pans out and goes east - far east, where trouble is brewing. But is this the same infection?
PART 2: ACTION COMES A-KNOCKIN'
16. Chris Redfield en-route to landing pad and backed by a heavily-armed squad. The shoulder patch indicates he's still with the B.S.A.A. It leads to the question of where 3DS's Revelations fits in to this - does it bridge the gap between 5 and 6?
17. Location? Maybe Shanghai? We engage with a scene heavily reminiscent of Resident Evil 5's opening as Chris walks through fleeing locals, and inquisitive cameramen. With assault rifle at hand the message is clear: Capcom's is folding Action Horror alongside classic Survival.
18. Radio chatter confirms it's a bio-terrorism outbreak, as Chris and his squad take on a mutating infected: the swollen shoulder and incisor growths on one arm has echoes of William Birkin, Resident Evil 2's scientist turned Tyrant.
19. "This is worse than we thought..." Chris takes and fires from cover. It's another evolution of RE's control scheme, and a logical one given the orientation towards gunplay in Redfield's story.
20. Capcom impressing with lighting again: here with an action setpiece, white glare filling the screen before being replaced by glowing reds and oranges as a helicopter crashes on the street beside you.
21."It's regenerating." Multiple boss forms confirmed.
PART 3: MERC WITH A MOUTH
22. Another perspective is revealed, and Capcom stick to tradition by introducing new characters to the series. We're in Mercenaries territory here in an action sequence that - for the first time in the series - relies entirely on close-quarters combat. The heavy emphasis on set-pieces in this sequence suggest a third gameplay style.
23. The trailer reveals the big boss - for this story thread at least. There's a nod to Resident Evil 3 as this hulking bio-weapon chases down our two new protagonists: note his mechanical arm, the attributes of which bring something new to the series.
24. Namely multiple incisor extensions that unfold out of the main body to entrap and crush our Merc. Is bio-mechanical the new weapon of choice on the battlefields?
25. "Not me, just my blood." Our Merc seemingly is the carrier for a virus, and the burden is slowly killing him. But he's turning a profit as well: "someone can have it, if they pony up the dough". The comment is intercut with Chris and squad stumbling on a group injecting themselves. Coincidental? Or has the Merc been inadvertently funding (or infecting) global bio-terrorism?
PART 4: NEW MOVES
26. "After what she has done to us..." Chris roars after the fact (and this scene), when a viral-filled version of a claymore mine, firing out death-filled darts to any that trigger it, wipe out his entire squad. Expect the devices in-game to add another threat and reason to search your surroundings. But who's "she"?
27. "Your personal vendetta is going to get us nowhere." Another new character and the only other member of B.S.A.A's Alpha unit still alive, clashes with Redfield. Will RE6 finally see the usually calm ex-S.T.A.R.S agent loose his cool?
28. A quick glimpse of an armoured convoy under attack confirms we'll be controlling this B.S.A.A. squad member at some point.
29. Gears of Evil: another new move, as Chris launches himself mid-run into a slide that transfers into a cover position. A nearby infected's tentacles reach over cover and grab him, in a nod to Epic's Gears of War franchise.
30. The same move can be used to trip up zombies and shoot at the same time. Here Leon, in a John Woo moment, knocks over zombies and then flips onto his back to score head shots as he continues to slide.
31. Seemingly insignificant and vague: but note the heavily-furred jacket, and the snow howling behind the bloodied hand. Weather and clothing unseen anywhere else in the trailer. Is the tease of the game's final destination, similar to the Antarctic expedition that closed Code Veronica?
32. More teases of our boys in action: seemingly Leon leaping atop a motorcyclist, but with background signs emblazoned in kanji, suggesting the ex-RCPD officer isn't consigned to Tall Oaks the entire adventure. Also we see our Merc, punching a helicopter mid-flight. What a guy.
33. Creature variety is huge this time: note the church interior behind this monster. If it ties into an earlier clip then its Leon who'll be tackling this boss, and confirms that each storyline will have its own unique behemoths to take down...
34. Including this building-sized monster, that looks like a mutated form of Resident Evil 4's El Gigante.
35. In a trailer filled with teases, this one is likely the biggest: pausing the action sees yellow jacket-clad man downed by a rampaging monster in a sewer system. Relevance? The jacket's colour is too prominent for this to be a uncredited extra: and Barry Burton has been rumoured to be reappearing in a future Resident Evil...
36. Okay, now we're really stretching things, but stick with us, as there's been plenty of considered cuts already. We see Chris clutch his head in pain before a cut of a glowing brain stem. A suggestion that Redfield is infected somehow?
37. ...and we're done: November 20th, 2012. Excited? We bloody are.
"No Hope Left" could be the motto for Resident Evil fans predicting the armageddon of the series, rather than the advertising campaign for Resident Evil 6 teasing the in-game global apocalypse to come.