The Resident Evil series has undergone several transformations since it's beginning in 1996. Resident Evil 5 saw a shift in gameplay, adopting more of an action stance than the slow, tense gameplay of the previous titles. Resident Evil Revelations, a 3DS exclusive, introduced the original RE horror once more whilst still embracing this new action-heavy style, creating perhaps one of the best games in the series so far.
And now, we have Resident Evil 6. Due for release in November 2012, the game is split into three campaigns, all offering different experiences. Thankfully, the demo, which was released today on PS3 and Xbox 360, allows a taster of all three, making this essentially three demo's in one. Good stuff? Well, read on to find out!
Leon Kennedy's Campaign
Leon's demo takes place at Tall Oaks University. The opening cut scene shows Leon being confronted by the President...in zombie form. Hesitant to kill the President of the United States, his finger wavers on the trigger, but of course, we all know what he must do. After killing the President with a headshot, it's down to business.
This segment of Leon's campaign felt very much like an old Resident Evil setting. Zombies are how they used to be-slow, shambling and moaning. It's also incredibly un-relentless. The undead crowd around you constantly in hordes, and there is barely enough ammo to go around. Like the earlier Resident Evil games, ammo conservation is a neccessity here.
A new addition is the melee system, which helps to offer Leon and his partner Helena a chance to recover when ammo has depleted entirely, or a reload is in order. Knife kills are gory, satisfying and essential, especially as the ammo is quite sparse here. Like Resident Evil 5 before it, 6 will allow both players to share items together. This means that every time one of you picks up ammo, both of you will receive it. Also, online co-op is supported as well as offline, which I found out when a random player took over the NPC as Helena (sorry, I had to play as Leon first time round!) halfway through the demo.
The aim of this portion of the game is to simply escape the campus. Leon's campaign combines the traditional Resident Evil style tension with a few "on the rails" style sections (most notably when driving the police car).
Chris Redfield's Campaign
Chris' campaign appears to be completely different from Leon's. Set in a war zone in Eastern Europe, Chris and his team are tasked with taking down the virus ravaged enemies in a series of winding streets. You'll notice straight away that unlike Leon's campaign, Chris's is an all-out action assault. Adopting more of the action gameplay of Resident Evil 5 than the slow tension that of the previous titles like Leon's campaign appears to be, you'll be using plenty of ammo on a colossal B.O.W., as well as gun-wielding zombie enemies. Also, these are different enemy types this time, which helps to keep things refreshing.
Whilst Leon's campaign was incredibly low on ammo, Chris's one has plenty. It's quite enjoyable going from one extreme to the other, actually. This does mean that the suspense felt in Leon's campaign isn't really that present. When ammo is in full supply, and you've got a buddy playing through it co-op with you, the difficulty does not really show too much.
Jake Muller's Campaign
The third and final demo is Jake "Wesker Jr" Muller's campaign. Whilst Leon's had the traditional Resident Evil feel, and Chris's went for action, action and more action, Jake's feels like the middle ground.
In this demo, you are introduced to a new character, Wesker's son, whose blood contains the cure to the vastly spreading virus. Teaming up with Sherry Birkin, who fans may remember from Resident Evil 2, the duo are working on escaping a desolate city.
Like the other two campaigns, Jake's also features it's own enemy type. Grappling with g-virus style enemies, whilst battling tar-like creatures and pouncing beasts, the demo certainly keeps you on your toes. Jake also seems like he will be a pretty interesting character, so I am looking forward to finding out more in the full game.
My Favourite Demo?
Whilst I highly enjoyed the action in Chris' campaign, I'd definitely say that Leon Kennedy's demo was by far the most enjoyable. It packed the most suspense, and harks back to the earlier days of the series when the slow, shambling zombies were just as, or perhaps more than, creepy than those seen in recent instalments.
So there you have it, over 60 minutes of gameplay to try out! As a Resident Evil fan, I was bound to like at least a little aspect of it, and thankfully I was not disappointed. Whether you're looking for old Resi gameplay, or the new action heavy format, both are present here. It's worth downloading and playing all three just to get a taster of things to come.