I think itís fair to say that, after spending my weekend playing Resident Evil 6, itís probably not going into my Top 10 anytime soon. A complete lack of focus, a wealth of intrusive quicktime events and a desperate, embarrassing desire to appeal to absolutely at once make it an extremely underwhelming game, to say the least. Normally Iíd just let a bad game go, remember to never buy another game in the series again and move on with my life. However, seeing as the Resident Evil series has been so important to me for more than half my life, Iíd like to give Capcom a chance to redeem themselves. As such, I've drawn up a list of 5 ideas that, should Capcom choose to implement even one of them, would gain back my once overpowering, sexual love.
1. Remake Resident Evil 2
I think itíd be accurate to say that, besides 4, the most popular Resident Evil game of the last 10 years among fans has been the remake of the original Resident Evil on the Gamecube, and itís easy to see why. Stunning in terms of graphics, design and gameplay, it altered just enough to make it feel new and fresh while maintaining everything that fans loved about the original. To this day, it stands alongside Silent Hill 2 as one of the greatest achievements of survival horror, masterfully creating the sense of isolation, helplessness and fear so vital to the genre. Better yet, it proved that there was still a market for old-school survival horror, provided it was done well. Fans have been clamoring for years for Resident Evil 2, perhaps the most well loved of the original pre-4 series, to receive a similar treatment. It certainly makes sense, the grand police station and vast underground labs would look stunning with the HD graphics of today, and the wider scope of RE2ís settings would allow great potential for additional areas. Remakes of 3 and Code: Veronica would also be nice, despite the clunky controls lending themselves poorly to the faster pace of the former and the lack of fan-worship towards the latter, but 2 is the one that everyone wants to see, and Iím sure most old school fans would be willing to look past 6ís failings if a high-quality remake of Resident Evil 2 were to come into development.
2. Make an Over the Top Action Game Featuring Alice
One of my biggest problems with Resident Evil 6, and 4 and 5 to a much lesser extent, is that while it does take the gameplay in a far more action-oriented direction, it never quite goes all the way with it. The chase sequences and gunfights are mixed with clunky controls and limited ammunition supplies, creating a wishy-washy mixture of modern shooting and survival horror that pleases fans of neither. My advice: If you want to make an action game, just go for it. Make a big, over the top, popcorn-shoveling, Budweiser-pounding action game. Seeing as most of the characters in the RE canon are already known as ground and pound shooter types, the most obvious choice of protagonist for a game of this nature is Alice from the movies. Sheís already fully characterised as an athletic, super-powered murder machine, and sheís probably one of the most interesting characters in the series in its current state. I mean, thereís no way another game about the current gutted, soulless version of Leon or the patriotic space marine version of Chris could be anywhere near as interesting.
Anyone who finds this more interesting than a sexy lady murdering things needs to sort their life out.
It could work as cross-promotion, too. Capcom sees the movies as tools to promote the games but surely a truly entertaining game about Alice could rekindle some interest in the movies, as well? Basically just make Devil May Cry or MGR: Revengeance with zombies and everyone would forget Resident Evil 6 in a second, guaranteed.
3. Make a Genuinely Innovative Canon Resident Evil Game
Capcom seems to have gotten the wrong idea about the success of Resident Evil 4. 99% of its fans didn't like it specifically because it had a stronger focus on action. People liked it because it was a wholly original and interesting game. I mean, at every turn there were innovative ideas; unique boss fights, vibrant new settings and quicktime events that were actually tense and exciting. This is exactly the sort of thing that theyíll need to start doing again in order to make a good Resident Evil game. Leonís campaign in Resident Evil 6 plays like a watered down Greatest Hits collection of moments from past Resident Evil games: The zombie filled streets from RE2, the invincible stalker from RE3, the annoying sidekicks from Code Veronica, the laser hallway from RE4. This feeling was nowhere to be found in Resident Evil 4, everything felt fresh and exciting, a feeling that 6 should have invoked and one that theyíll have to invoke again to hang on to their fans. An optional aspect of this idea would be to convince Shinji Mikami to return to the series. After seeing the creative well dry up somewhat in Resident Evil 5, it can be reasonably assumed that Mikami was responsible for the vast originality of RE4 and his return could bring some life back to the series.
Life and lots and lots of sexiness.
4. Make a Game with Absolutely No Quicktime Events.
Iím not sure whatís been happening at Capcom for the past few years but somewhere within the bowels of that wretched company, the idea that quicktime events are universally fun seems to have festered and spread like a nasty strain of diarrhoea. Just look at the last 3 Resident Evil games, Dead Rising, Dragonís Dogma and the king of the cinematic stick-wagglers Asura's Wrath.
Pictured: The absolute antithesis of epic.
Outside of a few good uses in Resident Evil 4, QTEs are perhaps the most uninteresting trend in modern gaming, a violent plague that eradicates genuine pacing, tension, atmosphere in gameplay by just allowing developers to show a cutscene and pretend itís a gameplay section. Just once, Iíd love to see a Capcom game that uses traditional methods of creating exciting situations instead of just making us press in a code to watch fun happen. Just one game? Surely that canít be too much to ask? One game thatís actually a good game instead of just a series of passwords?
5. They Could Physically Apologise
Seriously, just send everyone who bought Resident Evil 6 a note with a sincere heartfelt apology, an adorable little teddy bear, a box of cupcakes, detailed high definition artwork of Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield strumming each other and an enchanted binding contract guaranteeing that the next Resident Evil game will be more enjoyable than having your eyeballs wrenched out with a corkscrew. I'm sure even then they'd force me to do a quicktime event to open the box and there'd be an explosion involved somehow.