Preface: I'm a big fan of the Resident Evil series, as a matter of fact I've been on the series bandwagon since it's first installment for the Sony Playstation. Honestly I've always had a soft spot for Resident Evil 2; a game that gave me multiple nightmares when I was younger. I mean the game just flat out scared me, so much so that I had to use a gameshark to even play all the way through it for the first time. Anyway, it has been many a year since then, and really if you take a look back on the series, it's been slowly spiraling in the direction of RE6 for quite some time now.
Resident Evil 3 (while still very similar to 1 and 2) took a definite change in direction. Though the changes were subtle, it was obvious that the franchise was going to be branching out in a slightly different direction. Code Veronica? Yes, the game played faithful to the classic Resident Evil formula, but there were even more explosions and twists that pointed the series even further down the road to an action game rather then a survival horror (and yes, Code Veronica was still more heavily lenient as a survival horror, but just bear with me). Suddenly, the crap hit the fan. We had our hands on Resident Evil 4 (a great third person ACTION shooter imo), and the series would NEVER look back after this installment. With RE4 came a whole new perspective in the RE universe - yes many of the same elements from the original trilogy were still present (minor puzzles, random spooky things like the corpse sack in the dumpster, etc) however this game was more of a fast paced, sequential shooter then the top down survival horror we had come to know and love.
Resident Evil 4 was one of THE greatest games of it's time - to this day it is still a series favorite for many RE fans (and yet considered a disgrace by many fans of the original trilogy). One thing was certain through RE 4's success however - Resident Evil 5 would catch the attention of MANY gamers (and it certainly did). While RE 5 isn't known to be quite the same success as 4 was, it too was a fast paced, action third person shooter. One cool aspect to the 5th installment was the inclusion of co-op gameplay - something very new to the main series of games. While the adventure of Chris and Sheva were initially well received, critics of the series would come to despise it for it's racy background and 'over-the-top' action sequences (along with Chris's over sized biceps). How in the world would Capcom respond to the forlorn cries of the series beloved fans? To answer easily, with Resident Evil 6.
Resident Evil 6 is hands down the most controversial of the 6 main installments. It will likely be remembered as the 'snapping' point in the series when fans would lash out at Capcom for neglecting the survival horror aspects with which the series had been initially founded on. I'm here to offer up my $0.02 on the scenario though, and if you're reading this blog with an unbiased opinion then you'll see that Resident Evil 6 is perfectly justifiable as the game that did exactly what it was meant to do.
Let's start this analysis by quickly taking note of a very important concept - Resident Evil 4 was an action oriented third person shooter, NOT a survival horror game. RE 4 was also the beginning of the second main trilogy in the series, and really if you stop and think about it, you can easily group 1, 2 and 3 together and 4, 5 and 6 together - it really helps to make the game styles sync up.
When RE 5 came out, it was obvious that Capcom was trying to EXPAND off of the success of RE 4, not match it. Expand doesn't necessarily mean 'make better', moreso in this case it meant to open up different aspects of gameplay to keep the game fresh (co-op campaign and inventory system). RE 6, at it's core, did exactly what is was meant to do - expand off of RE 5. Essentially, it did this very successfully - 3 main campaigns, all with co-op gameplay (with an additional solo campaign featuring Ada) and a new game mode that allow for players to jump into each others games as monsters. It also introduced new gameplay mechanics such as walking and shooting, sprinting, and open melee attacks (a feature that is really essential at times when lacking on ammunition) While this may not have been exactly what fans wanted, it was a definite step in broadening the horizons of the second trilogy, and it was really done in a fairly sound manner that is solid and fun (different, but very adaptable if given a chance).
While Resident Evil 6 can be perceived as linear (a concept that it has been heavily criticized for) it's important for critics to remember that the previous two installments were the EXACT same way - you shot your way from one area to the next to progress the story with little encouragement for exploration other then shooting emblems, something you also do in RE6. Button mashing sequences are fairly frequent in RE6 as well...however, this is also nothing new to the second trilogy - this concept was heavily exploited in RE4, and continued into RE5. One 'downside' to RE6 could easily be the 'over-the-top' action sequences which are plenty and frequent throughout the game (moreso then the previous two games).....however that would mean neglecting that there have been 'over-the-top' action sequences in EVERY main installment in the Resident Evil series, especially 4 and 5.
In essence, Resident Evil 6 merely piggy backs off it's two older brothers in almost every aspect, and yet both of it's older brothers were very well received by critics. No, they aren't the survival horror games that many fans fell in love with initially, but they were the product of the NEW direction that the series was clearly going in, and you really can't fault any of the games in that essence. What's even more sad, is the fact that many fans knew that this change had been occurring the whole time, and yet they reacted as though they had just found out their parent had died in a car incident. There were no new surprises, no new shock and awes, simply what we all had come to know and expect (something that we bought well into and embraced over the previous two installments).
If fans want the series to go back to it's 'original' roots, then now couldn't be a better time - the second trilogy has come to a close. The story of the series has maintained it's integrity well (honestly Resident Evil 6 was far more engaging throughout then 5 was, and that's something that's pretty respectable in my opinion). Capcom could analyze it's strengths and weaknesses and go right back to square one (if they truly wanted to). The biggest issue, is the bi-polar reactions of the fan base - what exactly DO the fans want? Do we want classic Resident Evil, or do we want third person shooter run and guns? The two trilogies have made it clear that you can't do both (while 4 came the closest to achieving that, it was far from it). Whatever happens happens though, and the worst thing for fans to do is completely neglect it's latest installment and overly criticize it for aspects that have remained consistent for 3 running installments now.
Take all aspects into consideration here. Is it really Capcom who's playing Jekyll and Hyde....or is it the consumers?[img][/img]