All the new movement abilities are goofy as hell. Somewhere around RE4, the series went from being goofy ostensibly by accident to being goofy on purpose. I mean, it's one thing to have a poorly translated English script. It's another thing altogether to have a midget Napoleon for a villain. But one of my favorite things about RE5, despite its more somber narrative tone, was the dumb, fun ways you could break the game with a partner by exploiting the character animations and the gesture menu.
Having Sheva yelling "I need a HERB" over and over while Chris replies with "D'uh I need ammo!" is one of the funnest things you could do with any game this generation, not to mention the weird way Sheva says 'thanks,' throwing rotten eggs at enemies and doing dance moves with the controls. RE6 introduces a host of new moves and animations which seem almost completely superfluous. I have no idea why I would ever actually need to jump backward, in mid air, onto my back so that I could roll around on the ground back and forth, but it's the most hilarious animation I've seen in a game in a long time.
The same can be said for the running baseball slide. I don't know what situation that would actually be useful in, but it's fun as hell to do anyway. Pressing R3 in Jake's bare handed melee mode makes for one of the best dance numbers in a game since Deus Ex Human Revolution. I'm honestly not to hot on the way they changed the way red and green herbs work, but the fact that you heal yourselves by popping a tic tak is great. It doesn't make any sense, but damn is that breath fresh. It's even more hilarious when you get downed, and your partner has to cradle you in their arms and shake a couple tik taks in your mouth.
That new quick shot ability is super rad. It reminds me a lot of Yakuza: Dead Souls, which did a great job of giving you a lot of different options in how you shot your guns, which all had different strengths and weaknesses depending on the situation. The RE6 demo leans a lot more heavily on its melee combat, but it's a really cool feature, especially with the more powerful guns. It looks badass, it feels badass, and if it doesn't take a zombie out in like, one hit, it'll at least stun them from a distance.
The quick shot attacks for some of the weapons are completely nuts too. Helena does insane cartwheels and behind the back shots with the Hydra that looks like something from Devil May Cry, and I swear, Sherry's quick shot with her pistol totally looks like the way Coyote from Killer 7 shoots his gun. Now if we can only get a Hawaiian print shirt and cowboy boot costume for her to complete the ensemble.
They put some really cool guns in there. The Hydra makes its return, as does Leon's VP70. The alt fires were a great addition too, especially Leon's dual wielding option. The grenade launcher attachment on the assault rifle in Jake and Sherry's scenario makes for a great excuse to have the explosive rounds without having to have a grenade launcher equipped to use them. The weight and punch of the weapons is what really stands out about them though. It feels really satisfying when you get a hit on the enemies with most of the guns, especially the magnum and the shotguns.
Jake is the mother fucking Fist of the North Star Jesus Christ. Really all the new characters are pretty great so far. Granted, it's kinda weird that Laura Bailey played a completely separate love interest for Leon in that CG movie and is now playing Leon's Partner in 6, and with the same voice no less, but the acting is pretty solid so far across the board. I mean, this is Resident Evil we're talking about here. You're in for a little cheese, but the characters all seem really cool and well voiced.
I had my doubts when I first heard Troy Baker for Jake as well, just because it didn't really seem like a smart fit, but it's obvious to me now that Jake is pretty much the next Gene from Godhand, and that Tatsumi style of badass in his voice really brings the coolness in Jake's otherwise genial and thoughtful persona out to bare. Also, the kind of rapport they seem to have gotten with Jake and Sherry is really hard to pull off well. It's like Uncharted or something, except the characters involved don't come across as B-grade Hollywood smarmy dick-bags, which is a good thing I think.
They've overhauled the melee combat completely. If you look at the Resident Evil series as a logical progression of games in a sequence, you can see that RE4 put something of an emphasis on the knife and included a few melee attacks. RE5 took the idea of using melee for crowd control even further, and expanded the melee options, focusing on using fire arms to stagger enemies and finishing them off with a melee finisher. RE6 has orders of magnitude more melee shit to do than RE5 for any given character at any given time, and from the way the skill point system looks, you'll likely be using that currency to add to that even further, or at least further customize the already given amount of options available in the demo.
Let's go down the list here. You've got the standard melee attack mapped to R1, which is different for each character. It chains to at least a two hit combo. You have actual melee weapons; the prerequisite knife shows up for certain characters, as do stun batons and bare fists. Those, too, chain into at least a two hit combo, have their own distinct R1 attack, and some can even be charged to do a heavy attack. You've also got your finishers you can do on stunned enemies. There's a different animation for them depending on whether you're attacking them from the front or the back, and let's not forget the contextual environmental finishers. The monster enemy types have completely different melee finishers attached to them as well. And then you've got a melee counter attack you can do by pressing R1 just as an enemy melee attack is about to connect. You can perform stealth kills as well, at least in Chris's scenario anyway. And you have running melee attacks you can do by pressing R1 while sprinting.
As you can see, the developers have lost their damn minds and it's totally awesome. Most of this is dependent on your stamina meter, which depletes fairly quickly. So while the melee combat has been the main focus of my recent playthroughs, I've had to really keep an eye on my stamina meter and plan accordingly around it to succeed.
The verticality of Jake and Sherry's level was really interesting. There are some parts that seem to be inaccessible in the demo. I mean, I messed around with it a bunch, and I couldn't get to some of these spots. I have to assume that there is some backtracking involved later on, but it's great having those alternate paths to look for. But even beyond that, the parts that you actually can access add a great asymmetry to the combat, with one player shooting down from an elevated path to provide cover for the one stuck down on the ground. It's also invaluable against those freaky lizard monsters that show up in that scenario.
The graphics seriously look great. When you are outside, the characters' entire shirts and hair flutter super convincingly in the breeze. And the way they made the sweat look is super realistic and natural looking. The texture mapping on the characters is fantastic as well. Granted, that was kind of a strong point for RE5 as well, but these are seriously some of the best looking character models on a console and you just sorta don't expect that kind of thing from Japanese studios any more.
the frantic combat is great. The way the characters slide into cover and over cover and obstacles when you're sprinting lets you really effectively close the distance between you and the armed zombies. And that lets you mix things up with the melee combat if you want. It's super exhilarating running down your stamina melee attacking those zombies with the Bionic Commando arms and switching over to your pistol to finish them off only to have your gun start to dry fire on you while two more dudes are rolling up on you.
The impetus that added mobility gives you to charge in and run away is great, and the flow of combat really makes you cycle through all of your weapon and attack options when you're in the fray. Also, the fact that those weird, lizard monsters will randomly hatch out of the petrified zombies really just has the whole Jake and Sherry scenario running at a wild pace. The gun-play in Chris' scenario isn't as crazy, since you can pretty much just rely on your assault rifle, but getting in there for the close ranged combat is fun and rewarding and can get pretty hairy if you don't already have a good exit strategy.
There's all sorts of other, little things worth touching upon. Pretty much everything Yuri Lowenthall's character says in Chris's scenario is great. He's like the dumb, comic relief character, except he's not completely obnoxious and shrill. Then there's the fact that he will smooth up try to run your ass over with his APC if you don't watch out for him. Then there's that one zombie in Leon's campaign, that dives on you when you open that door, all RE2 style. If you shoot it up before it can grab you, it just flies up in the air like a party balloon and bounces off of your head. Speaking of party balloons, you can totally shoot out the party balloons in Leon's scenario.
When you're standing at a door that you need your partner to open, you can call out to them, beckoning them over. And if you keep doing it, your character will actually start yelling at them like they're hard of hearing or something. The different HUDs all look pretty awesome, with the exception of Chris and Pierce's. Tying into that is how your character pulls out his or her cell phone when you press select to bring up the settings menu on their phone. It's one of those Dead Space style ways of keeping everything firmly situated within the game world that really adds to the sense of ambiance and atmosphere.
It's like Resident Evil 5, except better in almost every way. Sure, taking out item trading was a bitch move on Capcom's part, but if you were into RE5, and let's face it, you should have been, because that game was great, then you have almost every reason to love the RE6 demo.