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The True Downfall of Resident Evil

Iíll just say it up front now; when youíre talking about Resident Evil 6 itís hard to not to mention Resident Evil 4. Itís especially hard for me; as to me, RE4 is a game I judge many action shoot-y type games against. I think itís a true benchmark game and after playing the RE6 demo it shows that Capcom are having trouble living up to it.

I think everyone knows the problems with RE6. Weíll start with Leonís section of the demo. Capcom is reported to have wanted to go back to the seriesí roots with Leonís section of the game. Perhaps even harking back to RE2 where intimidating atmosphere and survival horror are the focus of the experience but you donít really get that, but what you do get is the worst of both RE2ís and RE4ís worlds. You get simple corridor environments with not a lot going on. I know itís hard to build up the required tense atmosphere within the contexts of a demo but with Leon and Helenaís abilities I doubt it would ever get as tense as it needs to be to remain engaging. During the section where you are locked in one particular corridor, waiting for a door to open and hordes of zombies burst through the windows to attack itís supposed to be a desperate fight until you can escape, much like on the original Left 4 Dead while waiting for an elevator to come on No Mercy. But since Leon and Helena have such strong melee attacks then youíre never that tense or scared. Iím actually pretty sure Leon could single-handedly deal with all of the zombies with a simple kick to the face then smash their squishy heads with the Diamond Cutter while staggered. Taking the RE4 Leon, then making him more powerful, then putting him into an even more linear game does not make for much fun.

Itís not funny anymore.

I think Resident Evil 4ís humour is a bigger part of what makes it what it is, and what makes it so special to people, even if they donít realise it. RE4 has a humour that doesnít diminish the horror, it compliments it. Itís incredibly Sam Raimi in tone. RE4 jumps from being chased around a claustrophobic and remote village by a chainsaw wielding bastard to being chased around a castle by monks in elaborate gowns with a ball and chain. In another moment youíre running away from the animated statue of a power hungry midget then panicking in the dark, narrow corridors, figuring out how to deal with the chilling and seemingly indestructible Regenerators. RE4 makes you laugh as much as it gets under your skin, and RE5 didnít do that. RE6 certainly doesnít.

Some of the same elements are there in RE5 and 6, such as the silly melee finishers but there isnít the tonal shift. Itís just all mixed or ill thought out, such as in RE5 with the African guys in grass skirts, or Diamond Cutters where the game wants you to take it more seriously. Ultimately, thatís that problem. RE6 wants you to take it seriously if the cut-scenes are anything to go by; all the shouting and drama, but not the unbounded imagination that its predecessor had.

And I do believe that is the problem with the series now. If it was funny; if it had the Raimi style, the creepy, funny, oddly endearing tone to it I think I would still have liked Resident Evil 6, despite its awful controls and nose dive in the quality of level design. I think I would of still held a candle for it if it stayed funny.
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About Leigh Davidsonone of us since 4:59 PM on 09.14.2010


I'm a gamer from the 90s who was raised on games with cute characters in them, both the genuine, heart-warming kind and the cynically designed ones.
But despite me mostly being a Nintendo fanboy it was probably the holy trinity Final fantasy VII, Tomb Raider and Resident Evil that truly got me into gaming.

Now I play anything as I'm open to anything.

Favourite game of all time? probably a toss up between Mass Effect 2, Persona 4, Metroid Prime, Killer7 or Resident Evil 4.

I write bits for the gaming site BitParade

My Twitter - @LeighDavidson
Xbox LIVE:DifferentClass
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Steam ID:DifferentClass
Mii code:0228-6106-8734-8508


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