Like it or not, co-op is now something that is to be expected from a console Resident Evil entry. I've been a fan of the series since I got Resident Evil 2 alongside my PlayStation, and, contrary to popular opinion, I loved how Resident Evil 5 played and controlled. A big part of that was the aspect of teamwork.
As the floor was closing on the last day of E3, I headed over to Capcom to check out the latest entry in one of my favorite franchises. I brought along Destructoid writer and sexpot Ryan Perez. For a more in-depth preview, check out Dale's coverage. For a look at how RE6 will play with a buddy, read on.
For this demo, we chose to play Chris Redfield campaign demo. In contrast to Leon and Jake's demo sections, this one focused on shooting which made the co-op more present. This flashback sequence takes place on the rooftops of an Asian metropolis. It's all run-and-gun action and mindless shooting.
The 2nd player takes the role of one of Chris' squadmates. Both of you are funneled down a narrow, linear space, gunning down zombie-like enemies with guns. Sometimes you could go up a ladder for a vantage point or shoot a barrel, but strategic options were limited, in general. Having a buddy didn't change much, except sometimes you'd accidentally kill them with a live grenade (sorry, Ryan!)
Part of what made RE5 co-op work so well was that there was a lot of space to explore (at times). You'd often explore opposite corners of a village, trade items, and then take on a boss in a creative way. RE6, in contrast, seems to be playing things much safer. Where RE5 co-op was innovative and unique, RE6 looks like Dead Space 3 or Gears of War. Sure, the AI partner ruined RE5 in single-player, but stripping out innovation isn't the solution. In RE6, I expect the AI partners will be a lot more competent, but only because so much less is being asked of them ("move forward and shoot, please!")
There was one section, however, that showed off a co-op specific sequence, where Chris hanged on a pipe with his body dangling above a city block, thousands of feet away. As you hammer on the square button, your co-op partner fires on the enemies gunning for you. It was just kind of frustrating playing as Chris, in this scene. I felt I should at least be able to stop and take aim with a pistol. If these are the type of scenarios we can expect in co-op play, I'm going to have to play this game solo.
It's worth mentioning that RE6 will also have a couple four-player co-op sequences spread throughout the campaign. These are tied to narrative moments in the game where four of the six main characters meet-up and fight. Maybe those will play a bit better, but this rooftop sequence with Chris has almost turned me off from the game entirely. Dale North says the Leon and Jake sections are much better, but I can't imagine co-op would improve them either.