Resident Evil 6: Top 5 Most Wanted Features
Resident Evil 6 is a game that has yet to be announced, but judging from Capcom’s penchant for creating sequels, its potential for existence is an immutable fact. Matthew Stewart takes a look at what we’d like to see in Resident Evil 6.
Over the smoldering ashes of a West African village, our heroes Chris and Sheva have flown away into the sunset after unceremoniously firing a couple RPGs down the gullet of that toe-headed scamp, Wesker. As the rest of Resident Evil's rotating cast noisily stomps into the bullpen for the inevitable sequel, allow me to drop some steaming hot nuggets about what I'd like to see from Resident Evil 6.
#5 – No More NPC Companions
Look, I'm not here because I want to babysit the President's daughter, or go traipsing around the world with beautiful, exotic women (Ew, girls) who want to slaughter entire villages with me. I'm not here to make a love connection. I'm here to see some messed up shit. I want zombies of all shapes and sizes – zombie people, zombie dogs, zombie plants, zombie sharks, zombie plants that shoot out zombie sharks – you get the idea. I don't need some NPC bogging me down, keeping me from taking in all the sights.
If I'm playing a Resident Evil game, I want one of two experiences. Either I'm a bad enough dude to save the President's daughter (alone), or I'm completing tasks in buildings created by MC Escher.
Though RE 4 and 5 had decent enough NPC comrades at my disposal, I just couldn't care about them. Sure, they weren't pants-on-head, but they didn't add anything to experience for me. They were just another thing to manage. Like watching my mom's little dog on the weekends, Sheva was alright to have around, but I didn't want to take her home and keep her (get your minds out of the gutter).
OK. I get that a large theme in Resident Evil games is that your character is never truly alone. The game's spotlight is generally shared by at least two characters, but there are other ways to implement that without making me feel like I've got a 3D rendering of a tamagotchi following me around. I like the way I could play Jill's story in RE1, then turn around and play Chris' story. It was a cool way to discover certain plot elements that were unclear the first time through.
Most importantly, Capcom, if you're to do anything about Resident Evil's plot, it's –
#4 – Keep the Bizarre-Ass Story
Perhaps the only thing about Resident Evil series more confusing than the logic behind the building layouts in Raccoon City is the story. The first couple of games started off with plots that were pretty straight-forward. You're someone stuck in/around Raccoon City, and you need to get the fuck out of Dodge because, zombies – let me tell ya, you don't want to hang around zombies. Bad breath, poor hygene, and the peer pressure is awful! It's like, everyone is chasing some guy, but I don't wanna chase some guy! I just wanna shamble around! But now there's a crowd after him, so I can't not chase some guy because I'll just look weird.
Anyhow, I think someone at Capcom started hitting the sauce pretty hard somewhere around the release of Resident Evil 0 because that's when things started getting real. And by “real” I mean “weird” – even by Japanese standards. In this game, it's revealed that some zombies are made of – wait for it – leeches. The first time you'll learn that , it goes something like this: hey there's a pile of lee- HOLY SHIT THEY JUST COMBINED INTO A ZOMBIE! At this point, I put the controller down because you know what? I'm gettin' too old for this shit.
Did someone at Capcom start getting big into alternative medicine, and this is their way of selling hirudotherapy to the ignorant masses? Because, let me tell you, Capcom, even after seeing the regenerative benefits provided by a stack of slimy blood-sucking worms, I am still not excited about the positive effects of leeching. Call me crazy.
More to the point, the Resident Evil series has a tradition of one-upping itself in the weirdness department – and it needs to stay. The B-movie madness of everything about Resident Evil's plot is the game's strongest charm. If you are so inclined, after you've read this article (it's a good use of your time, trust me) go play the series through from the original, all the way up to Resident Evil 5. Find out for yourself. If you love kooky shit (if you don't why are you playing video games) you will be completely satisfied.
You know what's not so satisfying?
#3 – Fucking Quicktime Events
Quicktime events are done. Dead. Kaput. Finished. OUT WITH THEM! OUT I SAY! Thanks.
#2 – Bring Back Survival Horror
OK. Before you start firing off with the angry comments filled with words like “fucking” “epic” and “fail” hear me out. There are a ton of action games on the horizon – and for Resident Evil, the trappings of the action genre started to wear a bit thin with Resident Evil 5. I'm not saying that another action-oriented Resident Evil won't work. I'm just saying that an entry with a ratio of explosions to actual zombies higher than the ratio of men to women at a public orgy is doing a disservice to the game's roots.
There was a time when Resident Evil was synonymous with not only getting the crap scared out of you, but also feeling wound up tighter than a hipster after learning that The Arcade Fire just won the Grammy for best album. That's because using your items wastefully could often spell a horribly gruesome death. Every time you were hurt, you'd agonize over whether or not to use a green herb. You'd ration items like a settler on the Oregon trail – only the danger here is being disemboweled by a zombie, rather than being disemboweled by crapping your own guts out from dysentery.
Absolutely dreading what was down that dark hallway was not uncommon while playing Resident Evil. Not only because, chances are it's some grotesque zombie dog, but because you'd have to use up your sweet, precious ammunition to take it down.
Whenever you'd squeeze off a bullet, you felt a year coming off your life expectancy. Didn't really get that with RE 4 and 5.
Let me make one thing clear: it's not that RE 4 and 5 were bad games. They were actually quite good. It's that the market is so over saturated with pulse pounding zombie shooters, that things actually aren't very exciting anymore. We've all be there, done that – got the unlockable outfits and the minigames. Something is needed to cleanse the palette, and that something should be the game that practically started it all. If Resident Evil were ever to return to form, now is the time.
#1 – Don't Forget the Zombies this time!
I enjoy killing hapless villagers just as much as the next guy. It's my passion, my calling, and my expertise. What can I say? Some of us are just lucky enough to find our purpose in life (this writing thing is just my safety net). But lately I've felt unenthusiastic about killing those lowly commoners – whom are ostensibly astral projecting from a plane of existence filled with molasses. Think about it: it explains why they move so slow. It also explains why they don't chop you to bits despite their dirty habit of leaving no room for the Holy Ghost. Oh, hey! Maybe it's actually a realm of shit? That would explain why they keep saying “mierda” for no apparent reason.
Even still, possibly it's because Resident Evil is actually a game about zombies? At least when you were close enough to slap a zombie, it made sense why they'd be to slow to react. Because, you know, that's what zombies do. They're slow. Sorry, all those newfangled fast zombies don't count!*
Villagers on the other hand? They just don't strike me as particularly slow, unless we're talking about a village in the Appalachians or something. Maybe when drawing up Resident Evil 4 and 5 Capcom asked themselves “What's the best way to give this game a veneer of racism? Ah ha! We've got it!” thus, the “monsters” of RE 4 and 5 were born.
Look guys, I feel uncomfortable enough playing games with all the half-naked subservient women that need to be rescued. There's no need to make things more confusing for me. I can't be troubled with self-examination at my age!
In short, do the socially responsible thing and bring back them zombies, Capcom!
*If you're a fast zombie, I apologize for marginalizing you. I just feel that you're a second-class citizen. You'll get your shot at civil rights, but order before justice and all that.