In case you haven't heard, there’s another Resident Evil game coming up. It seems to me that this particular game is going to be the Metal Gear Solid 4 of the series. Everything and the kitchen sink is thrown in and mashed together. Leon S. Kennedy; Chris Redfield; Ashley Graham (Ed: Ashley Williams is from Mass Effect) , the daughter of the President? And possibly even others. All the different plotlines seem to be coming together now. Given the inherent absolute silliness of the franchises stories, this will be a silly-fest like few others.
At least we now have an American city that is no longer sporting a name as silly as “Raccoon City”. This time the zombified town is “Tall Oaks," which has a nicer ring to it. It seems a lot of times that the only exposure the Resident Evil developers had to America were from movies, with very little research done.
Given that Resident Evil 6 seems to go on a globe spanning, globe hopping trip around the world, from America to Asia, I’m a bit anxious as to how little attention they will pay to approximately authentic environments. Recalling the uproar surrounding Resident Evil 5’s African setting, I’m not sure what to expect here.
Then again, this silliness born from cultural ignorance is a stalemate of Japanese games’ stories. This doesn’t excuse the gross political correctness faux pax of RE5 of course. Some things are just silly, while some things are flat out offensive. Sheva’s “tribal costume” fused misogyny with ignorance for political appropriateness. Hopefully, Capcom has learned their lesson there.
That is not to say that silliness has no place in games. Resident Evil is a franchise that heavily borrows from B movies from the 80s and early 90s. It’s a game about evil corporations researching zombie viruses. The movies those games were based on, regardless of their countries of origin (Italy and the US mostly), were similarly badly researched and took similar liberties with their plot devices, be it the president of the United States or rural backwater towns in whatever part of the world. It’s unreasonable to expect Resident Evil to abandon those elements now completely.
It might be argued that this cultural ignorance has not ended up in the games due to being true to their source material, but by the (Japanese) designers just possessing a staggering amount of cultural ignorance themselves. It's something that’s not too hard to conclude, given that this trait is sadly running rampant in modern day Japanese society (though I will not argue that we in “the West” are completely exempt from this, not by a long shot…).
Gameplay-wise, it seems that RE6 will be quite the mixed bag. As I said above, it’s everything and the kitchen sink. There’s all out action, zombies, mutants, a zombified President, gigantic boss monsters and cover based combat. There’s something for everyone, something for every fan of every franchise on offer it seems. Creepy passages. Gross passages. Balls out action. Big huge cutscenes (and probably big huge quick-time-events…).
It really promises to be the same hodgepodge, series best-off that Metal Gear Solid 4 was to its own franchise. Resident Evil games so far have always been rather long in terms of overall play time. If the same is true with this iteration of the series—and I hope it is—there will be enough time for its mixed bag of ingredients to come to full fruition without the player longing for more from one particular chapter just as it ends and gives way to a total switching of gears.