In the years since Resident Evil 5 was released the franchise has been in a bit of a rut. I’m not sure what I expected in all honesty, but my hope for good Resi games persisted and I kept my eyes peeled for news on returns to the world of survival horror.
The next game to be released was Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D on the Nintendo 3DS; a full retail version of the mini game that accompanied the previous two entries in the series. You might expect me to complain because this is essentially an arcade action game, but I’m totally cool with this. It’s a spin off and is clearly marketed as such. Had they passed this off as the next main game in the series then I would have been livid, but they didn’t and Mercenaries mode was always fun, especially in co-op. Pass marks on this one Capcom, fun spin offs can work fine.
Speaking of which, somewhere before Mercenaries, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and its sequel Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles were released on the Nintendo Wii. I played some of the former that console, but didn’t really sink my teeth into them until the HD ports on the PS3. Made up of mostly remade or inspired moments from past games, the Chronicles games are an old school arcade light gun romp that’s well worth playing if you enjoy the genre, have a Wii or PS Move and share my nostalgia for the classic Resident Evil games. So once again we have fun spin off games that aren’t really in canon with the main series, but offer some thrills on a basic gaming level.
The next big Resident Evil game that got me excited (and solely encouraged my purchase of a 3DS,) was Resident Evil Revelations. This was a curious oddity as it seemed to combine the Resident Evil 4/5 style of gameplay with the full on horror of the series’ roots. I was pretty pumped for the game, which unfortunately didn’t quite live up to my hopes, while still being very good. Taking place on a cruise ship, you control Jill valentine once again through the dark hallways filled with monsters (not zombies though…creatures more reminiscent of the regenerators from 4.) Still far removed from the original style, the game did offer a more survival horror experience that did tug on a few nostalgia strings; mainly the return of the item box…well not really, it just looked like one – it was in fact just a replacement for the store to upgrade your guns. A side game that could be played in co-op what was purely based on levelling up and finding cool upgrades actually built in a vast amount of replay value – most gamers will spend more time here than the main story.
A rather severe problem plagued the game for me though. Not only is the story divided into chapters – which seems to contradict the intended return to form – every second chapter takes the player away from Jill on the ship to fight through a side story with other characters. Not only does this completely break the immersion of the story, every time you play one you lose all of the upgrades you’ve been acquiring as Jill, forcing you to make do with standard weapons. It’s even the same on new game plus. Seriously? What’s the point of playing the game again with your fancy shmancy weapons if they’re gonna rip them from your hands every 15 minutes? The game’s story is weak sauce too; every twist did nothing but induce eyerolls.
In the end I enjoyed the game, but it was far from igniting the spirit of old school Resi. The game would have been much better served to stay focused on Jill’s story, but then it would only be four hours long at most. Ultimately it’s a decent game, but I can’t say it left me feeling hopeful for the future.
Then we got the trailer…
Resident Evil 6 was coming! October of 2012 to be exact. An element of said trailer was intriguing; Leon creeping down a dark alley with zombies running at him? Yes Please! Unfortunately everything else in the video had me extremely worried: Leon shooting and rolling on the ground, Chris pretending he’s in a Gears of War game and some new dude who appeared to be harbouring superpowers. A title card that read “3 campaigns,” downright terrified me. Did this mean that it was going to jump around like Revelations? Did this mean that it’d be 3 short stories instead of one meaty one? Neither option tickled my fancy… Not. One. Bit. That summer a demo hit.
OH MY F***ING GAWD
This game was a complete an utter donkey turd. I couldn’t believe how awful the whole thing was. Leon’s campaign wasn’t terrible I suppose, but it still played awkwardly with little indication of any potential. Chris’ demo level was a clone of Gears of War…and not a good one. Controls for this portion were violently awkward to the point where figuring out how to actually take cover required more than one button press. The third campaign demo was a weird mix of the previous one and a game like Infamous which again felt poor to control.
I’m a massive fan of Resident Evil; it was my first true gaming love and I couldn’t even finish the demo to Resident Evil 6. Think about that for a second. After all these articles, all the love I have for these games and their characters. I beat Remake on invisible enemy mode, I beat 3 on hard with handgun only, I beat 4 & 5 on pro and I couldn’t even make it through a 45 minute demo for the new game in the series. I’ve yet to purchase the game and I’m not sure I ever will. Recently, Steam was selling it for £5 and I still couldn’t do it. There’s something fundamentally wrong with your game when a hardcore fan won’t buy it. I can’t even come close to conveying my utter disappointment when playing that demo – its like coming home one day to find your adorable cat fluffy suddenly wanting to eat your face.
I hope Capcom can comeback from this I really do.
If you’ve been reading all of these posts then you might be wondering what I think of the movies…I really don’t wanna waste time on them so I shall simply say they are terrible both as Resident Evil adaptations and as movies in their own right. That they’re currently working on a 6th movie fills me with sadness. STOP SEEING THESE ABOMINATIONS YOU FOOLS!
The last thing I want to do is leave this series on a bad note, so I shall simply say once again: I love this series. If you’ve stuck with me this long then thank you. If you wanna try the games out then I thoroughly recommend starting with Remake which was ported to the Wii so it’s fairly easy to get a hold of. You might just love it. If you don’t, then that’s fine too…go an discover your own favourite series. I’ll be here wandering the halls of the Spencer estate.