Unlike the theme of the Resident Evil franchise's fabled gameplay, Capcom didn't do much to surprise us about its announcement of Resident Evil 6. Everything from an antsy voice actor listing it on his resume and a secret trailer showing at TGS to a viral video on Wednesday all but squandered the company's big "secret."
Perhaps the bigger mystery to fans all along, though, hasn't been whether or not Resident Evil 6 was in development, but rather what direction developer / publisher Capcom was going to take it in. As more details about the game are starting to see the light of day, we could be closer to answering that very question.
Shortly before going official with their announcement, Capcom UK's head of marketing, Dave Turner, spoke to MCV about the hand Resident Evil 5's commercial success had in sculpting the direction of Operation Raccoon City. Resident Evil 5, as you might remember, was a significantly more action-oriented departure from the series' fastidious, suspense-driven roots, and included both co-op and competitive multiplayer. Turner attributed that to the changing shooter environment.
"The dream [for Operation Raccoon City] would be that the millions of Call of Duty fans that are enjoying these fast-paced online games are attracted to this Resident Evil."
Turner wouldn't touch on whether or not these aspirations were shared by the team developing Resident Evil 6, but could it be a good barometer for the series down the road? A lot will depend on what we learn as the game comes nearer to completion.
At any rate, fans who stayed at the Tokyo event after the Resident Evil 6 trailer debuted were lucky enough to get some bonus tidbits about the game from executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, director Eichiro Sasaki, and producer Yoshaki Hirabayashi. Here's what was gathered:
- Kobayashi seemed to be aware of RE 5's departures from the survival-horror genre and told fans to expect a greater empahsis on fear this time around - perhaps extinguishing some fan fear in the process.
- A third, still unnamed protagonist will be featured in addition to Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield.
- A U.S. government agent named Helena Harper will fight alongside Leon as his partner.
- Leon and Chris' stories will play out in sync with each other on the 10th anniversary of the Raccoon City incident.
- The unknown protagonist and his female partner seen on instances in the trailer are allies... or are they?
- Players will have a throng of new moves at their disposal during the gameplay.
- Producer Hirabayashi guaranteed that Resident Evil 6 will be the largest RE game yet in terms of sheer scale.
And since merely announcing Resident Evil 6 at the event would have been chancing a dull affair, Capcom also slipped in the premiere trailer for Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection. You can check it out right here:
Based upon the sentiments expressed by Kobayashi, Sasaki, and Hirabayashi and the details we've gleaned about Resident Evil 6 so far, it appears as though the game's developers are mindful of what Resident Evil is and what it means to its devoted fanbase. But while we probably won't be seeing Leon Kennedy running and gunning with sub-machine guns akimbo or calling in AC-130 howitzer support any time soon, Turner's comments shouldn't be taken lightly; he did state that Resident Evil 5 was the series' biggest seller. When you see companies like Activision hauling in sums on money worthy of Fort Knox on a yearly basis, the grass - and the wallet - can be a whole lot greener on the other side.
Resident Evil 6 releases on November 20, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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