During the Resident Evil 6 panel at this year’s Comic Con, Capcom was poised to prove all detractors, fan boy and otherwise, wrong. While tons of assumptions had been made about Capcom’s latest foray into heir beloved franchise, what we saw during the panel was meant to stress that the developer isn’t resting on its laurels or fundamentally altering the make-up of the series. They’re actually doing some pretty interesting things with Resident Evil 6 in order to both modernize the series and satisfy fans.

During the panel, which unfortunately was plagued with quite a bit of Friday the 13th technical malfunctions, Capcom showed off two new portions of  levels from the game’s campaign, one that featured a segment from Chris’ story and one from fan-favorite Leon’s. It was very clear from the introduction of Leon’s section, which featured him fighting through an underground subway tunnel, that Capcom wanted to demonstrate just how much of a return to Resident Evil‘s horror roots these particular portions of the game are.

The moody atmosphere of the abandoned subway helped add to the tension, and an occasional train passing by allowed for the typical Resident Evil quick time dodging. While the moments between zombie interactions were very atmospheric, it was hard not to notice the game sending a good portion of zombies player’s way. Luckily Leon has access to a wide variety of acrobatic dodge maneuvers — he can dive, lay on the ground, and slide — in order to put him into advantageous shooting positions. Combat itself looked pretty clunky, and not nearly as refined as one would expect, but the ability to eliminate the game’s cumbersome HUD and a new camera placement helped emphasize the gun play.

Resident Evil 6 Comic Con Preview - Leon Dodging

This particular demo wasn’t all too revelatory about gameplay enhancements, although this was the first time Capcom had shown the ability to dual wield. The sequence itself, or at least Capcom, was more focused on showing the new dodge maneuvers, rather than showcasing some new gameplay. Chris’ sequence however, was a completely different story.

Capcom wanted to stress they had heard fan complaints about Chris’ gameplay being too action-focused (although after the demo during the Xbox Press Conference during E3 the same could be said about Leon) and showed off a section of the game that saw Chris and his team being hunted by a giant snake-like creature. As the team moves through the building they are slowly being picked off by the creature, which also has the ability to camouflage with its surroundings, before finally meeting face to face for a Resident Evil-style boss fight.

Rather than show Chris dispatching a wealth of zombies, this section was focused mostly on exploration, with little moments of action interspersed throughout. The addition of a camouflaged stalker helped heighten the tension, and made everything feel like classic Resident Evil, something sure to make fans happy. Unfortunately they cut the demo off before the boss fight could be completed, the intention being to let players experience for themselves. It was nonetheless thrilling, and much more engaging than the Leon section.

Resident Evil 6 Comic Con Preview - Chris Gameplay

After seeing the game at E3, and seeing two new sequences during the panel, it’s plan to see that Capcom is taking Resident Evil in a new direction, and have firmly cemented that formula. They might make a few key changes to give fans some semblance of the experience they had in the 90s, but they’d keep iterating on the mechanics introduced in Resident Evil 4. Nonetheless, the game looks pretty great, and should please the vast majority of RE fans.

As one last tease for fans, Capcom, while not revealing it outright, suggested that fans who have been clamoring for the chance to play as Ada Wong in the game will be very pleased with a forthcoming announcement. Thus far details on the game have focused on the three main character campaigns, but maybe Ada can be swapped in through DLC. Or even betterm maybe she has a small playable sequence in the game.

What do you think of Capcom’s approach to Resident Evil 6? How should they factor in Ada Wong as a playable character?

Resident Evil 6 releases October 2, 2012 for PS3 and Xbox 360.

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