Once the Resident Evil 6 demo that took place during Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference ended, a lot of the enthusiasm that had been generated for that game up to this point was sucked from the room. Rather than show gamers a typical over-the-shoulder combat sequence, Capcom chose to focus on a scene that was equal parts absurd action and poor logic.

Thankfully, what Capcom was showing on the E3 show floor was something completely different — focusing instead on what everyone loves about this new Resident Evil approach: third person gunplay. 

Along with showcasing a more traditional Resident Evil gameplay experience, or at least one that more closely aligns with what we’ve seen RE4 and 5, the demo showcased the game’s new Crossover feature, which allows for a unique four-player co-op experience. While Resident Evil 6 does support two-player co-op across all three narratives there will be specific missions in each duo’s campaign that sees them teaming up with another of the pairs.

Resident Evil 6 E3 Preview - Cooperative Gameplay

It’s in these specific missions that two other gamers playing co-op will be able to join your co-op game, and help accomplish a larger goal. This four-player co-op experience will feature two distinct perspectives and sometimes alternate goals, and will not be hindered typical gamebreakers like inactive players or ill-equipped ones.

The goal with Crossover is to give four players, playing in sets of two, a unique opportunity to team up in a way that has never before been featured in a game. Overall details about the connectivity of two play throughs was unclear, but it does appear that Crossover isn’t an online co-op mode for friends. Still, Capcom wanted to reiterate that the four-player co-op should never impact the gameplay experience, and is completely optional.

After giving a brief overview of the feature, the game’s Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi demoed a Crossover sequence from the game where Leon and Helena met up with new protagonist Jake and his partner Sherry. Prior to meeting up, Jake and Sherry were being pursued by the same monstrous giant featured in the game’s early trailers, and now that they have Leon and Helena they are better equipped to take him down.

Resident Evil 6 Preview - Jake Muller

While Hirabayashi was only giving us Leon’s perspective, the demo gave the impression that it wasn’t just four players shooting at weak points, but was four players using tactics to take down a difficult enemy. There were moments where one player could be captured by the beast, while the other three fought to free them. Or one player could distract the boss, while the other two knock over a crate of gas tanks that would deliver a bigger punch than mere bullets.

Bookending the gameplay were two cut scenes that illustrated the idea that each of these teams carries their own opinions on key characters in the game. For example, Jake’s teammate Sherry had previously worked for the presumed villain of the game, and therefore thinks him to be an honest man, while Leon might have some information to the contrary.

These story bits will be less about the Crossover feature, and more about telling an intertwining narrative that doesn’t fully give players the full picture until much later. Thankfully as gamers make their way through each duo’s storyline they are guaranteed to partner up with the other two teams at least once throughout the game.

Resident Evil 6 Preview - Boss Fight

After that overly action-packed demo during Microsoft’s E3 press conference it was nice to see Resident Evil combat in the more traditional sense. There was still a greater sense of movement, and new options like moving while shooting and sliding, but the core gameplay was perfectly preserved.

Coupled with that always satisfying gameplay, the new ways to experience story and co-op promise that Resident Evil 6 will answer all of fans requests post-Resident Evil 4. They might be trying to capture a new segment of gamers with action sequences reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the gameplay itself looked solid.

What do you think of Resident Evil 6’s Crossover feature? Were you intrigued or off put by the more action-packed demo?

Make sure to check out all of our E3 2012 coverage.

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

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