Whenever a triple-A video game releases to massive expectations and doesn’t quite hit the mark, the reflection process can be a challenge. Whether it’s a developer wondering where its grandiose visions went awry or a fanbase wondering if a series has simply lost the magic, questions will be asked that don’t always have answers. Anticipation has become aggravation.
Such is the case with Resident Evil 6. Though not devoid of redeeming qualities (read our review), Capcom’s survival horror shooter – if we can still call it that – has drawn criticism ranging from gameplay to storytelling to frustrating design. Reviews are aggregating to arguably the lowest point in franchise history, and director Hiroyuki Kobayashi’s cross-pollination of “casual and horror” appears to have been a misguided pursuit.
And so, perhaps in a predicament they didn’t expect, Capcom has turned to its only hope for curbing some of the negative Resident Evil 6 feedback: post-release support.
The developer announced today that a free RE 6 title update has been scheduled for mid-December to users on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The contents may not change many perceptions about the game’s approach to action or its overarching narrative, but clearly Capcom aims to fix several… tedious aspects of the experience, and has also tossed in the briefly-controversial “No Hope” mode for good measure:
- Gamers will be able to adjust the camera to give a greater field of view as best suits their play style. Screenshots illustrating the new camera and co-op features can be found on Capcom’s press site. The camera screenshot pairs show the minimum and maximum range of the new camera setting. Please note that this feature is still in development and may change without further notice before the title update is released.
- Subtitle options have been improved so that English language audio can be combined with subtitles in an alternative language.
- As recently announced, Ada Wong’s campaign will be unlocked from the start and have an optional player-controlled co-op partner added. It was previously necessary to complete all three other campaigns in order to unlock Ada’s story.
- ‘No Hope’ difficulty level will be added above the existing levels, for players who want an extreme challenge.
Capcom hinted that the patch could be the first in a series of post-release updates for Resident Evil 6, expressing their commitment of “working continuously to improve the experience for players.”
Sadly, that might not be enough to please some fans. Patches and title updates aren’t rare [cue a hooah from Medal of Honor: Warfighter] – sports games like Madden use them heavily and MMOs like EVE Online use them perpetually – but each has a different connotation depending on its original product: Some can be seen as support, dedication, a sign of respect and gratitude to game’s loyal fanbase; others can be seen as damage control, sloppiness, a mea culpa for releasing an unacceptably incomplete product.
Where along those lines do the proposed Resident Evil 6 updates fall? We’d place them somewhere in the middle. Opinion on RE 6 remains sharply divided, and the agenda of the franchise’s prominent creators remains oddly (some fans would say suspiciously) opaque. And while producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi recently asserted that fan discontent was simply a nature of the business, there’s certainly a level of acknowledgement, here, that the game is still a work in progress.
Ranters, we know some of the qualms about Resident Evil’s future or identity can’t be fixed with a patch, but what do you think about Capcom’s efforts to improve Resident Evil 6?
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