Resident Evil 4 brought to the PlayStation 2 a blending of survival horror with more of an action element, and better camera angles. This left me feeling that the series could easily adapt in order to accommodate with the times, while still maintaining what made the series truly special. Then I played Resident Evil 5. Although I enjoyed Resident Evil 5, it could have been so much better. What was most alarming was that it lacked most of the horror qualities that the series worked so hard to establish, in favour of a ‘shoot everything’ style that did not sit well with me at all. The experience was underwhelming when you look back to the first four that really pulled you in and scared you senseless. The fifth game didn’t scare me and there was no real sense of survival horror at all. This was a tough pill to swallow, considering new games in the scene like Dead Space delivered a unique take on survival horror, making me want to play it in the daylight due to its terrifyingly intense horror. Was this the passing of the survival horror torch? At the time it sure looked that way.All good things must come to an end, at some point or another. With the release of Resident Evil 6 approaching, one can’t help but think that Capcom is going big in order to give the game a memorable send off. In 1996, the franchise first chomped its way into prominence and reinvented the gaming experience with a blend of survival horror, and puzzle solving. The unique experience delivered a fast-paced thinking, spine tingling powerhouse that would only grow with each main sequel, up until its debut on this current generation of consoles.
Initially, when the sixth installment was announced, I quickly returned to my overly giddy horror fanboy self. When they said the game would include zombies, it made me want to fly all the way to Capcom Headquarters and personally worship the ground that they walked on. The trailers released in subsequent months only furthered my anticipation. Then when news broke that it was three separate campaigns that will appeal to fans and newcomers alike, it killed some of my enthusiasm. Learning that only 33% (Leons Campaign) of the game will be what the survival horror fans have yelled about until they were blue in the face seems rather demoralising. As a gamer, you know what experience you want to have when you play a certain game; that’s why you buy it in the first place. It’s like buying a war game and only spending 33% actually shooting and spending the other 66% doing things that you don’t really care about, like sitting through mission briefings, and having to do tasks such as weapons maintenance. People play Resident Evil to be put in that survival situation and to plan accordingly how they will get through a seemingly impossible situation.
It feels like Capcom is gearing up for a big finish with Resident Evil 6, when you think about how much bigger the game will be in comparison to any previous game that has ever been released. There is the inclusion of the two main fan favourites Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield for the first time ever, along with several series notables such as Sherrie and Ada. Seems pretty significant when you realize that previous games usually only had two notable characters at the most. All three campaign stories culminate together to make one ending; I couldn’t help but ask why.
Surely if the C-virus attack is now on a global scale, it would be better to have separate endings from their initial location. However, if the ending is concluding the series, this shouldn’t be the case, and clears up why all the protagonists and supporting characters will all be together at the same time. I personally feel that the series should end at this game, because realistically, where can it go from here? I would hate for them to just introduce another virus and keep it running after going through all the trouble of making Resident Evil 6 feel bigger. It would seem like they’d be taking a step backwards with how the game has developed, in terms of impact on location (RE1 mansion, RE2, 3 city, RE 4, 5 different country, RE6 several countries). You can’t spread a virus past the point of a global threat, so any outbreak after Resident evil 6 will feel somewhat anticlimactic. Also, if you just repeat the global threat again and again, then the series will run the risk of becoming another Call of Duty, with the same predictable scenario formula happening over and over (just replace terrorist with a virus).
On a completely different note, the series creator of Resident Evil will be moving on to create a whole new survival horror I.P. So that means there will be a significant gap between Resident Evil games, unless someone else leads it. Would that really help the series? It would probably hurt it considering the spin offs are the only games that are developed outside Capcom, and were god awful for the most part.
That being said, filling the blanks to the story can tie up loose ends and characters that were not included. Resident Evil: Revelations was fantastic and offered more to the Resident Evil universe. Plus, with no mention of Claire Redfield making an appearance they could very easily set up her own game about what happens during the events of Resident Evil 6. This will be the perfect way to bring closure to one of the most loved franchises and prevent it from becoming stale. Let the series creator bring out his new survival horror I.P and produce something new and different within the genre. On the other hand I could be wrong. For all we know Capcom could produce one of the best, intense storylines and end it on one of the biggest cliff hangers in the history of gaming and leave us clamouring for more. A big part of me is praying that they do something spectacular and restore my faith in the series.