The Next Resident Evil Will Be Full-On Survival Horror
I feel like we were just talking about Resident Evil (and how it shaped me into the well rounded human being I am today, of course). Well, let’s go at it again. Capcom will bump this blog’s status up to The Green Herb if I give the series enough shout outs (I’m coming at you, man).
Resident Evil 6. Reading that title either forced a complacent shrug from your shoulders — likely coupled with an “Ehh” — or made you roll your eyes so far back into your head that your roommates are frantically calling 911 and/or a fucking exorcist. Well, therein lies the problem.
As easy as it may be to paint Capcom as a faceless, uncaring entity that churns out product regardless of vehement fan input, you need to remember that your dollar bends wills, and after RE6 missed its projected seven million unit sales goal by a margin of two mil, you best believe the Japanese publisher is listening intently to what you want.
Take it from Mr. Michael Pattison, Capcom’s former European Marketing Director, as he told it to MCV: “We have obviously seen the consumer response and the PR response.”
Now presiding as VP of third-party relations at Sony’s European offices, Pattison easily offered up his opinion on RE6, weighing in that the mixed critical and fan reaction to the game cannot go ignored, especially going into Resident Evil 7.
"With Resident Evil 6 specifically, we probably put too much content in there. There were comments from consumers that said it felt bloated,” said Pattison. “The Leon missions went down very well, and because we did Resident Evil: Revelations on 3DS, there was a cry out for us to focus our attention on survival horror, rather than be too many things to all people. You’ll find where we go next will likely be more targeted at our core fanbase.”
Commenting on the general consensus that zombie-oriented, post-apocalyptic media has been flogged like an undead horse, Pattison still believes there’s a deep seeded hunger for quality survival horror games, pointing to a recent A-list hit as a potential guiding factor for RE7's development team.
“The Last of Us shows a good direction of what the consumers want,” Pattison said. “Tomb Raider  as well; we spoke to R&D and they looked at that and they enjoyed that experience. I think that proves there is still a strong market for that sort of content.”
Far be it for me to mislead or misinform you folks, but I have been hearing more or less the same thing, though in tiny whispers, that Capcom is working on RE7 and that the aforementioned titles are hugely influencing the game’s attempt to regain its former horror glory. Next-gen Resident Evil firmly re-planted in the survival horror genre? Let’s keep calm, keep cool, and try not to rupture something from all the internal screaming like the kind I’m doing right now.
Resident Evil 6 and Left 4 Dead 2 Crossover! Valve and Capcom’s Undead Collide Exclusively for the PC
Did not see this one coming but, as evidenced above, Capcom and Valve have joined forces to provide exclusive content to PC players of both Left 4 Dead 2 and the upcoming Resident Evil 6 port.
On Capcom’s end, RE6's PC version will have a remixed Mercenaries mode fittingly called “No Mercy” in which the four survivors of Left 4 Dead 2 — Coach, Ellis, Rochelle, and Nick — are featured as selectable characters replete with custom weapon loadouts. Valve has also relinquished two iconic infected for players to get slaughtered by; the Witch and the Mini-Tank (a bite-sized, still assholey version of the big boy Tanks). All this content will be made available as a free background download come April 5th.
On Valve’s side of the zombie spectrum, a small roster of RE6's gruesome B.O.W.'s will run rampant in Left 4 Dead 2 thanks to the power of the Steam Workshop tool set. The Lepotitsa, Napad, and Ogroman — some of the biggest, meanest sons of bitches RE6 owns (the Ogroman alone stands at two stories tall; expect some reduction there) — will invade as cameo Specials in L4D2 later this Spring.
"We’re huge Resident Evil fans,” said Valve’s senior writer, Chet Faliszek, “so when the opportunity arose to work directly with Capcom to combine L4D2 and RE6, we jumped at it.”
Well, thanks to Capcom and Valve, my console edition of RE6 has been outmoded into the ground, through the earth, and out the other side of the world. Time to start a PC fund, folks (to which PC players resoundingly reply: “Duh.”)
Resident Evil Rebooted?
Series producer and consistent Capcom cohort, Masachika Kawata, believes it time to reevaluate the Resident Evil franchise as a whole, and some of his musings include restarting the seventeen-year-old series from scratch, effectively rebooting it.
"It would still be Resident Evil,” says Kawata, and though he admits fans’ connections to veteran characters like Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine are what makes the games work for some on a personal level, “We wouldn’t lose the essential nature of what makes it a good game just by changing the characters.”
You catch that, too? I believe Mr. Kawata just subtlety hinted some fan favorite characters wouldn’t make the cut in this proposed reboot. Before your blood rises to a boil, though, the elements Masachika says would be included just may be the fear-soaked booster shot of grueling terror missing from the games since Resi 4 traded in its scares for bullets back in 2005, kickstarting a much maligned industry trend in which survival horror titles would reconfigure their formulas to fit into the action-shooter genre.
"Moving forward," said Kawata, "I can see us focusing even more on the horror aspect and fear in the series, and see us making something scarier than we have already."
Kawata is adamant this reboot notion of his isn’t a direct response to the poor critical reception Resident Evil 6 garnered from media and the gaming public alike. RE6 — for as much as I’m willing to forgive it (which is a lot) — at its barest boils down to a shooter playing dress-up as a horror game. While reactions to the sixth installment is mixed (“mixed” being the kind term; “polarizing” hitting it closer to home), the general consensus is that it simply didn’t deliver on the trademark scares which cemented the classic Resident Evil entries into gamers’ minds so many years ago.
Whatever served as the catalyst (we’ll just call it “RE6's Sales” for posterity's sake), it would seem old school fans have the most to gain from Capcom's scrutinizing of one of their most beloved — and most profitable — franchises. Do you find yourself craving for a return to the days when opening an unlocked door sent a disquieting pang of anxiety through your gut? Do miss it when combat was an exercise in controling the waves of panic surging through you because a wasted bullet was one bullet not staving off the dreaded, mocking “YOU DIED” screen? Well, then, I'll leave you with a ray of hope:
"It’s undeniable to say the series returning to its roots is important," said Kawata, "And those roots are horror.”
Resident Evil 6 PSA of the Day: Two New Mercs Stages!
This news almost slipped right past me to be perfectly honest. Without so much as a press email and little to no fanfare on the obvious outlets (I get it, world; you fucking hate this game), this nugget of DLC unceremoniously plopped onto Xbox Live and PSN yesterday.
Priced at $1.99/160 MS, “Rooftop Mission” and “Creature Workshop” can be yours to add to your collection of Mercenaries stages. The former map, straightforwardly named, gains the claim to being the smallest level created for the game, and is also one of the few locales you get to tangle with ravenous zombies instead of gun-toting J’avo.
"Creature Workshop," on the other hand, is described as an "uneven battlefield surrounded by pipes" where part of the sadistic fun is finding just the right place to knock enemies off to their doom. $2 bucks to rekindle my unseemly, almost unreasonable addiction to Mercenaries? Not bad.
But my hope above all hopes for this game is that we’ll see some story DLC pad out the offering — this is in spite of the fact that the game’s stunted sales performance pretty much every single month after its October launch is the sort of disappointment that typically puts the kabosh on such plans. Hopefully Capcom hasn’t exhausted the entire DLC budget on the multitude of hackneyed versus modes, especially when considering some of the very best DLC RE5 received came in the form of its short-but-sweet story expansions.
Rumor — the invisible force said to actually power the internet — has it that this console generation is coming to a close. If this truly is the last year of this triumphant generation, a generation that began as any other (with pretty graphics and prettier promises) but evolved into a full blown fusion of home media and dedicated gaming, then it’s all the more important to reflect on the virtual adventures 2012 gave us.
We laughed, we cried, we cried even harder trying to slog through Halo 4 on Legendary…2012 was the culmination of six years of advancement, where devs’ were past their growing pains fumbling with new technology and knew how to fully utilize the tools at their disposal. 2012 was a year in which we reaped the benefits tenfold through the sheer amount of excellent games rapid-fired onto store shelves (or, more realistically, Steam shelves. Yeah. Steam shelves).
Resident Evil 6 Multiplayer DLC Drops December 18th (If You Have a 360)
Now that you Res-Heads have had a chance to thoroughly complete Capcom’s latest horror opus, it’s time to harness your zombie beating skills and unleash your fury where it burns brightest: on complete strangers online!
I believe we already talked at some length about the new competitive multiplayer modes being offered up as DLC, but I’ll refresh that memory of yours as quickly as possible (and because they dropped Siege Mode in favor of the way more awesome Onslaught). Hit the links to view the multiplayer carnage in action.
- Predator Mode - Either fuck up people’s days as the menacing Ustanak or don the role of one of five fuckees attempting to survive the monster’s attack.
- Survivors Mode - Free-for-all and team-based versus action that’s not as painfully vanilla as it sounds; get killed and you’ll come back from the grave to terrorize the opposition until your enemy’s blood resurrects you as a human once more. Revenge can be a wonderful thing.
- Onslaught Mode - Probably the most replayable mode, the one-on-one Onslaught marries the addictive Mercenaries Mode with the “Fuck you” nature of Tetris Attack. Build up a high combo streak (let’s say you’ve downed 14 baddies), drop the streak, and that’s how many enemies you’re shoving down the other guy’s throat.
If you log onto PSN on December 18th and see none of these additions, don’t panic. Microsoft merely slapped you with the short end of the stick, being as it is that these modes are a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360. Each mode — which utilizes both on-disc and off-disc Mercenaries maps — are individually priced at 320 MS or you can save some moon currency by springing for the 720 MS bundle.
Both consoles, however, are still on track to receive the free update coming out Dec. 17th (detailed here) which will include enhanced camera options, a co-op partner for Ada’s campaign, and a new difficulty level.
THIS DAY IN RESIDENT EVIL:
RE6 Update Coming This Winter and the Wii U Might See Its Own “Unique” Entry
A short while back Capcom mentioned their flagship Fall release, Resident Evil 6, would be seeing a decent helping of free content delivered by way of a title update. Now scheduled for mid-December, Capcom has let loose details on the update, including some fixes addressing fans’ complaints.
Already announced was the fact that Ada Wong’s single-player campaign would be unlocked from the start (instead of having to pummel through the first three campaigns on disc) in addition to the inclusion of a co-op option for those that prefer to kill in company. Ada’s co-op partner is a no-name soldier strapped in cool gear who doesn’t affect the story in the least (a la the original Halo). Also, if you found the Professional difficulty a breeze — even if you abstain from cheating with the unlimited ammo skill, I still felt like an overpowered wrecking ball by my second playthrough — the No Hope difficulty comes bundled in the title update specifically to wipe the smile off your face.
The game’s spotty camera is also being tackled by allowing players an option to either keep your viewpoint as is or have it zoomed out so as to provide a wider perspective on the action (as demonstrated by Captain Redfield up above). The feature is still under development and may appear in modified form by the time the update releases. And for those of you hoping to learn the phrase "How many men have we lost because of that bitch?!" in a different dialect, a new option to mix English audio with another language’s subtitles is being added.
In a quick aside, I have percolating news for prospective Wii U buyers who feel burned by RE6's glaring absence from the system's lineup. Speaking briefly to Official Nintendo Magazine, Resident Evil Revelations' director, Koshi Nakanishi, seems keen on bringing over the horror franchise to Nintendo's next big thing one way or another.
"The GamePad’s separate screen enables so many possibilities, and playing on a television screen would enable sharing the experience in a way that wasn’t possible on Nintendo 3DS," said Nakanishi. "I feel it would let us create a very unique and fun Resident Evil game.” Goddamnit, fandom. I guess we’re shelling out for a Wii U.