Resident Evil 6 Dated: A Lifelong Fan’s Guide to Fixing the Franchise

Today was a huge day for all things Resident Evil!  The demo for Resident Evil: Revelations hit the 3DS  (to very some very positive buzz), the teaser for Resident Evil: Retribution dropped from Sony, and less than an hour ago a Gamestop employee leaked the release date of Resident Evil 6 to the internet (11/20/2012).  It should be noted that Capcom still has a press conference planned for later this evening in which more details of RE:6 will inevitably be revealed.  Ironicly enough I started writing an article on the Resident Evil franchise this weekend while in transit to Epcot with some friends.  Yep, that’s right, I chose to write stuff in the back seat of a Ford Explorer like a total social pariah.  It was worth it because I came up with the five things needed to fix Resident Evil Franchise.

Will 6 deliver? My money is on "yes"

1) Back to Raccoon City:  Locations like the Spencer Mansion, Umbrella Labs, RPD Police Station, and Kendo’s Gun Shop are just as important to the series as Leon, Jill, and Chris.  Resident Evil became a muddled mess as soon as the scope of the series got a bit too large.  This is something I saw happen reading comic books as a kid. Writers with a bit too much creative freedom end up bogging down a story with tons of “outrageous content” and very little of what matters the most, character development.  Bring the core cast back to a decimated Raccoon City to investigate the return of  the Umbrella Corporation.  Trust me, we all want it.

2) Streamline the Cast: Chris, Jill, Leon, Claire, Carlos, Barry, Rebecca, Hunk, Ada…etc.  There are simply too many heroes in the Resident Evil universe at this point!  While the RE franchise does in fact have a ton of protagonists, what do we really know about them?  Games have changed a whole lot since the Resident Evil series was first introduced in 1996, and it’s no longer okay for the main character in a plot driven story to be a mystery.  Even after playing every RE game multiple times, I can’t tell you very much about Chris Redfield other than the fact that he used to fly planes and he has a sister named Claire.  Sure other details have been revealed, but they’re not important enough for me to even recall.  As much as I love them, franchise characters need to die and the cast needs to shrink (just don’t kill Jill again).

We're hoping the iconic Nemesis makes his return in RE:6

3) Zombies, the real ones:  Would zombie mania be sweeping the nation without Resident Evil? Probably not.  Sure you can argue that zombies have been popular since Romero released NOTLD, but the genre was dead and buried until Shinji Mikami and his crew at Capcom gave us the scariest game ever made.  I don’t know if you all recall, but the zombies  in RE:1 were actually pretty damn scary! In the past decade Zombies have become “cool”.  Zombie themed games, modes, comics, and television shows are now available literally everywhere you look.  I’m shocked there isn’t a zombie themed breakfast cereal… yet. This new found popularity forced the Resident Evil franchise to step away from zombies (as silly as that sounds). While Resident Evil 4 and 5 were incredible adventures, the zombies were sorely missed.  Bring back the iconic shambling zombies of old!

4) Villainy:  With the fall of Umbrella taking place in an on-rails Wii game, fans of the series never really got a true sense of closure or accomplishment.  Does this mean that we need Wesker to come back in his black-anime trench coat?  No, not really, but a single hated antagonist is the driving force behind every great story.  Examples you ask?  Would Star Wars be anything without Darth Vader?  Or Final Fantasy 7 without Sephiroth? Giving the player someone to hate and a reason to hate them is the driving force in every great adventure story.  Did I “hate” Tricell in RE:5?  Nope, I didn’t even care who they were.

We love Jill and Chris, but how much do we REALLY know about them?

5) Game Play:  The controls of a Resident Evil game have always been its weakest attribute, but what can be done to combat the now infamous “tank controls?”  Make Resident Evil a 3rd person-survival horror-action-shooter.  Games like Dead Space and Alan Wake have done some wonderful things for the survival horror genre that Resident Evil can really learn from.  Make the environments spooky, the enemies deadly, and the ammo limited, and you may just find that the player is feeling a bit nervous.  Games like Gears of War 3 prove that fast paced 3rd person action can still be scary, so do it!

 Hopefully some of my concerns are addressed and Resident Evil 6 is the best game in the franchise.  Let us know how YOU would save Resident Evil below.

Oh yeah, did you ever read the interview I did with Julia Voth?  (Jill Valentine)



This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Dibol

    1. I agree on that department wholeheartedly. I wanted the actual downfall of Umbrella instead of “Fast forward X number of years, and then rewind with crappy spin-offs.” I blame 24 Season 3 for starting this mess (i.e. Season 3 never bothered following the cliffhanger Season 2 left off, and instead had a mediocre PS2 game covering that time gap.)

    2. Agree on streamlining the cast. However, the main-stays should be the Redfield siblings, Jill, and Leon. The secondary characters, I used to like them when I was younger, but Capcom had a notorious reputation for just not addressing WTF they were doing (Barry Burton and Rebecca Chambers’s roles in investigating Umbrella, which to my knowledge is only covered in non-canonical material like the WildStorm Comics back in 1998/1999, or the S.D. Perry novels, where Perry has a major hard-on for Rebecca). Ada, none of us ever knew shit about her, and even the spin-off games never addressed what she was doing between RE2 and RE4.

    3. I’ll blame the novels for this, but I’ll always go “Boom, headshot.” with any weapon available, especially with a Beretta or an assault rifle of any kind if given any chance. The mechanics of old, I really found it jarring that only a .357/.44 Magnum, or a Desert Eagle is capable of an auto-headshot. I also want a “fist-to-the-face” approach as well, but not sure how smart of an idea that would be if it were for real.

    4. I never cared about the rest of the villains myself, but Wesker’s death was more or less needed. I felt like Capcom wrote themselves into a corner starting in Resident Evil 4. There’s also the dangling plot thread like Sherry Birkin that’s never been addressed (i.e. The “Wesker’s Report” documentary shipped with Code: Veronica X)

    5. Do away with the tank controls, yes. Limited ammo: I’m indifferent either way. No matter how it’s spun, I want competent A.I. if I’m forced to have a partner or manage a squad.

    1. Ash

      Dibol, thanks for reading!

      1. I actually named my dog Bauer after Jack Bauer.

      2. While I read the Wildstorm comics, I never got a hold of the S.D. Perry Novels; were they any good?

      3. Looks like old school zombies have been confirmed for RE:6… awesome!

      4. Was always a huge Nemesis fan. There was something incredible about his raw power and… well.. his rocket launcher. As for Sherry Birkin, I’m fearful that we’ll just never know.

      5. A.I. is so important. I’m wondering if they’re brave enough to do a cooperative campaign again. While I enjoyed it in RE:5, I feel like co-op does not really suit the survival horror genre very well.

      1. Dibol

        5. Forgot to mention earlier. I checked the wiki again, and apparently they’re going to do co-op. However, it’s best we just wait till there’s an official announcement, and yeah, I never saw the benefit of co-op in a game like Resident Evil.

        1. Ash

          I know some people are sick of it, but I love cooperative multiplayer “horde modes.” Bring it on!

          1. Dibol

            Depends on the game in question.

            Splinter Cell: Conviction, I like the novelty of it, and at least enemies are not bullet sponges, depending on where you hit them.

            Gears of War: Got bored.

            ME3: I’ll try it. It’s more of a wait-and-see if my experience with it trumps Gears (i.e. “Enemies are bullet-sponges that require full magazines.”).

            Any Call of Duty game: Did this really need to exist?

  2. Dibol

    2. The S.D. Perry novels were a hit and miss at the same time, and considering my teenage self at the time, I thought they were pretty decent, but by today’s standards, there’s that “I regret liking it” moment . Perry added an original character named Trent who was helping out the heroes as a “mysterious informant.” Apparently, Trent lost his parents to Umbrella, and just wanted to destroy Umbrella from the inside-out. Only thing that made me scratch my head was his involvement in Code: Veronica (i.e. Trent revived Wesker). I have not read any of Perry’s other novels,

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