Resident Evil 6: 3 Playable Campaigns, Wesker’s Son & The Death Of Tank Controls – What You Need To Know
Resident Evil 6 gameplay, co-op, Mercenaries and plot details revealed in our massive preview.
Published on Apr 10, 2012
Resident Evil 6 is one of those rare games that prove developers do listen to the concerns of fans. Proper zombies are back, the tension is excruciating and the horror is genuinely terrifying in parts. It’s no longer all about the action, marking a stunning return to survival horror form.
Capcom showcased Resident Evil 6 gameplay for the first time at its Captivate event, and NowGamer was on-hand to check out a huge chunk of Leon’s story, while unearthing tons of fresh info on Chris and new character Jake Muller’s plot.
Join us as we run down the all-access details of Resident Evil 6’s impressive gameplay for a glimpse of what could be the greatest entry to the series so far.
Resident Evil 6 has three separate campaigns and three playable characters
Those of you who played Resident Evil 2 will remember that the PlayStation version came on two discs – one for Leon’s campaign, and another for Claire Redfield’s. Capcom is taking a similar approach for all three Resident Evil 6 protagonists.
The three Resident Evil 6 campaigns can be played in any order, and decisions you make as one character will have impact the plot of another. All three of the campaigns start in different places and deliver their own distinct gameplay styles and themes, although they all end in China.
Leon’s campaign is the main focus of Capcom’s gameplay reveal, and it takes place in a new city called Tall Oaks. This segment of Resident Evil 6 is for the old school Resident Evil fans, focusing on tension and horror as a zombie outbreak erupts around Leon and his partner Helena.
Chris Redfield’s story begins in China, alongside his new partner Piers Nivan. This campaign still delivers the tension and horror of Leon’s plot, but with an extra injection of gunplay. At this point in the series chronology, Chris is a member of the BSAA, as he was in Resident Evil 5.
New character Jake Muller starts off in the eastern European country of Edonia. Jake is Resident Evil 6’s melee expert and is a mercenary caught up in the middle of a civil war outbreak. Jake will also be paired with Resident Evil 2 character Sherry Birkin, daughter of G-Virus creator William Birkin.
Jake will be fighting as much with his fists as with a gun.
Resident Evil 6’s Jake Muller is Albert Wesker’s son
First seen in the Resident Evil 6 reveal trailer, new character Jake Muller is central to the plot. As we mentioned, Jake is a mercenary in the Edonian civil war, who has taken up arms to earn money for his mother. Jake never knew his father and was abandoned as a child.
This might sound like throwaway information, but Jake is immune to the new C-Virus that has infected the world in Resident Evil 6. This is the same immunity that Albert Wesker has had throughout the series and, as Wesker has been confirmed as Jake’s father by Capcom, raises a lot of new questions.
Jake’s special blood holds the key to saving the world, although he isn’t going to give it away for free, using it as leverage for money – as seen in the Resident Evil 6 reveal trailer.
Gameplay during Jake’s campaign is very different to Chris and Leon’s, focusing on melee combat. Jake is also on the run with Sherry Birkin during his plot, so the pace will be focused on fast-paced tension and excitement.
There's a much more daunting feel to the action in Resi 6.
Resident Evil 6’s Leon campaign blends Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 2
Capcom showcased the opening of Leon and Helena’s campaign in Tall Oaks. Rather than throw players in the middle of a zombie outbreak, Resident Evil 6 has the infection spreading all around you. The tension as the city succumbs to the C-Virus is immeasurable.
Leon’s campaign begins as the President is murdered and both he and his partner Helena are framed. The demonstration sees Leon running to an abandoned university building full of lighting, visuals and an over all tone that is close to Resident Evil Remake on Gamecube.
The building is dark and Leon must use his torch to light up each room while moving cautiously. Leon comes across piles of bodies that haven’t turned into zombies yet, while building up tension through jumpy moments, ambient sounds and other horror tricks that the action-heavy Resident Evil 5 seemed to forget.
Leon namedrops the Raccoon City incident and wonders when the corpses will reanimate as zombies. The mounting tension quickly becomes unbearable until, from out of nowhere, a young girl names Liza jumps out, begging you for help. It’s a real heart in the throat moment that recalls classic Resident Evil scares.
Reuniting Liza with her father, Leon and the group enter an elevator to escape the building, until the infected Liza turns into a zombie and kills her dad, triggering a manic fight inside the moving elevator to kill her before she bites Leon.
With Liza dead, Leon and Helena exit the lift and walk into an underground parking lot, only to be faced with a full-blown zombie infestation, the C-Virus has taken hold of the city now, and warning sirens are blaring in all directions. The sense of panic and fear is intense as Leon picks his shots and guns down zombies.
The demo ends shortly after, but we’ve already seen enough to know that Resident Evil 6 will deliver the classic survival horror vibe that fans of the original trilogy have been shouting out for. Although there is plenty of action, Capcom has reeled itself in to ensure that horror and big scares still take precedent.
Controls will have been tweaked. No more tank control system.
Resident Evil 6’s tank control system is no more
Perhaps the best piece of news from Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 gameplay demonstration is that the sluggish tank control method from previous Resident Evil titles is gone. While this means that movement is more akin to a modern third-person shooter, you don’t feel like a gun-heavy superhero anymore. You are just another victim waiting to be killed.
Leon’s move set is similar to that in Resident Evil 4. He can shoot a zombie in the legs to make it fall to its knees and then decapitate it with a powerful roundhouse kick, or do the same to standing zombies to create space when in danger of being swarmed.
One of the new moves showcased by Capcom sees Leon getting knocked over by a pouncing zombie and then scrambling around on the floor. You can stay down on your back while shooting to fend off the swarm as it moves in for the kill. You never feel safe in Resident Evil 6, and this is crucial to keeping the horror slant alive.
The health system has received an upgrade, and while green herbs still appear, they can be distilled down into tablets with varying effects. There is also a quick heal command that sees Leon popping tablets to recover at a moment’s notice. We’re still keen to see how Jake’s hand to hand combat works, as well as how Chris operates while shooting.
The J'avo can mutate randomly, mixing up combat.
Resident Evil 6’s C-Virus spawns horrific new zombies called J’avo
While the zombies seen in Leon’s section are the slow, shuffling kind from the original Resident Evil games, they are by no means stupid. The C-Virus sees zombies retaining some elements of their past lives. Any objects held by people when they turned into zombies serve as weapons, like sticks and other implements.
Zombies and other monstrosities can grow from bio-organic Chrysalis pods, and you will see plenty of them in Resident Evil 6. You never know which ones will hatch, which keeps the tension high as you walk past a huge cluster of them.
One of the zombie types is called the J’avo, and is similar to Resident Evil 4’s Regenerator monster. Every time Leon blasts a piece of a J’avo’s body off, it regenerates as something much more dangerous, meaning the monster will become more lethal as you harm it.
For example, if a J’avo approaches you holding a gun and you blow its arm off to stop it shooting, the arm will regenerate as an organic scythe and it will run at you while thrashing wildly. The J’avo are terrifying and will stop at nothing to kill you.
Resident Evil 6 multiplayer features revised co-op and Mercenaries mode
Resident Evil 6 will bring back co-op from Resident Evil 5, although this time it is purely based on a drop in, drop out format, rather than having you start from set checkpoints. Players can also tackle each campaign in split screen, with tons of HUD layout options to suit your needs.
The superb Mercenaries survival mode first seen in Resident Evil 4 will make a return, and unlike most series entries, will be unlocked from the start. Little in the way of details have been revealed by Capcom, but you can assume that there will be a ton of unlockable characters, map and enemies to battle.