Welcome back to Beta’d, dear reader, for another exciting edition of the latest and greatest in video game news. Craving some cortex crudo? Have a hankering for bouillabaisse of brains? Then, you’re in luck, because Capcom’s highly-anticipated Resident Evil 6 comes to Xbox 360 and PS3 on Tuesday, October 2nd. But before you run headfirst back into Raccoon City, there are some things you might want to know.
6) It’s a leaner, meaner Resident Evil. It’s a nice balance of action-packed and the stutter-step suspense of previous titles. One of the biggest surprises is that you can now move and shoot: Resident Evil 6 was designed to improve the shooting elements, a decision for which you will be grateful, because not only are the enemies faster, but they’re smarter too.
5) It’s not scary; it’s nerve-wracking. From my time playing Leon’s campaign at SDCC, it became clear that you don’t get the same “jump in your seat”-style scares as some of series’ previous outings, but you are on edge before you turn every corner, open each door or pause to reload. Few things are more stressful (in a good way) than running out of ammunition in a long corridor as zombies are pouring through the windows in a concentrated effort to eat you. Fortunately, Leon is Raccoon City’s Keanu Reeves equivalent – he knows kung fu.
4) Vintage Japanese beer ads inspired one of the game’s monsters. [WARNING: Spoilers Ahoy!] In a recent interview with Famitsu, the game’s director, Eiichiro Sasaki, revealed that one of the game’s bosses, Deborah, is based on a series of ads featuring beer-swilling bikini-clad pin-up girls that were popular in Japanese izakayas (pubs) in the years following World War II. [END OF SPOILERS] So, remember Umbrella’s terrifying legacy the next time you pop the lid on a frosty can of Asahi Super Dry.
3) Variety is the spice of life and, in RE6, the spice must flow. The game’s three campaigns should provide an enjoyable experience for gamers of all stripes. Leon’s campaign is slower-paced, more tense and akin to old-school Resident Evil outings; like his recent trip to Africa in RE5, Chris Redfield’s campaign is much more action-packed; and the third campaign, which follows that ol’ meanie Wesker’s son Jake, is RE at its most experimental. It varies the quest types markedly from the other two campaigns and you spend a good deal of time being hunted by one oversized enemy, the Ustanak.
2) Brace yourselves…multiplayer is coming… in the form of paid DLC. In addition to game’s Mercenaries mode, Resident Evil 6‘s first wave of multiplayer DLC will be timed exclusives for the Xbox 360. The pack includes 3 separate modes: Survivors, which has you chasing your friends around as a zombie (similar to Left 4 Dead‘s “Versus” mode); Predator mode, which puts you in the oversized shoes of an Ustanak B.O.W.; and Siege mode, in which you must protect one NPC at all costs from an undead onslaught. Each mode supports up to 6 players and will use maps from Mercenaries mode, so study up or chances are that you’ll be in dire need of a red herb before you know it.
1) The inventory is no longer like playing a fruitless game of Perfection. In the past, opening the inventory not only brought the game to a complete halt, but it felt like you were being punished as it pushed your spatial relations and your wits to their respective ends. The new system is more reminiscent of a series like Dead Space – it’s clean, fluid, mappable to the D-pad, and it doesn’t stop the action when you’re fiddling around for some First-Aid Spray. So, remember to break into a nice jog before you try to heal yourself when you’re surrounded by ungodly horrors from beyond the grave.
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