From movies to comic books, novels to the games that have continued to see success on our consoles; the Resident Evil franchise has gone from strength to strength in recent years. It's a trend that looks set to continue with the latest title, Resident Evil 6, set for release on the 2nd of October, 2012. 'Evil' isn't necessarily something we typically want to cross paths with our day to day routines, so what is it that's given this horror filled franchise its place in today's gaming world?
If you're unfamiliar with Resident Evil, or hadn't guessed it from the name, the games bearing this title aren't exactly family friendly. The 'survival horror' classification given to the multitude of Resident Evil games really sums up what you can expect to see; from mutated creatures determined to rip you limb from limb to bioterrorist attacks leaving populations decimated and infected with diseases determined to make even the most friendly citizens into bloodthirsty killing machines.
The main games within the series are presented as suspense filled instead of all out action, even if they are third-person-shooter in nature and do grant you plenty of opportunities to take out as many enemies as possible. With a multitude of bad guys waiting to jump out at you from darkened corners, you might want to avoid playing these games alone in your house at night. Some more recent Resident Evil games have adopted an action adventure style of gameplay, particularly those launched on portable devices that are perhaps less well suited to the survival horror genre, however the latest game to hit the Xbox 360 looks set to return to the franchise's roots if developer comments from Capcom talking about a 'return to horror' are anything to go by. There will be plenty of terrifying moments to hold you tantalized, though action is certainly a larger part of the game than in some predecessors.
It could be that we, the paying audience, aren't as interested in horror as we once were. Perhaps today we prefer running into a horde of rampaging zombies and slaughtering them with an arsenal of assorted weaponry rather than making our way slowly through a dark and atmospheric location, awaiting the inevitable approach of some form of evil creature. The original Resident Evil game was the stuff of nightmares, and though number 6 will introduce us to a wealth of darkened and relatively enemy-free rooms to explore with suitably eerie music building us up to moments of horror, it seems that Capcom has given into public demand with what seems more of a crossover between action and those scary scenes that work their way into our minds with their terror.
Unlike some developers that have attempted to incorporate some sort of Kinect functionality into their third or first person shooter titles, Capcom has left Resident Evil 6 firmly in the hands of the classic controller. As it's becoming more and more obvious that Kinect functionality will become increasingly important with the Xbox One, we wonder if future games in the series will explore the option of motion or voice control. Pacing around your living room looking for zombies to slaughter is unlikely to ever work, but perhaps some motion or voice calls could help to increase the suspense and the ease of play as we take on the monsters of the future.
With such a popular franchise under its belt, we're looking forward to seeing what Capcom does with Resident Evil in the future. Is tending toward the action side of things the way forward? Or does that make this just another Gears of War style game focused only on the killing and not on the suspense or story rich worlds of previous forays into Resident Evil?
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 09/29/2012
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