The Resident Evil series started off as a watermark for the Survival Horror series way back in 1996 on the Sony Playstation showing myself and many others that a videogame could scare you in a very real way. The games continued on being ported to just about every system out there (I even played through RE2 on the N64 originally), finally getting the first true rebirth with Resident Evil 4 for the Nintendo Gamecube back in 2005 which followed up the hugely succesful Resident Evil 1 remake on the same system 3 years prior.
Read ahead for the new announcements that helped bring my hope back to this Zombie story!
Jumping ahead to 2009 we saw the release of Resident Evil 5 and this marks the point the series really took a sour note with me. I love my zombies, but this game just seemed to skip over the whole enemy that definied the games since that first horrible encounter in RE1. Majini (a new take on RE4's Las Plagas) were in, as well as bad attempts to turn the game into a co-operative shooter instead of straight up Survival Horror. I was able to complete the game with a friend online, but would always run into issues with the AI if I tried to go alone. Add to this the developers stubborn and excuse ridden reasons for not allowing these trained operatives to aim a gun, let alone a simple knife, while being able to move at least slowly.
With my hopes crushed, Capcom has popped up these past few days with not one, but TWO games that have given me hope again for the quality of the series for both the consoles as well as the world of handhelds.
First with the consoles (and presumedly PC as well) we have Resident Evil 6, the next direct numbered sequel to the original classic, which is setting up to be a worthy successor and proper build up of this tale since the beginning.
What could possibly bring such high praise and hope? Well, check out the trailer below (via YouTube & Capcom) and you see that Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, and a mysterious Mercenary (Hunk I believe) are all in this game bringing with them the advancements of the series as a whole as well as what looks like unique playstyles reminescent of their previous games.
Leon is a return to the original RE series style of survival horror, Chris is more action/gun based with what seems like better controls (we hope), and finally "Hunk" has a very hands-on combat style while being chased RE3 style.
Each of the characters have a partner now, and the identity of each of them is still up in the air. But here are my personal guesses. The woman with Leon is Ashley Graham, the daughter of the President that he has to save in RE4 Helena Harper (verified via Capcom). The woman claims that it is all her fault, which could mean somehow she managed to bring back the virus while remaining immune herself as a silent carrier. Chris has one of his soldiers as his "sidekick" and from the trailer they seem to have a history together that hasn't been covered in previous titles. And finally Hunk seems to be with Sherry Birkin, all grown up from RE2. She seems to fit the description and looks the proper age given the time that has passed. I know Sherry could also fit in as the person that "caused" the outbreak, but the age she would be just doesn't feel like it would line up.
Moving from the consoles, lets finally take a look at the handheld release for the Nintendo 3DS, Resident Evil: Revelations. This game got a full downloadable demo this week so after people questioning the fidelity of the screen shots and videos that came before it, the proof is now in our hands as to how good this game looks. The only graphical feature I was put off on was the facial animation, or the lack thereof for characters you are talking to face to face.
The demo itself is fairly short only covering a few rooms, a handful of enemies, and a brief look at how the story mode works. One strange thing about this demo though is that you have a limited number of 30 plays of the demo itself. Once you start the game, you can play it over and over as much as you want but you can't quit and play something else without nurning up one of your game times.
Once you beat the demo initially a "Hell" mode opens up with GREATLY increases the difficulty of the game. Some of the strongest enemies you face start popping up in the very first room. I have not finished this mode yet as I keep dying...I'm serious about the difficulty!
More importantly than the incrediby graphics fidelity is the tweeks to the controls. You are finally allowed to truly aim and move at the same time allowing you to back away if enemies get to close while firing away. Aiming is effected while doing this, but at least the option is there now. Resident Evil: Revelations will be coming to the 3DS on Feburary . Check out the trailer below for more on this title or go download the demo from the Nintendo eShop!
UPDATE: So it looks like the woman with Leon has been confirmed as Helena Harper via Capcom, but I still say it's Sherry Birkin and Hunk. Thanks for the update Arthur!