3 Reasons Resident Evil 6 Makes You Remember What Survival-Horror Is
About a week ago, the bizarre ARG campaign at nohopeleft.com finished its countdown and revealed the long-anticipated Resident Evil 6 (and its late 2012 release date). With photos of graffiti-marked structures and one downright creepy found footage film found on the marketing blog, RE6 revealed itself in spectacular fashion with a pretty sweet trailer laden with gameplay footage. We don’t know what the hell it’s about, but have several reasons why we’re excited as holy hell to be scared once again.
Early reports indicate we’ll be playing as multiple characters (and sometimes with partners… or always… we don’t know yet), but what’s the scary-to-action ratio that Capcom’s been toying with? Resident Evil 4 was a creep-fest with occults and possessed villagers, while Resident Evil 5 had us punching boulders with Chris’ dudebro muscles and shooting rockets into lava.
What makes us confident that we’ll be scared silly again?
1) Things running after you is ALWAYS scary
My two worst nightmares are being chased by something malevolent and waking up without my penis. Since my penis will most likely remain intact during my playtime with RE6, that leaves us with the primal fear of being hunted. Doesn’t matter if a dog is running you down, some zombie, or some not-zombie (RE4/RE5 we’re looking at you), but being chased is one of the worst feelings in the world. RE3 (Nemesis!) and RE4 (running non-zombies!) did this effectively, and with a creepy atmosphere. This is probably why RE5 – while an excellent game – is constantly grumbled over. Part 5 made burly badass Chris Redfield into a goddamn superhero, gave him a shitton of ammo and equally badass Sheva to run around and just pick off not-zombies until you reached your goal.
Whatever the balance of creepy-to-balls out action may be, this early trailer puts some emphasis back on the fear of the hunt. And that’s a good thing.
2) We’re still afraid of the dark
Did you see that part in the trailer with Leon walking down the tunnel and those shadows of zombies fall across the wall? Or the parts where he’s walking in total darkness? Isn’t that terrifying?! There’s a reason Are You Afraid of the Dark made me piss my pants when I was little (there I go mentioning my penis again), that shit was scary.
Well, sometimes the show was stupid ridiculous, but in any event, the reasons why Dead Space, Alone in the Dark, Silent Hill and countless other survival-horror games are lauded is directly proportional to our fear of the unknown. What the hell is out there and why can’t we see it? Funny, once we see it, it’s often too late and we run out of ammo. How are we going to survive the zombie apocalypse with no ammo? And don’t tell me to hole up in an abandoned mall or prison. That shit doesn’t work people!
3) Melee attacks call for desperate times
Okay, so you get the new slide attack and a roundhouse kick and all that jazz, but notice how Leon uses a hatchet in close proximity. That looks like a one-off weapon, doesn’t it? Sure, we’ve used the knife before (which has always been pretty useful to conserve ammo), but is there a new reliance on closer gameplay? Why would you use a hatchet unless there was a a lack of ammo? We wouldn’t get close to a zombie for yucks.
Melee attacks are usually reserved for “last resort” situations, even though Max Brooks’ excellent Zombie Survival Guide, points to a strong usage of melee weapons as your primary attack. Whatever the case, we ain’t getting close to no zombies.
For a last little treat, you may have missed this trailer for the new film, Resident Evil: Retribution 3D, which is basically Avatar meets Sony advertising.