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Resident Evil 6 preview: Survival horror and action in one big package

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Jake in action in Resident Evil 6

© Capcom


Resident Evil 6 is the latest instalment in the long-running zombie franchise. The ambitious sequel features three diverse campaigns that take elements of its classic survival-horror past and action-packed present.

While the recent Resident Evil Revelations saw multiple characters spun into a single, globe-trotting story, Resident Evil 6 is three lengthy stand-alone campaigns available in one package, each playable in co-op.

Of course, they cross over at certain points, and playing all three stories reveals hidden character motivations and extra twists in the tale. Playing online is interesting too, where at these crossover moments you'll be automatically and seamlessly matched up with another pair of players at their point in the story.

Leon in action in Resident Evil 6

© Capcom



Leon Kennedy takes Resident Evil back to its roots

Leon's portion represents a return to the Resident Evil games of old. Moments after shooting the zombified President of the United States, Leon and his partner have to make their way through Tall Oaks, which is essentially another Raccoon City incident, one that sees the return of the classic shambling zombies.

The demo sees you carefully exploring a dark, seemingly deserted party conference centre. Illumination by flashlight and the occasional splash of lightning ratchets up the tension, building up to an effective jump scare as an injured woman springs out of nowhere to be rescued.

After a lengthy rescue mission, the elevator ride sees her die and become swiftly reanimated. The situation goes from bad to worse when the doors spring open to a handful more zombies streaming in. The over-the-shoulder shooting makes light work of the undead, but it's a tense, claustrophobic encounter that we hope the rest of the story runs with.

Chris in action in Resident Evil 6

© Capcom

Chris in action in Resident Evil 6

© Capcom



Chris Redfield brings action to China

Another series regular, Chris Redfield, continues with the action-packed approach seen recently in Resident Evil 5. Anyone who is familiar with that divisive entry will feel right at home here, as you shoot your way across a series of rooftops in a dense Chinese city.

Parasite-embedded enemies are more deadly this time round, wielding firearms more effectively and mutating into winged beasts and Tyrant-esque clawed monsters. Again, a co-op partner has your back in this campaign, and provides ample cover while Chris shimmies from one building to another using a pipe.

While Leon's section adopts survival horror in the modern over-the-shoulder perspective, Chris's story is very similar to the last two Resident Evil games in strategy and action, albeit with more fluid, improved controls.

Jake in action in Resident Evil 6

© Capcom



Jake Muller fights off an unstoppable enemy

Newcomer Jake Muller, meanwhile, represents a mix of the old and the new. Joined by a grown-up Sherry Birkin, his story sees him hunted by the relentless Ustanah, a towering creature with a nightmarish set of mechanical pincers, ready to capture and disfigure his targets.

Shortly after a chase sequence, the player has to lure Ustanah close to explosive barrels in order to temporarily disable him and escape. In-between encounters are regular enemies, which can be dispatched with Jake's own unique brand of hand-to-hand combat.

Jake's campaign is pleasingly reminiscent of Resident Evil 3, a game that provided tension rarely seen in the series since, making the return of this kind of persistent enemy incredibly welcome.


The approach for individual character campaigns and the return of survival horror gameplay are strong callbacks to Resident Evil's revered past, while also making good use of the satisfying over-the-shoulder controls and co-operative elements of later entries. It's a huge package fashioned from old and new, and will undoubtedly excite fans of both when it debuts later this year.

Resident Evil 6 will be available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from October 2 worldwide.

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