Like BioWare did earlier this year with its controversial Mass Effect 3, Capcom is now promising to release an update for its fall tent pole Resident Evil 6 in December to address myriad player complaints about the shooter. Unlike BioWare’s Extended Cut ending, though, Capcom’s release is mostly mechanical, looking to fix many of the problems with Resident Evil 6’s play.
Chief among these fixes is the ability to customize camera positions on the screen. Many complained that Resident Evil’s characters took up too much of the screen, obscuring enemies and co-op partners during the game’s frantic shootouts. Players can now zoom in or out to their heart’s desire.
The other significant change is access to Ada Wong’s stealth-focused campaign from the outset of the game. Players originally had to complete Leon, Jake, and Chris’ campaigns before the single player-centric Ada campaign became available. There are other tweaks, including a new difficulty mode and expanded subtitle support, but these are secondary to the previously mentioned alterations.
As illustrated in Digital Trends’ review of Resident Evil 6, though, the game’s many mechanical problems weren’t what ultimately rendered Capcom’s game a lavishly produced mess. It was those foundational issues coupled with a lack of narrative, tonal, and aesthetic coherence that ultimately crippled the game. Capcom’s December patch will certainly make portions of the game easier, and potentially more fun, to play but it won’t come close to making Resident Evil 6 the game it could have been.
So why bother? Does Capcom hope that it will improve its relationship with a spurned audience with this fix or hopefully give the game a pre-Christmas spike in sales? Issuing a patch for a console game is not cheap; retaining that money and investing it in the development of its next game might better serve Capcom.
Here’s how the game business is starting to work: Massive game publisher funds massive team of game developers who in turn make massive big budget game. Game releases. Massive number of players and critics say that the game is bad. What, pray tell, is the responsibility of the game publisher and developer in this all too common scenario? Is it a good thing when a video game maker admits that they’re wrong? That they in effect charged people for a broken product that needs to be mended?
Rather than spend so much on these lavish productions, publisher/developers like Capcom and Electronic Arts would be wiser to make smaller, cheaper games that can be better polished before release.