Capcom has big plans for one of its most popular video game franchises : Resident Evil. The game publisher revealed that Resident Evil 6 is in development, and the first information on the new game will be revealed on September 15 at the Tokyo Game Show. At Comic-Con 2011, the focus was on new incarnations of classic Resident Evil games.
Old titles rising from the dead
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the survival horror franchise, which many consider the first true horror video game. Capcom is celebrating in a big way with three games heading home later this year. Two of those games are high-definition upgrades to existing Resident Evil titles — Resident Evil 4 HD will be available for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Games On Demand on September 20th, and Resident Evil: Code Veronica X HD will arrive on week later, on September 27th.
Mike Lunn, a product marketing manager at Capcom, said at Comic-Con 2011 that the game publisher has upgraded these titles for PS3 and Xbox 360.
“In Resident Evil: Code Veronica X HD, Claire Redfield, the star of Resident Evil 2, is captured by Umbrella and brought to Rockfort Island, where she experiences another viral outbreak of zombies, creatures and monsters,” said Lunn. “The game unlocks tons of Umbrella Corporation secrets. We’ve taken the game’s classic style and added a dynamic camera system that allows you to see around corners. There are also dual-wielding weapons to help take out the creatures Claire will face. And we’ve upgraded the lighting system to help you through dark corridors. This is one of my favorite Resident Evil titles. It’s a real rollercoaster ride with an excellent soundtrack and high production values.”
Lunn went on to explain that Resident Evil 4, at its time, was a step away from what Capcom had been doing with the franchise.
“Resident Evil 4 focuses on action horror and the gameplay experience introduced precision aiming with pinpoint accuracy,” said Lunn. “Players can target any part of a zombie with their shots. You can also pull off headshots. This game, which also introduced the third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective to the franchise, has been attributed to making changes to the way we play games today.”
The game focuses on another Resident Evil 2 protagonist, Leon S. Kennedy, who’s on a mission to save the president’s daughter, Ashley Graham. The story involves the Los Illuminados cult, which turns villagers into zombies called Los Ganados. These enemies introduced new challenges to gamers, including the ability to wield melee and projectile weapons.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
But what Resident Evil fans will be most excited about are the brand new games in the franchise. Let’s start with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. The game’s being developed by SOCOM: US Navy SEALs PSP developer Slant Six Games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The new squad-based shooter is set during the events of the original Resident Evil game and introduces a new squad of characters. Vector, Beltway, Bertha and Spectre are members of the Umbrella Security Squad who have to deal with the T-virus outbreak in Raccoon City.
Rey Jimenez, producer of the third-person perspective game, explained that gameplay incorporates four-player teamwork and tactical decision-making into the mix. There are multiple classes to choose from at the outset, which will impact how each team member interacts in the action. Vector is an example of the recon class, who can assume other human shapes. Bertha is the medic class. Beltway is the hulking tank class of the game, and he has plenty of demolition equipment to blow things up. Spectre offers up tactical information through maps and special glasses to help navigate the chaotic world.
The game actually has a lot going on, which provides quite a backdrop for players to explore. In addition to the zombies and other bio-organic weapons created by Umbrella Corporation, there are US Special Forces soldiers on the ground trying to deal with the catastrophe, and there’s the Umbrella Security Service.
On top of that, Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy will be in the mix from time to time playing out their roles in the original game’s story line. HUNK will also have an important role in this new game. The game will have multiple branching paths and storylines, including some that won’t connect directly with future games. As an example, players will be able to kill Leon S. Kennedy at one point in the game.
Resident Evil: Revelations
There’s also a new Nintendo 3DS game coming out in 2012 from Capcom. Resident Evil: Revelations is set at sea on an abandoned cruise ship (at least to kick off the horror adventure). This game stars Jill Valentine, Parker Luciani, Chris Redfield and Jessica. Of course, there will be zombies. This isn’t the first time the undead have gone on a cruise. Resident Evil: Dead Aim back in 2003 was a first-person shooter set on a cruise ship.
Resident Evil: Revelations will introduce segments that are underwater and others that are on a frozen tundra. These “environmental hazards” were developed for Resident Evil 5 but were scrapped at the last minute. At certain points in the game, players will be able to equip diving gear and swim in full 360 degrees. Special underwater weapons will also be available, and will be important when dealing with a new waterborne threat that Capcom has in store. Later in the game, players will also be outfitted with winter gear for exploring a mountain range. Frozen environments will also play a role in this action game.
Capcom used Comic-Con to confirm that players will be going after zombies in Revelations. For those keeping track, the last game to actually feature the undead was Code Veronica. This game is the first to get back to those basics. Capcom also promised there will be plenty of other creatures to kill in this new 3D game.
Check out our Resident Evil: Revelations hands-on preview.
On the Hollywood front, Sony Pictures is having a script written for a fifth Resident Evil movie. Following the success of the 3D movie, Resident Evil: Afterlife, a new movie release is slated for September 14, 2012. Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich are expected to be back in the mix on this latest theatrical installment.
There’s also a new computer-generated movie coming out next year (at least in Japan). Resident Evil: Damnation is a sequel to 2008’s Resident Evil: Degeneration. This time around, the action will be in 3D. The new storyline will continue to focus on Leon S. Kennedy’s adventures. A U.S. version of this home entertainment release will be in the works at some point, so that should keep fans happy.