Capcom has delivered a pre-Halloween treat for adult gamers with the latest chapter of its third-person, survival horror adventure, Resident Evil 6 (Capcom, rated M for mature — and macabre, reviewed for Xbox 360, $59.99).
One or two players control veteran agents and warriors as they attempt to stop a viral outbreak spreading from North America to China while surviving against mutated humanoids, zombies and creatures threatening to consume humanity.
Story: It has been 10 years since the Raccoon City incident and the president of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place, believing it will curb the current resurgence in bioterrorist activity.
Raccoon City survivor Leon S. Kennedy is due to be by the side of the president — who also is his friend. When the venue suffers a bioterrorist attack, Leon is forced to face a president transformed beyond recognition and make his hardest decision ever.
At the same time, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (B.S.A.A.) member Chris Redfield arrives in China, itself under threat of attack. With no country safe from these attacks and the ensuing outbreaks, the entire world’s population is united by a common fear that there is no hope left.
Play the role: Two brave gamers (or the solo player) take part in three intersecting five-chapter campaigns starring both familiar and new heroes of the Resident Evil franchise.
Of the trio available, I first chose to control Leon. Along with his able partner Helena Harper (who is controlled by the computer), he is trapped in the college town of Tall Oaks where the pair fight through, above and below the town and end up pursuing Helena’s sister Deborah, eventually ending up in China.
It’s a haunted, dark ride that took me more than 12 hours and was themed to evoke the spirit of the early Resident Evil games. That means a bunch of hidden scares, dimly lit locations, menacing shadows, bloody handprints on walls and the undead walking out of the mist.
After completing that campaign, I went back and dove into the adventure starring Division of Security Operations Sherry Birkin and Jake Muller, and the son of deceased bioterrorist Albert Wesker. They find themselves pursued by a nearly unstoppable creature (think the insanity of “Terminator 2”) and other beefy freaks in the Eastern European country of Edonia and eventually across the world.
Jake is a mercenary with a flippant attitude and slightly super-powered genetics (thanks to his dad). When he injects himself with the C-Virus, it makes him lethal in hand-to-hand combat situations.
Next, I took control of B.S.A.A. agent Redfield and with help from Piers Nivans and a handful of squadmates went on a dangerous trip to China for some classic third-person shooting. This campaign offers a watered-down, Gears of War-style battle with weapons-heavy combat against incredibly monstrous adversaries.
Additionally, a fourth campaign allows a single player to take control of legendary spy Ada Wong as she pursues the truth behind the evil plans of presidential terrorism adviser Derek C. Simmons.
All told, a player is looking at dozens of hours of thrills that combine full-blown firefights, massive boss battles, cinematic escapes, deadly puzzles, adrenaline-packed pursuits and the occasional explosive vehicle ride delivered with loads of required analog-stick twisting and button-pushing maneuvers sure to keep the hands sweating.
Get to the action: It’s always kill or be killed, and our heroes have plenty of chops and firepower (they can move and shoot now) to use against the bizarre threats.
A complete collection of weapons (sniper rifles, rocket launchers, heavy pistols, shotguns and grenades) can be found and easily added to an inventory using the player’s directional pad, quickly arming a character.