RE6: How Horror-ible will it be?

Resident Evil 6 Logo

Apparently the new virus is a flu virus. Ew.

The recently- (and reluctantly-) released trailer for Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 – which can be viewed on our YouTube page here – incited an enthusiastic response on video game sites everywhere.  But hidden inside the excitement like a las plagas lobster-plant was the question: How scary is it?

The story and scenery appears to be closer to RE games of old, reminiscent of the days when “survival horror” was actually a genre and not a bastardized sub-genre, but the gameplay segments infused between the cinematics are clearly a continuation of the over-the-shoulder action style that Capcom introduced in RE4 and reused in RE5.

That’s not exactly a problem in itself – after all, both RE4 and RE5 were amazing games.  But there is something about the more action-centric approach that made those two games not feel entirely “Residenty,” and surely not at all “Evily.” Gone was the constant fear of the coming corner, the lack of ammo, the rarity of save points; replaced with a more linear, episodic sequence of firefights with a few jumpscares thrown in for fanservice.

Occasional jumpscares does not make a survival horror game.  A survival startle game, maybe, but the early RE titles were terrifying in overall atmosphere, not reliant on “moments”. Resident Evil 6 strikes me as a “moments” game.

“But it has zombies!”  True, and I wholly embrace the return of the lurching fiends, but I get the feeling that Capcom thinks that’s all that die-hard Resident Evil fans were begging for.  Zombies are a start, but where’s the horror?  Hell, where’s the survival?  I haven’t seen it yet.

So what do you think? Has Capcom remembered what made Resident Evil so popular in the first place (that is to say: I am being stupid); or do you, too, worry that the new Sixth entry cements the series in the action genre?

Written by: Leon the Hart