I played the one demo three times over. Or really, I played the demo in three fractions. What’s this craziness, you ask? Resident Evil 6 will let you play in three different team campaigns. I played as Leon/Helena, Chris/Piers, and Jake/Sherry. Each time was different, tackling different missions and different enemies. Let’s see how they stand up next to each other.
Leon Kennedy and Helena Harper
In my first round of the demo, I actually chose to play as Agent Helena Harper, because I like playing as a lady. She and Leon were attempting to escape a building ravaged by the infected. With pistols in hand, the two navigate dark corridors and empty dining halls, dressed up with fancy plates and broken chairs. It’s the most emotional of the three campaigns. Leon had to shoot the president in the head, and it’s obvious it wasn’t easy for him. Along the way the duo help a stranded employee looking for his daughter. Things don’t end well.
Why I Liked It: I got to explore the emotional aspect to a city consumed by a violent infection. I saw how sometimes reason isn’t a factor in people’s familial instincts. It was a chance for me to reflect on survival. Oh, and run away from lots of zombies with no more 9mm bullets.
Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans
When my short campaign with Leon/Helena ended, and a screen flashing the October 2nd date popped up, I moved on to Chris and Piers storyline. Their military operation is much more cut and dry than Leon/Helena. They’re armed with rifles and grenades, though ammunition practically leaks out, like water out of a squirt gun. I learned to rely on my heavy-handed hits, smacking winged enemies with the butt of my gun before they fully evolved. Chris and Piers split at times, helping each other from various angles while leaping from rooftop to rooftop.
Why I Liked It: This portion of the campaign is straight fighting, both shooting off the heads of enemies as well as bashing them with blunt objects and stomping on them with my military boots. Waves after waves of zombies pour in through windows, rooftops and over walls.
Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin
Jake and Sherry’s campaign was the most exciting, because I got to encounter Ustanak, a gigantic mutated infected with a mechanical arm. After outrunning him, he eventually catches up to you. If you’re unfamiliar with him from the series, he basically looks like Leon — with his side-parted blonde hair — if he were pumped full of the T-Virus and maybe had babies with Nemesis. The key to winning is dodging the reach of his spiky mechanical arm and his body slams. I wish there was a smoother way to slide out of its way without staying back-to-the-ground to shoot at it. Fortunately for me, and Sherry and Jake, tons of explosive red tanks were strewn about the empty warehouse. Lead Ustanak into a body slam against the tank and shooting it for fiery damage is fairly satisfying.
Why I Like It: Boss battle! I got a peak at Capcom’s brute Ustanak. He’s a formidable opponent, and seems to attract the infected like flies. Flies to poop. I imagine he also smells like poop. You think he ever washes those big, ugly gashes out?
What I Missed
During my three, separate campaigns, I didn’t encounter the Journey-esque experience of running into other players at any crossover junctions. Which was unfortunate, because I’m curious how that will play out. I anticipate something more akin to Dead Island, with a drop-in, drop-out mechanic whereby players can join segments of your game depending on the campaign they’re playing. It feels less like an exploratory journey like, well, Journey.
I did, however, get to jump into a round of cooperatively playing one of said campaigns. Each campaign is fairly short, so my time spent with my partner was fleeting. I’m holding out until I get to see what bumping into the other characters while on these crossover campaigns will feel like. I imagine it’s not unlike a movie centered on various characters who don’t necessarily know how the others will have an impact on their story. But, as it happens, it all comes together in the end in a shocking and revelatory way. We’ll see what Resident Evil contributes to that storytelling technique when the game releases in October.