Resident Evil 6 preview First look at four-player co-op

We’ve gotten a good look at Resident Evil 6 and its protagonists already. Capcom finally pulled back the curtain on its plans for the three characters at Captivate in April. We had no idea of the scope of what we’d be facing down at E3.

During a behind-closed-doors presentation with two of the game’s producers, we learned more details about RE6’s co-op. As you play either solo, or with a friend through each of the game’s three story threads – we learned today that each one will run roughly 80% of the length of Resident Evil 5, meaning that you’re looking at 20+ hours of campaign at minimum, if not 30 – there will be moments at which those tales will intertwine online. We got a glimpse at how the four-player co-op functions.

The demo takes place midway through the story as Leon Kennedy and Helena Harper run into Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin in the infested Chinese city that Capcom has indicated will be a major backdrop. We got a glimpse at the action as the team showed the two pairs of heroes taking on the Ustanak, that large beastly creature from the initial trailer. It looks like a cross between the Chainsaw Ganados and Nemesis from the classic games.

Our impressions of watching Leon and Helena try to shake it off were that these moments of RE6 evoke Left 4 Dead’s Tank fights even more than Resident Evil: Operation Racooon City, a game that was allegedly inspired as an RE homage to Valve’s zombie shooter. The degree of cooperation, careful dodging, and constant peril evoked the white-knuckle tension of those games, even with RE’s now-trademark third-person shooter gameplay. In these moments, you many even see partner-swaps, as we saw Sherry pair off with Leon for a few moments of RE2 fan service as Jake and Helena unloaded shots on the Ustanak.

We had some questions for the developers after the demo. First off, if you’re antisocial, you’re not obligated to play online with other people. As you approach an encounter that offers co-op, you’ll be prompted as to whether or not to party up. It’s not designed for you to invite friends into the encounters, which prompted us to ask if they’re aiming for a Journey-like experience in which you’ll discover whom you’ve been working with to take down big bosses. Capcom’s being coy about how you’ll find out who you’re tag-teaming with for now, so we’re not sure how it’ll pan out. We also found out that after you’ve cleared the game, you can go back and replay those four-player moments to your heart’s content thanks to RE6’s chapter select feature. It’s also balanced so that you won’t need to worry about someone coming in with a super-powered weapon and stealing all the experiences and goodies.

Keep an eye out for our impressions of the game in action later this week at E3!

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