The Resident Evil series is practically unrecognisable from the original game, released way back in 1996. We've not yet touched on Resident Evil 4 in our retrospective, but after having played the Resident Evil 6 demo, I can confirm that the rehashed control system is here to stay, and has been greatly improved. This could be a major strength for the upcoming game, but it could also potentially be its downfall.

Hardcore survival horror fans will no doubt be disappointed with Capcom's latest addition to the franchise, as it seems to have completely turned its back on the series' roots in pursuit of action gamers. In their defence, it's a much bigger market, so one can hardly blame them, but (and this is a big but) there are already games out there that achieve what RE6 is attempting in a much more polished way. Gears Of War springs to mind - even some of the new enemies in RE6 are more than a little reminiscent of the Horde.

PhotobucketI mentioned that the controls have been improved, which is a welcome change. Both RE4 and RE5 were an interesting evolution in the series (regardless of how you felt about the co-op in the latter), but it was more than a little frustrating that your character still couldn't shoot and move at the same time. Perhaps it was a compromise for the series' original fans, but in the context of an over the shoulder third person action shooter, it didn't make much sense. This has now been completely removed. Characters can move and shoot, hide behind and pop out of cover and shoot from the ground. The infuriating lack of pause has been carried over from the last game (which makes sense for a game that depends on co-op). As for single player, which is dependent on your partners AI, I can't comment on the full game, but the demo was a huge improvement on Resident Evil 5's cackhanded, and bullet hungry Sheva. I swear to god, that woman WANTED me to shoot her, and then when it came time to heal me, all she could do was run into scenery, or allow herself to get surrounded by BOW's. I found no such problems in the demo. In fact, I barely noticed my AI partner at all, which can only be a good thing.

So, overall impressions - Resident Evil purists are going to find plenty to bitch about with Resident Evil 6. It's finally shed its original skin, and mutated into a completely different animal (like every single RE boss EVER). However, as a standalone game, I think there's a lot to look forward to, even if it does appear to be a little derivative. I make no secret that my favourite game in the series is Resident Evil 2, but I'm still excited about RE6, and hope it's able to stand on its own two feet despite the excellent games that have preceded it. I'm already charging my bluetooth headset, and have my RE5 buddy on speed dial - we're going to cause a lot of damage.