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E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 Preview

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Resident Evil is one of gaming’s more storied horror franchises. The original is one of the earliest titles in the survival horror genre and Resident Evil 4 more or less gave birth to the modern third-person shooter. The latest entry in the series, Resident Evil 6, looks like it’s shaping up to be the biggest entry in the franchise to date.

At E3 Capcom gave us our first look at what they’re calling “Cross Over Co-Op.” Basically what this means is that during certain missions in the story the individual character campaigns will intersect. When this happens, the game will reach out and find a co-op team that’s playing the other end of the mission that you and your co-op partner are playing and bring them into your game to have a four player simultaneous co-op session.

The demo they showed us featured Leon, Helena, Jake and Sherry teaming up to take on the Ustanak, an indestructible monster that seems to be taking some cues from Resident Evil 3 baddie, the Nemesis.

It starts off with the four characters meeting up and filling each other in on their situations, but before long the Ustanak shows up to spoil the party. At this point the game is a full-on four player co-op boss battle where you have to all work together to survive.

E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 Preview

This is a great idea in theory, but I’m curious to see how it works once the game is in the wild. Co-Op is usually best played with a like-minded individual who you can work well with. Adding in the element of being matched randomly with people you don’t know and then forced to work together is a gamble at best and a disaster at worst. If it all works out, however, it will be extremely cool. Of course, they did make it a point to say that you have the option to opt out if you so choose. But where’s the fun in that?

I also had a chance to get some hands-on time with the three demos they had on display at the show, here are some thoughts on that…

The first demo starts with a familiar scene from the reveal trailer. During what appears to be fundraiser dinner or a campaign speech, there’s a bioterror attack and the President of the United States gets infected and is turning into a zombie. Leon Kennedy, and his partner Helena Harper, have no choice but to put him down.

After dispatching the commander-in-chief they decide that their best bet is to be anywhere but there. While searching for a way out of the building they’re currently trapped in they run into a somewhat disheveled looking man who is searching for his daughter. He says he knows a way out but isn’t going anywhere until he finds her. Leon and Helena agree to aid him in his search. After poking around a little bit they’re able to locate the girl who, well, let’s just say she isn’t looking very well. The man then says that their best chance to escape is through an elevator that leads down to a parking garage.

E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 Preview

When the group hits the elevator, things take a turn for the worse.

The daughter passes away and her father isn’t far behind. Shortly after that the pair turn undead because of course they do. They lunge at Helena and Leon who are able to fight them off. When the elevator reaches the parking garage, the doors open to reveal a hoard of zombies waiting for our heroes.

At that point it’s officially on.

Leon and Helena proceed to fill their undead attackers with hot lead and after a short scuffle are to take them all out. But before they head out Leon sees something on a security monitor that catches his attention, two men who are cornered by a mob of zombies that are closing in fast. Leon is determined to help them, but before he can the men are attacked and killed. Leon still thinks he can help them, but Helena is able to convince him that it would be impossible. The demo ends with Leon and Helena determined to find answers about who is responsible for the outbreak.

E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 Preview

The second demo began with Chris Redfield, and his partner Piers Nivans, in a city somewhere in China that is burning all abound them. Their task is to fight their way to a location called “The Ace of Spades.”

This segment is quite a bit more straight forward than the Leon’s, mostly consisting of action sequences with little in the way of story. The enemies Chris and Piers are up against at this point seem similar to the ones from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, humanoid creatures that, when shot in certain areas, reveal mutations that make them even more dangerous.

This portion of the demo ends with Chris and Piers reaching their destination and having to hold their ground against all kinds of the monsters while waiting for an evac chopper to arrive.

The final demo was primarily an introduction to Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin’s primary antagonist, the aforementioned Ustanak. The Ustanak is a bad dude. He effortlessly cuts down a group of what appear to be infected soldiers before turning his sights on our heroes. Jake seems to hurt the monster temporarily by standing his ground and shooting an exploding canister as he begins the pursuit. This is a short lived victory, however, as when the flames die down the Ustanak rises back to his feet, unharmed.

The Ustanak then charges into an all-out sprint at Jake and Shelly, tearing through anything that’s in his path. After a chase sequence, Jake and Shelly are able to temporarily give him the slip by diving deeper into the enemy facility they’re currently trapped in. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of the water just yet.

After narrowly escaping with their lives, they encounter more of the infected soldiers from earlier. As Jake and Sherry try to fight their way through their enemies, the Ustanak shows up again to continue his pursuit. With nowhere left to run, they’re forced to stand and fight against their indestructible foe.

After a boss fight the demo ends with the Ustanak under a collapsed pillar and Jake and Sherry continuing their escape.

These demos do a good job of punctuating the main differences that players can expect out of the three campaigns. While all featuring the same basic gameplay, they all have a distinct feel to them.

E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 Preview

Leon’s is very much like classic Resident Evil, high tension, low ammo and tons of atmosphere, it almost feels like a return to the series’ roots. And, of course, for the first time in a long while the return of the series’ most classic enemy, the traditional zombie.

Chris’ demo is more along the lines of Resident Evil 4and Resident Evil 5, with a focus no high octane action. It has lots of enemies, lots of ammo and non-stop in your face shooting.

And finally Jake’s feels like somewhat of a departure from either style. While it does feature action similar to Chris, it has more of an emphasis on fleeing and escaping rather than shooting galleries.

Overall I really liked what I saw of Resident Evil 6 at E3. The controls have finally been updated to being them more in line with modern shooters. You’re a lot more mobile than you have been in past Resident Evil games. Not only are you finally able to move and shoot at the same time, but you’re also able to perform various more stylish moves like combat rolls and dodges. You’re also able to perform regular melee attacks without having to stagger your enemy first, as well. Unlike most modern shooters, however, your aiming reticule isn’t locked in the center of the screen; it still floats around like in the previous third-person shooter entries in the franchise. So, despite all the changes in the controls, it still feels like a Resident Evil game.

E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 Preview

Resident Evil 5 was generally considered to be a good game that just slightly missed the mark. In that game in felt like the co-op was thrown in at the last minute because that was the popular thing at the time. Resident Evil 6 on the other hand feels like it was built from the ground up with co-op in mind and it’s all the better for it. With three separate campaigns, each of which Capcom estimates to be around 80% of the length of Resident Evil 5, more modernized controls and the promise of another good old fashioned dose of Resident Evil insanity, Resident Evil 6seems to be coming along very nicely. I can’t wait to see more.

Resident Evil 6 launches on October 2nd for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 with a PC version planned for a later release. For more information, visit the official Resident Evil 6 website.

E3 2012: Resident Evil 6 Preview

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Inside Remake Gets New Poster and U.S. Release Date

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It’s about time.

It has been a whopping four months since we shared with you guys the red band trailer for the upcoming English language remake of Inside starring Rachel Nichols and Laura Harring.

Today we have an all-new poster for the film (via our buddies at Arrow in the Head), and the one-sheet also boasts the remake’s U.S. release date. Yes, Inside will be hitting Stateside on January 12, 2018.

You can click on the poster to the right to check it out in higher-res. After that make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’re planning to check out this remake in the comments below!

Miguel Ángel Vivas directed the Inside remake.

Produced by Adrian Guerra and Nuria Valls at Spain’s Nostromo Pictures, the remake was written by Manu Diez and [REC] creator/co-director Jaume Balaguero. “We took the original idea and made it an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more Hitchcock-ian than a splatter-fest,” said Guerra.

Again, Inside hits U.S. theaters and VOD January 12, 2018.

Synopsis:
Pregnant and depressed, a young widow tries to rebuild her life following the fateful car accident where she lost her husband and partially lost her hearing. Now, about to go into labor, she’s living in a remote house in the suburbs when, one Christmas night, she receives an unexpected visit from another woman with a devastating objective: to rip the child she’s carrying from inside her. But a mother’s fury when it comes to protecting her child should never be underestimated.

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Deep Blue Sea 2 Rated R for Creature Violence/Gore and Language

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Five months ago we shared the news that there was a secret sequel to the 1999 killer sharks vs. Tom Jane and LL Cool J movie Deep Blue Sea filming, and today we have the sequel’s rating.

And it’s about what you’d expect. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Yes, the upcoming shark attack sequel Deep Blue Sea 2 has been rated R by the MPAA for “creature violence and gore and for language.”

Not only that, but we have a few words on what we can expect from the sequel via a creative executive over at Warner Bros. named Matt Bierman.

“We are a true sequel,” Bierman said regarding the sequel. “We wanted to keep to the spirit of Deep Blue Sea and why people love it. The research that was used on the sharks in Deep Blue Sea 2 comes from the mythology and storyline of the first movie. We have given the lead shark a personality and hope the fans will embrace that as it really helps the storytelling and the narrative in a way that [the] first one didn’t. Deep Blue Sea 2 has a slightly slower build, but once the rubber band snaps, things go boom really quickly!”

The lead shark has a personality? How could that be a bad thing?

Let’s just hope there aren’t scenes of the rugged Tom Jane stand-in lovingly hugging/stroking the shark after it does something cool and telling the new guy how the shark (nicknamed Bruce) is just “misunderstood.”

…And then the shark saves everyone at the end. Called it.

The sequel is directed by Darin Scott from a screenplay by Erik Patterson, Hans Rodionoff, and Jessica Scott and stars Danielle Savre, Rob Mayes, and Michael Beach.

The movie is set to premiere on Syfy sometime next year. Once we know the exact date we’ll let us know so stay tuned!

“Deepest. Bluest. My head is like a shark’s fin…”

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror

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Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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