Streets of decay
Survival expert Leon S. Kennedy beats a desperate escape through a North American city. Its streets are ablaze with burning vehicles and buildings, while the groans of the undead and screams of the not-yet-dead fill the air. Meanwhile, in China, zombie nemesis Chris Redfield discovers a terrifying new enemy: the J'avo, able to co-ordinate and adapt attacks. And in eastern Europe, wanted man Jake Muller evades capture during a devastating bioterrorist attack.
Yet while the menace is global, its threat is never more than a few feet away. Clever effects bring this home – a blurred figure glimpsed through a window here, creeping silhouettes on a tunnel wall there – and a chilling soundtrack broods amid the noise of cities crumbling.
A fourth chapter, the story of femme fatale Ada Wong, is unlocked once the previous three are completed, and promises to answer the nagging questions raised along your frantic journey. The popular survival mode, Mercenaries, also returns and once you've fine-tuned your zombie-slaying skills, sign up to residentevil.net to take part in exclusive in-game competitions.
S.T.A.R.S. of the show
Zombies and deadly mutants maraud in their hundreds, but you're not alone. You have a partner to watch your back and revive you should you succumb. Watch out, too, for Crossover points, the set pieces where any two of the following pairs cross paths in thrilling fashion:
Leon and Helena: Long-time star of the series, Leon S. Kennedy, and Secret Service agent Helena Harper must battle through the darkened Ivy University after a grim incident involving the US president...
Chris and Piers: Elite bioterrorism security agent Piers Nivans is instrumental in helping his unit's captain, former S.T.A.R.S. agent Chris Redfield, overcome his depression and return to the international fight against the C Virus pandemic. Their task begins in China.
Jake and Sherry: Mercenary Jake Muller is a wanted man in eastern Europe, his true identity making him a valuable asset in the C Virus struggle. He partners up with Raccoon City survivor Sherry Birkin in a campaign that takes them to a remote oil rig.
In true Resident Evil tradition, the mysterious Ada Wong appears once the first three instalments have been completed. Operating alone with her trademark crossbow and grapple gun, her single player quest combines classic Resident Evil combat and puzzles.
React and adapt
Entire cities are now seething masses of flesh-eating monsters, and few people are spared the gruesome metamorphosis from living being to zombie. The horror is far-reaching and comes from every conceivable angle, so to combat this you have a range of new moves in Resident Evil 6.
Imagine you're sneaking through an underground train carriage with bodies slumped in seats and on the floor. As you push through the exit, a collective groan rises behind you; those corpses are now shuffling towards you. By squeezing the L1 and R1 buttons at the same time on your Wireless Controller, you can spin round and automatically target the cadaver nearest you, averting a virus laden chomp into your neck.
High-octane action pumps through this game. A zombie grabs you; you rotate the left stick as fast as you can to shake it off. An unseeing, reanimated fireman prepares to take a swing at you with his axe; you quickly hit the R1 button to snatch the weapon from him and plunge it home.
Sometimes you'll be too slow to react, and your partner will patch you up in the nick of time. Luckily, turning health-boosting herbs into handy tablets means you can keep yourself from flatlining. An impressive arsenal of upgradeable weaponry, as well as Skill Points which boost attributes, means you can stay half a step ahead of the chasing horde. What happens when you turn around to face them is another matter.
Partners in panic
How do you like your horror: personal or open to all? That's the question you'll be asked every time you start a new play session in Resident Evil 6 – all of the game bar Ada Wong's chapter can be played with a friend. In some cases, two more friends will stumble into your campaign when the sprawling plot throws you together.
Connect to PlayStation Network, assign one of your chosen characters to a friend and then venture out into a living nightmare. You'll each have your own inventories, so keep an eye on resources and make sure they go where they're most needed. Ammo and first aid sprays are particularly rare on the tougher difficulty settings, when sticking together really is the safest option.
Should you choose to venture out alone with a computer-controlled partner, you can still leave the way clear for another player to join you. By tailoring a few settings before you begin, you can let others know why you're playing. Then, a friend can seamlessly drop into your game and help you, whether you're playing just for fun or collecting those last few trophies.
Experience the crisis as one of the zombified masses in Agent Hunt mode to infiltrate another player's game and attempt to wreak your own carnage.