Last week, Jeff and I had a chance to preview Capcom’s 2012 lineup for PS3, which currently consists of Asura’s Wrath, Dragon’s Dogma, Street Fighter X Tekken, and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Read on to learn more about this eclectic mix of games, and leave your questions in the comments so we can provide more details!
Street Fighter X Tekken
First, we sat down with Capcom’s resident fighting expert Seth Killian to discuss the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken, which blends the fluid 2D elegance of Street Fighter with the rough-and-tumble brawling of Tekken. We were particularly curious to learn about Gems, which work as customizable loadouts for your fighters, and how inFAMOUS 2’s Cole McGrath will stack up in battle. Watch the video for more on this eagerly anticipated PS3 and PS Vita fighter.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
SID: With Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Capcom and Slant Six seek to unite the suspense of the genre-defining Resident Evil series with contemporary squad-based military shooting and a healthy dose of online co-op for up to four players. The narrative fills in the story gaps between the first three Resident Evil titles, so you’ll explore settings and sequences from an entirely different perspective while guiding USS Delta Team “Wolfpack” on its grim mission to destroy all evidence of Umbrella’s nefarious deeds — up to and including the assassination of Resident Evil 2 protagonists Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. As you carve through zombies, clueless security guards, and the odd Super Tyrant, you’ll collect VHS tapes and Zip drives (how quaint!) to fill in the backstory and accumulate XP towards unlocking new weapons and special abilities.
JEFF: It’s amazing how a change of setting can completely alter the otherwise familiar feel of a tactical third-person shooter. However, if you thought RE5 messed with the Resident Evil formula, Raccoon City throws it out completely – not a criticism, but know what you’re getting into here. You’ll be controlling the bad guys (Umbrella) and they’re much better funded than S.T.A.R.S. You won’t be scraping by with puny 9mm bullets, but rather blowing apart anything that moves with a wealth of weapons at your disposal. The most interesting thing to me was the unusual variety of character types. I demoed “Four Eyes,” a scientist with the ability to manipulate the infected. Using the Triangle button, I switched to the control dart, fired into a crowd of zombies, then used R3 to send my now highly suggestible friend off to fight my battles for me. When it finished off the room, I repaid my minion with a face full of shotgun scatter. Sometimes, life just isn’t fair.
A shame we weren’t able to demo the game with full four-player co-op – I think that’s where Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will reach its full potential.
JEFF: Do you find the wrathful, rage-filled Kratos to be a bit too… mellow? Or perhaps you wonder why boss characters aren’t bigger. Like… bigger than the Earth. Asura’s Wrath was made with you in mind. The four chapters we experienced were filled with incredible hyperbole; punching missiles back at a giant starship, fighting a demigod equipped with a 30,000 mile long katana… on the moon. And then there’s Wyzen, the boss demigod who eventually dwarfs you by such a massive scale that you can only attack his thumb. Asura’s Wrath makes even over-the-top games like God of War and Bayonetta seem restrained by comparison.
SID: Asura’s Wrath is an intriguing blend of sweet and savory tastes, not unlike hot and sour soup or kombucha. It’s got bombastic beat ‘em up sequences, massive boss encounters, and quick time events reminiscent of God of War, but the action is coupled with a hyperkinetic visual style inspired by anime bruisers Dragonball Z and Fist of the North Star. The action evolves rapidly and seamlessly, and one battle may shift from an on-rails shooting sequence to a chase scene to a conversation to a crowd beatdown before it finally ends in an over-the-top boss battle. The pace is blistering, the scale is sprawling, and the villains long-winded. What’s not to like? Asura’s Wrath lands on PS3 this February 21st. Hey, that’s one day before PS Vita!
SID: The very first point on my notepad reads “the character creator is scarily in-depth.” Dragon’s Dogma has the most extensive character creator I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot. In this open-world fantasy RPG, you can forge a hero of almost any size, shape, and color and then festoon him or her with all manner of scars, wrinkles, and physical attributes. I appreciated how the physical size of your hero defines their combat prowess. Creating a huge, musclebound character will automatically bestow him with the ability to wield oversized swords and hammers, while a smaller character will receive bonuses in agility and speed. As for me, I’ll be creating a seven foot-tall lady barbarian with a pendulous gut and embark on a fantastic quest. It’s been my lifelong dream!
JEFF: No, your lifelong dream was eating the world’s biggest hoagie. What’s interesting is that you don’t just create your own character, but that you put an equal amount of effort into your NPC companion, the “Main Pawn.” There’s a story behind all that which has yet to come to light, and some of it is hinted at in the new trailer seen here. Consider my interest piqued.
The concept of an open-world RPG with prominent dragons immediately had me thinking of Skyrim, but after seeing Dragon’s Dogma in action, I don’t think the comparison is apt. In our demo, we encountered a golem, which became an optional sidequest. The stone creature was quite large, and with his super-long life bar, I was reminded more of Monster Hunter than anything. Our character at this point was in command of three NPC pawns which filled various roles during the battle. For instance, we were able to request a healing spell with a tap on the d-pad. While the golem was engaged with our teammates, our player was able to traverse the environment, climbing up a rock formation to an arrow turret, which greatly weakened the creature. We were also able to clamber up onto the golem itself, Shadow of the Colossus-style, to wail on a weak point and finish it off. The whole encounter lasted over 10 minutes – now I know why the game made that quest optional.