So I want to comment on the co-op innovations Jeff was alluding to. From reviews, it sounds like on occasion the campaigns will cross over in real time, with online players from differing campaigns. And while I think this is a great core idea, I think the implementation sounds extremely flawed because A. You constantly have 2 player co-op forced on you, and B. with 3, 2 player co-op campaigns, there is no room left for NPC characters.
So for A. it means that for every campaign Capcom made they felt the need to create a completely disposable co-op character to go along with it. As a result of this chosen design path, RE6 is the biggest Resident Evil ever, but it lacks so many of the key players. Jill Valentine, Barry Birkin, Rebecca Chambers, Carlos Olivera have all been excluded from the plot.
It would have been a lot more effective if Capcom had created campaigns driven by 1 player, and actually designed gameplay systems around giving players the opportunity to cross over, work together, and interact at points.
Its a mistake to think that co-op in the conventional sense is at the core of RE's identity. It has always been about a real time simulated scenario, with multiple characters---almost like the video game version of 24.
In Resident Evil 1, there were multiple ways of getting the shotgun for instance. You could either get the broken shotgun, to prevent yourself from being crushed. Or if you did it at the right time Barry would save you. But furthermore, if you did it at the wrong time as Jill, Barry would not save you. Because in the logic of the game's timeline and scenario, he does not happen to be outside the door when the RE Mansion Human Panini Press is trying to make a Jill Sandwhich, and she is crying for help.
When you have a scenario that is so carefully crafted like that---it negates the notion that the story telling is bad because the voice acting is shoddy, or the dialogue wasn't translated well. The point is that the game is responding to the player's choices, and thus creating a more immersive experience.
So I think in this modern, online equipped context, perhaps you could let a player unlock a door to get to the person playing online as Jill, but unfortunately it will cost you a lock pick. And not only that, but Jill is at the other end of a hallway, she ran out of ammo herself and the hallway is full of zombies. But maybe she's been hoarding green herbs for the last hour of gameplay, so if you get to her, (on top of the story sequence) that is your reward. That is how to keep the integrity of the series, and make it modern----shooting mechanics be damned.
So the thing I wanted to say about point B. is that if you take a cast of 6 characters, living in constant pairings, there is no way to appreciate their mystery as individuals in the plot line. Part of what made Ada Wong such a memorable character in RE2, is that you did not know her true motives, because she was constantly sneaking away from Leon, and making up stories about her boyfriend.
So if you reduce her to a dead co-op cipher, she can't have any of those characteristics. She might as well be a rolling turret in a red dress. The tension in the stories of early Resident Evil games was from not knowing when you'll stumble upon another survivor, ally, or just a non-zombified person---be it snake bitten Joseph, who needs an antidote, little Sherry Birkin, or the deranged Police Chief Irons. Its a core tenant of zombie fiction in general to play on humanity's ability to cooperate.
I think this is also why modern Final Fantasy games seem so intelligent. In a JRPG you traditionally have a really large party. But along with that is supposed to come this really big, novelistic canvas to work with. You can take the time to visit a character's home town and explore their back story etc. When you funnel everything down a hall way, the environment can't sustain all the different personalities.