ROME – Capcom has a team of approximately 600 people working on one of the most-anticipated games of this year – Resident Evil 6. Executive Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi is overseeing this massive undertaking, which is offering gamers three experiences for the price of one. RE6 features three unique stories, which can be played in any order. And the game offers up two protagonists per story, allowing for cooperative play throughout the entire experience. Kobayashi addressed some of the new features at Captivate 2012.

Can you talk about the scope of this game?

Leon S Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Jake Muller – three protagonists, three stories, each has their own story in the game. You can start as any one of these characters and play through their story. Every story is intertwined. This marks the first time Chris and Leon are meeting in Resident Evil history. There’s an overlap in the way these stories unfold. Having Leon and Chris and Jake and Chris together, how they’re connected is one of the pleasures of the game.

What’s the atmosphere like in this game?

We’re taking survival horror to next level. Your worst fears lurk behind every corner. We’re going beyond the boundaries of everything you’ve ever experienced before. We have some really special creatures in this game designed to really frighten you. We’re going back to the original game where you were scared all the time. We’re putting back all the spills, thrills and chills of Resident Evil games. We’re maxing out everything to deliver something really huge, something you haven’t experienced before.

What’s different about the zombies in RE6?

The zombies are back. They’ve been absent a while. We’re happy to reintroduce them to the franchise. But they’re not your typical zombies. We’ve changed them. They can now carry weapons and items that they’d picked up when human, and still hold on to them as zombies. Some can dash and jump and leap over things. These aren’t the typical zombies you’re used to.

What other types of creatures are in the game? 

The J’avo are smart and they heal fast when you shoot them and mutate into your worst fears. Depending where you attack them, that body part will mutate into another form. It’s always a different experience when you fight them, depending on how you attack them.

What’s causing this round of monsters?

The C-virus brings them and the new zombies into the world. Like the T-virus and G-virus before, it can affect the creatures in the game. It’s new and something you’ll really enjoy when you play this game. One example is the Chrysalide, which is only a prelude of horror the to come. When the C-virus wraps around someone in Chrysalide, they’re reborn into something horrific. But what comes out of that cocoon is anyone’s guess.

What type of health system is there?

We’re not relying on herbs in this game. Instead, you use herbs to make tablets and use tablets to recover health. You can press one button if you need health and eat a tablet at any time.

What have you improved with the co-op gameplay?

Two people can play simultaneously through split screen. In Resident Evil 5 if someone wanted to join a game, you had to go back to the last checkpoint. We’re not doing that now. You don’t need to stop the game or go to a specific checkpoint to jump in. And the game supports both online and offline co-op. When you have split-screen gameplay it might be confusing, so you can change the UI to any position left or right. It helps distinguish who you’re playing as and what’s going on in the game.

What other gameplay modes will there be?

The Mercenaries mode is back. It was popular in Resident Evil 4 and 5. But unlike those games, you can play this mode from the beginning. We’d be happier if you played the three protagonist stories first, but the choice is yours.

What else do you have in store for this game?

This was only tip of iceberg.