Between all the different flavours of zombifying virus, all the clones of clones, all the mad geniuses and evil corporations and all the retcons and remakes, Resident Evil's mythology is a muddy pit from which decipherable continuity has no escape.
Somehow, though, it was all coming to this; every accidental outbreak, every zombified animal, every experiment with the Plagas parasite, and every stolen vial of toxic goo was leading Resident Evil to the moment when the bio-terror cold war would go hot.
On opposite sides of the world, targeted terrorist attacks turn the city of Lanshiang, China and the American Tall Oaks University campus into twin ground zeroes in a new era of terrorism. Caught in the middle of both are Resident Evil's Chris Redfield and Resident Evil 2's Leon Kennedy, and somewhere between them in Eastern Europe is a mercenary named Jake Muller - a man you'd recognise better as Albert Wesker Jr.
Resident Evil 6 has three campaigns you can play in any order you please, starting with Leon in the US, with Chris in China, or with Jake in Idonia. Muller's campaign begins in the fictional Eastern European nation where he was born. The son of Albert Wesker, Muller's blood holds the cure for the Resident Evil 6's new C-Virus; in fact, Muller's blood can handle any consonant you can throw at it - C, T, G, or t+G - which makes him the most valuable man in the world during 2013's age of global bio-terrorism.
"Jake's story is a story of escape," says Resident Evil 6's Director, Eiichiro Sasaki; "he is being followed and he is trying to evade these forces that are trying to capture him in the middle of the Idonian civil war. The horror elements you can introduce in that type of story are different from other characters, and the way he will play is different, too."
His co-op partner is Sherry Birkin, all grown up and as much a mutant as Muller. Returning to the series for the first time since Resident Evil 2, Sherry is loaded with immunities of her own and has survived in US government custody for the best part of a decade without the G-Virus overwhelming her body. Together, Birkin and Muller are an unstoppable pair of near-invincible, self-regenerating superhumans, and their campaign is a melee fighter Capcom are waiting until E3 to properly reveal.
"After being interned by the US government she moved on and became a special agent. We've tried to come up with a play style for her and Jake that matches the new story we've given for her. We can't tell you directly all the things she can do just yet, but just know Jake and Sherry's play style will differ from other characters in the game."
Chris Redfield's story is an all-action shootout on the streets of the fictional city of Lanshiang, where a C-Virus attack in the city's centre has mutated the entire population in ways that mix the worst effects of the T-Virus, G-Virus, and Las Plagas. Once infected, creatures enter a Chrysalid state - coated by the same goo that makes up Resident Evil 6's once-you-see-the-giraffe-you-can't-unsee-it logo - before emerging in unpredictable new forms. Some behave like zombies, others retain their smarts and use simple melee weapons, and the very worst of them become J'Avos.
J'Avos can work together like soldiers, repair limbs like Resident Evil 4's Plagas-born Regenerators, and even use firearms and other complex weapons. Shoot off a limb and a new, randomly mutated limb grows back in its place, giving it further new abilities. "You can attack them anywhere and any bodypart can mutate into something new," says Resident Evil's Executive Producer, Hiroyuki Kobayashi. "Every time you attack a J'Avo it's a different experience, depending on how you attack them."