Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: October 2, 2012
It’s been a week since Resident Evil 6 hit stores here in the US and the overall consensus is very mixed. I’ve been playing every night since launch, and my conclusion? Resident Evil 6 has a great story. The gameplay, however, while above average is very lackluster compared to other Resident Evil games in the franchise. Resident Evil has definitely evolved from its original release in 1996 from a genre defining survival horror game into a full-blown action game.
- The story stays true to classic Resident Evil games and doesn’t disappoint
- The cut scenes and the visuals are aesthetically pleasing
- Mercenaries and Agent Hunter mode gives RE6 that something extra to do once you’ve completed the game
- Capcom’s servers are bad & you constantly get dropped from the game when playing with a partner
- Some glitches were bad requiring quitting the game and restarting
- Lacking in difficult puzzles and the famous horror that put it on the map
Let's start with what you do know. RE6 follows four different campaigns: Leon/Helena, Chris/Pierce, Jake/Sherri and Ada Wong. All of which are intertwined and intersect with each other pushing the characters forward in their attempts to stop a new organization “Neo-Umbrella”. When Neo-Umbrella finds out that the President is going to release a statement announcing what really happened in Raccoon City, they step in and release the T-virus on the public and the President. Neo-Umbrella has perfected a new virus called the C-Virus, which turns humans into zombies that they can control. These events trigger our protagonists to try to stop Neo-Umbrella before they take over the world.
The dynamic between the characters in Resident Evil is a big part as to why the story stays interesting. That being said Capcom’s RE6 did it again, with the option to play through the campaign with another person so that you’re not treading through zombie hoards alone. Full campaign co-op is still rare on the current consoles, especially story driven games, not counting titles like Army of Two. I decided to take advantage of being able to play through the game with a friend. To me, playing through Leon’s campaign with my friend made RE6 much more fun and entertaining, compared to other story driven games which require you to play alone. It took me longer to go through RE6 with a partner but it was very much worth the experience.
When playing alone, the AI’s role in the game is almost nonexistent, the only time it really made a difference was when I needed to be healed or needed the second player to go though a door at the same time as myself. But co-op is by far superior to going solo; the only issue I have come across is that Capcom’s servers are unreliable and you will lose connection with the other person you’re playing with a lot. At least once every time I played with a friend, we lost connection with each other and it would happen oftentimes in boss fights. Than there were a couple glitches where being able to shoot a zombie on the ground was ineffective or leading an AI (non main character) through the White House, would get stuck on a table or chair and we would have to back out entirely from the game and restart at the last checkpoint.
Being that I do not play games with a lot of shooting involved, I found the controls surprisingly easy to pick up. The controls were built so that they could be used quickly and efficiently when being swarmed by zombies. Anyone can pick up the actions quickly and figure out how to use items on the fly. I liked how quickly I could mix the herbs together and/or choose a grenade to throw with a couple clicks on the D-pad - although, most veteran shooting fans would probably find RE6’s controls mediocre at best. And even though many people thought that the quick-time actions were pointless and annoying, I enjoyed them and they really kept me on my toes, constantly paying attention to what is going on around me. It felt as though I was apart of the cut scene when I would need to press a button repeatedly or swirl the joystick to dodge. And last, but not least, walking and shooting deserves praise. The moment you’re able to shoot and move is a hallelujah moment.
Resident Evil 6 is not a game for anyone that is not a fan of the series. It’s the kind of game that you play for the story and not for the game mechanics. However, the story is fantastic and it’s like playing through a movie you really enjoy. Resident Evil 6 plays like Uncharted or even more like Heavy Rain at times. Almost every event, big or small, will work its way to a cut scene where you can progress in the story and character development. The intro of RE6 gets you hooked as soon as you wake up as Leon on the street, injured and confused. You continue to walk down the street carrying Helena over your shoulder and try to find cover. As you find an area to rest you set Helena on the ground and finally encounter your first zombie that you need to put down. Suddenly you get a call from Hunnigan checking to see if you’re alive, leaving you with many questions; what happened, what’s going on? You pick up Helena and continue moving to the next checkpoint, but something is off. And than all of a sudden a huge morphed zombie stomps down in front of you. End of intro; the main menu comes up and you get to choose which campaign you want to start.
The intro left me with such a “oh my god what happened to Leon” moment that I immediately played through Leon’s campaign. Out of the three main campaigns, this was the most true to the Resident Evil genre and by far the best. Leon’s story line should have been the main focus of the entire game instead of splitting it into three parts. Playing through Chris’s campaign on the other hand was all about shooting and stand-off battles against J’avos (a.k.a. C-Virus zombies). It felt similar to a Gears of War’s cover-based shooting which made it the most disappointing to play and was very bland compared to the other two storylines. Jake’s campaign was the one I was most skeptical about since it was focusing on an all-new character and wasn’t sure how they would tie him in with the others. But I was happily surprised and absolutely adored his campaign and backstory. The dialogue and interaction between Sherri and Jake made it comical and fun with nonstop action. He has easily become by favorite Resident Evil character and I hope to see a game solely geared towards his adventures on taking down Umbrella in the near future.
As much as I enjoyed the game, there were definitely parts that made me stop and question how certain elements fit into a Resident Evil game. There is one part in particular that stands out as the most mind-boggling. It was during Jake’s campaign. Starting chapter four, you’re riding a motorcycle through China trying to escape the grasp of Neo-Umbrella. This was definitely a new bold attempt to change up the game, but unnecessary, and felt a little too much like Grand Theft Auto. I would have preferred a chapter full of classic puzzles with a few zombies thrown in than trying to escape by riding a motorcycle away from a helicopter. That really just missed the mark for me. But there were certain chapters in each campaign where there would be no boss fights at all and just running through the different cities. While other chapters would be just a boss fight to finish the chapter and that just made the boss fights excessively long and overly tedious. Checkpoints are not a bad thing and can definitely be more convenient than having to go find a typewriter and save. But not having that classic typewriter to save on was a little sad. When it came to saving before a checkpoint, it was the most frustrating thing I encountered. If you wanted to try another character’s campaign then go back later to resume your current mission, you would have to start all the way from the beginning of the chapter.
So if you are a fan of the Resident Evil series, I strongly encourage you to pick up the game and give it a try. But for those of you out there who are expecting Resident Evil 4 you’ll be bitterly disappointed; like the T-Virus, Resident Evil has evolved from a survival horror game into a huge action-adventure extravaganza. One final note, for my trophy/achievement hunters out there you can get about fifty six percent of the trophies by playing through the entire game on normal mode. Playing the mercenaries repeatedly or replaying RE6 over again on veteran mode can obtain most of the other trophies. There are only about six trophies that really require having to focus on completing the task. It is not an overly difficult job to get all the achievements or platinum in the game.
|Final Score||“For Serious Devotees Only”||8.0|
Resident Evil 6 may be lacking in some areas but the graphics are definitely not it. From actual gameplay to the cinematics, it was the most consistent part of the game.
The gameplay is lackluster and left something to be desired. Classic survival horror genre fans might miss the olden days of Resident Evil.
Several smaller campaigns have plenty of replayability, although lacking focus. Taking advantage of the Mercenaries and Agent Hunter mode after completing the game adds to replayability.
The crunches of the zombie’s head being smashed by the stock of my gun are disgusting in a good way. The voice acting was a mixed bag between each campaign, but overall, solid enough.
Review by Ashley Oconnor
Ashley or Ash as she prefers to be called (huge pokemon fan) is twenty two years old and sells video games by day, plays games by night and rock climbs in between. Follow her on twitter @ Ashleymarieoc to enjoy all the gaming ventures she takes part in.