REVIEW: Resident Evil 6
Title: Resident Evil 6
Platform: X360 / PlayStation 3 / PC (reviewed on X360)
TL;DR: There really is No Hope Left.
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Resident Evil 6 is one bear of a game. Capcom was not kidding when they said they’d be expanding things, and expand the hell out of it they did. Introducing new characters they really shouldn’t have and now having three campaigns that interlace with each other, RE6 was huge.
The Department of Better missed the train.
Mixed with a convoluted plot about bioterrorism, kidnapping, antibodies, corporate spying, evil twins, and helicopter-jumping-motorbike skills, the gameplay itself is very, very clunky in the beginning stages of Resident Evil 6. I admit that if I had spent more time getting to know the controls, I probably would have had just a little more fun playing the game.
Alas, that was not to be.
Sure, you’ve got the third-person-shooter view made popular by the likes of Gears of War and Dead Space, but it’s definitely missing something. Complete with an entirely un-cooperative camera and being dropped into “what the fuck do I do now” situations, RE6 will feel more like a job to play than anything fun. One of its few saving graces are that AI teammates, should you choose to play alone, are indestructible and won’t take away from your ammo dumps, as bullets are precious and hard to come by if you don’t have the Item Drop skill in your possession.
Frustrating? A real damn understatement. But seriously, if you hunker down and tinker around with the controls and get used to the quirks this game has, then there might be some semblance of fun to be found among the streets of China and in the dark of Ivy University.
The story, though. Oh, the story. Where do I start? The short version is this: the overall plot begins in Edonia, on Christmas Eve in 2012. Neo-Umbrella has been planning a bioterrorist attack, and have managed to develop a new virus strain called the C-Virus. Jake Muller carries antibodies for this new strain, and the world is out to get him. He’s accompanied by none other than Sherry Birkin, one of the survivors of Raccoon City in 1998, and they’re looking for their way out and back to NSA man Simmons, Berkin’s supervisor.
Enter here Chris Redfield and the BSAA, a counter-bioterrorist unit sent into Edonia to investigate the area and claims of the new virus appearing. He’s paired up with newcomer Piers Nievans, who you can tell by Chapter 2 will end up being the Star Trek red-shirt. Nonetheless, cross-over one happens as Chris, Piers, Jake, and Sherry encounter gigantic C-Virus things in the middle of Edonia.
One of the frequent problems given to you by Capcom is a complete lack of clues on how to proceed. While past Resident Evil titles didn’t rely so heavily on combat and instead focused on witty room puzzles, RE6 seemed to have trouble accepting this and instead sets you down on a downward spiral of “What the fuck do I do now” moments. This giant battle in the middle of Edonia will be your first test of patience. Five emptied gun clips and a few facepalms later, I finally was able to move on in the campaign.
As Jake and Chris part ways, the story brings you to China, where there’s increased reports of the C-Virus spreading and nobody knows what to do about them. As Chris, you’re asked to save some hostages for some reason that isn’t made clear, while Jake and Sherry escape captivity from being poked and prodded for antibodies and stuff like that. Leon’s here too, but it’s to stop Simmons from starting a government cover-up.
As the plot carries on, villains are revealed, and in a multitude of those “here’s a boss who will keep coming back over and over and over again” moments, you’ll probably start to wonder if anybody had creative ideas about the boss battles. Much like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, this game probably would have been a better overall experience if it hadn’t been for poorly designed boss fights.
Each campaign in itself has high points and incredible low points. I decided to start by playing Jake’s campaign first and working backwards to Leon’s. Was that a wise decision? I’d say it was, since Leon’s campaign seemed to be the most cohesive and best experience of the game. In Jake’s campaign, the highlight is your partner — Sherry Berkin. First introduced to us back in the good old days of Resident Evil, she’s suddenly grown to be badass and comes across as somebody you might like. Jake, on the other hand, feels like a cheap Dante-clone with his corny one-liners and overly cocky attitude. The fact that he’s a new character in a canon already stuffed full of fan favorites doesn’t help his case either — if anything, he felt more like a plot vehicle than an actual character.
Chris’ campaign felt better put together in the early stages, but once he reaches the midway point in his story, things begin to unravel. In a story with set pieces that are far too similar to Jake’s campaign, it felt almost like playing the same chapters again twice, except with more Dude Guy Man Brah in Chris’ case. There’s also a lot more shouting and more Batman Robin antics.
Were they worth playing though? Sure, if you want all the pieces of the overall picture. However, if you were hoping for mild hair-raising moments and more traditional “think before you act” play, you’d best play Leon’s campaign and leave it at that. Set in an entirely different area of the world from Chris and Jake, Leon’s story is definitely more put-together and thought out than the rest of the game. If only the writers had taken this much care with Chris and Jake…
Committing another canonical crime, Capcom chose to introduce yet another newcomer, named Helena Harper, as a plot point. Well all right, it’s not her that’s the plot point, but rather it’s her sister. Set just a day before the massive outbreak of the C-Virus in China, Leon’s story will take you through an entirely different world than that of Chris and Jake. It was very refreshing, and I was actually glad I decided to play Leon’s campaign last because I was sick of Edonia, China, and that underwater lab. Maybe I managed to get a grasp of the controls at this point too, because the game felt easier to play in Leon’s instance.
So what would my overall recommendation be? Be patient with this game. This isn’t traditional Resident Evil by any means. If you were expecting it to be like that, then you’re totally barking up the wrong tree. Diehard fans of the franchise will want to play it no matter what — it does bring back fan favorite characters and such, but sadly it still won’t tell us anything about Chris’ sister Claire Redfield. It’s tragic that such an iconic character has been left behind time and again, and she’s once again left behind in RE6 except in name. For gamers who are simply curious about what RE6 is all about, you’ll more than likely not ever want to touch another Resident Evil title after this outing unless you absolutely have to.
Let’s lock and load.
- Visuals are lovely.
- Controls take a lot of time to get used to, but once you get it, the game becomes much easier to play.
- Leon’s campaign is the best experience you’ll have of this game.
What the, I don’t even…
- Convoluted plot falls apart once all three campaigns collide in China.
- [Insert large number] of appearances by the same enemy boss? Really?
- There’s an over abundance of QTEs across all campaigns.
- Capcom likes to troll with “What the fuck am I supposed to do” moments.
- Unnecessary introduction of new characters that would become the red shirt on a Star Trek set.
- The entirety of Jake’s campaign.
Resident Evil 6 is currently available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
There’s zombies, partial nudity, lots of blood, and lots of crunchy things happening. I mean, if you think little kids should play this kind of game, you’re a terrible parent. End of story.