Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], Playstation 3
Rated: M for Mature
Resident Evil 6 has been out for more then a week now and Capcom has been taking a hard hit from an unpleased fan-base. Metacritic has been lit up with a slew of negative reviews and whinny kids who wanted a Resident Evil 2-esc savior to rain down from Capcom headquarters. Just like several other people have stated before, Resident Evil 6 isn’t your by-the-book horror game.
In hind-sight, it doesn’t look like anyone in the mainstream business has even shot for a true “horror” experience in the past 8 years. The last main stream title that comes to mind of actually achieving real horror is F.E.A.R 1 and Condemned. Obviously Capcom isn’t responsible for those titles either. Does this mean we can automatically label this game as garbage? No. The genre clearly states “Action and Adventure”. It isn’t like Capcom promised you the next RE2 and if we can have a few minutes of your time, an elaboration will follow.
For what Resident Evil 6 does mechanically and as an action game, it does it well. If you are looking for a horror game of times long past, I’m afraid you are 10 years too late. The golden age of horror games has long passed in my opinion. One of the things that made mainstream horror games scary was the surreal environments, poor textures, sounds, and graphics that accompanied them. Everything was poor in design so the uncanny-valley was never an issue in this regard. If you take in the idea that the shotty camera angles and spotty controls of Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3 were often times horrible… that is EXACTLY why it was scary as well.
The fact your were handicapped in a large measure really added to the experience. Mainstream and corporate panels usually stop companies like Capcom from making games that would be considered “not on par” with today’s standards. The story is different with indie games. Indie developers are not tied down in any way and they can venture to all the avenues of scares and design on those said scares. With the demographics shifting and technology getting better and better, the shift to pure Action-Adventure is not as unexpected as people make it out to be.
So now that we’ve acknowledged the elephant in the room, let us get down to discussing the main points to Resident Evil 6. In Resident Evil 6 you play through several different campaigns each with their own characters, story-lines, boss fights and unique experiences. The 3 main campaigns each give you two characters who have teamed up to take on different sides of the new C-Virus outbreak. Leon Kennedy (everyone’s favorite from RE4) meets Helena Harper at the start of his campaign who takes him on an adventure of urban survival and underground scavenging, in a story full of dark secrets.
Chris Redfield from RE5 gets inserted into the fight as Piers Nivans, his past squad-mate, brings him back into the struggle for humanity. Jake Muller meets Sherry Birkins (from RE2) who is tasked with delivering him out of harm’s way and into the hands of her associates. You can choose to play as either partner when playing each campaign and the other character will be controlled by either AI, a split-screen buddy, or a friend over Xbox Live. Each campaign has its own feel to it but the one that sticks closest to roots of a past Resident Evil games would have to be Leon’s campaign indefinitely. The intense factor is there and is where the game finds its darkest reaches.
There are plenty of quick-time events in Resident Evil 6. Some are really tastefully done but others seem forced in and unnecessary. Speaking of unnecessary, there are a lot of moments that are RIDICULOUSLY over the top. Not necessarily a surprise in any regard but the annoyance comes in when they are blatantly forced into many situations in the game. Sure, its an Action game, so we should expect these events to be included. Honestly however, quick-time is incredibly overused and the “crashing/exploding/falling vehicle” ploy in addition seems to kill any tense influence intended at all. A ridiculous example has been given below:
Did I just watch Resident Evil 6 footage or was that a Mission Impossible 5 trailer?
And as far as major complaints go, that is really just the biggest grip we can muster up. The partner AI can be a little dumb at times but it mostly proves to be helpful and take care of itself. Although, unless you don’t have friends of Xbox Live, an AI partner is the last way you want to experience this game. RE6 is a co-op shooter 110% of the way. If you don’t play with a friend, you are simply doing it wrong. Resident Evil 6 suffers from poor texture quality on A LOT of environment objects and structures. While this is not a game-breaking fault, it can ruin some immersion factor to the game. You will notice it early on when playing but once you start getting into the cream of the game, you won’t be staring down the environment textures so much anymore.
So you have a action-centered Resident Evil 6 game so where does the intensity factor strike us best? From personal experience, the best way to play the game is on Veteran or Professional difficulties. More zombies, less ammo, and better intensity. You will be so focused on not dying that you will be on the edge of your seat the whole time. There are plenty of mutants to shoot at and blockbuster boss fights to be had. And while you may not find a better antagonist then Wesker, this game delivers some seriously messed up bosses to counter-act it. Resident Evil 6 is a good high-octane experience whose story is best understood when you play all 4, yes, FOUR campaigns. After you complete the 3 main campaigns, a special campaign will unlock for you! We won’t spoil it for you however.
Besides your campaign mode and the return of Mercenaries mode, you also have a new mode called “Agent Hunt”. This mode allows you to join someone’s campaign session and take control of a creature close to the other players. Your job is to grief the hero players and hopefully take them down in the process. This mode is short, sweet, and to the point. It is extremely satisfying when taking down a player and knowing that it was all because of you. The only real complaint here is the ridiculously hard controls for zombie movement. They are way too stiff for anyone’s liking. Following these 3 modes, 3 additional modes are to be released as DLC in the coming days.
Fans really need to accept reality when it comes down to what Resident Evil 6 actually is. It’s not the same experience you were being given 10 or so years ago. Times have changed and so has the franchise. The story to RE6 is interesting in its own right while the mechanics and deliverance are exactly what you would expect from an action-centered game. Could the game have been done a little better? It is possible. Does it really matter when you consider the whole package? No. Resident Evil 6 is a nice culmination of the games in the series past and delivers a well rounded co-op experience that is best played at the hardest difficulties given and with a partner at your side. If you do it any other way, you just aren’t getting the full experience that was intended. This game is a definite buy. I don’t care what anyone else says.
Overall Rating: 4.25/5