Review by unclehosh
"Did I play the same game the critics did?"
I have been a fan of the Resident Evil series since it first came out on the Playstation. Now, over fifteen years later, Resident Evil just had its 6th entry released. I was initially excited, but as is the case with most games, I began to lose interest. I nearly forgot about it until I saw the first several reviews. Most of the scores were promising, which helped me become excited yet again. However, a dozen great reviews would be followed by a dozen negative ones. The average score as far as I know is a 6/10. However, very few critics gave it that score. Resident Evil 6 has gotten 9's and it has gotten 1's. I ignored everyone and decided to look into the game myself. I loved it, and rarely did I encounter a single issue mentioned in those reviews. I truly wonder if those critics played the same game as I did. It seems Resident Evil 6 will always be a game in which the gamers are split.
Resident Evil 6 is a gorgeous game. The environments are richly detailed, beautifully lighted, and cleverly designed, making some of the best areas in the series since the second game. However, Resident Evil 6 took a few steps back in terms of character design. While none of them are terrible looking, their actual design seems worse than the realistic skin textures and body builds in Resident Evil 5. Many of the zombies have a cartoonish look to them, which seems a little out of place within the great environments. The larger creatures are unbelievably designed, and some of the cut scenes are epic beyond description. The game suffers from too much slow motion in the heavier action segments, but many have come to expect this after the movies. It still bugs me that the in-game models are not used during the cutscenes, which is something featured in most games these days. The frame rate remains solid throughout, only messing up during the faster paced sequences.
Music and Sound -8/10
The music in Resident Evil 6 gets the job done efficiently. During sections of the game in which there is a clear emphasis on horror or puzzles, many gamers may find themselves thinking of the menacing music played during the first game. During action sequences, the music is fast and upbeat, making the game that much more enjoyable. However, most of the tunes are similar to each other, and not a single one is catchy or memorable. The sound effects are fantastic and believable. Gun fire is loud and startling, enemies shout orders to each other as they cooperate to take you down, and the voice acting is top notch.
The story in Resident Evil 6 has an excellent concept, but it is somewhat poorly executed. While the actual storyline is easy to understand and interesting to follow throughout the game, there are some key issues in the narrative. The first is motives. Upon confronting the main antagonist of the game, Leon asks them why they did it all. Their motive is so unbelievably flawed that I laughed when I heard it. The writing is also a little stale, even for the action genre. Corny one liners and poorly phrased dialogue definitely makes the game a little less believable, which is a shame considering the global scale of the outbreak. Resident Evil 6 brings many old faces, such as Sherry Birkin or Ada Wong, back into the fold, but the real magic comes from the fact that each character has their own storyline, and many events from one overlap with events from the others. It is a unique formula that few games have experimented with. I also have to give credit to the actors for doing the best job possible with the poor dialogue. In terms of concept, the game begins in the country of Edonia. Chris is investigating the new virus, while Sherry is tracking Jake Muller. Skip ahead six months to where Leon is trapped on a college campus filled with undead and has to trust a woman he barely knows to get answers. The game travels around the world, giving players the ability to witness to scope of the attack on humanity. Thing pick up quickly, and, for the most part, things are straightforward. Resident Evil 6 tries to have a bit of mystery in the narrative since it offers multiple possibilities as to who is responsible for the attack, but for those playing Leon or Ada's campaign, it should be obvious by the end of their first chapter. Lastly, I also have an issue with the fact that Chris is in this game. His significance when compared to the other characters is surprisingly underwhelming. Leon, Jake, and Ada all have a role to play in saving the world, but Chris seems to be there for show.
Game Play- 9/10
I can safely say that the game play in Resident Evil 6 is better than just "solid" as many reviews put it. While it may take some time to master, it ends up being one of the best control schemes in the series. Not to mention the fact that it can be customized so that everyone finds a layout they can enjoy. What makes RE 6 so amazing is how much you are in control of your character. You can take cover, slide along the ground, roll to the left or right, sprint, vault over obstacles, shoot an enemy with the quick shot, dive on your back, and even manually control melee moves. For the most part, everything works pretty well. It can take a while to memorize which combination of buttons will allow you to perform which task, but once it clicks, the game becomes impossible without these new moves. I have a slight issue with the fact that the melee moves leave your character wide open to attacks, but they need to be used in moderation. Kicking an enemy in the face when surrounded will not end well. Also, there is a unique stamina bar that prevents overuse of melee moves and to keep things fair. In a pinch, you can slam on the trigger buttons to perform a quick shot, a desperate pinch of the trigger to prevent an enemy from hitting you at the last moment. It can save your skin in so many situations. The cover system and the ability to move and shoot should have been present since Resident Evil 4, but they work well regardless. With all the freedom of control, there are some issues. Characters run and walk too stiffly, and there is no way to turn without moving. This can get disorienting after a while, but you get the hang of things quickly. The boss battles are actually my biggest complaint with the game. While some of them are thrilling beyond description, such as a battle on the top of a high speed train, others are just plain ridiculous. One involved two people on the ground blasting away at a giant beast, while a helicopter unloads into its backside. The battle lasts well over ten minutes, and in real life, there wouldn't even be a body left after that kind of a beating. Situations like this are definitely over the top and ridiculous in a bad way. Now onto more good things about Resident Evil 6. Characters can be customized by purchasing skills with skill points dropped by defeated enemies or left in chests. Anything from boosting defense to making herbs more potent can make the game much more enjoyable. The game is very hard the first time, and there are plenty of opportunities for cheap deaths. The game is rife with quick time events, some of which are so erratically placed that it is not possible to anticipate them. To make matters worse, missing the queue usually results in instant death. To make things better is the fact that hitting the button on time often results and very gruesome and very satisfying deaths. My favorite aspect of the game is the fact that Resident Evil 6 really does not stick to one genre. Leon's campaign focuses on horror and desperation as you blast your way through massive hordes of undead with limited ammo. Chris's campaign focuses on over the top action and shootouts with mutated enemies called J'havo. His is the weakest of the four campaigns, but it is not terrible. My biggest issue is the fact that there is no change to the style. Most chapters are structured as follows: enter room, kill enemies, enter room, kill more, enter room, kill boss, enter room, witness cutscene. It's a good thing the great shootout mechanics keep the game exciting or I would say to skip over Chris's story line entirely.Jake's campaign is the most unique as it blends a little of everything. The first chapter focuses on shootouts, while the second chapter turns into a desperate and tense scavenge mission. The multiple encounters with the Ustenak, Jake's never ending stalker, make Resident Evil 6 share some similarities with the third game. Ada's campaign focuses on stealth, and borrows heavily from Batman: Arkham City as Ada zips around the world using her grappling gun. Some of her missions involve crawling around the air ducts and narrowly dodging self destruct sequences, while others involve providing sniper cover and avoiding a giant spotlight. Resident Evil 6 also marks the return of the ever-popular Mercenaries mode. With five stages, eight characters, each with their own separate weapon loadouts and costumes, and special skills, Mercenaries is more unique than ever. The new agent hunt mode is a great concept (attack humans while playing as the undead), but the controls are too complicated and glitchy. The larger J'havo get stuck on walls and crate, and rarely hit anything you want them to. Agent Hunt mode feels a little too rushed, but it's good that multiplayer in the campaign and in mercenaries works great.
Resident Evil 6 is a great game, and I recommend it to anyone. Sure, many fans feel that it focuses too much on action and not horror, but they are forgetting one thing. That feeling when a plane comes crashing over your head is a new type of horror. The pure terror and suspense that Resident Evil 6 makes you feel is something more real than in any other Resident Evil. When your heart races and your breathing stops, you know you are playing a good game.
Final Score: 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/16/12
Game Release: Resident Evil 6 (US, 10/02/12)
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