Review by Goukakyuu91

"The Resident Evil Series: Revived, Surviving, or Killed?"

Capcom has endured a lot of criticism for a while now, mainly since Resident Evil 5. The most tenacious of the fans say they're not happy with the direction the series has taken. I understand where they (and perhaps you) are coming from, as I myself am seeing the Devil May Cry series turn into something completely different. Nonetheless, I want to make it clear that this will be an unbiased review. First I heard this game was going to be like the old installments. Then I heard it was going to be like Resident Evil 5. The result? Read and find out.

STORY (7/10)

In Resident Evil 6, we follow Leon S. Kennedy and Helena Harper, Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans, Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin, and Ada Wong in four separate campaigns as they try to save the world from the zombie outbreak caused by the C-virus, which was dispersed by Neo-Umbrella. Chris has become a drunk after a tragic event, Leon lost his best friend the president to the virus, and Jake, well… he's lost something altogether different.

I have to say that the plot could be told better, as in Leon's case, it starts off right in the middle, and then reverts back to the beginning. This serves no purpose other than to spoil the plot, as the story could've simply started at the beginning with a tutorial. On the one hand, I liked the fact that the separate campaigns eventually converge, explaining some of the things that happened in the other campaigns that you couldn't understand at the time. On the other hand, this convergence is also quite frustrating when the cut scene you had already seen in another campaign shows up a second time. Not only that, but there's even a moment when you have to fight one of Leon's campaign's bosses again, this time as Jake. Since there's no difference between the two fights, it can only be considered lazy implementation.

Another flaw is that the plot doesn't turn out as spectacular as you would expect. Leon doesn't get too close to Helena, and the same goes for Chris and Piers and Jake and Sherry. A handshake and a pat on the back don't really do it for me. Aside from that, there's no sense of urgency. Do we really need to save the world, or have fun shooting the infected?

Overall, the plot, though interesting as a concept, came out lackluster and confused.

GAMEPLAY (5.5/10)

Resident Evil hasn't been the same since the fourth installment. In this game, we've got the possibility of shooting while walking, and sliding after running. I don't think that adds to the survival part of the game, but I suppose the tension was already gone since the introduction of the AI partner. Enemies are not frightening in the least, and the third person view doesn't help either.

Camera angles can be very frustrating at times, as the camera often zooms in on dangerous things. I experienced that when I was fighting the final boss of Leon's campaign. Every time it tried to hit me with its legs, the camera panned to an awkward angle somewhere beneath me to show those legs.

Your AI partner is quite skilled this time around. He or she will shoot enemies as often as you'd expect a human player to, and heals you as soon as you're down. There seem to be no glitches. I did notice one of the AI-controlled characters staring at a wall with a sniper rifle, but that happened only once, and very briefly.

The puzzles aren't puzzles at all; I remember statues emerging out of walls, and each had a single button I needed to push. If I didn't push the button soon enough, the statue would aim a laser at me and shoot. I really don't see the fun or challenge in that – do you? Neither did I see it when I needed to shoot five church bells, of which one was concealed.

The biggest gameplay flaw is the quick time events, which make up about forty percent of the game, or so it seems. You often need to rotate the thumb stick at inhuman speeds, and if you're not doing that, you need to push the button at exactly the right moment, for no good reason. Why not leave out the QTEs and allow the player to time button presses? Or simply attach a negative result to incorrect timing. For example, reduce the player's health if a button press moment is missed. As it stands, you lose sight of what's happening and focus completely on the button. Boss enemies are killed by the quick time events, not your tactical skill.

Mercenaries mode, a mode in which you have to get as high possible a score within the time limit, has returned. I'm afraid it isn't as good as in the past installments. You're not told if you're near death, and when you're dying, you now drop to the floor and can't get up unless your partner revives you, or if you can survive for about thirty seconds. This sounds like it's a good addition, but when you're playing single player, you have no chance. None. Unless you're not attacked by five enemies at once, for a change. As soon as you're hit, you're dead. See, this would have been a good time to include QTEs, but I suppose Capcom believes we should be punished for making mistakes, even though the results of those mistakes were bad enough.

The irony of it all is that the protagonists actually talk about the game's flaws. Helena or Leon said something like: ‘'this guy just doesn't quit''. You don't say! He's made four comebacks already. What did you expect? These kinds of gameplay shenanigans are unacceptable. Perhaps it would be acceptable if the bosses came back in a very creepy, unexpected way, but the game fails to be frightening.

I think Capcom should take a good look at what they're doing, because although the gameplay is fluid, it's simply a third person shooter at this point – especially in Chris' campaign. The puzzles and the camera need work, and it would be nice to include some horror. Some things like incorrectly implemented QTEs and gameplay mechanics are unacceptable. Overall, the gameplay is subpar.

GRAPHICS (9/10)

Resident Evil 6 looks fantastic, though not incredible. Sometimes, things like roads look like messes of pixels – usually when they're supposed to look damaged. The sea and skyscrapers look absolutely marvelous when the city's all jacked up and lit up like a Christmas tree. Like Leon says when praising Helena in battle – in a bit of a rapist-like way – ‘beautiful'.

So, the lighting is the best part of the graphics, but don't discount the textures just yet. The characters especially look great, and there's nothing as glorious as Leon's hairdo, most of all when it's wet. No homo. I was expecting Leon and Helena to do a barrel roll in the mud, though, but no luck. Mud, water, fire, it all looks good. Even mutated ass-faced enemies look pretty nice… in a non-attractive kind of way. However, there were instances when enemies who were supposed to look slimy really looked like they were covered in plastic or something.

There's plenty of contrast in the game, though the setting, while amazing in appearance, isn't always that great. You'll find yourself in a snowy area that consists, of course, mainly of shades of gray, and you'll end up somewhere in China, where everything's mainly red. At some point, you'll wish you got to a truly disturbing, atmospheric place.

What else is there to be said? The Xbox 360 can't produce anything that's better, I'd say.

SOUNDTRACK (7/10)

The first point I want to make is that the soundtrack is good, but it doesn't fit a game of the horror genre, as it's a bit bombastic and not frightening at all. In fact, the menu music sounds the most appropriate. In Mercenaries mode, there's a constant hyperactive tune in the background that kills any immersion that may have been experienced. Again, we must ask ourselves the question: is Resident Evil still a ‘survival horror third person shooter' game, or just a third person shooter with rocket launcher-wielding parasite zombies?

The second point is that the overall sound quality is substandard. I noticed this in Resident Evil 5 as well. It just seems like a filter was laid over it that muffles the sound a bit, but it doesn't add value to the game. In addition to that, the guns sound like they're made of cardboard, as a metallic sound is missing. Compare this to any other game, and you'll notice right away.

The acting is marvelous; the actors sound more invested in the events of the game, and I don't believe I can find any fault with the acting. Well, there is one. The actress who voices Ada Wong was overdoing it, as you'll find out – or not, I don't know whether or not you'll decide to purchase the game. Other than that, there are the Hollywood-like screams of citizens as the zombie outbreak starts.

Overall, the soundtrack is decent in the sense that it's satisfactory. However, most pieces are very similar to each other, and pieces as interesting as the menu theme won't be heard.

CONCLUSION

While it's admirable that Capcom tried to make the game appealing to the largest possible audience, I feel it was unnecessary. Games should be made not to generate the most income, but to be as unique as people like you and me. The similarity of Chris Redfield's campaign to Modern Warfare or what have you is inexcusable; we need a Resident Evil game, not a ‘third person shooter, only this time with rocket launcher-wielding zombies'. That won't affect the grade, however. More importantly, Resident Evil 6 fails to deliver something skill-demanding, and is mainly frustrating and mediocre in most aspects. The Resident Evil series: surviving, revived or killed? Surviving, but pleading for death and reincarnation.

The game's grade is formed by adding up the grades of the individual sections, namely story, gameplay, graphics, and soundtrack, and then dividing that number by the amount of sections - in this case five, as gameplay is counted twice because of its importance.
I rate this game a 6.8 out of 10, rounded up to a 7/10.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/26/12, Updated 11/05/12

Game Release: Resident Evil 6 (EU, 10/02/12)


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