Review by katastrophie
"Wow Capcom You've Really Done it This TIme"
Resident Evil 6, the new game in the currently deteriorating franchise, and oh boy does this game further cement that notion. Capcom tries some new gameplay mechanics and story direction with their new puppy but ultimately they don't add to what Resident Evil is, instead it changes the core concepts too much and tumbles down into the sea of the shooter phase that unfortunately seems to be the trending pattern in gaming these days.
Once you start the game you are given the option of choosing between 4 different campaigns. No longer are you with one main character/s but with a bevy of familiar and some new welcoming faces. Splitting up the games story into 4 different scenarios was a interesting change and playing each of them and finding out what led to this and that was intriguing in itself, the whole concept of splitting stories to see the whole was a fresh idea. It didn't break up the story but added to it and that's one of the few things that are good about RE6. The new characters presented are a nice welcome to the cast of the resident evil universe and some are quite fleshed out personality wise. I enjoyed Helena Harper quite a bit, she seemed real and looked pretty nice too (most RE girls do). She joins Leon which is still the same old Leon but maybe a bit more sarcastic. Along with them you get Chris Redfield (no longer with huge biceps, sorry ladies) and newcomer Piers, Jake and Sherry Birkin and Ada which seemed she has gone through some sort of plastic surgery or something because she looks quite odd in this version. Everything comes together and the pieces of the story play out as you play though each campaign, there really isn't a proper order so you can do anyone's without feeling left out. The big driving point of the story involves Ada and in each campaign adds to the mystery but it's kind of a cheap way to get the player to continue because ultimately the story wasn't really interesting and trudging through the awful gameplay to see it wasn't worth it.
The gameplay in RE6 is definitely a ton more actiony than in any previous RE to come before it, and this isn't necessarily a good thing. You'll be fighting some good old fashion zombies, some mutated people with guns (oh joy), and maybe a unique disfiguring enemy or two, also don't forget large and grandiose bosses which are actually pretty fun to fight. You won't be doing all this alone either your partner will be along side you for the ride as either the omnipotent AI or random person online which will help you on your quest to slay as many monsters as possible. Enemies take a decent hit to fell, even a head shot doesn't bring them down you have to pop those suckers 3 times in the head before it explodes in glorious fashion. If they get a hold of you prepare to wiggle and waggle your stick or tap buttons since QTEs are a plenty in this one. Though the enemy QTEs aren't so bad as they aren't that easy to pull off in the heat of the moment and they help when you do it so as not to take up so much damage since the enemies do take up good chunks of health. But some QTEs and scenes end up interrupting the game, one moment you're shooting some enemies next moment before you know it you're in a cutscene, this is actually the case for one of the boss fights and it was a nice fight when you weren't being pushed into the next scene over and over it's just not placed properly and makes the player feel disconnected. Some fan favourites are back such as teh Chainsaw enemies in all new inside out skin costume and Regenerators though they both fail to be anything more than a bullet sponge than rather threatening or worrisome enemies.
Shooting, there's a ton of it in this one. When you shoot the target reticle moves and jerks around so it can be hard to get a clean shot on the head which is a nice feature so you actually have to aim your shots properly, you can also change your sight to laser point in the options because there is no gun shop for you to get upgrades instead you get a skill shop to upgrade your character. You get points for killing things and completing objectives after the end of the chapter you can pick from a list of skills that increase a bunch of things such as more item drops, more attack power, defense etc but most of these on normal difficulty will just make the game even easier which is why playing without them made the experience slightly more bearable and ammo is still easily available to blast your way through. But If shooting isn't your thing you could always melee those baddies to death with vicious blows, many stomps to the body or head, and a character unique throw that usually explodes heads instantly. This is the new melee system that gives you a bunch of moves to do, but you can't just spam them and hope to win. There is a stamina meter and when it's finished it'll take a while to recharge, when it's recharging you can't sprint or do melee but you can still shoot. Of course you don't have to wait for it to recharge slowly, a quick rest on the ground will speed up the recharge rate immensely and allow you to continue the MMA assault on your zombie buddies. You can also roll around on the ground, slide forward, jump backwards to avoid shots, cover behind walls and counter enemy attacks. You can't roll forward which is an odd choice and probably would have been more useful than what it actually gives you. Sliding is fun to do but can only be done while sprinting, and only seems useful to slide into a crate to break them, it's a bit of fun. Jumping backwards seems cool and feels like something out of Max Payne but you can't shoot while your in mid jump, only when you land on the ground so it kind of takes the fun out of it. The cover mechanic isn't handled well at all and is often not needed, it's very awkward to use and just walking and shooting (that's a thing now) is more than enough to deal with your threat. The camera when covering can be hit or miss, it'll often switch views to left or right automatically and this gets annoying. But it does feel a lot better in RE6 than in past games and character movement is less restrictive but still has that re4/5 feel. Moving while shooting is slow so it doesn't break the game and while you move the target reticle moves also making it harder to land a shot. Also the camera would have this weird effect when sprinting where it changed the view and centered it but you can change it in the options. Countering feels pretty rewarding when you pull it off, it takes timing and shows a nice animation kill or attack on the enemy but why do that when you have tons of ammo available to you to shoot things at.
No more ammo conservation, instead you're just running down tunnels or linear environments shooting things. There is a heavy lack of exploration unlike RE4/5 where they give you a nice little village or area to explore, instead in RE6 you have crates to bash in to get more ammo which the enemies themselves drop pretty often. There are collectables such as emblems that give you nice background information on the series characters but they feel way to easy to obtain, some are right in your face when you enter an area. Emblems could have given the game a reason to explore but they are placed in a linear fashion just like the rest of the game. Herbs are back in special new pill form but they no longer increase maximum HP instead they restore a block of health and you might find yourself popping them in from time to time. The pill idea was actually a nice touch and the amount of herbs you get throughout a level aren't that much so finding health becomes something of a struggle. Being able to press the triangle button just 3 times within 2 seconds to get some health is very efficient especially when there are so many heated moments in battle. Your partner can also shove pills down your throat when you get knocked out, ahh the beauty of partnership. Don't hold onto those herbs for too long though, since you'll find yourself with an inventory problem. The inventory is very limited especially when you get more guns then ammo for those guns, inventory slots get used up quick. You want to save that red herb for when you get a green herb? Sure, why not, but when you find a green herb prepare to expend some bullets or a grenade so you can pick the green herb up then combine it. It would be much easier if you can combine it right there but I guess that was too complicated.
There were a couple interesting parts in the game such as one part in Leon's campaign in that you were in a somewhat open graveyard where zombies would occasionally sneak up on you, they surprised me a couple of times but that's where all the "horror" ends. Leon's story provides some puzzles albeit easy ones and a couple nice boss fights. One being a crazy ugly monster running around and infecting people and the other being a mix of mutated animal transformations that just won't die. Chris's story is mainly one big shooter fest but with a nice ending and Jake's campaign is pretty much the same except the "catch" is being chased by a Nemesis wannabee who doesn't in the least make the player think they are in trouble or are going to die horribly. One part in Jake's story put you in a snowy mountain complete with a fully functioning mini map! Too bad the area had nothing interesting in it and led you to believe there was going to be a fight to the death RE4 cabin style battle but just puts you back on that linear path with a snowmobile race to the finish. Ada's is more interesting in that it introduces some puzzles, remember those? Also some stealth moments that don't really amount to anything, since of course yet again you can shoot your way out easily. The whole driving point for the story involves Ada and despite the disappointing gameplay you might find yourself going along just to find out what happens. The total gameplay time would amount to around 6-8 hours for each campaign but they are all so dull that it's pointless to go forward with them, even if you're hoping for a good story. The extra modes are the mercenaries, a fan favourite and a new mode called Agent Hunt. Agent Hunt is quite interesting in that it let's you play as any enemy in the game, and there are a bunch of them, to kill other human players during the story mode. It definitely not easy especially when you're a crappy enemy, the hit detection and controls are wonky but for balance sake it's needed but boy is it ever frustrating. Mercenaries is the same old deal but adds a few little new things such as hidden enemies, bosses, more point multipliers, plus your character skills will definitely come in handy as this mode seems much more harder than in previous titles. It's fun for what it is. There are other gameplay modes but they are DLC, so if you really enjoyed this game then you might want to check in with those. As you can see from my lack of explanation I chose not to acquire them. There are extras such as figures like in RE5 and very hearty texts that tell you all about the characters and story of the game but you'll need to get the serpent emblems to find but as covered before that would be an easy task, not a bad reward though if you like reading and zooming in on figures.
All in all it was not a pleasure to play RE6. It felt like the series took a massive step back and Capcom should readjust their thinking on this franchise because if it continues down this path no good would come out of it. Plenty of fans enjoy the series for what it was and maybe what it was is what it should be.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 01/22/13
Game Release: Resident Evil 6 (US, 10/02/12)
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