Review by skeletorissatan
"Two steps forward, One Step Back"
Resident Evil is a constantly debated entity among the gaming community. To some, the series was only good for its first three outings, and for some Resident Evil 4 was the pinnacle of the series. Universally agreed, however, is that Resident Evil 5 was a dumbed down, middle of the road experience that attempted to create some form of atmosphere but failed due to its setting in the middle of the African sun light, which does not lend itself very well to the survival horror environment that Resident Evil almost single-handedly created. Resident Evil 6, however, corrects a few of the flaws found in the previous games in the series but also creates more than enough of its own. In this sense the game relates to an old saying: this game is nothing more than one step forward but two steps back for the long running series.
Resident Evil 6 is the sixth main series installment, setting place on the brink of the absolute end of the world. Making their return to the main series for the first time since Resident Evil 3 are the main antagonist of the series, the zombies, but they are joined by a new foe, the J'avo. The J'avo are highly intelligent, planning their attacks and generally interacting with each other, and in this we find the games first major triumph. The J'avo are a fantastic addition to the series, and remain creepy and enjoyable to fight. These are perhaps the finest thing about this game as there was clearly a lot of effort put into the design and creation of them and they feel as much a part of the Resident Evil universe as the bog standard zombies found in every single game in the series. The interaction between them that is found in the game is really a joy to behold and the AI has clearly had a fair amount of work put into it so this is certainly a positive for the game.
Another triumph is found in the story. The story to Resident Evil 6 is told through three individual campaigns, each with their own game play style. Chris Redfield returns in a third person shooter campaign, similar to his Resident Evil 5 journey. As Leon Kennedy, we find the first survival horror segments in a Resident Evil game since Resident Evil 3 on the PlayStation 1. And our new character, Wesker's son, Jake Muller, takes place in a rather more interesting campaign. There is a fourth one unlock-able upon completion, but I will say nothing on that, as it would be a spoiler. The actual campaigns themselves are fairly tightly designed with some nice touches added and some really cool cut scenes that make this an enjoyable enough cinematic experience akin to that of a high budget movie. However the actual game play of this for the most part is a boring shooter game that does very little to add to the series whatsoever.
The game play for all of these campaigns is strikingly different to one another. Chris Redfield's campaign is a boring, bland, second-rate shooter, that fails to do anything interesting whatsoever. This is the primary flaw with Resident Evil 5, and Capcom failed to fix this. Jake's campaign is interesting enough in the fact that the mechanics are completely changed from what the series is known for, and therefore his campaign remains the most enjoyable, as he is super powered. Leon's is the best, however, as this really is a return to roots for the series, with the creepy atmosphere and chilling encounters, and lack of ammo to make things harder. Leon's campaign is the major triumph this game has.
Graphically, this is a beautifully designed game, with every character being well drawn out, and the rendering flawless. The environments are perfect to suit the mood for each campaign, with the creepy, haunting environments from Leon's campaign being the best. This stands toe to toe with some of the finest graphics of our time, and the company can be very happy that they managed to create such a beautiful and immersive experience as this. It is clear that the graphics were the part of the game that had the most work put into them as they look life like and are a huge step up from the environments found in Resident Evil 5 that, whilst being top end when that particular game was first released, are not long since obsolete. The hall ways that one will explore throughout this game retain an air of creepiness from the earlier games in the series and are certainly a much more enjoyable environment for the game to be set in than the sun-stricken mess that Resident Evil 5 turned out to be in places. The textures are well modeled and the characters all look life like although the actual writing for the characters is completely one dimensional. No character within this game has any back story to them whatsoever than a brief explanation of who they are and why they are doing what they are doing. There is not a character in this game that the average player can really connect with or understand and this is a massive failure on the behalf of the writing department.
Following the completion of this game, the player unlocks the Mercenaries mode making its return from previous entries in the series, in which he or she is faced by hordes of zombies. Wave after wave of them as they fight their way through an area, and this was very nicely implemented, whilst retaining a hard difficulty curve that makes it so interesting to play through. Despite many claims that this is not as well done as it was in the past entries of the series, I felt that the depth of this mode was so much fun, and very entertaining if you have a lot of time to kill.
The other mode unlocked upon completion is the all-new Agent Mode, in which you play as a Zombie that has to run around incapacitating the humans. This was the worst new addition to the series by a long way and should have been dispatched at the drawing board as the pointless idea that it is. This is Resident Evil not Left 4 Dead-the idea was originally to create a scary and terrifying experience, not to run around attacking human players aimlessly. This was the worst addition to the entire Resident Evil series and is so unbalanced and boring that it is unreal. The zombies handle really poorly and it is nearly impossible to turn your character around and so you will spend the majority of the duration of the Agent Mode dying due to the really bad control system.
The best new addition was the Skill Point system, which takes the place of the merchant from Resident Evil 4. This allows you to upgrade and customize your weapons when you get Skill Points that are frequently dropped by the various enemies that populate this game. This was really nicely created and gives you a feeling of being in a RPG game. The cover system that was added is also fun to play around with for a small while, but is not absolutely necessary to make your way through the game.
This was a really dull game with very little merit to be found in it and has nothing really of much value. The campaigns themselves suffer from a lack of terror found in them but are enjoyable enough to play through but this game feels so watered down when compared to the earlier games in the series. When compared against the past outing for the main series, Resident Evil 5, this is a step up but at the same time it is a huge step down. The three campaigns just felt disjointed and playing as Chris was the most dull experience found in any Resident evil game to date.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 10/02/12, Updated 02/13/13
Game Release: Resident Evil 6 (EU, 10/02/12)
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