Review by beansoldier

"Resident Evil-A quick retrospective"

To truly understand my disappointment with Resident Evil 6, you really have to take a look at the series as a whole. Resident Evil was the very first game I ever played on the Playstation and I was instantly hooked. As such, the franchise has always held a special place in my heart.

As the series continued, even I had to admit it was getting a little stale. They just weren't doing enough with the plot to really need the sequels they were offering. And then Resident Evil 4 came along and completely revamped the way the game was played. An entirely new over the shoulder camera angle with the ability to freely aim. It was a first for the series.

Now I absolutely loved Resident Evil 4 and I was hooked the minute I started playing it. However, the game had fallen so far from the roots that made the franchise my personal favorite. It abandoned the survival horror that hooked me and focused completely on the action. Resident Evil 5 was even more guilty of this coming off as a Hollywood blockbuster rather than the Resident Evil I had known for years.

And this brings us to Resident Evil 6. And before I get into this review, as of this writing I have only had time to complete Leon's story, but I have gotten enough of a feel for the game to review it. So let's dive in.

Story: 6/10

The story is linear and easy to follow, but I had no earthly idea what exactly was going on. Characters motivations are all over the place and even origins of certain characters that I won't spoil leave you feeling betrayed. Overall, the story leaves you with a lot more questions than answers by the end of it and I really didn't feel like much was added to the overall plot of the game.

Much like Resident Evil 4, this is a very sectional part of the plot. But at least with Resident Evil 4, it was connected with an overall plot with the inclusion of Wesker and Ada's motivations. Really, Resident Evil 6's grand scheme comes from them mentioning Umbrella. Fantastic.

Gameplay: 7/10

Honestly, I will probably get a lot of hate for this, but I enjoyed the gameplay. There is nothing inherently wrong with it. Everything works as it is supposed to and even if it does feel like a generic shooter, that was where the evolution of the Resident Evil 4 engine was taking the series anyway so I don't understand why people are so surprised at it. You can switch between weapons on the fly by using the D-pad to select the one you want making it much simpler than having to pause and equip a new weapon as in the past RE games. A much welcome feature. Also the HUD is clean and streamlined and doesn't get in the way or distract from the game. And the addition of a melee button is a much welcome feature for people like me that enjoy the melee so as to avoid wasting all their ammo. Overall, the interface is nice and easy to use. That's not to say I don't have my gripes. There are a lot of things that are frustrating and a few very poor design choices to bring up.

First up, the partner system. The AI, while improved over what I had to deal with in 5, is still fairly incompetent sometimes. I really don't understand the partner system. I get that it is great to be able to have a friend jump in and play with you, but I have always preferred Resident Evil as a single player experience. The isolation is the fundamental reason the game was ever scary. The feeling of being alone wishing that someone would show up to offer a hand. That feeling is all but gone when you have a partner following you at the backside.

Second, I hate the menus. I loathe live action menus and the inability to pause. I get that it is always online, much like Operation Raccoon City and Resident Evil 5, but I hated it in those games, too. The inability to pause has been something that has driven me up the wall since they started it in Resident Evil 5. This is a personal gripe, though, and I didn't deduct points.

Third, the healing. First aid sprays still heal completely but now herbs are done on a block basis. You have 6 blocks of health and each herb used heals one block. And combined herbs now just give you multiple herbs (IE: A red and green gives you six herbs to use). And you can now heal on the fly by pressing RB. However, the only gripe I have with this system is before you can use the herbs to heal, you have to enter a menu with the Y button and place them into storage before they're available for use. This may not seem like a problem when everything is calm, but trying to do this while running around in the heat of battle trying to keep a location on a giant rampaging infected dinosaur with a menu taking up the entire screen while cycling through to combine and store your herbs is a slight challenge.

Finally, the Quick Time Events. I'm not going to go in detail on these since they've littered the Resident Evil franchise ever since 4's debut, but seriously Capcom? The entire game is littered with QTE's. Zombie grabs you? QTE. Flying a plane? QTE. Keep that helicopter from crashing with a nice QTE. They're everywhere.

Graphics/Sound: 8/10

The game is gorgeous. That's all I can really say. The graphical quality is simply stunning from the cinematics to the actual in game engine. This was easily the most impressive part of the game. You can tell that a lot of effort went into the graphics engine. And it shows. The game engine runs smooth, I didn't have any glitches or slow downs. There weren't any texture issues plaguing this game which a huge plus.

All the sounds that you would expect are there. The voice acting is decent, but nothing super exceptional. The real problem I have is in some of the guns. Mainly the shotgun. It just sounds and feels weak. It lacks any punch of previous games both in the sound and the actual in game effectiveness.

Bringing it all together: 7/10

Overall, the game is average. It can be an entertaining yet frustrating experience dealing with the zombies that leap at you and shoot at you as you try to manage your ammo and move through the game. The game is fun and I personally am not sad I bought it, but I would caution those that are looking to buy it. I would wait and pick it up around $30-$40. The multiple campaigns are nice, but the extras just aren't enough to keep you coming back.

The main disappointment comes from how far the series has fallen. It was once a great survival horror game dominating the genre alongside Silent Hill. When you see the trailers for Resident Evil 6, it almost seemed like they were headed back to their roots with a brand new engine. But the game has abandoned all sense of horror for the stylish explosions and implausible situations of a Rambo movie. There's honestly a part where you see Helena hanging out of a shark's mouth while you both fight to kill it and she ends up shrugging it off like nothing happened. It's a shame to see such a great series fall so far from their roots.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/15/12

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

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