Review by DarkSymbiote
"Capcom's final fall from grace"
Capcom has been milking Resident Evil as of late. With the on-rails shooters, copious "HD" re-releases and the abysmal Operation Raccoon City. Fans have certainly become disheartened with the series since 5 and Capcom has intended to appeal to a diverse degree of gamers. From the classical horror fans to the Call of Duty audience and even the Devil May Cry crowd. Not surprising since their latest attempt at DMC's reboot moved the core fans far away. Can Capcom finally appease the fans that made their franchise so big that it is today or do they end up satisfying no one?
I... I just shot the president.
Resident Evil 6 follows seven characters throughout four different scenarios. The first starring the fan favourite Leon S. Kennedy and the new Helena Harper. Opening with Leon shooting the recently zombified U.S. President. The entire scenario is more about Helena though, while cheapening Leon's character further through repeating rescues. By this point it feels Leon solely exists to be saved time and time again. Add in a villain who is better off saying "I am the bad guy. Do I need to be more obvious and overdone?"
Chris Redfield teams up new Piers Nivans who takes him back in to the B.S.A.A. to fight the recent biohazard outbreak. Chris, suffering from mild amnesia, recalls how his squad got killed on his last missions and sets of on a hotheaded revenge mission. This causes him more pain however. Although one has to question the B.S.A.A. in their need to bring back an emotionally unstable man back to active duty. Some moments do have their touching moments unlike the other campaigns, especially the end.
The now adult Sherry Birking from the second game teams up with Jake Muller, the son of Albert Wesker of all people, whose blood is the key to the vaccine for the current C-Virus catastrophe. The emphasis is put decisively on Jake, who is almost like Dante, and Sherry takes a backseat. It's tiring that Capcom still can't let go of Wesker. A mild romance is heavily implied between the pair but nothing comes of it.
The final unlockable chapter is for Ada Wong. Her parts fill up the open, confusing portions of the other narratives. It's embarrassing then that it's done so exasperatingly. Ada keeps dishing out horrendous one-liners and never feels like being a tolerable person. Her main villain also comes of as incredibly lame and over-the-top.
All storylines interject at some points. The threat of the C-Virus is never fully grasped even though it results in worldwide panic. Raccoon City felt more threatening despite being limited to a town. The returning characters seem to have become worse and it seems some our protagonists are the direct cause of the death of more innocents than most of the monsters. The creation of new viruses is what Capcom is capable of anymore and no new or old element that grips you to the plot. There is even a section with inconsistency.
Design and Gameplay
By the time he died his body had mutated so much... he wasn't even recognizable.
Let's get it out of the way first: Resident Evil 6 has no qualities of survival horror and is a full on third person shooter. Leon's section has some semblance to the traditional game by incorporating slow enemies but nothing is tense or even terrifying, accentuated by bosses that sommersault towards you. Each of the three beginning campaigns can be completed in any order before moving on to the fourth one. Each scenario lasts for five chapters each and the chapters themselves are fairly long, ranging from 20 minutes to a full hour. Checkpoints are fairly apart from one another but that shouldn't be a complaint since games spew out checkpoints liberally this days. What should be a complaint however is no proper indication of a proper checkpoint. You'll see the saving and checkpoint icons multiple times but there is no way to tell if your progress has been actually saved. For this reason it's recommended to quit only after finishing a chapter. The time based Mercenaries mode returns along with the new Agent Hunt, in which players can invade other people's games via online. Most however would prefer to have this option off.
Besides Ada's sequence, everyone gets a partner. Unless you are playing online the A.I. controller ally gets infinite health and usually does a decent job at reviving you when you're down. Unfortunately, many of the biggest problems comes from forced co-op. Often each pair is forced to split up and while one heroically defends and evades enemies, the other rotates a crank or takes mere potshots. It's sad secret agent Kennedy can't even open a door by himself. The inventory remains in real-time from RE5 but this one is even worse. There is very little you can do to sort it out and dropped items can't be picked up again. The health system is slightly different this time. Although you'll sometimes use first aid sprays, most of the healing comes from mixing herbs. Each tablet made from them heals a section of health and pressing a button multiple times recovers more segments. Even continuing after booting up the game is a chore.
Campaigns play out more or less the same: with poor action. One specific part even takes great "inspiration" from Epic's Gears of War 2. It seems the student has become the master since Gears of War was influenced by Resident Evil 4's shooting. Each character gets their own specific hud and menu style with Chris having the most unnecessarily complicated one.
Combat follows the basics of over-the-shoulder third person shooters except still plays catch up with other contemporaries. At least you can move and shoot this time. The aiming feels off and getting a headshot feels like a chore at times. The cover system is needlessly "elaborate". Holding the aim button near any barrier gets the player in cover and then the aiming analog stick is used to move the camera. A similar system worked well in Deus Ex: Human Revolution but in this game, it's pointless. You are better off not hugging walls. Speaking of the camera, it's quite terrible. Often in a corner it goes berserk and at other times it completely yanks away from the player's control to show some door opening or a tank busting through... even when a nearby horde is munching down on you in real-time.The dodging feels a tad intuitive but ultimately for the wrong game. You can move on your back, roll on the ground and shoot while down. That would be fine if it weren't for the stingy controls. You have to be very specific, otherwise you may end up ducking when meaning to roll out of the way.
Enemies morph into superior forms frequently while gaining an unfair window of invincibility. Guns feel far too weak and the total number of weapons have gone down significantly. The game can be very miserly with ammo drops considering the genre. In time, you'll feel like just running past gun toting monsters. Melee is king when comes to fighting as they do unrivalled damage and Jake even has his own specific martial arts skill. With the poorly realised stamina gauge in mind, most encounters can be completed with proper punches and kicks. Upgrades can be bought for just about everything via Skill Points that you have to break open barrels and pick up manually for some reason. The boss fights are some of the worst in the series with the morphing bosses the series is known for dialed up to eleven.You'll face the same transforming creature time and time again and Capcom fails at recreating William Birkin and the iconic Nemesis.
As far as the worst thing this game does: It is the quick-time events. With random moments and unnatural precision required, it is downright abhorrent. It's recommend to buy a certain skill so that you don't ruin your controller and the Amateur difficulty removes them entirely. Add in awkward vehicle sections and it will make you ponder "Should I pay attention to the road or at the bottom of the screen?" Expect plenty of cheap deaths.
Overall the total game time is about 23 hours long. That sounds perfect if it weren't for the torture required to get there. Leon and Helena's events last the longest and Ada's the shortest.
Look at me! It's gonna be OK. Look at me. Look at me! It's gonna be OK! Just keep your eyes on me.
Resident Evil looks stunning... at times. While the majority of the models have received a fair update the animation has taken a hit. The environments are much darker this time, not for the sake of horror but to hide the ugly textures. Only when playing at a brightness level the game asks you to will you get a good look. The lip syncing is atrocious outside of the the pre-rendered cutscenes.
But the lighting is one of the best you'll see in gaming. With detailed bloom and and amazing explosions. The particle effects from dust are also some of the best in the industry.
He didn't sound too happy.
Much can't be said of the of sound. Music is mostly forgettable but the voice acting is top notch considering what they have to work with. Leon's new actor, Matthew Mercer, exudes better emotion than the older Paul Mercier. Ada's sounds like she's bored out her mind however.
- Excellent use of lighting and effects
- Voice acting is good, mostly
- Cutscenes are decent
- Obnoxious quick-time events
- Plot is a rehash with bad villains
- Unwieldy and outdated design
You're just becoming the monster you always were.
Resident Evil 6 is a poor and flawed attempt at appealing everyone. Lacking grace at gameplay along with the use to QTEs puts Capcom as one of those developers who refuse to listen to fan complaints. You're better off playing older games of the franchise and even other third person shooters. Any fan of survival horror or action should stay clear of this shoddy, modern experiment of three-games-in-one.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 10/25/12
Game Release: Resident Evil 6 (EU, 10/02/12)
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