Written by Twisted Ideas
Resident Evil is back again more ambitious than ever. There are more characters and intersecting stories lines as well as brining names and faces from the past. Does one of our oldest zombie killing games deliver or should this have stayed dead.
Even with Albert Wesker no longer a threat to the world the war on bioterroism is still very prominent. An organization calling themselves Neo-Umbrella has developed the C-Virus. The C-Virus is being used to create an army of “J’avo” to spread havoc. Chris Redfield and his partner in the BSAA Piers Nivans continue the fight while Sherry Birkin has discovered that Jake Muller is the only person who can cure effects of the C-Virus. Tall Oaks is hit by a gas cloud that has turned thousands of people into zombies including the president of the United States. Leon S. Kennedy of the FOS is caught in the middle of the ordeal while his partner Helena Harper seems to know more than she is letting on.
Resident Evil 6 uses a more streamlined system from Resident Evil 5. You move, aim, and your physical abilities are improved. You can aim and move at the same time and the tank controls are abandoned. You can dodge and melee freely. You have a combat gague that depletes when using melee attacks or certain actions. When it is empty your melee become slow and weak. All items and weapons can be switched in real-time with the D-pad. Your health bar is divided into six segments. Some attacks don’t do a full segment of damage and that damage will heal over time. If you lose a segment you can heal yourself with herbs or first aid sprays. Herbs are assigned to the R2/RT button and pressing Square/X + R2/RT will automatically mix herbs and place them in your case.
The game is divided into three campaigns and a fourth campaign is unlocked when the first three are completed. Each campaign is split into chapters each lasting roughly an hour, more if die frequently or explore the levels. Each chapter contains four Serpent Emblems that you can shoot to obtain files. You can read files in the Special Features section of the main menu. Collecting all the files in a chapter will unlock action figures you can view.
Co-op is still one of the main features of the game. You can play local split screen, with a partner online or solo with an AI controlled partner. You each have to help each other survive the chapters. If either player is killed you will have to continue from the nearest checkpoint. There will be times the duo will be separated each having to perform different task to progress. If a player is dying they can continue to shoot until a meter fills allowing them to recover or until their partner revives them. Dying and revived players cannot take anymore damage or they will die.
Unlike Resident Evil 4 and 5 you do not purchase weapons. You are limited to the weapons that you find through out each of the character’s chapters. Instead of money, you find chess pieces labeled as skill points. Skill points can be used in between chapters to purchase skills that enhances the characters. You can only equip three skills at once but you are able to switch skill sets during the chapter.
Mercenaries Mode returns with minor changes. You can play alone or with a partner locally or online. Your objective is to survive and kill as many enemies as possible within the time limit to earn a high score. Throughout the stages you can find additional time and combo bonuses. The main addition is that a match can end early is you defeat 150 enemies before time runs out. Enemies defeated by melee or counter attacks grants additional time. You can earn skill points here to purchase skills for Mercenaries or the campaigns.
Agent Hunt Mode is where you can play as a standard creature and enter into a player’s game in an attempt to kill them. The creature you choose isn’t any stronger than an AI controlled creatures and they are difficult to control. Players can choose whether or not to allow Agent Hunt mode in their game.
Graphics and Sound
The game looks great. All of the characters a highly detailed and look dirtier as the game progresses. Clothing will appear to be wet when in rain or water and there are good light and shadow effects. All of the character models animate very well and the cast all have unique and stylish finishing moves.
The voice actors have done a good job. The lines are given well and believable and most of the writing feels natural.
Resident Evil 6 is a game that treats you unfairly. Early on in Leon’s chapters you will be hit by zombies that you know they will because you’re not stupid. You can’t even shoot them on the ground because the game won’t let you. When you partner saves you from dying you may still die because enemies are still attacking not giving you time to heal before getting hit again. Some Quick Time Events last for less than a second and failing it results in death. Bosses take obscene amounts of damage. You will use most of your if not all your ammo. Most bosses are fought in sections . Some fights can last over ten minutes, twenty if you die or don’t know what to do. This would be tolerable if it was once or twice but there are five or six instances of these drawn out fights.
Early on in the game the your inventory space is adequate but you are forced to carry several different weapons as the chapters progress meaning more slots are occupied by different ammo on top of your healing items and any explosives. Your inventory will inevitably fill up forcing you to permanently discard items to pick up more.
From the initial trailers that hinted at various plots I suspected that there would be a greater emphasis on story than previous titles. That wasn’t necessarily the case. What you need to know about Resident Evil that events happens around the main characters. Rarely are they the focus of plot. This is why some people consider the characters in the series to be dull, forgettable or generic. RE6 attempts to put the heroes in the spotlight but what we is Capcom telling three stories very badly. The fourth campaign ties these fragmented stories together but it ultimately reveals a very simple plot.
What I always liked the most about Resident Evil games are the files scattered throughout the games. These are written by characters in the game. These can give plot and background information as well as add credibility to the world that they are trying to create. These files can be in the game but they can only be read in the Special Features of the main menu. The Serpent Emblems containing the files are difficult to find as each chapter is massive. The personality most files are gone as most are broad explanations like”THIS IS WHAT THIS CHARACTER WAS DOING HERE” or “HERE ARE PLOT POINTS WE DIDN’T BOTHER TO MENTION IN THE CAMPAIGN”.
What ruins the game is Co-op. Co-op locally and even more so in online suggest that the pace be fast so that player won’t get bored. The means that you can’t do things like atmosphere building or extended story sequences because you are more likely to have a player skip through them. Also it makes difficult to have puzzles or even the files because it slows the pace.
Resident Evil 6 is trying to be several different games and it shows. It feels like Left 4 Dead, Uncharted, Gears of War, Metal Gear Solid and any standard war game. It only tries to be a Resident Evil game in the first twenty minutes of the game and devolves into a pure action game. Capcom did a good job in not telling a story and not building a framework for a new recurring villain. The game can be frustrating but it can be alleviated when you get used to the game and purchase skills that improve your characters.
I had high hopes for this game but it let me down. I’m over the fact that it’s not trying to be a horror game anymore. The game is still good but not great and I’ve definitely played worse shooters but there are better. There are a lot of things to get after the game is finished if you want to get them. If you’re a fan of the series I suggest you wait until a price drop because you aren’t missing much.