After a little bit of a hiatus , I return, I have a couple of older reviews to catch up on but will hopefully be up to date soon. First, let’s start with Resident Evil 6, Capcom’s most recent installation in its popular horror series.
As I have a tendency to do, allow me to qualify my opinion in saying that I’ve never been that big of a fan of the Resident Evil series. I played the original and couldn’t get passed the atrocious voice acting and dire controls. Resident Evil 2 was a little better for me but in general I never really had much interest, so I came into 6 not really expecting too much, despite knowing much of the formula had changed. That being said, this is one of the least enjoyable games I’ve played this year.
Story-wise, Capcom appeared to be trying to take its series much more seriously with utterly dull and lackluster results. There are 3 campaigns, plus one you unlock once you’ve beaten the other 3. With very little set up you’re more or less dropped in the middle of the action, very little investment being involved from the outset.
You have some of the classic characters such as Chris and Leon. Wesker is no longer the villain, instead we get some evil politician who releases the (random letter from alphabet here)-virus amidst the population in some nonsensical scheme.
Capcom tries really hard to make you care, but it just fails, every tragic moment falls flat because of how little interest you have in the characters. Some were utterly frustrating, like the new female character who acts as Leon’s Partner. She spends far too long not telling you anything , stringing you along with a promise of answers that I was beginning to think she had no intention of giving.
By the time the big “heart-wrenching” revelation occurs, I still wanted to shoot her in the face and wasn’t particularly happy that there was more of this stupid campaign left to play through.
Gameplay, is varying in focus depending on the campaign, obviously in an attempt to please everyone. Leon’s campaign tries to be the more moody with puzzles and a slow-paced creepy atmosphere, Chris headlines a shoot-em-up action campaign, while Jake’s campaign is a mixture of the 2.
The problem is that at the most basic, each section fails to please the audience it’s supposed to. Leon’s mission has far too many forced fire fights to be atmospheric enough to really draw you into the “horror” aspect of the game.
While on the other side of the coin, Chris’s missions are supposed to be straight up action YET they still implement the limited ammo which absolutely destroys combat flow. Jake’s missions are a little more interesting if for no other reason than most of it seems to be focused on running from some roid-raging zombie who wants you badly.
Beyond those initial failings, Resident Evil 6 also seems to be discontent in being a game. It pines to be a movie and at several points will tear control away from the player or give you the absolute bare minimum say in what’s going on. ‘Survive the cutscene QTE’s’ are prevalent throughout and absolutely obnoxious. Some of the scripted events are so poorly implemented they’ll lead to cheap deaths.
My favorite of these being while traveling through a subway tunnel and a train is coming on the opposite track, I was barely within 10 feet of the train but the game decided that was good enough and showed a cutscene of me getting run over as if I laid down in front of it.
Enemies in this game can be downright enraging because of how many shots it takes to kill them. Some (including a few bosses) give you almost no feedback as to whether or not you’re actually harming them and seem to drag on forever. This kind of frustration makes it very difficult to hold sway over the audiences sense of fear, they’ll dread masses of zombies more as a severe inconvenience than as a terrifying presence.
I was also not a fan of the herb mixing mechanic to create healing items, it was incredibly unnecessary – what’s wrong with the old mechanic of picking up a health pack or ready to use healing item? The skill point system was also utterly ridiculous.
You pick up chess pieces during a level that give you certain amounts of skill points which you can use later to buy upgrades to certain stats which you then have to equip to the character. Of these stat upgrades you can only equip 3, and honestly they don’t seem to make that big of a difference and feel more like an unnecessary shoe-horned rpg element.
Not everything about the game is bad. The presentation is impressive. The graphics are quite good in places and if the developers had just used them better they could have helped create an effective atmosphere. The sound design is also pretty good.
These things alone however, don’t save the experience. The game is actually long, especially if you go for the 100% completion which forces you to play campaigns over again with both characters. I feel this is a count against it rather than for it considering how little fun I had going through each campaign just once. Honestly, self flagellation is a less painful way to torture yourself.
The game has a co-op multiplayer as well which I didn’t feel particularly compelled to engage in. They did add one particular variation of multiplayer I thought was brilliant though, where you get to take control of an enemy in the single player game of another player and try to kill them.
In the end, I just cannot recommend this game, even if you like the series. It’s just atrociously executed and not even remotely frightening. It’s torturous in its length with little worthwhile incentive to force yourself through it multiple times. Not worth the money or time.