Published on October 9th, 2012 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Resident Evil 6 Review
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3
Genre: Survival horror, shooter
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2012
Resident Evil 6 is one of those games that I feel I have to admire the ambition of the development team. They set out to create one of the biggest Resident Evil to date and, in some ways, have achieved that goal– while ultimately falling short due to small technical issues. Resident Evil 6 doesn’t necessarily take steps away from what made the series popular, but instead embraces it. The heroes of the game are put into horrible situations that seem to get worse before they get better. It’s back to the limited ammo, herb searching game that we have come to love for the past 15 years.
At the center of Resident Evil 6 is not one single story, but four different campaigns that all crisscross one another. We are given not one or two, but seven lead characters to play. Each campaign stars two protagonists, so you can go through all the story lines cooperatively, both online and off, if you wish. There are scenes scattered into each story which will leave an impacting mark on your memory. Without giving away any spoilers, you will always remember what it felt like to watch as the C-Virus gas slowly takes over the largest city in China, turning all of its citizens into bloodthirsty zombies. The way the stories are told are clever, and are articulated through intense cut scenes that look like they were ripped straight out of Capcom’s own line of Resident Evil anime films.
However, the extravagant cut scenes also become one of Resident Evil 6‘s downfalls. The animations are fantastic to watch, but there are just way too many of them, which eventually pulls the player out of the experience. Almost as an homage to Medal Gear Solid 2, a cut scene will begin and once it ends, you are suddenly tasked to take out some zombies, which triggers another scene break. Open a door–which takes around five seconds within itself–and trigger another cut scene. Perform one of hundreds of ridiculous quick time events and, yes, trigger another cut scene. All of this interruption just for the sake of story advancement takes away some of the intensity–in a series in which its very foundation relies on fear and said intensity.
I wish this was a problem that only exists within a single campaign, but unfortunately it plagues them all.
In Leon’s campaign you can play as either Leon or Helena Harper, the newcomer to the series. Leon’s story follows more of the traditional style of Resident Evil games.
Chris Redfield’s story follows Chris and Piers Nivens. Their adventure starts out intense, but ultimately ends up as an all-out shooter. And Chris’ story is designed to support that “anti-survival horror” mindset. Ammo is not as scarce as in the other campaigns, and nothing is more satisfying than hearing a zombies head explode from a sniper round.
Finally, there is Jake and Sherry Birkin’s story line. This is the one story line that is focused on close-quarters combat and mashing buttons for QTE scenes, which leads me to Resident Evil 6‘s second shortcoming: The quicktime events.
Quick-time events occur far too often in Resident Evil 6 and and are often aggravating. Nothing will prove this point more than in Chapter 5 of Leon’s campaign when you have to climb a rope to reach the roof of a burning building. Armed with the left and right triggers, you are forced to watch your character struggle, and fall, if the buttons are not timed with 100 percent accuracy.
Now this brings me to the broken controls and horrible camera system. Using melee attacks would not be a downfall if the camera was always on point with the button combinations, but this is not often the case. Many times you can strike a zombie with a melee attack and the camera will be too low, as if you are looking up at the character, and you wont be able to see what you’re hitting, and even if you are connecting with the shots. Even in events where the character is running toward the camera, and you are forced to hold the run button, while you have to jump or slide under obstacles, the camera always feels like a deterrence. Many times I got stuck to a box that I intended to leap but the camera blocked that view.
The game is beautiful to look at and the environments maintain the consistency that the series has always achieved. Many times it will feel as if you are playing a movie and in many ways this is done purposely. Bosses are bigger (although not better), and the action is electrifying, you just don’t have any control over them.
The puzzles, which the series was once famous for, are now almost non-existent. The only campaign in which features any semblance of puzzle solving is from Ada Wong’s story, which is single player only and can only be played after completing the other three stories.
Resident Evil 6 is not a horrible game as some websites and magazines claim–it’s just not a great game. Maybe the title was a little over-hyped? Maybe Capcom tried a little to hard on creating a movie-like effect instead of letting us enjoy it as a game? Sure, the movies we can watch, but we got to play very little of the intense parts of the action.
The definition that was once Resident Evil seems to be deteriorating game by game. However, Resident Evil 6 does have its memorable experiences. And who can’t say that seeing all of our favorite character intertwine with each other wasn’t memorable enough? It seems that Capcom had huge ambitions just more execution.
+ Movie-like cutscenes
– Technical hiccups
–Too many QTEs