Resident Evil 6 - Review



Resident Evil 5 was a very polarizing entry in the franchise. Fans of the series were wondering if the new action-game approach the series took would continue. With Resident Evil 6 we finally get the answer to that question.
This time, not only one character but several can be played to experience the game's story from different perspectives.
Does Resident Evil 6 succeed in getting back that old horror feel, or is the horror genre really about to get extinct in the video game world?



Story
 

Just as Ada Wong described it, RE6 feels like a Racoon City reunion, featuring all the beloved characters from RE2.
RE6's story however, is not really the strongest in the franchise. With the C-Virus infecting not only one major city but pretty much the entire world, it most of the time feels like a rehashed version of RE2's story. Additionally, the antagonists' motives are very shallow and partly even pretty stupid. Also there are some mysterious plot holes here and there (like where did Wesker's son Jake come from all of a sudden?!).
The game's story has a fragmented structure. It is absolutely necessary to play all four campaigns to get the entire story and to fill all the gaps. 
The four campaigns are Leon and Helena, Chris and Piers, Jake and Sherry and Ada Wong. Each campaign more or less has an own distinctive feel that makes each of them feel like a standalone RE-game. With each campaign being about 8-10 hours long, there's no question that RE6 is a very long and big game and well worth its price of admission.
The separate campaigns' stories cleverly cross and most importantly complete each other. Luckily, it is not important with whose campaign you start or continue. In the end it comes down to a great action story but honestly nothing more. It's questionable whether RE6 is a necessary entry in the franchise, due to the feel that nothing big has been gained through the course of the story that further deepens the Resident Evil universe (in my opinion the franchise should have ended with RE5).

Talking about the distinctive feel of every campaign, i will devote a short section of the review to each of them.


"It's Racoon City all over again!" ...NO F***ING SHIT!!


Gameplay
 

It's no wonder that even fans often have several things to whinge about when talking about RE's gameplay. Often the gameplay feels like a dinosaur. This didn't even change with RE5.

But finally, with RE6 there have been made several major improvements:

At long last, you are now able to fire weapons while moving (sounds ridiculous to even mention that nowadays). Also, you are able to cover behind objects during firefights. Although being thankful for this improvement, i felt that the cover controls were very clunky and not really reliable. This is certaintly a big issue with Chris' and Jake's campaign where firefights most frequently occur.
RE6's gameplay feels much more flexible than its predecessors': 
When knocked back, you can still shoot enemies while lying on the ground, you can climb and slide over various objects instead of running around them, multiple weapons have a secondary firing mode, etc.

Especially, melee combat has been given a lot of weight this time around. Each character has unique melee moves (some even borderline Martial-Arts) that are somewhat overpowered. Often it feels redundant using any guns whatsoever when three kicks will do the trick just as well.
Melee moves are a necessity in RE6 due to ammo being pretty scarce in the game (compared to RE4 and 5). Making them shots count and saving ammo by meleeing your way through enemies is Capcom's attempt to underline the game's survival horror aspect. 
For the most part, this aspect makes the game satisfyingly challenging, but at other times the ammunition rarity feels out of place (For example: Chris' campaign). 



Fighting that thing only with about 20 bullets = FUN!


The weapon leveling feature has been completely thrown away and instead replaced with a skill system. While playing the game, you can collect skill points which you can later use to buy special abilities to strengthen your character. There is a total of three abilities you can use simultaneously. Yet still, you can combine them either way you want and save those combinations, and switch between them in mid-game. The list of purchasable abilities is very big, allowing for each player to suit their characters his/her specific style of play. However, getting used to the skill-system-based expierience takes up some time and while not being a horrible idea, i felt it being very unnecessary.

Another big innovation is the revamped inventory interface. The ingame interface has been made much more accessable and quicker to navigate. Yet still, it is very annoying not being able to use health items instantly but having to tediously mix 'em together. Furthermore, the ability to manage your partners inventory has been deleted (for good!).
With that said, even taking care of your partner's health is unnecessary. Your computer controlled partner cannot die when he/she is attacked by enemies. I found this very questionable in terms of a supposed teamwork experience with the computer. 
Often i found myself ordering my partner to stay at a specific spot to act as a decoy for the enemies, so that i could run for the exit when things started to go haywire. I'm a real teamplayer ;D

But not automatically pausing the game while in the options menu is just flatout stupid Capcom! 
(One time, my controller's battery went dead but the game's menu didn't pause the game, allowing zombies and other monsters to kick my ass while i was hysterically looking for my recharging cable like a dumbass!)


Suddenly: Wesker's son!


Campaign Impressions


Leon's Campaign
 

In my opinion, Leon's campaign is the best out of all four campaigns. Not only because Leon is the most likable character of the bunch but also because his campaign features the most highlights and tells a story that feels the complete. The gaps in Leon's story are not as necessary to be filled as it is with the other campaigns.
Also the horror aspect of RE6 is by a lightyear the most present in Leon's campaign. I really missed the feeling of getting freaked out by the situation of having to deal with zombies with only a handful of bullets in a creepy dark place. With highlights like the horrifying subway level, it reminded me why this franchise kicks ass. While his campaign has the tendency to deviate from horror atmosphere more and more into action territory, it definitely had the best overall horror/RE-atmosphere in it.


Chris' Campaign
 

Chris' campaign is a prime example of how another popular franchise (COD) can affect other developers. Chris campaign is all out action. Different from battling non-armed monsters, Chris battles hordes of zombies with guns (J'avo). The survival horror idea of scarce ammo doesn't work here. It feels ridiculous when hell is breaking loose on the battlefield and all of your squadmates shoot with MGs except for you (BECAUSE YOU'RE OUT OF AMMO!).
Especially when you start fighting helicopters and flying jets you know that your game has been massively affected by popular military shooter franchises.
Anyways, his campaign is the exact opposite of Leon's: Here, the action feel slowly gets replaced with horror-tension when chapter 3 kicks in, where you find yourself chasing a predator-like giant snake through an abandoned maze-like building (highlight of his campaign).
Overall, his campaign feels the most melodramatic and definitely most action heavy but it gets pretty solid up from chapter 3. 


Jakes's Campaign
 

Well, i don't know where the fuck Wesker's son just came from, but oh well just roll with it. Personally i felt that Jake's campaign was the weakest of the three main campaigns. The reason for that is that his campaign doesn't have that many highlights. Don't get me wrong, the constantly chasing Ustanak brings back nice memories of RE3's Nemesis and easily marks the highlights in his campaign. But where the other campaigns had highlights that were very different from another (different monster encounters etc.), here, every highlight feels like it's centered around the Ustanak, which gets too repetetive in a way. However, it's still nice to play a new character in the series.


Ada's Campaign

Ada's campaign is something special. It distinguishes itself very much by an overreliance on sneaking through enemy territories and many puzzles. While the stealth-gameplay isn't very reliable or well executed and the puzzles are so easy that a monkey could solve them, the decision to "unlock" her campaign after having finished the first three is a very good decision. Ada's campaign offers many important plot twist that give a much needed insight to characters' motivations. Gameplaywise her story is much more oriented on action.



Resident Evil is frightening again?!


Multiplayer

Next to the drop-in/drop-out co-op (online and locally), RE6 also features the popular Mercenaries mode. Basically like a horde-mode, you can battle through hordes of enemies and set new records and gain points. Nothing really new to tell here.

The interesting new multiplayer feature is called "Agent Hunt" which allows you to invade other people's campaigns by playing as an enemy (as long as they allow it). It's a nice new twist to the formula and should definitely be kept in future installments.


Graphics
 

RE6 runs on the same old RE5 engine, and while it undeniably looks beautiful, has awesome motion-capturing work and feels vibrant and alive, i somehow can't shake of the feel that RE5 looked better. But don't take this too serious, maybe RE5 just had a bigger impact on me back in the day, or maybe i'm just getting old.


Sound
 

The RE-series always tended to have a sense for melodrama or at least overdramatizing some parts. Yet still, the mixed-bag dialogue is brought to life by an excellent voice acting cast.
In-game sounds are exceptionally awesome as well. Monster sounds send shivers down your spine when hearing them through a surround system. And gun sounds have that certain punch too. 
The orchestral score does a good job accentuating certain moments in the game although being absent most of  the time (moments get more tense when there's no music). It could be more memorable though.



RE6 or Apple consumers?...You decide!


The Verdict

Judging by the scale and the length of the game, Resident Evil 6 is by far the biggest Resident Evil to-date. Yet still, that doesn't mean that it's the best in the series.

With 4 different campaigns (each 8-10 hours) it's a very long game that feels like you bought 4 different RE games. It's definitely worth the price of admission but somewhat lacks the focused quality of its predecessors. 
With every highlight in the game there comes an unecessary or unmotivating part of the game.
Capcom obviously tried to include good old horror elements as well as action elements in one game. The result is a mixed bag: With Leon's horror campaign being by far the strongest and Chris' and Jake's action campaign being the most repetitive and weakest ones, it should get really clear which future road to take!
However, one cannot deny the high production values and great highlights put into RE6. A fairly weak plot but cleverly told, decent story (after playing every campaign), finally revamped, more flexible gameplay and the feel of having bought 4 different RE-games, make RE6 stand out among the other entries.
Although having far more horror elements than RE5, RE6 should be approached as an action game (which it is in the first place) - and in that case, it's a good action game.
Even though i still think that Resident Evil 6 is an unnecessary entry in the franchise, it's still a good RE-game that (since RE4) finally shows that Capcom tries to further evolve and improve the series.  


Final Verdict: 8 out of 10

Status: Only for Fans

 

1 comment:

  1. "RE6 or Apple consumers?...You decide!" ...(go ahead) make my day!

    ReplyDelete