You can put me into the category of Resident Evil fans that have grown to detest what the survival horror franchise has turned into: an action fest with little terror. It started for me with Resident Evil 5. Although there were parts I enjoyed, ultimately I did not like how far the game strayed from its roots. I, surprisingly, became very excited prior to Resident Evil 6’s release. The dark, uneasy atmosphere was back, zombies were returning, and the idea of multiple, interconnecting stories all sounded very promising. Although it took steps in the right direction, Resident Evil 6 turned out to be a great disappointment, failing to reach its potential.
The most notable feature in RE6 is the four different campaigns that interlock into one story. Each campaign, except for one, include a pair of different playable characters both new and familiar. The pairs include: Chris Redfield with Piers Nivans, Leon Kennedy with Helena Harper, and Jake Muller with Sherry Birkin. The fourth campaign includes a solo, Ada Wong, and is unlocked after you complete the other three campaigns. Each character has their own set of weapons and style of play, but the styles are not much different from one another, except for Jake’s martial arts combat ability. Each campaign also has a unique feel and approach. Chris’s campaign feels very much like Resident Evil 5; Leon’s campaign is a little more like classic Resident Evil games; Jake’s is similar to RE3 in the sense he and Sherry are being hunted down relentlessly by the monster, Ustanak, very much like Nemesis. Ada Wong plays differently because most her campaigns is done solo.
The plot is extremely confusing, and I’m not even including the fact the story is separated into four parts told from different perspectives. Out of the first three campaigns, I recommend you play Leon first, then Jake, and save Chris for last. The holes left in each story come together better when played in that order. I played Chris’s campaign first, and that was probably the worst possible way I could have done it.
I was extremely excited when I heard about the multiple campaigns, particularly because I remember developers saying the campaigns would be significant in length. I can say their statement was not very accurate because all the campaigns felt on the shorter side. In the end you have a collection of stories that are not properly fleshed out. I was most looking forward to Jake’s campaign mostly because of the “Nemesis” concept with Ustanak. With a reduced campaign, Ustanak just didn’t have the same presence and terror that Nemesis had in RE3. All of the other campaigns equally felt like there was a lack of substance. It was hard to grow attached to characters when your time with them was limited, and the story suffered for it because I didn’t care much about the characters. It didn’t help that there are numerous sections in the game that you will revisit as different characters in other campaigns. It works from a cooperative multiplayer aspect, but not for single player experience; it just feels redundant.
The game may have felt more substantial if there weren’t so many vehicle sections. There’s a car chase, a snow mobile chase, a motorcycle chase, a helicopter chase, and a fighter jet sequence. In the grand scheme, they add next to nothing to the story, wasting what little time you have with the characters. The game felt like it had an identity crisis because it didn’t know what kind of game it wanted to be. At times there were fantastic parts to the game with dark and unsettling atmosphere, reminiscent of the classic Resident Evil games. Other times there were over-the-top action sequences that weren’t really necessary. It seemed like Capcom was trying to appeal to as many fans as possible, and that just doesn’t work for a horror game. Out of all the game’s flaws, that was my biggest problem that hurt my overall enjoyment.
The game tries many over the top action sequences, and I didn’t find them very entertaining. There is also an overuse of quick time event sequences and many feel unnecessary. Some of them are extremely frustrating because they require a superhuman level of speed to execute. I’m surprised I didn’t break my controller on some of them. There were parts of the game that were fun to play and reminded me of Resident Evil games of the past.
Co-op elements are implemented quite well in RE6. You have the option to play each campaign with another player locally or online. An impressive addition to RE6 is the ability to join other player’s campaigns at specific intersecting points in the game, potentially engaging in 4-player co-op. Although it’s a good concept, as I mentioned earlier, you will essentially be playing the same sections of the game twice across multiple campaigns. On a personal level, I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as there is a co-op element in Resident Evil, the franchise can never be as terrifying as the older single-player games. Adding an additional player, human or AI, adds a level of safety that’s counterproductive to what the game tries to achieve.
A completely new addition to co-op is “Agent – Hunt”. It’s a mode that lets you play as one of the game’s various infected enemies during another player’s campaign with the goal of killing the other player during their play session. You gain points by killing or hurting the human player which can be used to slightly level your zombies/infected. I did not get to play this mode too often as I was rarely able to play against anyone whom had this mode enabled. When I did get to play in this mode, I died quickly and often. You have little control over your character’s movement with little protection against gunfire. In the end, I didn’t find it too enjoyable.
Mercenaries mode returns and is available from the very start of the game (every other Resident Evil game required the player to beat the game before it was unlocked). I’ve always really enjoyed Mercenaries, and this was no different. Each playable character has his or her own set of weapons and items that forces the player to adopt slightly different strategies.
Great graphics with a lot of strategically dark environments creating an uneasy atmosphere.
I honestly remember nothing about the games music or sound design. Ultimately it is very forgettable.
Resident Evil 6 had the potential to be great, but the game fell flat with various ideas. It disappointed me because the game tried to be like many others. Instead of having a bunch of watered-down elements, it could have had a few finely tuned ones. In my opinion,that would have made it stronger. It’s interesting what the recent release of The Last of Us was able to accomplish since it’s essentially a survival horror game. It’s the game that Resident Evil 6 should have been. I’m interested in seeing what Capcom will do with Resident Evil in the future since The Last of Us proved that genre can still be done well, while also putting up strong sales.
- Strong co-op
- Haunting atmosphere
- Each campaign has a slightly different style
- Too many quick time events
- Tried too hard to appeal to a broad audience by adding unnecessary gameplay elements
- Replaying segments across campaigns and vehicle sections wasted valuable time in story.
Style – Single-player/Co-op, Action-adventure, Third-person shooter
Publisher – Capcom
Developer – Capcom
Release – October 2012 (PS3/Xbox360), March 2013 (PC)
3.0 – Gameplay
5.0 – Graphics
2.0 – Sound
3.0 – Entertainment
3.0 – Replay Value
Resident Evil 6 had the potential to be great, but the game fell flat with various ideas.