Resident Evil 6 Review01 Oct, 2012
Starting off with a rather disappointing tutorial-style flash forward introduction that relies on far too many quick time events, we join Leon and Hannah mid-way through a huge running battle, trying to get across a zombie infested Chinese city and ending with a "back for more" moment, the game then taking us back to the main game timeline.
In Resident Evil 6 we join a whose who of the Resident Evil world with the game being split into four campaigns set against a new outbreak, a new virus and a new Umbrella. Leon and Hannah, Chris and Piers, Jake and Sherry are paired up for each chapter with a final chapter unlocking after completion of the separate story threads. Each duo has a different story that ultimately links together, each with an attempt to make them play differently from one another, though this does not really work as they are all far too action heavy with Leon's story being the perfect example; In this story we join Leon right at the start of an outbreak, something we don't usually see in games, with a strange fog turning the towns inhabitants into flesh eaters, panicked townsfolk running away, getting eaten and even fighting back. Leon's partner Hannah has some information about the outbreak, with them following this lead through a town slowly destroying itself; eventually making it to more familiar Resident Evil territory involving churches, underground caverns and labs. Though similar in terms of action each campaign has some very original ideas implemented, especially for a Resident Evil game, but all too often it boils down to a basic third person shooter. It seems Capcom has forgotten its core ideals and what made the originals so popular - fear. That and the term survival horror seems to have been all but forgotten with even Leon's missions being more of a frag fest, rarely running low on ammunition.
All of the characters have been significantly upgraded, most notably with the ability to move and shoot at the same time. Just from the move sets you can tell the general direction of this franchise has changed with duel wielding weapons, combat rolls and ducking behind walls for shots from behind cover and a Physical Combat Gauge that allows for quick shots and some brutal melee attacks.
Upgrading characters is also a new addition with Skill Points being dropped from kills or found hidden in vases and crates. These points can be spent on specific stat altering skills like more powerful firearms and melee attacks, less recoil, quick reloads, item drop increases and also the ability to remove the target sight in exchange for increased firepower.
All of the chapters in each campaign can be played as single player, local split screen or via the internet, allowing friends or random players to join your game as the second player and work together to pull all those switches. At certain parts of the story there are also opportunities for another two players to join in the fight for the truth, granting four of you the ability to try and take out some of the larger, more challenging bosses.
An additional online mode that is unlocked during the campaign is the Agent Hunt; if you are fed up helping people you can become the enemy, joining the game as a creature and trying to get one over on the host.
With all of the action in the campaign mode the thrill of the Mercenaries mode has been somewhat tarnished, where before it was a chance to run around blasting zombies instead of trying to survive, now it seems just like the rest of the game. Set across three maps you have a set time limit to kill as many undead as you can, solo or as a team. As in the main campaign the skill points collected here can also be spent on solo skills or some more specific to the Mercenaries mode.
Graphically Resident Evil 6 is a very impressive looking game offering plenty of fast paced action and no slowdown. Visually, this once scary series seems to now focus more on gore with blood spraying everywhere; headshots that if not spot on can leave zombies walking around with half their skull missing and melee attacks now include sticking a broken bottle into the neck of a zombie. There are a couple of graphical glitches though - on more than one occasion zombies, can at times, appear out of nowhere, most notably within a group and in these cases melees don't always connect properly.
Though previous games allowed for a restricted amount of wandering around mansions and such, Resident Evil 6 is an extremely linear game, puzzles are a bit too simple and are laid out one after the other. This means you are unable to wander off the main route, to the point where you have a few invisible walls blocking off otherwise accessible areas, something I do not expect to see in modern games.
I mentioned the quick time event heavy intro; sadly these are not kept to that area with far too many appearing throughout the game, requiring a waggle or a manic tap to operate or escape one trap or another. Something that was very upsetting are the cheap deaths, with Leon's levels alone having a few moments that, without real warning, sees your character die, just because you where standing in the wrong place; be it crushed by a runaway ambulance or a speeding underground train, it feels cheap to be sent back to the checkpoint in this way. Whilst on the subject of saving, typewriters are a thing of the past, with levels just auto saving at pre-set areas.
At numerous points in reviewing this game I found myself comparing Resident Evil 6 with the previous games; this should not be the case as if it were it would have a very low score, however as a standalone game it certainly has a lot of action and shooting of zombies and hours upon hours of replayability, if that's your pleasure then there will be some enjoyment in this for you.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
Review Policy (Version tested: Xbox 360)
Edited On 01 Oct, 2012
Resident Evil 6
It has been ten years since the Raccoon City incident and the President of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place in the belief that it will curb the current resurgence in bioterrorist activity.
Due to be by the President's side is his personal friend and Raccoon City survivor, Leon S. Kennedy, but when the venue suffers a biote…
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