The Rob’s Video Game Review – Resident Evil 6
I want to start my review of Resident Evil 6 by stating that I am a HUGE fan of the Resident Evil series. I consider the first game in the series, 1996’s Resident Evil, to be in the top TWO greatest video games of all time (it’s tied with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past). While the franchise has churned out some crappy step-children (look at side-stories Resident Evil Survival and Operation Raccoon City as examples), all of the “numbered” entries in the critically and financially successful Resident Evil saga have always been home-runs.
The first three games DEFINED the term “survival horror,” and often times are considered the true inventors of that subgenre of games. The term is two-fold. To be a survival horror game implies two things must be present; The second half is self-explanatory, HORROR. That just means that the game scares you and possesses those same traits that make a great horror movie… SURVIVAL is a bit trickier though. It implies that you are stranded. You are alone, desolate , and short on supplies. Every health item counts and every last bullet is precious. You are NEVER in a position of power in a great survival horror game… You are always fighting for your life.
Series creator Capcom took the game in an obvious creative turn though in the series’ 2005 fourth installment. They abandoned the still-cameras for a player-controlled over-the-shoulder camera that had been becoming more popular in the middle of the 2000s. They abandoned much of the SURVIVAL aspects by loading players up with huge guns, explosives, and plenty of ammunition. They added escort missions, venders, and other non-playable characters resulting in the player never truly feeling “alone.” Sadly, the HORROR aspect that was so unique to Resident Evil games had also been largely discarded, opting for “sick human” enemies as opposed to the series’ trademark “living-dead zombies.” Resident Evil 4 still had enough creepy elements and scary scenarios to keep their core fans like me mostly satisfied. The fifth game in 2007 had devolved mostly into just a standard ACTION SHOOTER, but a good one at least… Which is more than I can say for the newest installment, Resident Evil 6.
Resident Evil 6 certainly feels like a game with an identity crisis. But instead of the “I can’t tell if I’m an action game or survival horror game” that had been plaguing the franchise for a decade, it feels like the game can’t decide if it wants to be Resident Evil 5 or a new addition to the Uncharted franchise. And while both of those games are solid choices of games to imitate, the final result doesn’t stack up to either game, sadly.
In the Uncharted series of games players find themselves in tight situations, jumping from wall to wall right in time before a massive explosion. The game’s characters are very witty, affable, and charming, and the game comes off feeling like a major blockbuster motion picture that is extremely fun to play. Resident Evil 6 tries so badly to be that, but almost always comes off feeling lame and desperate. Their “Hollywood moments” are often-times too far-fetched and implausible that I found myself laughing at it as opposed to captivated by it.
The game is also guilty of taking way too many shortcuts to pad the game’s playtime, tricking players into doing the same thing twice but from two different viewpoints. The solo campaign has three main story-arches, all of which intersect with each other several times. The game is broken down into chapters (90% of which are far too long) and several times throughout the game you will be in a chapter you were in earlier, only controlling a different character. And if I didn’t like it the first time around, you can imagine how much I hated it the second time I had to suffer through it. Far too often you’ll find yourself facing the SAME boss at the end of a chapter, which to me comes off as very lazy and you never get that joy of beating a boss when you beat one because the damn thing will always come back somewhere down the line.
At the start of the game, players will pick to be in one of three storylines, each with the choice to control one of two characters, typically one familiar and one new. The first scenario puts you in the role of Leon Kennedy. This scenario was the best of the three in my opinion, and will cater most to fans of the survival horror years. The second puts you in the shoes of veteran Chris Redfield and is easily the worst of the three. It plays like a bad third-person army sim. The third choice isn’t much better, following the story of Albert Wesker’s son Jake, who like his father, is immune to the “virus” and possesses the blood which could cure the plague. It’s better than Redfield’s scenario, but not by much. The scenarios can be played in whichever order you prefer, and will probably get you for about 10 hours of gameplay each.
Players unfortunate enough to make it through all three scenarios (like me) will feel a huge relief upon completion of the third scenario as the credits roll. (This is the THIRD time you’re watching this same 15-minute credit screen mind you.) But that relief will be short-lived however, because when you think you’ve finished all of the main quest, they throw a SURPRISE FOURTH STORY arch at you! Normally, in a good game, more content is a good thing. But you definitely feel “full” from the game long before the third credits roll, and when you see the choice to play now as Ada Wong, you will want to throw the game out the window. Dummies like me though, the kind that are O.C.D. about their gaming, can saddle up for 10 more hours of crap.
My experience with Resident Evil 6 was enough to make me question future installments in the series. After five games that I thought were fantastic, Capcom really let me down with this title. It bears no semblance to the games I loved from before. Its cut-scenes were tacky and overblown. It disappointed me beyond belief, although I’ll admit my expectations were very high.
The game isn’t a zero, and it probably wouldn’t even be fair to call this a bad game… Just a bad Resident Evil game. Call of Duty fans may want to give this game a ‘shot’ before Resident Evil fans… God knows you’ll have plenty of bullets.