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Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6

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Resident Evil 6 (XBOX 360)

Resident Evil 6 (XBOX 360)

In every long running game franchise there are moments that we can look back on as not meeting the quality required. For Resident Evil the game was very much in need of a reboot and it got that a few years ago by moving to a more action related gameplay style and away from survival horror. Clearly such a shift wouldn’t please the hardcore fans of the game but it is fair to say that Capcom did succeed in making the jump and "4" was one of the better games in the series, and one of the best titles ever released on Gamecube.

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Resident Evil 6 screenshot

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In previous Resident Evil games, and in fact in the vast majority of games of this type, we tend to play through a set campaign. Sometimes our character might be joined by a NPC, other times we could jump from confrontation to confrontation maybe switching soldier as we go. Resident Evil 6 however immediately sets out to separate itself from that.

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When designing Resident Evil 6 it is clear that Capcom wanted a dark game, this is zombies after all. Leon’s campaign is the darkest of the three with some areas almost impossible to see in which does raise the tension a little. Jake and Chris on the other hand have brighter environments to deal with in eastern Europe and at the bright lights of a Hong Kong styled city.

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Resident Evil 6 screenshot

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As we noted earlier in the review Resident Evil 6 looks to set itself apart from many other games in the action genre… and in fact it often looks to set itself apart from, well… itself. Each of the campaigns plays differently, and each feels different too. Leon’s for example has a more personal, small feel to it while Chris offers a larger scale gameplay style which initially starts with some real squad based combat. We also liked the large variation in enemies between each mode. By simply moving from mission one in each campaign to the next we get hugely different monsters to fight, all with differing speed, skills and personalities. And that is before we even consider modes such as Agent Hunt and Mercenaries with the former completely changing the way we have to approach situations and the later pushing us to all out attack, rather than a measured approach.

With such a massive scope and many gameplay mechanic tweaks since the last Resident Evil it comes as no surprise that there are a few rough edges in here. We would for example have loved Capcom to build in a much more flexible save system for example as should we exit one campaign mid level/mission and move to another our progress is lost for the level we just exited… it doesn’t seem hard to have 3-4 different parts to a save file which allows more detailed game progress info. In areas the game is also too dark, often meaning environments can get confusing (and not in a way that is meant) with the left shoulder button to point us in the right direction very much feeling like it is a gameplay mechanic put in paper over a problem. Additionally there are some dialogue issues where characters tend to contradict the cutscenes or scores not quite matching the gameplay. Leon’s campaign score works well, Chris’s not so much and the music for the Mercenaries mode is just completely out of place.

Other than the game suffering a little from being clunky in terms of having to press A/B to execute actions like jump when we are mid run, or some rather annoying sections where it isn’t quite apparent how to avoid some enemies Resident Evil flows well though. This game in the franchise plays more like an action game than ever before and it is clear that the developers have picked little aspects of games they like, dropping them in where it might enhance this one which makes for a satisfying experience.

Resident Evil 6 screenshot

One of its biggest successes though is that it doesn’t really force anything on the player… don’t want to play online, fine. All the relevant modes work offline too. Want to play with unlimited ammo, no problems, its in the options. This is a wise choice considering everything Capcom have tried to include; clearly they were concerned that not every aspect would be to everyones taste.

Capcom are keen to point out that Resident Evil 6 should offer well over 40 hours of content for gamers, well in excess of the current standard for action games. But which campaign did we prefer? Overall it would have to be Leon’s campaign, it fell the most balanced of the three with the Chris levels being too action oriented for our tastes (with the most average enemies)and Jake… well his were fun but also quite a bit OTT and in some areas very much for fans of pain. Those who love extreme difficulty will find a nice home here, filled by massive, tough NPCs.

Summary
There is no doubt that Resident Evil 6 with its attempt to throw just about every gameplay aspect possible into the mix won’t appeal to everyone. To many it will be a little too wide reaching, others a little too full of timed button presses rather than finger on the trigger action (or vice versa) but the key aspect here is a good story which ties together the majority of the gameplay well, making us play on through the three enjoyable, action packed campaigns (and then some).

Overall, one of the best Resident Evil games to date.

89%

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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