We have an awesome game review for the latest installment to the zombie survival (or rather shooter) game Resident Evil from our guest writer Chard Ibanez.
Change is always a tricky proposition when it comes to game franchises. It sometimes isolates a new game into new territory, breaking familiarity with its dedicated fan base, and only aiming to please a few. But when it works, it delivers in spades, bringing to the console gaming table fresh new ideas for benchmarking. A good example is Resident Evil 4 and its aiming system – and look how it made an impact, with games like Gears of War, Dead Space, and even Uncharted. Resident Evil 6 is somewhere in between, when it comes to delivering something new to the console gaming scene. It is by no means groundbreaking when it comes to technicalities, and fortunately so, it doesn’t also dabble easily into mediocrity.
The game is basically all about action. The minute you boot the game, you are taken into the heat of action with Leon and newcomer Helena. Evidently, it’s no longer a “survival horror”, but rather, a “survival action” game. As you blast through the biologically terrorized streets of China, you’ll soon realize that you’re only playing a prelude level, and what comes next is one of the biggest changes in an RE game: 3 full and separate campaigns, each with different gameplays.
When Leon and gang are not busy shooting heads of lame brains, they’re busy staring up collapsing transmission towers on fire, wondering what to do next.
Leon and Helena’s campaign is reminiscent of old RE games: Zombies prowl the next corner, and dark areas conceal unseen dangers. Chris’ campaign produces an Army of Two vibe, where you team-up with BSAA agent Piers, as you take on J’avo – C-virus mutations similar to enemies from RE5. Sherry of RE2 fame teams up with a mysterious mercenary known as Jake, who apparently is the only one who carries C-virus antibodies. By now, it should be no secret that Ada also has her own campaign (unlocked by finishing all three), which features a good blend of stealth, puzzles and action. Interestingly enough, characters will cross paths at several points in the game – and these points present the game’s best highlights. With the exception of Ada’s campaign, you can enjoy the game with a co-op partner, online or couch. In solo mode, the AI does a fine job of filling the role of your partner, and you even get to freely choose between the two characters from each campaign right off the bat.
“I mean, dude, it can’t get any creepier than a video tape. They did it with that game where your character is named something like Harry… Jason. And it worked!”
Like the games before it, Resident Evil 6 still exudes the B movie feel with its cliched writing, overly predictable plot, and cheesy lines (like Leon’s “things just went from bad to worse”, lol). That’s not to say the whole story and writing is bad – in fact, it has its own charm, and each of the campaign’s endings are quite enjoyable. Cut scenes are also expertly done, featuring intense moments and revelations in the game. The sound design and music is also commendable. Firing off a clip of shotgun shells into a Bloodshot’s pulsating heart gets the blood rushing. Thanks to an ensemble effort by the game’s brilliant voice actors, the story is interesting enough to grab your attention until each campaign’s climactic finale.
And of course, there’s Sherry Birkin.
New to Resident Evil 6 is the innovative RE.NET (which is, in truth, residentevil.net) – a completely free suite featuring game progress tracking, rankings, points system, a social platform for meeting fellow RE fans around the world, and just about everything the game needs. When you play the game while connected online, the game automatically uploads your progress, such as kills with a particular weapon, first aid sprays used, level progress, as well as medals for completing above average tasks like finishing a level on Professional difficulty. In addition, enemies now drop Skill Points (gone are the treasures and currency system of RE4 and 5), which you save up for useful perks such as increasing damage for weapons or melee, increasing defense, or simply put, increasing item drops from enemies. It’s an addictive process, and you may find yourself replaying old levels to get that next level up for the Firearm skill.
Collecting emblems allow you to acquire “action figures” of characters in their respective campaigns. I suppose we’re right to assume you’ll go for Sherry’s campaign first?
While the game holds incredible potential for an action game, it is not without its missteps. For one, the controls can get a bit clunky. The button layout is perfect – it’s how the game handles the cover system which creates a real fuss in the experience. Popping in and out is inconvenient, but given the game’s first attempt at it, it can be forgiven. Your character’s tendency to move excessively when initiating a move from a standing position can also cause minor blunders when attempting to turn on a switch, and at times you will find yourself missing a small spot in the wall. The camera could also use some work. Don’t get me wrong, the “over the shoulder” shooting experience is flawless. It’s when an area gets populated with hardened Napads and annoying bee-like Gnezdos, and you find yourself obstructed by tables or what-have-you in the area that you wish you could have seen from when you were approaching it from a turn. The overbearing presence of quick time events (QTE) also breaks the pace, specially the ones on Professional mode that require you to tap a single button inhumanly to beat the living daylights out of a boss enemy. The QTEs are by no means difficult, just slightly annoying.
BSAA Grunt: “MMMMM… kk” *cough, cough*
Piers: “MMMMMMM… kk… Damn it.”
Chris: “MMMMMMMMM… kkkk… I win. Suckers.”
Resident Evil 6 may not turn heads, or achieve accolades for being the next best RE game. It’s an experience that grows in you. If you’re in it just to play and finish all campaigns, it would be fair to say that you are only experiencing a quarter, or perhaps a third, of what the Resident Evil 6 package truly offers. While the Agent Hunt – where you go online and invade other people in their campaign as enemy zombies or J’avo – is pathetically forgettable, the mindless but exhilarating Mercenaries mode serves as a good, bite-sized complement to the campaign experience. Emblems to collect, medals to acquire, perks to unlock, higher difficulties, the option to go through the campaign one more time with unlocked weapons, or a co-op partner: Resident Evil 6 seems to have everything – just be armed with the knowledge that this is an action game at its heart, not a survival horror. While the consensus on Resident Evil 6 may still be out in the open for some, I can safely say that change has been for the better with this one.
Game Rating: 8.7 out of 10