Resident Evil 6 Review
- Posted October 1st, 2012 at 13:28 EDT by Michael Harradence
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Resident Evil 6 may lack originality and has some shaky moments, but more than makes up for it with action-packed gameplay, heaps of content and a gripping story.
- Four diverse, action-packed campaigns
- Plenty of unlockable content
- Great story with some surprisingly spooky moments
- Poor cover system
- Vehicle sections are underwhelming
- Some bland visuals
Resident Evil is suffering from something of an identity issue as of late. Originally starting out as a Survival Horror franchise, Capcom’s zombie behemoth has slowly transitioned into a bog-standard, third-person shooter for the past couple of iterations. This fundamental shift in concept has proved polarizing to say the least; some fans, such as myself, prefer the methodical, slower-paced efforts of old, while others embrace the adrenaline-fuelled action of latter offerings. Enter Resident Evil 6, which apart from advancing the mind-numbing plot, is ostensibly Capcom’s answer to appeasing fans of both camps by offering an amalgamation of several gameplay ideas. The question is can these disparate gameplay elements be successfully married to offer a cohesive, gripping sequel that can please everyone? So long as you’re not expecting anything innovative or original, then for the most part, yes.
We open up 15 years after Raccoon City’s destruction, as depicted in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Bio-terrorism has gone global, with the deadly C-Virus unleashed upon the unsuspecting public. All isn’t lost however, as old favourites Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy return to put a stop to the mayhem alongside newcomer Jake Mullet –aka, Albert Wesker Jr. This means you have three separate campaigns to tuck into, each one offering a substantially different experience in terms of core gameplay, and can be played in any order you see fit. To put it succinctly, Leon’s is the horror-driven piece of the puzzle, Chris is your RE5-style actioner, and Jake’s is, well, a bit of everything. All campaigns are united, however, by several crossover appearances that weave together the narrative and give you a broader view of what’s going on. The action is a globe-trotting affair, taking you from a small town in the U.S., an Eastern European warzone to a sprawling metropolis in China.
This is familiar territory despite some tweaks here and there. If you’ve played RE4 or 5, you’ll still feel right at home. Over-the-shoulder aiming returns, you still have to press a button to sprint, while context-sensitive actions such as climbing over objects and performing melee attacks also play their part. However, mobility has been greatly enhanced. Now, you can leap forward, back, left or right to avoid attacks, and even fire your gun from a downed position. It’s great, and really alleviates that clunky control feel that the series has had trouble shedding. Also new is the chance to equip Skill Points to enhance various attributes including shot power, defence, recoil, melee attack strength and more, though I can’t say these offered any noticeable difference in performance. Nonetheless, they cater to a variety of play styles, allowing you to mix and match as you see fit.
The ability to move and shoot further makes your character feel less robotic, though the cover system is far from intuitive. This can lead to some problematic encounters, as RE6 really wants to be Gears of War or Mass Effect 3 during action-heavy moments, but the controls lack the elegance of those games. In fact, it’s downright fiddly at best, and getting into a rhythm of popping out, shooting off a few rounds and getting your head down again is an exercise in sheer frustration. These issues are most conspicuous in Chris and Jake’s campaigns, where gun-toting J’avo (the game’s new enemies, sort of a hybrid between Ganado and something a little new) force you to keep your head down. In the end, I simply resorted to diving and rolling about all over the place to confuse my opponents before letting off a few shots, as opposed to using cover to get the job done.
Elsewhere, melee attacks can also be performed at will by hitting R1, and while there’s absolutely zero skill involved here, other than mashing at the button, it’s a great way to save ammo. Jake’s primary weapon is to use his fists too, meaning you can string together some devastating blows – it’s messy, but still effective if you use it on lone enemies. And you’ll need to save bullets too, as RE6 can be surprisingly stingy when it comes to ammo and healing items, forcing you to make your headshots count and approach battles tactically rather than charging in. This recalls, albeit tenuously, the days of old where you really ... (continued on next page) ----
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