A line has been clearly drawn in the sand by Capcom, on one side stands a group of people who are stuck in the past when it comes to the Resident Evil series, on the other side are those that decided to give the new look and feel of the series a chance. It’s safe to say that those that actually decide to buy the game and try it out for themselves will walk away from the experience very happy. Resident Evil 6 is a game that will garner a lot of negative press, particularly when it comes to forums and other various sites, but that shouldn’t stop people from at least trying the game before condemning it. Resident Evil 5 received mixed reactions from the fans, how will Resident Evil 6 fare?
I’ll kill any suspense by saying right away that Resident Evil 6 is a very good game, its Capcom’s most ambitious Resident Evil title to date, and it does a lot of things very, very well. That being said, it’s far from perfect, but the good points to the game definitely outweigh the bad points. I have to give Capcom credit for taking risks with one of the most loved franchises. One thing a lot of fans will be happy to hear is that a lot of the fright and survival elements are indeed back, though the game isn’t completely old school, there is a lot of action to be found with Resident Evil 6, but they did a good job in keeping you guessing as to what you’d have to do next. I think in a way that was part of the fear factor for this game, you just weren’t sure what was around the next corner, it could be one zombie, or it could be a whole horde of enemies. So while the game isn’t a slow-paced crawl like the original Resident Evil games, you’ll still get your fair share of scares and thrilling moments that send your ticker into overdrive.
Earlier I mentioned that Resident Evil 6 was Capcom’s most ambitious title in the franchise, one of the main reasons for this was the way they set up the campaign, or should I say campaigns. There are actually three main campaigns to play through in this game, Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield and Jake Muller. Once you complete these three campaigns you’ll unlock the Ada Wong campaign, so all in all there are four full length campaigns to keep you occupied for hours on end. In total you’ll spend a little over twenty hours playing through all of the campaigns, though the Ada Wong campaign was a bit shorter than her counterparts. The really interesting part to the campaigns is that they are all connected at a certain level, I actually felt like this was one of the better Resident Evil stories that we’ve been told, even though story telling has never been the strong suit to the franchise, I loved the story elements in this latest game. The central hub to the story arc is the new C-Virus that is threatening all of humanity, one of the other cool aspects of the story is that you actually get a call back to the Raccoon City incident, Resident Evil games aren’t really known for their continuity, so it was nice to see Capcom actually stick to the canon of the series.
The controls are tighter than ever, I really thought Capcom improved the fluidity and even though you might get a Gears Of War vibe from the cover system, it works well and comes in handy. The over the shoulder camera angles are easy to manipulate and the new tablet system works wonders for herbs and when you want to recover some health, everyone is using tablets these days, even video game characters. The new real-time weapon switching is also something I really enjoyed about the game, I didn’t have to slow down or pause the game or get taken out of the action. Each campaign, except the Ada Wong scenario, sees you take on a partner, much like the way you did in Resident Evil 5. The thing that is improved is the friendly AI, which has been amped up to actually help you out in the game. The variety of partners for each campaign also keeps things fresh and interesting as well. I know a lot of gamer’s wanted Capcom to go back to actual zombies in their zombie game, thankfully they listened and zombies are now a key enemy in the game. Zombies aren’t the only baddy however, a new enemy called a J’avo makes their first appearance in the series, what makes these guys different is that they aren’t totally mindless, but rather intelligent and they actually work together. Capcom manages to keep things fresh, while maintaining what makes this franchise so great in the first place. Some people might think they have changed too much, but games need to evolve and most of the changes in this game are for the absolute better.
Resident Evil 6 flies along at a pretty speedy clip, all of the campaigns feel thoroughly fleshed out and they offer variety and fun throughout. The best way to play through the campaigns is obviously with a friend, you can do local co-op or go online with Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. If I had anything negative to say about Resident Evil 6 it would be that there was occasional texture pop in, and some distance draw in as well, but its nothing that destroys the game. I also didn’t notice any glitches or frame rate issues, even when there were multiple enemies on the screen. Keep in mind that I was playing through the Xbox 360 version, so I’m not sure how the PS3 version holds up. Some of the more interesting sequences sees you take control of a jet, its different and at first you might be a bit skeptical, but it flows well with the game and it keeps you interested from start to finish. One minute your fighting small zombies, then your creeping through a small corridor, the next minute your flying a frigging jet through the skies.
There is actually some online multiplayer aspects to Resident Evil 6 as well, the Mercenaries mode is like a Hoard mode, it sees you fight waves of enemies and its pretty standard, of course its fun, but who knows if it’ll be something that keeps gamers coming back for more? There is also the Agent Hunt mode, which allows players to take control of random enemies in other people’s games, that to me was the more interesting online game mode. The online lobby’s were easy to navigate and I didn’t notice any lag or problems with connection drops. All in all there are a few minor flaws with Resident Evil 6, but its nothing that kills the overall experience. From start to finish the game is filled with action, suspense, horror and most importantly fun. If you’ve decided not to try Resident Evil 6 based on hearsay or because you think it’ll be a bad experience, that is really your own loss, you’ll be missing out on a very fun and entertaining entry in the Resident Evil universe.