Resident Evil 6 Review
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Dev: Capcom
Genres: Third-person shooter
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Release Date: 02/10/12

Resident Evil 6 Review

Site Score
Good: Improved gameplay
Bad: Unmemorable new characters
User Score
(18 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (18 votes cast)

I know that Resident Evil 6 was released mid-October, but I thought that some of you may still be wondering if the new instalment is worth your time almost two months on (and since it’s only £20 on Amazon right now – bargain!). I have been a fan of the Resident Evil series since the original hit the shelves back in 1996 – yes, I was only 8 when I was playing games like that, and I have watched and experienced its evolution from survival horror into… well, a third-person shooter. I mean sure, there’s still survival here but the horror is all but pretty much gone. This is an action game now!

If there’s one thing to be said about Resident Evil 6, it’s that this game is by far the biggest one yet. You have three main campaigns, as well as an extra one you can unlock once you complete the initial trio. You can also play them in any order you wish, although I personally played them in the order they are presented to you. First up is Leon’s campaign – set in the fictional ‘Racoon City-esque’ town of Tall Oaks, Capcom have finally welcomed the return of zombies! This is the one campaign that lives up to how Resident Evil used to be, in mood if not in gameplay. And as for that, we are back to the ‘over-the-shoulder, aim and shoot, 3rd person’ gameplay (if indeed that is a style of gameplay in itself). This was first introduced in Resident Evil 4, and has apparently stuck with the series since. Only now (like Resident Evil 5) the game is played with a partner – AI, or split-screen/online with a friend. Originally this seemed liked a bad idea, as personally that’s what let 5 down for me, but there have been some significant improvements to the gameplay since.

The first is the way you run around. Rather than moving forward, back, and turning right/left before being able to run in that direction, you can now simply walk/run in whichever direction you choose to move. It sounds basic right? But this in itself allows for much more freedom and fluid movement when being surrounded by enemies. It takes even more away from how Resident Evil used to be but again, this was a necessary sacrifice for the way in which the game is now played. Another good change is the fact that you no longer have to swap items with your partner. The amount of times I found myself being hacked to pieces in 5 whilst I was trying to sort out my inventory was infuriating. In 6 this is no longer an issue. In addition to that the new healing system can be handy at times, letting you take a green herb with ease. You now simply press a button and you can heal yourself, saving you once again from having to go into your inventory when being attacked.

Whereas Leon’s campaign does well to impress, both Chris and Jake’s campaigns seem more like experiments than anything else, offering both good and bad factors. You’ll be finding yourself using the new cover system a lot in these two campaigns. It is weird to get used to at first but once you do it feels very smooth and easy to use. Of course this can be utilised in Leon’s campaign as well but I rarely found that I needed it when faced against zombies. The problem that these two campaigns face is what I call the “vehicle” scenes. A car chase and shoot-out in Chris’ campaign just seems basic and unnecessary, while driving a bike in Jake’s is even worse than that, with awkward controls and glitchy camera cuts. That being said there are still some truly great moments – being stalked by an invisible snake with Chris, and being constantly pursued by a giant monster with Jake. These are moments that remind us of the potential that Resident Evil has, but at the same time should make Capcom realise that too many new ideas isn’t a good thing. Also, where are the brutal deaths that we experienced in Resident Evil 4?!

Ada’s campaign is a welcome return to single player… by single player, I mean without a partner. You don’t have to rely on another person’s help, be it AI or not, and you can impale enemies into walls with a crossbow… enough said. This will also wrap up any confusion and unanswered questions from the main three campaigns (thank god!) although having to play some parts again, since each campaign crosses over each other, may seem a little tedious. If you want to go through the main campaign with a friend, then that’s not a problem, however if you want to play by yourself then there really needs to be an option without a partner – this is something that Capcom needs to work on for their next instalment. The AI, although admittedly better than 5, still has its flaws, and the fear factor of having another person with you is just not the same as Resi 4. It might not be so bad if each character’s partner was memorable. Characters like Helena and Piers are introduced for the first time (and probably the last), whereas Sherry Birkin (who some of you may remember from Resident Evil 2) seems to be the only partner to have decent character interaction.

This is a series that has gone from one small setting, filled with suspense and genuine horror, to a game set in various places across the globe with tonnes of action and more cheap scares than actual horror; no matter how great the game looks, you can understand why true fans of the originals will have something to moan about. Especially when you have to take down a C-Virus’ take on a T-Rex… you’ll have to see it to believe it. That’s not the only thing though! However fun Resident Evil 6 may be it can certainly get ridiculously silly at times. Getting dragged underwater by a giant shark with arms, crash landing a jumbo jet into a city, or having to defeat the same boss over 10 times as it just constantly mutates over and over again – these are moments that are truly outrageous even if it is all great fun at the time!

Whether you are an old-school Resi fan, or a newcomer to the series there is definitely fun to be had here! Capcom have taken a risk, and for the most part it has paid off. It is just a shame that some of the new gameplay elements (however few there are) are simply poor and unnecessary. As without them, this could have been a great return to the franchise!

- Decent graphics

- Fun co-op

- Improved gameplay

- The return of zombies!

- Unnecessary 'vehicle' moments

- Ridiculous enemies

- Unmemorable new characters

It was certainly a tough one with Resi 6. On one hand I loved the many improvements since 5, as well as the return of zombies (have i said that enough times already?) and besides, it was good fun to play! Unfortunately I just felt that Capcom had tried too hard to offer an experience for everyone, and therefore still missed out on what Resident Evil is (or was) really about. It was hard to choose between a 7 or an 8, so naturally I cut it down the middle.

Sam Spencer

I am a Sony man at my core. Apparently I could beat my brother at Super Mario 3 when I was only 4 years old! One day I will finally dress up as Cole MacGrath for Halloween – I've got the sling-bag; just need the cajones to shave my hair off…
Resident Evil 6 Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 18 ratings

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1 Comment

  1. Anon
    December 23, 2012, 8:35 pm

    “Resident Evil” has not lost it’s survival horror roots. It’s still a horrific setting in which you are intended to survive.

    We, as gamers, are desensitized. It’s harder to “scare” us.
    We have evolved, and so has the series.

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