Resident Evil has a long and strange history. We’ve seen everything from first-person shooters to top-down portable titles. Resident Evil 6 is supposed to not only bring the franchise back to its roots, but continue to move it blazing into the future through the multiple campaigns. Instead of playing the same game as a single character, each campaign features a unique, but interlocking story and gameplay elements. Capcom is really trying this time, with a reported development team of over 600 people, to bring you the best Resident Evil yet.
And they completely failed. Coming from someone who played Resident Evil Gaiden, Survivor, Outbreak and most of the other terrible spin-offs and someone who enjoys watching the terrible movies, Resident Evil 6 is the worse thing to happen to the series yet. At the very least the bad spin-off unsuccessfully tried to do something specific, Resident Evil 6 has no idea what it wants to be or how, so if just threw together a bunch of different play styles and didn’t bother to make any of them good.
Resident Evil 6 (PS3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)
Released: October 2, 2012
I played through the campaigns in the suggested order, not that it made the plot make any sense whatsoever. I don’t mind how insane the plot has been before, it’s Resident Evil, you don’t go here for a brilliant story, but at least the previous plots made sense within their own, insane logical boundaries. Resident Evil 6 doesn’t even have the courtesy to even attempt to explain anything that’s happening. It’s just one nonsensical event after another.
I never thought I would say that I miss the quick-time events of the past two games, but I really do. If anything, they gave you something to do during the cutscenes to distract you from the awful plot. Now you’re forced to sit and watch them in all their glory. The QTEs aren’t gone though, instead you’re forced into even worse ones in the middle of combat or to climb ropes. The QTEs are as frequent as they are in God of War, but without the ease of them.
You know what isn’t a natural or pleasant motion to make? Moving the thumbsticks left and right rapidly, yet Resident Evil 6 has decided that anytime you get grabbed or have to do something intensive you need to make this motion. To say that it was obnoxious isn’t going far enough. It was during combat, but during boss fights, when failing means instant death, these movements represent the bane of your existence. It’s one thing to have something not fun come up occasionally, but the sheer frequency of these terrible QTEs would make me believe that this was never playtested. Who okayed this?
It isn’t just the QTEs, simply playing the game isn’t fun. I have no idea why there’s a crosshair, since the laser sight in the center is actually how you hit enemies. Just because they’re in your crosshairs doesn’t mean you’re going to hit them, so why bother having them in the first place? We were fine with just the laser sight for two games already. It also doesn’t help that you have to level up your basic combat abilities for them to actually work well.
The new level up mechanic replaces the shop from the previous games. You pick up points from crates and enemies and invest them into different skills that you can equip. You better equip them too or you’ll find yourself incredibly outclassed in the later chapters. Don’t expect to use all of the skills though, they require so many points to level up that I only had three skills with points invested in them by the end of the fourth campaign, 30 hours in. Not that all of the skills are even useful, as some pertain to enemies that only appear in certain campaigns. I don’t know who would bother leveling up zombie killing abilities when you can level melee and gun abilities that can be used in every situation.
Resident Evil 6 also introduces a diving mechanic to complement its new dual stick shooting mechanics. Why you would ever want to dive to the ground completely escapes me. Instead of just rolling like in every other shooter ever, you lay down on the ground, making it more difficult to shoot enemies since you have to aim up and making it more difficult to evade. You also get knocked down constantly, be it from a light tap or a sniper bullet, not that the effects are consistent.
The melee system is also much more powerful now, seemingly to compensate for the awful shooting. Again, it would be fine if it actually worked consistently. When there’s a button prompt on the screen, when you hit it you should do the action. I don’t know how to aim a button prompt, yet the game clearly wants me to because I missed several skulls with my boot. Perhaps Resident Evil is trying to make you think about the lives you’re taking; or perhaps it’s just a terrible system.
Each campaign, save Ada’s, also introduces a new, completely flat character so that there can always be co-op. Why you would want to force someone else to suffer through this game with you is beyond me though. Resident Evil 6 doesn’t account for the second player with the item drops, so your ammo is now halved so that the other player isn’t running into bullets trying to melee enemies. The AI partners never die and have infinite ammo. You do the math.
I genuinely tried to like Resident Evil 6. I poured 30 hours of my life into it, I would have liked to get something out of it. Instead I was forced to play a game that actively despised me. It worked against me, sending me sliding down mountainsides because I can’t block a bullet or taking all of my health with one hit and having enemies hovering over me so I can’t get up and away safely. It breaks my heart that people will buy this just because it says Resident Evil on the box, this is the cancer killing Resident Evil and it should not be rewarded.
As much as I wish that Resident Evil was somewhat reminiscent of the series I grew up loving, I wouldn’t even mind this new direction. It just needs to be some semblance of good. I don’t care that I’m flying a fighter jet and blowing the hell out of stuff in Resident Evil, what matters is that it is fun to do and Resident Evil 6 is completely devoid of fun. It feels like those 600 people were all broken up into teams and left to their own devices. What they brought to the table could work, but mangled together everything is atrocious and devoid of anything that resembles a good game or Resident Evil.