I’ve been a fan of the Resident Evil series since I was probably 10 or 11 years old (the games, not those damn live-action movies). My brothers and I used to go to our neighbor’s house and watch them play Resident Evil: Director’s Cut and later Resident Evil 2. Surprisingly though, I have never played the first three RE games. I’ve watched my friends, brothers, and speed runners play them so many times that I never felt compelled to pick them up myself. I also have only played a little of Resident Evil 4, again, because I watched my brother Matt tear through the entirety of the game. To date, I played and completed Resident Evil 5 with Matt and beat Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles with my brother Mike. Add to my short list Resident Evil 6.
Many critics and fans did not like this game, as it continued to stray away from the “survival horror” genre that the people loved about the first three games. Now the series is more focused as an action/puzzle game where you control your hero in 3rd person view. Furthermore, the story has become a what’s what of viruses and villains that some find confusing or just superfluous. I was able to complete the three main campaigns in my 5-day rental with a combination of easiest and normal difficulties so I have a good amount to go on. So to what extent did I enjoy this game? Hopefully I’m not too long-winded since there are quite a few things I have to say to make my opinion clear.
First off, this game has three campaigns with three different pairs of people to choose from, each starting with their own story but connecting towards the end. The pairs: Leon Kennedy and Helena Harper, search for a mysterious cathedral with a hidden secret; Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans, BSAA agents protecting the world from bio-terrorism; and Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin, a mysterious young man with antibodies that can cure the C-virus and his government appointed security escort. I played with the main characters (Leon, Chris, and Jake) and they all controlled the same for the most part. They get some different weapons at different times and Jake seems more suited for hand-to-hand combat, but otherwise no big differences.
I guess I’ll start off with what I didn’t like about this game. First, since the action is viewed over-the-shoulder of your player, you lack a great amount of peripheral vision when it comes to enemies. While I do concede it makes you keep your head on a swivel, sometimes the giant enemy in front of you takes precedence over the underlings in the room, causing you to be comboed mercilessly by multiple enemies. Second, quick-time events are plentiful in this game, leading to numerous instant-death scenarios. The amount of times I died from enemies during combat was probably around 2%, with the other 98% going to instant-death. Third, on normal difficulty, it takes a lot of bullets to bring the infected down, even if you’re shooting them in the head. Unless I got a critical hit and their head explodes, I would use at least 4 bullets on one enemy depending on the gun I used. This caused me to have a scarce amount of ammo at dire times. The last two points together led to probably the most frustrating segment of gaming I have faced in some time.
In a chapter with Jake, I had one death going into the final segment of the chapter. I had no ammo in my pistol when the final cutscene played, a quick-time event where I had to shoot an explosive tank while sliding down the back of a plane towards this hulking monster. The game was nice enough to give me a box of ammo before sliding down, but the problem was I had my magnum equipped. So in the span of about 5 seconds, I had to pick up the ammo, switch to my pistol, reload, then aim and shoot the tank. But attempts to reload were fruitless as my character would not complete the animation for whatever reason. Having only 3 seconds to give myself time to aim and shoot, I proceeded to die over and over again a total of 13 times. Sorry for the long rant but it had to be recorded as the low point of my experience (along with another chapter for Jake where I was trapped in a snowstorm, not able to see 2 feet in front of me.) Yeah, that’s what I want in my shooter, half a chapter of blindness.
For the few gripes I had, there were reasons I kept turning on my 360 and continuing the stories. While this game makes no attempt to scare its players, there are plenty of tense moments throughout and the fire-fights are hectic and action-packed, for better or worse. There’s not a whole lot better in this game than getting headshots on the infected. Once, with an enemy taking cover around a corner, there was just enough of his head showing for me to splatter it across the wall. The game is full of action sequences where enemies keep pouring in or bosses just won’t go down, making me feel like I was watching and playing an action movie at the same time. Another thing I really liked was the cutscenes. I felt like the voice acting did a great job at displaying various emotions and the language felt appropriate for the situation the characters were in.
While I feel I’ve explained enough, overall the game was a mixed bag for me. The amount of instant-deaths I had to suffer through ended up annoying me more than angering me (especially in Jake’s campaign) while the fun gameplay kept bringing me back for more. There is a ton of content in this game that I didn’t even get to (some of it being online); with three campaigns with five chapters each, four difficulty settings, and two characters in each campaign, you can essentially play through each campaign a total of forty times in order to medal in every difficulty. The ability to buy skills gives you incentives to replay levels and farm for skill points or just to try to get trophies/achievements. I wish I could have played co-op with one of my brothers as that probably would have made the game more fun. Overall, RE6 was another step away from its roots, but still a fun time for a 5-day rental or a cheap buy.
Final Score: 3/5