Resident Evil 6 is Capcom’s attempt to bring the gripping horror grasped by the earlier Resident Evil’s back with some modern upgrades. It succeeds, in part.
It feels like Capcom have tried to inject the recent Operation Racoon City with well known characters and some more set pieces and gameplay upgrades. The atmosphere is incredible and as with all Resident Evil games, they seem to capture the essence of grim horror in an ever declining situation. What it fails to do, is make the gameplay match this.
The game is played through three different campaigns, each with a different character at the helm and once all three have been completed, Ada Wong’s campaign is unlocked. The campaigns are:
- Leon S. Kennedy (of Resident Evil 2 and 4) partnering with Helena Harper, battles through Tall Oaks after the President is infected by a bio-terrorist attack before he can officially reveal the truth behind the events at Racoon City.
- Chris Redfield (of the original Resident Evil) is teamed up with Piers Nivans after their team is infected and killed by Ada Wong. They battle across Eastern Europe and China taking on bio-terrorist threats.
- Jake Muller, son of Albert Wesker, teams up with DSO agent and Raccoon City survivor Sherry Birkin to flee from the authorities after a bio-terrorist attack. Sherry has to keep Jake alive because his blood could be the only cure to the global virus outbreak.
Leon’s campaign is the most like the earlier games, moving through a heavily infected area, meeting survivors, never having enough bullets. Being able to move while firing is a great upgrade to previous games, but the health recovery system is lacking and feels unwieldy. Close combat feels very unrealistic and repetitive and it is usually simpler to run around and let your partner take out the enemies you can’t avoid until you find more ammo. There are some great moments to be found in this campaign, but rather than building tense moments of suspense, the cut sequences are big budget explosions and epic battles. They look great, but it would have worked so much better had they invested fully into survival horror, instead it feels like Operation Racoon City, with less ammo.
Chris’ campaign is full on combat and while enjoyable, offers nothing new other than forward the intertwining storyline. It can be compared to other co-op action games and if Operation Racoon City was your thing, then you will enjoy this part of the game.
Jake’s campaign finds a more close combat orientated style of game. Firearms are still there, but potent, although clunky martial art attacks are what drives this campaign. Jake’s unique blood allows his stamina bar to refresh slightly faster than other playable characters and the constant threat of capture drives his campaign and adds a good deal of tension.
Ada Wong’s campaign is a much more stealthy puzzle based affair and as well as being challenging, is the best campaign out of the four, although after playing through three campaigns, playing solo feels like removing the stabilisers off your bike for the first time.
The co-op/multiplayer side of Resident Evil 6 is very well executed and playing through the entire game with a friend should be your standard state of play. The co-op AI is fantastic should another player not be available the computer controlled partner is always effective in difficult situations.
A note must also be said about Capcom’s fantastic promotion RE6. The build up was great, the promotional trailers fantastic and Capcom UK’s promotion stunts like the Wesker and Sons butchers shop, their educational talks and their input to the Stick Twiddlers Eurogamer Party were phenomenal.
The atmosphere, sheer scale and length of the campaigns and the well executed multiplayer functions and interwoven and overlapping stories are what carries Resident Evil 6. The game isn’t perfect, there are some control, movement and gameplay woes and it appears that Capcom have tried to satisfy almost every player type with this addition to the series rather than take it back to the much loved survival horror genre. What could have been a great game is marred by some issues, but there is still a lot to love.
3 out of 5 Nerds