Resident Evil 6 Review

by Gaetano 'Xbot' Prestia Featured

15 Comments 30 Votes 3054 Views 03/10/2012 Back to Reviews

No hope left

What Resident Evil 6 Got Right
  • + Story woven well through four campaigns
  • + Big, explosives setpieces
  • + Good co-op
  • + Solid combat
What Resident Evil 6 Got Wrong
  • - Overbearing quicktime and scripted events
  • - Disjointed experience feels more like a movie
  • - Restrictive, interruptive design
  • - Awful camera

How do you review a game without a genre? That’s the predicament I faced while playing Resident Evil 6, a game with no clear direction or firm understanding of the genre it’s supposed to represent. This is a game that suffers from an identity crisis of epic proportions, because it doesn’t know whether it wants to be an action game, a survival game, or a movie. Yes, a movie: Resident Evil 6 is hampered rather methodically by over-long cutscenes, boring quicktime and scripted events, which make you feel less in control of the characters. Is RE6 bad? No, but it’s not especially good, either. Funnily enough, the game’s tagline perfectly outlines the future of Resident Evil: no hope left.

Resident Evil 6 is a game I’ve really, really tried to enjoy. With four 5-6 hour campaigns, each with their own interesting story, big set pieces and, admittedly, enjoyable cutscenes, there’s plenty to like about this game, because, for what it’s worth, it looks fantastic.

Unfortunately, the experience can be frustrating, disjointed and restrictive. When you’re blasting away at zombies...mutants...whatever, the gameplay is a moderately enjoyable blast of solid shooting and satisfying combat, but it almost feels like a rarity. Resident Evil 6 just tries too hard to be a movie, and while that’s not particularly bad -- if you can at least offer an engaging gameplay experience, then by all means, break the gameplay up with cutscene after cutscene after cutscene -- the failure here is offering an experience that is flowing, consistent and coherent. This game just doesn’t offer those things.

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The biggest problem with Resident Evil 6 is how frustratingly interruptive it is. Cutscenes aren’t a bad thing, and in the case of RE6 they do a good job of explaining the entertaining plot, but when they constantly interrupt the flow of gameplay, especially after you’ve just spent the past few minutes roaming through alley-ways and corridors without engaging anyone, then suddenly the experience loses a bit of its spunk.

The game’s disjointedness spreads across all four campaign. Leon and newcomer Helena Harper team up for an experience closely reminiscent of eerie locations in Resident Evil 4. Shooting mechanics are a little looser and refined this time round, but for the most part, Leon’s experience seems like an (attempted) ode to the series’ better days. Unfortunately, it’s plagued by quicktime events and button prompts.

Chris Redfield’s and Piers Nivens’ campaign is basically a military shooter, although the tight environments and closed alleys make for some truly awful camera work. Just like Leon’s campaign, this experience is dampened by the most ridiculous button prompts and quicktime events, including one where you have to continuously smash the X/Square button to climb across a wooden plank. No analog stick, no balancing, no combat; just button pressing. It’s a moment that actually, literally made me, as a gamer, feel like an idiot. I couldn’t help but wonder, if you’re going to implement such a trivial, pointless mechanic, why not just have the character move across the plank by themselves? Either have some sort of engagement with the movement, or don’t have anything.

Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin's campaign takes the cake as the most scripted. Aside from some truly breathtaking set pieces, this campaign is arguably the least enjoyable, as you’ll spend most of your time jumping across gaps, running towards the camera away from large enemies (and boy does that send the camera into hysterics), and a countless array of trivial button prompts that, just like with the Chris campaign, would have been better served not to have been included at all. It just feels like lazy game design.

Ada Wong’s puzzle-driven campaign, which is unlocked once you push through the first three campaigns mentioned above, is co-op free. It has a number of interesting and challenging puzzles, which should please classic Resident Evil fans. But it’s still hampered by quicktime events and button prompts.

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There is plenty to like about Resident Evil 6, though. For one, the story is good enough to persuade you past the overused quicktime events. And even though those events are frequent and interruptive, they can make for some truly tense and memorable moments. It’s just that they’re all too frequent, and sometimes implemented in such a way that is indicative of lazy, casual development.

The B-Grade horror plot is fascinatingly woven through all four campaigns, and in that regard it does a good job of remaining coherent while the gameplay remains anything but. Certain moments, like an epic fall from a building, or a virus being spewed out all over unsuspecting citizens, make for memorable points. For the most part, Resident Evil 6’s story is entertaining and explosive, and goes hand-in-hand with the game’s action-focused gameplay experience.

The cooperative experience is solid, although the AI controlled squadmates can be as frustratingly inept as what was served up in Resident Evil 5. Certain prompts often go unnoticed while you wait for the AI to respond, while other times you’ll be left waiting while your squadmate slowly makes his way towards you. The drop-in, drop-out online co-op system works well, and RE6 is certainly a great experience with friends. Quicktime events and scripted events still disjoin the experience, but gameplay execution is more effective when playing with a human counterpart.

The combat itself I feel is the game’s most promising aspect. Sure, Resident Evil 6 sometimes exceeds what any of us might have expected from the game (like controlling a vehicle, for example), but for the most part, many of RE6’s biggest boss battles and most tense moments are ones that will stick with you for a while. They are disappointingly dampened by the game’s overbearing reliance on certain trivialities, but the game doesn’t control poorly: it just plays out poorly. Is that because the developer wanted the game to appeal to a mass audience? I'm not sure a disjointed and interruptive game equates to a larger, mass audience.

The Final Verdict

Resident Evil 6's issues are indicative of a company trying perhaps a little too much to get back on its feet. For what it’s worth, Resident Evil 6 is a solid, high production value action game with enjoyable, engaging combat, great set pieces and an intricately told B-grade horror plot. However, it’s a mercilessly disjointed experience, hurt by incoherent pacing, an overbearing number of quicktime events and trivial button prompts that slow the experience considerably.

By Gaetano Prestia

Resident Evil 6

Platform: PS3 / Xbox / PC
Developer: Capcom
Similar to: Resident Evil 5
 
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More Info on Resident Evil 6

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Game Profile: Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 Australian Release: Out Now

Resident Evil 6 Review Comments

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I loved RE4 so much, and it saddens me that we're never going to go back to its greatness :'(
Resident Evil died with Albert Wesker, this is shameless milking, successfully alienating fans of the original games which just like the movies are now "in name only" associates to this soulless tripe.

Not even grabbing this from the bargain bin, friends have described it as an absolute chore to play and no fun at all.

Shame on you capcom, your games are bad and you should feel bad.

Ben said: I loved RE4 so much, and it saddens me that we're never going to go back to its greatness



RE4 was just the beginning of this shit though, it was good but it was the title that started all this action orientation and its just been further diluted ever since.
RE 1,2,3 and RE:CV, RE0 is where its at.

OllyEbbz said:

Ben said: I loved RE4 so much, and it saddens me that we're never going to go back to its greatness


RE4 was just the beginning of this shit though, it was good but it was the title that started all this action orientation and its just been further diluted ever since.
RE 1,2,3 and RE:CV, RE0 is where its at.



RE4 was definitely the beginning, but it's a great game. But I agree that it was the first step towards becoming all action. It was the beginning of the end it seems.

OllyEbbz said:

Ben said: I loved RE4 so much, and it saddens me that we're never going to go back to its greatness


RE4 was just the beginning of this shit though, it was good but it was the title that started all this action orientation and its just been further diluted ever since.
RE 1,2,3 and RE:CV, RE0 is where its at.



It was, but it did it right.

Ben said:

OllyEbbz said:

Ben said: I loved RE4 so much, and it saddens me that we're never going to go back to its greatness


RE4 was just the beginning of this shit though, it was good but it was the title that started all this action orientation and its just been further diluted ever since.
RE 1,2,3 and RE:CV, RE0 is where its at.


It was, but it did it right.


Exactly. I thoroughly enjoyed RE4 a lot but when I played RE5, it just didn't feel the same. I have only played REmake on the GC but it captured the survival horror genre superbly and pretty much set the bar for me but the controls are terrible.
Jpro
+
I didn't start playing RE till RE4. I was a big fan of RE4 and i was a big fan of Leon. So i'm happy he's back, that's probably what has me sold on this the most.

Now i'm not really familiar with the survival horror everyone's talking about. Maybe i should look into it. So i can make comparisons.

I was kind of disappointed with RE5(stupid AI) and Resident Evil Revelations(stupid AI and wonky controls). So i'm hoping for a breath of fresh air with RE6.

Now for RE6. So far for most of it i like what i've played. Even if it is only the first chapters of each campaign. The action is nice, some good footage. I also like that you have a better range for combat. If you run out of bullets you can still give them an ass kicking. I like the action buttons with the timing and such it's kind of fun.

I'm not really a fan of the health system. I like the idea of tablets but i'd rather they end up on the R2 button automatically rather than you doing it manually. I've mainly been getting herbs during zombie attacks and such. and it can be very distracting getting a herb then switching to your case and combining and such whilst in the middle of a warzone.



You'll have more to look forward to with the DLC scenerio/sequel next year.
lol I loooove Revelations! It kind of felt like the first Resident Evil with the new sontrol scheme!
The circle pad did kind of make Revelations better. Maybe I was just buggered by Parker not having my back, or being a lousy shot, one of those.
Still dont know why I want this, only for the sake of RE.
this games awesome, dont listen to the review. they are opinions after all. i am loving this game. also loved revelations on 3DS :P
Ignore the crap reviews
Despite the horrible reviews, I personally didn't mind the game. I think Capcom handled catering to a myriad of demographics fairly well. I had fun barrelling through it and enjoyed the experience, albeit one that was different to the original RE's (although I didn't see much difference between this and RE5, to be honest)
when i played this, it didn't feel like Resident Evil anymore, i actually preferred standing still while aiming like in the previous Res Evil games, and the aiming reticle was mind busting for me, a cross hair with a red laser sight inside the crosshair was just too much, one aiming reticle is all we need. i did like the melee combat though, that was fun to use, and how you can grab a weapon out of a zombie's hand and use it against them.

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