Resident Evil 6 Review
Capcom had an opportunity with Resident Evil 6. People coming out of E3 2012 said that Leon’s campaign would return Resident Evil to it’s survival horror roots. However, playing the game the only thing I found scary was the mechanics and the only thing that resembled horror was the idea of me playing through all of the campaigns fully. 600 people working on a game sounds like a great idea, but in reality 600 people working on the title turns into 600 different directions with no real identity.
The big thing that is touted about during development was the idea of an intertwined story between all of the different campaigns. However what this really means is that they can use similar assets for story beats throughout the way and make you fight the same bosses in chapters where they cross. The story itself, as in most Resident Evil games, is retconed and convoluted. They even go as far as just to call the main evil empire Neo-Umbrella pulling on past ideas and being unimaginative. All of that being said the cut scenes are done well and the voice acting is actually pretty good. The whole story just feels like it was put together with a few ideas from a lot of people and never really connects together all to well.
Similarly, the general mechanics of the game never really connect either. I guess the shooting mechanics are supposed to make the game more suspenseful, like the movement in Resident Evil 4 did, but it just comes across as dated and aggravating. The sway of the gun and the kick back from the game some times gets ridiculous for no reason. Even with the upgrades that are available shooting strait with a small pistol at enemies in front of you can become a chore. If Capcom wanted to make Resident Evil an action shooter, like they have tried to do with this title, they need to get the shooting part down pat or else it will just feel wrong.
Staying on the mechanics, the QTE(quick time events) are just ridiculous. First the button prompts are not very clear in some cases. This results in you not doing the QTE as effectively as you could and dying. The worst part about this type of miss-communication is that players will often die without learning anything. Dying over and over again in a section is maddening and resulted in me screaming at the TV “why would this be a part of a game!” Secondly there is just to many of them. Almost every enemy that gets close to you will have some sort of QTE to break their hold. In the harder difficulty levels this makes the game almost unplayable. Thirdly, QTE’s are just not put in suspenseful places. They are often put in during periods that you would least expect it. Again this makes it so the player will die without any warning. Dying for no reason left me exhausted and was not fun.
The last mechanic that can sometimes be frustrating is the melee system. There is no rhyme or reason sometimes for when a special melee will pop up. Even when you do get a kill melee pop up it won’t always hit all of the time. Especially with such a small stamina bar missing a kill melee can set you up for a very bad situation. Also the ammo is limited in survival horror fashion and the melee becomes very important which is not good for a system that is hard to figure out and hard to execute. The limitation of ammo is less of a suspense point and more a shining spotlight on a poor mechanic.
Ok, through all of these negative points, there are some positive things to highlight in the game. One thing you should probably notice pretty quickly is that the game looks fantastic. If this game does anything well, the graphics and the lighting are a couple of them. The frame rate and smoothness of events, cut scenes and gameplay is something that is not accomplished by all games. The cut scenes look very nice and convey the story, no matter how convoluted it is, effectively enough to make the player kind of understand what is going on. The lighting is also very good. If the mechanics were a little bit nicer, the graphics and the lighting could really make for an immersive experience in the suspense/horror game genre.
The sound was very immersive as well. When fighting a giant invisible snake with surround sound headphones I could really hear it slithering around and what direction it was coming from. The music and ambient noise where effective and would start to pull me into the Resident Evil world. They added to the suspense, it’s just to bad the gameplay and game design would pull me right back out as quickly as the sound and lighting pulled me in. Overall the things that were put in place to build the Resident Evil world like the graphics and the sound where, in my own opinion, really good. The gameplay is really what kept this game from really becoming something special.
The Resident Evil franchise is still looking for another break out game that will bring the feelings of Resident Evil 1,2 and 4 back. This game is unfortunately not that game. Stay clear unless you are a hardcore Resident Evil fan. If you don’t, you will probably have a bad time.