All About macekenobi
Reflecting on Resi
A reflective review on Resident Evil 6
No Hope Left, was the tag line coined by Capcom for their sixth instalment in the long running survival horror come 3rd person action adventure Resident Evil 6. Had Capcom been awarded the luxury of hindsight they might have chose to change this marketed line as upon RE 6s release many reviewers ran with the No Hope Left, slogan and applied it to the series as a whole. Capcom themselves have been taken back by the original reception Resident Evil 6 received as major players in the reviewing industry slated the game for abandoning its roots and ignoring the requests of long term fans who are aching for a return to the survival horror game play that shot Resident Evil to fame way back on the PS1. But is the game really the car crash many believe it is? Its time we step back and take Resident Evil 6 for what it is and after spending 40 hours plus with the game its not all bad news.
Starting with the campaign or should I say campaigns Resident evil 6 presents us with four separate stories based around some the series most iconic characters a long with a few new additions . With 7 playable characters in total as well as the ability to take a friend a long for the ride, RE 6 doesnt limit you to one play style. Each campaign over laps with the other and gives a new perspective on the over arching plot. That is the containment of a new biological outbreak known as the C-Virus, who or what is behind this outbreak is very much at the core of the story, all of that thrown in with each characters own personal dilemmas makes for a riveting if not consistent plot. Although not the first game in the series to use multiple protagonists RE 6 is by far the most ambitious and takes the multiple campaign mechanic to its grandest scale yet. With the use of multiple campaigns comes longevity a precious feature in todays gaming world as the 8 hour campaigns of some other blockbuster releases have become all too familiar to gamers the world over. Expect to spend anywhere between 10 and 20 hours with each campaign depending how much you involve yourself in this latest bid to turn humanity into a slimy, shuffling, brain munching mess. This however also becomes RE 6s demise as it becomes fairly evident which campaigns are the games strongest and which are simply not. Leon Kennedys campaign the first on the list when you fire RE 6 up was definitely the games strongest suit. The early missions of this campaign are a salute to the glory days of Resident Evil and serves up some genuinely scary and suspenseful moments. Creeping through an infected college campus with injured party members had me on the edge of my seat and when proceedings finally hit the fan, the set piece moments of these early missions didnt disappoint. The game fails to capture this level of suspense throughout the rest of its campaigns, however scattered throughout the game are some epic set pieces some of which are terrifying others which are heart woundingly action filled. Chris, Jake, and Adas stories all have their highlights as well but suffer from monotony as fighting one boss multiple times becomes a tedious affair. On top of that expect to be plagued with quick time events, some of which do help serve a purpose during some of the games stronger moments. However when opening a door requires multiple commands and every time your grappled by an enemy forces you to rotate both analogue sticks youll find yourself growing tired of these actions fast.
The game benefits from great visuals and sound design with fantastic lighting, smooth textures and a crisp, suspenseful musical score all of which contribute immensely to the games best moments. Enemy design is fantastic with each biological abomination looking intimidating, terrifying and some straight up disgusting. Capcom through the use of these fantastic visuals have created quite possibly the best environment ever seen in a Resident Evil campaign and by sending the protagonists across the globe the variety of your surroundings is impressive. Within your environmental confines Resident Evil 6 still plays like a Resident Evil title should. The over the shoulder camera makes a return with a slight modification to the stop and pop, style game play as Capcom finally made the decision RE fans have been begging for, the ability to move while firing a weapon. This new feature becomes a new staple of the game play as with the added action sequences of which there are many moving between cover and staying light on your feet are critical to staying alive. A new cover system also makes its debut here although is a little clunky and considering the amount of time youll be spending using it in the likes of Chriss campaign against the gun wielding Javo, more care should have been taken to make it a more pleasurable experience it does serve its purpose well though. The new melee system also contributes to core game play. Melee has always been an afterthought in a Resident Evil game however it carries more weight in RE6 than it has in previous entries. A stamina bar limits your use of powerful and satisfying high kicks and head crushing stomps, however I did find myself questioning the use of WWE style manoeuvres to take down a lone zombie. Boss encounters are varied in their enjoyment factor. While all bosses look the part as we have come to expect from RE, some bouts suffer through the overzealous use of quick time events as well as encountering the same beast multiple times. That said some of the most memorable moments of RE 6 are within these encounters, Chriss battle with an invisible snake like creature is a particular highlight of not just RE6 but of the series as a whole. Gone is the use of merchants in RE6 and in its place comes a skill point system that lets you upgrade your character to make them a more formidable opponent. Each skill costs a significant amount of points and are only modifiable between chapters so you are encouraged to play the game as skilfully as possible which is always a plus. It almost feels as if RE6 invites you in and wants you to become great.
Capcom have showed their intent to support the game with a DLC already available. There is a wealth of online features including a drop in co-op option, a new agent hunt mode and the return of mercenarys mode along with a host of other ways to extend your experience with an already lengthy RE6. Capcom want you to get your monies worth out their latest title and are prepared to invest resources and content if we the gamers invest the time. Also with the launch of residentevil.net you are able to track other players experiences as well as share your own by logging in and registering your game. You from here have the options to link your achievements to your social media profiles, gain exclusive news on upcoming RE events like DLCs, partake in challenges set by the community and discuss tactics in live forums. It is a noteworthy mention that this is also a free service and should be taken advantage of in a market were big publishers put their hands in your wallet at what seems like every opportunity.
All in all Resident Evil 6 is a mammoth package that can now be picked up in January sales for as little as £20 and at this price it is a bargain. Yes it has its problems and yes it could have been the RE we have all wanted since RE 4, but as the series continues to evolve its not all doom and gloom there are some features here that are easily the best in the series that combined with the huge amount of content on offer warrants this title in its own right. So my advice is to go into this one with low expectations and let yourself be pleasantly surprised its not what you wanted but its more than enjoyable none the less. By Chris Butler