Resident Evil 6 – Review
The success of a good game depends on the same things that make a successful movie: the balance between action and story. The old generation Resident Evil was very story driven and included a good balance of puzzle solving and action, and only had cutscenes where necessary. The new generation has less puzzle solving and storyline, but is jam packed with explosions and action sequences. Can Resident Evil 6 restore the balance?
Resident Evil 6
Release Date: 2nd October 2012
As expected the story is split into three campaigns: Leon’s, Chris’ and Jake’s. It is important to not see just one of these campaigns as a complete story but rather a third of the game. Each story starts and ends within the same timeframe, which occasionally intersect. You will be left with many plot holes after your first time round, but they will be filled as you move onto the different campaigns.
The way each story starts was very poorly explained, however. There would be a brief intro followed by putting you straight in the game, failing to explain the bits inbetween… like what the hell is going on? But as the story unfolds it starts making a bit of sense, though me being a big ‘story-boy’, would have expected things to be explained a bit better.
The controls at first seem very complex, there are many different variations of melees, evades, dash/evades, rolls and shooting. However once you the get the hang of all the different combinations the pay-off is huge as you can perform some really impressive and fluid actions, then feel rather smug about it! The shortcuts are a lot shorter, the D-pad now cycles through your inventory so there is no menu that needs arranging.
Melees are a big part of the game as you will actually run out of ammo occasionally and find yourself windmilling like a 13 year old boy in a mosh pit. A stamina gauge determines how long you can hit things before getting tired out. The quick shot function is also very handy for those pesky zombies that jump out at you. By pressing the two trigger buttons simultaneously you can quick draw and fire off one round that can lead to a critical shot using up a bit of your stamina. But trust me… it’s worth it!
My biggest issue with the game was the camera movements. I mean yeah you have this great complex button system that makes for some impressive gameplay but a lot of the time you’re in confined spaces and the screen is very cluttered and it becomes difficult to get a grip on where you are or what direction you are facing. This makes everything very disorientating and is incredibly frustrating at times.
Being a composer, I’m big on sounds and music and it’s something I pay a lot of attention to. The voice acting is superb and the dialogue often flows really well, however I experienced several glitches where dialogue was being played in random parts in cutscenes that made it seem very out of sync. The sound effects, as usual, also stood out very well, complimenting the aesthetics and making for some remarkable cinematics. The soundtrack itself is not completely consistent and makes the game a bit too colourful for me. There are some great atmospheric tracks, and musically it is very impressive but the theme tune and opening cutscenes was more like ‘magical mystical Spider-Man’ than ‘horrific zombie infested Resident Evil’.
Visually the game is stunning! You can really tell a lot of the focus went into the making some remarkable cutscenes. This for me can be dangerous because if you don’t have story and gameplay to back it up it can fall flat on its face. Luckily it doesn’t as the gameplay is enjoyable enough to keep you hooked and looking forward to the next chapters. Capcom have clearly gone all out in the production of this game. However, I feel they may have taken too many pages out of Naughty Dog’s book because I will honestly admit I feel they have taken a lot of ideas from the Uncharted games… you’ll see what I mean when you play it.
Ultimately Resident Evil 6 is a fun and enjoyable game. There is good, solid gameplay coupled with some great visuals and with six possible characters to play as – including the online multiplayer features – you can play this game with friends or strangers alike. There’s not much survival horror anymore as the introduction of checkpoints means it’s not a big deal if you die. Obviously the puzzle solving is not a big part of the new generation of the Resident Evil’s and I was very disappointed however with the story element of the game. I feel they could have expanded on the intros to explain a little bit more of the events within the game.
Also for those who haven’t seen the new Resident Evil: Damnation animated film I suggest watching it before playing Resident Evil 6 as it gives a small insight into some topics that are raised in Resident Evil 6… and it’s really good!