While reading my opinion on the newest installment of the Resident Evil series, keep in mind that I only played through the story modes of each character once on co-op (except Ada’s campaign, of course) and dabbled for an hour or so on Agent Hunt mode. As I mentioned in my last post, I don’t play a whole lot of shooters, so my skills definitely leave a bit to be desired. So when there is a co-op entry in a series that I love, I am all over it. My partner can pick up the slack for me in a lot of instances while I pretend to know what I’m doing. As always, a big thanks to my gaming pal for having the patience over one too many Game Over screens.
Speaking of one too many Game Over screens, what is with all of the gimmicky sudden death scenes? If the game wasn’t as generous with the checkpoint system I would have been even less forgiving of the ridiculous ‘guess what the programmers want us to do now’ sections. I can’t remember how many times we died as Leon and Helena in the sewer/subway while trying to discern whether we were supposed to stay and fight or run away. Oh, and run away to precisely which side of the tracks? When? It (not fondly) reminded me of the cheap death in Silent Hill 3’s subway system.
As far as the QuickTime events go, I have mixed feelings about them. I think, like chase sequences, in certain situations they can create a necessary sense of urgency. But the over-reliance on them made me feel like I was playing Heavy Rain at times. QuickTime events for sucker-punching a zombie: forgivable. QuickTime events to find the hidden key in a car: HEAVY RAIN. All in all, I think Resident Evil 6 relied on them a bit too much. Instead of using them to enhance the gameplay, it became crippled by them.
The item menu is so unintuitive it isn’t funny. When did these games get to be so damned complicated? Why does it take 3-10 button presses to combine herbs and place them in my case so I can actually use them in real time? Why do you have to negotiate inventory space and herb-mixing in real-time if you’re playing offline? Why isn’t there an auto-use button for first aid sprays? I mean, it is safe to say if you want to use a first aid spray, you and your partner are most likely not feeling too hot and getting pounded on zombies or J’avo. What are the chances you’ll find your first aid spray (which looks very similar to the grenades) in your small inventory screen before a zombie jumps halfway across the screen and kills you? My television screen is over 40 inches and my living room isn’t entirely grandiose but I still had a hard time reading the numbers and words in my inventory. I felt like I was in heaven when I saw how big Ada’s menu was playing solo. It was relieving after playing the previous campaigns co-op.
For plot (Hah! Can’t even type the word without snickering) purposes, I can see why Ada’s campaign is solo, though it is a break in flow from the rest of the game. From what I understand, there is a patch planned to incorporate some random soldier to use in co-op mode, which is a nice feature for those interested. Admittedly, I’d much rather be looking at Ms. Wong the entire time. The ladies of Resident Evil 6 all look great, which probably goes without saying. The way these women sashay in skin-tight pants while fighting off monsters and dodging rockets never ceases to amaze me. It probably amazes me about as much as their perfectly-rounded junk in the trunk. One of them needs to give Chris some advice. Holy hell, what happened to him? Because quite frankly, he looks like crap.
And now our Resident Evil staple role model brother turned ‘roid junkie now has amnesia-induced PTSD over a bunch of soldiers? Puh-lease. Where is Jill? Where? The only reason I am willing to forgive that oversight is because she was in Revelations. Why does Capcom keep introducing new playable female characters so they can fall off the face of the earth? They have enough fan favorites hiding out in the vault that we’d much rather see returned, and not in a handheld. With all of the stupid mutations they’ve created, did we really need to create Helena just so we could kill her malformed sister and pretend we actually cared? And sorry Sheva, but Capcom fulfilled their colored-female-character for the decade requirement, so you won’t be needed anytime soon. Kthxbye.
We have new characters combined with unrecognizable shadows of series regulars in four different overlapping campaigns making a whole jumbling mess of the *cough* plot. I appreciate having the opportunity to play as different characters. And I don’t mind adding on some more game play hours. However, I don’t appreciate it when they go about it the lazy way—lots of gimmicky deaths (gruesome deaths to monsters a few times not withstanding) and replaying sections and boss fights multiple times. Been there, done that. If that was the best they could come up with, I’d rather the game be 25% shorter. The only time I really liked fighting a boss over again as a different character was Ada’s campaign. And that is only because they stuck her in a helicopter and you got to go crazy without worrying about ammo.
I spent a while debating about how I ‘knew’ Resident Evil stopped being survival horror. This topic is probably left best as its own article. But. I’m pretty sure the moment I realized I was no longer playing a survival horror franchise came somewhere between getting shot at by J’avo wearing full military grade armor and dodging tank rockets (thankfully the Silent Hill series hasn’t incorporated TANKS yet). Enemies dropping loot is a series regular that I’m a little on the fence about. In terms of survival horror, I would almost argue against it except Dead Space does it well. Very well. This proves to me that atmosphere means more to me in terms of establishing genre. The isolation, the dark corridors, the nearby unexplainable noises and the horribly mutated human-esque creatures are what make survival horror for me. Resident evil has lost a lot of these elements over the years, and adopted in their places some gameplay elements that work, but many that do not. Capcom needs to take some notes from EA, but from the looks of Dead Space’s future, the opposite is happening.
Resident Evil is, to put it politely, confused. It is the equivalent of a gender-bending male wearing lipstick and heels who still has a full beard. I’m not really sure what to think of it. It is some parts shooter, some parts action, some parts Uncharted. And all of this could have been somewhat forgiven if they did those some parts well, but of course, they didn’t. For example: I’ve never played any other duck-and-cover game that required the player to press three different buttons to try shooting while covering. I got so frustrated with even trying that I resorted to meleeing anything close enough, or running around a corner and coming back out. That’s what checkpoints are for, right?
All-in-all, if you’re looking for a scary game, you’re barking up the wrong tree. But, if you like to play co-op, or if you have the patience to deal with multiple “How the hell did I just die?” scenarios, or if you like shooting at some zombies (but mostly NOT zombies), or if you like playing Mercenaries and Agent Hunt online, definitely check this game out.