Let’s get one thing straight – and crucify me for saying this if you really want, because I’m ready for it – Resident Evil 6 is BETTER than Resident Evil 4. To put it simply, RE4 has aged, and it shows. Still, it’s one of my all-time favorite games, primarily because of its overall execution and how progressive it was at its time. It succeeded in changing the original formula which paved the way for future installments of the Resident Evil franchise, and it even became an inspiration for games of today, such as Dead Space. RE6 has expanded and refined everything that RE4 established, including the fact that Resident Evil is no longer a survival-horror game – this is straight up action with horror ELEMENTS, primarily in the enemy design and environments.
Visuals – 7.5 – Once again, the enemy design is awesome. One of the overarching themes, especially when zombies or other enemies mutate, seems to revolve around insects and other little crawlies that Capcom decided to no longer make little. It looks like they mastered shadows, as well. They don’t have as much of a jagged-edge look like in most other games. It can sometimes get a little TOO dark, though. At most points, the shadow effects add a really nice contrast between the shades and colors, giving sort of a comic-like look. At other points, it keeps you from seeing beyond a mere ten feet in front of you. There’s a specific part in Jake’s campaign where it was far too dark to see anything, and it was a struggle to get through. Things like that would normally lead me to believe that polishing the game may have been a rushed job, but I can’t be too sure since the rest of the game looks great. Well-played, Capcom – you got me scratching my head again.
Sound – 8.5 – Another game with its music and sound effects crafted by the hands and minds of experts. In the music department, they followed in the footsteps of RE5 in the sense that the score is very theatrical. Seeing as how this is an action game, this was the best option. The sound effects have also changed for the better, too. The physical attacks seem to have a lot more impact to them, and the gun sounds seem to be more realistic. What’s better than ever, though, has to be the voice acting. Every performance is believable due to its expert delivery. The only character that suffers in that department would be Leon Kennedy, but I’ll dissect his campaign, character and then some in another post. As a supplement to the stellar voice acting, a separate disc containing language packs that are ready-to-install comes standard with every copy. You have the option of checking out the entire game in different languages. By the way, Sonic the Hedg- I MEAN CHRIS REDFIELD’S Spanish voice actor is FUCKING AMAZING.
Story – 6.0 – This was incredibly hard for me to rate, and it’s the main reason as to why it’s taken so long for this review to be finished. The story itself isn’t bad, as you can see from my rating – the actual STORYTELLING is bad. I understand that they were trying to give each character their own campaign, but you can choose which campaign to run through. This forces the player to focus ONLY on the main characters of the campaign of their choosing, thus drawing attention away from the overarching story that the developers expect you to follow. It’s a mess. Lastly, and I’m not giving any spoilers here, Leon’s campaign would have benefited from it being its own full-fledged game. It suffers from Call of Duty syndrome where things happen so fast that you’re never given enough time to care.
Gameplay – 8.0 – RE6’s gameplay is similar to that of RE4 and RE5, but with a LOT more freedom. The controls are no longer restrictive, and you will rarely ask yourself ‘why can’t I do this?’ only to realize that it’s because there was no prompt signaling that you could. You can turn a monster into swiss cheese, if you really want. You can pummel a monster into the ground with melee attacks, again, if you really want. It’s just that doing both in excess isn’t advised. Ammo can get depleted pretty fast and you have a stamina meter. Things like dodging, physical strikes and counter strikes use some of your stamina meter, and when it’s gone, your movements are GREATLY hindered. This gives RE6 a nice learning curve because the player has to be strategic with ammo and stamina use, but still quick enough to dispose of any immediate threats. That makes using the newly added ‘quickshot’ attack that much more of both a blessing than a curse. Simultaneously pulling both triggers auto-targets a nearby enemy, immediately followed by fire from your gun. Using quickshot will at the very least daze the enemy (unless it’s one of those special assholes), allowing for a melee follow-up, but using it costs one bar of your stamina, just like any of the other maneuvers that were mentioned earlier. This is probably my favorite aspect of the new combat mechanics. It quickens the pace of battle while forcing the player to learn how to conserve their stamina. Outside of that, it’s like the third-person shooter control scheme that they made for RE5, but you can move and shoot at the same time.
But how could I avoid talking about the quick time events that everyone hates so much? Yes, they return, but they are never ‘do or die’, except during cutscenes. Even if you miss, you’re dropped back into the cutscene shortly before the event, and you only lose points towards your end-of-chapter rank by missing it. In-game, you either take a bit more damage, or you inflict more damage. This is determined by filling a meter at the bottom of the screen, filling the meter before your enemy does, or by pressing the button shown at the right time. I still hate these because they aren’t a test of how good you are at the game, but I think this is as good as quick time events are going to get.
The last advancement that I recall people bitching about would be the regenerating health. Now, this is nothing like Call of Duty or Gears of War where you regenerate to being good as new by hiding like a wuss. If you’ve played Ninja Gaiden 2, then you may be familiar with how this works – you have six slots of health, and when a slot is empty, it is considered to be permanent damage. This means that it can only be refilled with a green herb. If a slot isn’t completely empty, then it will gradually regenerate back to full. Frankly, I am okay with this because, again, THIS IS AN ACTION GAME. There will be times when you’re surrounded by some tough baddies and you will get hit. A LOT. Without regenerating health, this game would be far too difficult.
Overall – 7.0 – I found myself having a lot of fun with Resident Evil 6. I feel that people need to not ride atop their high-horses with frozen poles up their asses on soap boxes while wearing nostalgia goggles, this coming from one of the ultimate offenders of wearing nostalgia goggles. As an action game, Resident Evil 6 is good. This is not a horror game, people. It’s got creepy enemy design and intense moments, but that’s as horrifying as it gets. RE6 is good because of its combat mechanics, its visuals, and its advancements on what was established since RE4. Yes, it’s storytelling wasn’t that good, but it’s gameplay is strong enough to overcome that. Call me biased, call me a fool, call me anything. I believe that this game is better than RE4. The only thing that RE4 has over this is the particular era in gaming in which it was released. I’ll save that for another time.
Gamechanger! – There’s a little mode called Agent Hunt that’s similar to the mode where you invade someone’s game in Dark Souls. Piss of your friends! Or better yet, piss off random people! While Mercenaries is as fun as ever, Agent Hunt is a neat little mode where you can be a dick. And I’m all about that.
I’ll catch you guys in my next review.