Back in March of 1996, Capcom embarked on the long, arduous road of developing a video game heavily influenced by contemporary science fiction and the ever-evolving survival horror genre. Resident Evil far exceeded expectations and still serves as one of the most popular franchises of all time.
Now with the release of this latest entry in the series, the studio aims to reinvent the formula that made them famous all without missing a beat. Resident Evil 6 is an engaging third-person shooter with addictive online co-op, branching storylines, and fun gameplay mechanics. Here are a few more reasons on why this game is worth playing.
Resident Evil 6 takes place approximately 3 years after the events of the last game. The storyline revolves around the threat of bioterrorism being spread on a global scale as the infamous C-virus extends to parts of North America, Europe, and China.
Each region is fully represented by 2 playable characters complete with intersecting narratives and specific mission objectives designated to each group. The culmination of this ambitious effort results in giving the player 3 lengthy co-op campaigns, and one bonus single player campaign to playthrough after the first three are completed. In total, all four campaigns clock in at about 40+ hours depending solely on whichever difficulty setting you decide to use.
The four main characters that take center stage in these horrific encounters are Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Jake Muller, and Ada Wong. Leon’s quest revolves around clearing his name after being framed for the murder of the infected president of the United States. As a BSAA Captain, Chris deals with the anarchy caused by both the spread of the virus and his selfish desire to pursue the culprits at all costs. Jake is the estranged son of Albert Wesker and holds the key to curing the C-virus within his blood. Lastly, Ada plays the role of an antagonist with a defined method to her madness. Alternatively, the three protagonists mentioned above all embody the last glimmer of hope that humanity has of surviving and are thus given personalities to set them apart from each other.
This theory also applies to the way levels are designed to differentiate one campaign from the next. Chris appears on the war-torn battlefield a few times, while Leon travels through many areas including the sewers and a mysterious cathedral. As an added bonus, these various settings also feature an array of different bosses to defeat. The decision to add new and advanced creatures throughout each individual’s chapter keeps things fresh and interesting for avid gamers who would otherwise grow bored fighting the same type of enemies over and over again.
When it comes to gameplay, RE6 has undergone a few changes that fans of the series will either love or hate. For starters, the ongoing theme of survival horror has been upgraded to “dramatic horror” in order to make use of several quicktime events that happen in real-time. Usually a player is prompted to either mash down a button repeatedly or move the joystick around rapidly in a circular motion.
These short mini-games happen during sequences were you’re in life or death situations and have to act quickly to survive. While the process does tend to get a little repetitive, the dynamic works wonders in creating a much deeper level of tension then in any of the franchise’s previous games.
Another change that may annoy fans is Capcom’s decision to create a more action-oriented game in accordance with the new theme. While the over the should shooting mechanic returns along with the ability to execute devastating melee attacks, all of this doesn’t come without a cost. Puzzles are few and far between, and every major boss battle constantly pushes you to the limit. While some may criticize both of these approaches, I personally believe they work extremely well within the genre and succeed in keeping the game relevant within today’s crowded gaming market.
Graphically, RE6 is one of most visually stunning installments in the series. The voice acting and dialogue remains compelling, while the cinematic set pieces keep you entertained and on your toes 24-7. The camera does occasionally shift in close combat sequences, but is never annoying enough to prevent you from completing goals.
Players have a generous amount of pocket space to store weapons and supplies, as well as a respectable amount of health throughout the entire experience. Casual gamers who are picking up the game for the first time will appreciate the short tutorial that begins the minute you insert the game disc into your console. Likewise, veterans of the series will get adjusted to the controls quickly and get a feel early on whether or not this game is for them.
These campaigns feature a few perks to persuade gamers to keep playing long after they have beaten the game. For starters, killing enemies and rummaging through broken barrels and boxes will often net you skill points. These points can then be used to purchase up to 36 total skill level attributes. Level ups and bonuses can include anything from improved melee attacks to aiming accuracy and effectiveness.
While you can only equip three skills at a time, you do have access to 8 loadout skillset options that can be switched out at anytime during the game. The one major gripe about skill points lies in the fact that you always end up having some leftover after making a purchase, and there is no way for you to save those points for future upgrades. This is a bit of a disappointment and hopefully if this franchise continues they can handle missteps like these better.
Another bonus that may intrigue you is the ability to unlock collectables by finding 80 serpent emblems that are randomly stashed throughout each player’s individual campaign. These items reveal further information on each character, as well as backstory elements for those seeking more details.
In terms of co-op multiplayer, there are three main gameplay options to consider. First, you can either play each campaign with a friend locally or over PSN and Xbox Live respectively. Secondly, you can use the all-new Agent Hunt mode toenter other player’s sessions as one of the game’s many creatures and proceed to wreak havoc upon them. Lastly, you and a friend can participate in the flagship Mercenaries mode that fans have known to come and love. With these options available at release and several other modes still to come as DLC, RE6 holds a strong level or replayability that people will be interested in enough to tryout.
In closing, Resident Evil 6 is a deadly masterpiece that provides a nonstop adrenaline rush of action around every corner. While some may disapprove of this new dramatic horror direction, it no doubt fits well within the universe. If you’re a fan of Resident Evil and action flicks then picking up this game is an absolute no-brainer.
This review is based on a retail copy of the 360 version of Resident Evil 6 provided by Capcom.