It’s hard to deny the legacy of the Resident Evil. Sure, there was Alone in the Dark and even the first Clock Tower. But horror games weren’t popular and not on anyone’s radar. Then the first Resident Evil was released on the original Playstation and that all changed. It even coined a new type of genre: survival horror.
As the series went on, some gamers noticed that subsequent games in the series were moving away from “survival horror” and becoming more like a 3rd person shooter. While some welcomed the change, others felt the later games lost what made them fall in love with the series: the horror aspect.
Resident Evil 6 attempts to recapture this element but also tries to be a shooter, a stealth game and a quicktime event heavy action game. Confused? Well, apparently so was Capcom. Resident Evil 6 is more like a bunch of games types smushed (is that a word?) into one title than a cohesive game.
Resident Evil 6 has a total of 4 campaigns. All four of these campaigns’ stories will intersect each other at one point or another, which means you’ll only understand the entire story once you’ve completed all four of them. I though this was a nice touch. They don’t really connect neatly with each other but I did appreciate that some effort was done to link them into each other. But this also is somewhat of a weakness as only one of the campaigns was really enjoyable, two of them was just okay and the remaining one was just awful.
Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil 2 and 4 returns and his campaign is the best of the four that are available. It’s more focused on fending off hordes of zombies just like the original Resident Evil games of old. The pacing of the action is also the best among the four. It starts off pretty easy, with Leon and his new partner going through only a few zombies and infected people. It then it eases you through until you have to face off against hordes of the undead.
Jake’s campaign is probably the 2nd best campaign in RE6 but plays somewhat strange. While it plays somewhat similar to Leon’s campaign, Jake Muller has a lot of minigames, such as having to race away from an avalanche on a snowmobile or having to shoot down helicopters. His campaign also has the most quick time events when compared to the others. Also, Jake is extremely strong in hand to hand combat as well, which plays totally different from previous entries in the series. It’s a fun campaign, but there are some parts that are just boring (like when you have to search for three items in a large area or collecting tokens to unlock a door).
Ada Wong also returns and her campaign is the most varied and probably the most difficult (since you don’t have a partner to help you out if you’re playing by yourself). A lot of her campaign deals with using stealth. I didn’t like this as I felt it was the most out of place in a Resident Evil game. Trying to hide and and go around without being seen may make sense, especially since Ada is the only one who doesn’t have a partner. But it never really felt right and just felt shoehorned into it. The controls weren’t meant to be played in this manner and just felt awkward. Her scenario is the most puzzle oriented of all of the campaigns. I liked them since it reminded me of going through the awkward puzzles and item finding of the first three Resident Evils.
Finally, we have Chris’ campaign. Although Chris Redfield is a mainstay in the series, he has the worst campaign of them all! His scenario is a straight up shooter, which I didn’t like. And you don’t even face off against the undead! You face off against other bad guys with guns so it doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil. It feels like you’re playing a substandard third person shooter. You do face the same bad guys with guns in the other scenarios, but at least these firefights are broken up with some puzzle solving and quick time events. It doesn’t help that his story is also the least engaging of the four campaigns.
The partner system also returns from Resident Evil 5. Except for Ada Wong, Leon, Chris and Jake have partners that will assist them throughout their stories. Leon is partnered with Helena Harper, Jake with Sherry Birkin (the kid that Leon saved way back in Resident Evil 2) and Chris gets Piers Nivans to assist him. You can even opt to play as them if you want. If you’re playing alone, the AI for your partner is fairly competent. They’ll revive you when you get killed and they’re pretty much a good shot. You don’t have to babysit them, which is definitely a good thing. Sometimes, they can get too hung up on killing baddies when you just want to escape but that’s a minor thing.
One thing I have to say about the partners is that Chris’ partner, Piers, is just annoying. Unlike Helena and Sherry, who actually developed a personality as time went on, Piers did not grow one bit. He started out as a loyal soldier and his scenario ended with him being a loyal soldier.
One good thing that is consistent with all of the campaigns are the boss fights. All of the bosses you face are fun to fight and are all pretty exciting. And they also transform into multiple forms so you’re always thinking on your toes and trying to find their new weak spot as they mutate from one form to another. Their designs may not be the best of the series (some of them just look kind of dumb) but looking for their weaknesses and finally defeating their final forms is extremely satisfying.
Overall, Resident Evil 6 is an okay game. Nothing really great but doesn’t deserve to be called an awful game. I just wished Capcom tried to focus on one or two playstyles and really polish those mechanics instead of trying to cram a lot of game genres that don’t really work well, which is what happened here. Hopefully, they’ll learn this lesson by the time they announce Resident Evil 7.
Have you played Resident Evil 6? What did you think of the game? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!