Review: 'Resident Evil 6'
Resident Evil 6 screenshot. (Capcom / May 23, 2013)
"Resident Evil 6" is a somewhat difficult game to review. Being a fan of the series since its debut in 1996, I've been pretty disappointed with the more action oriented games like 5 and now 6. I'm not sure why Capcom continues its attempt to make their largest franchises more mainstream, thereby scorning their hardcore fans with lackluster representations of the series they love.
Fans have long been following the story of the Umbrella Corporation, ever since all started in an abandoned mansion. Those original tense moments of walking through desolate manor hallways, low on health and ammo, nerves on edge, when all of the sudden you get swarmed by undead hounds, are gone. They simply cannot exist now that the new format focuses on a ridiculous story full of over-the-top mindless action.
The most interesting feature of the game is its campaign system, in which you choose one of four campaigns, each a few hours in length. Leon and Helena's campaign has a very "Resident Evil 2" city vibe. Chris and Piers' campaign is so action oriented that it's basically "Gears of War." Jake and Sherry's campaign resembles an adventure movie, and finally, there is Ada Wong's campaign, which is easily the best. Not only do you play as an underused character, but you also play it alone! Ada's chapter provides plenty of tension with no one around to watch your back and some clever puzzles.
In addition to having the most classically "Resident Evil" campaign, Ada also encounters one of my favorite enemy designs: a simple zombie. All of the other creatures are just people that turn into living guts that are out to kill you. When you attempt to dispatch an enemy, they just grow some enormous tentacle from their newly created orifice with which to attack you. It's like some morbid version of Calvinball in which the rules change by the minute.
Not only are the creatures preposterous in design, but the primary challenge in defeating them is making sure you have enough ammo. Especially at higher difficulty levels, the game expects you to play through over and over again to find seals and artifacts worth "skill points." Then you spend the skill points on boosting certain character stats like damage output or health. Capcom's idea of replayability isn't more content, it's an endless cycle of mediocrity.
While I absolutely love the way Capcom split up the story into separate campaigns, there are still the glaring flaws of wonky controls and a bland tone. I love how the campaigns are all different in their style, but none of them are actually that interesting aside from Ada's. Ultimately, I wouldn't pay any attention to "Resident Evil 6"; the lore is too convoluted and dumb for newcomers, and the gameplay is too uninspired to warrant a purchase. I give it a 5 out of 10: It's not broken, but it's definitely not great.
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