Published on April 4th, 2016 | by Scot Mackay0
Review: Resident Evil 6
Another month has passed and another re-mastered title has found its way onto our consoles. Can a fresh lick of paint turn Resident Evil 6 into a new wave success?
Like the name suggests, we have got to keep things honest here. So here goes.
There is no doubt that this revamped RE6 has a stunning look to it, with gorgeously detailed environments, impressive lighting effects and incredibly detailed character models which gives the game a wholesome and completed feel. I will say that there has been a great amount of motion capture work poured into the game that gives the characters a sense of fluid mobility and a great interaction with the world but that does come at a price.
A lot of these fluid actions are tethered to Quick Time Events that litter the game more often than is comfortable and it gives the player a feeling of playing one giant interactive cut scene rather than being fully in control of the character. Even if you have the worst timing in the world, it seemed almost impossible to fail on these. It started to annoy me by the third QTE and it gives a disjointed feel to the action and really breaks the flow of the game. In previous titles, they served the purpose of giving the gamer some control over the bigger set action pieces but now, it seems to be an overused gimmick.
Leaving the QTE’s behind we then move on to the god awful verbalisations of Leon S Kennedy. Every time the guy speaks, it smacks of 90’s action flick one liners mixed with all of the personality of a WWE’s Steve Blackman. If you don’t know who that is, imagine a plank of wood with a beard and you wouldn’t be too far off. Other characters get the same treatment with generic phrases and by the time I have completed most of the individual campaign missions, I actually started cheering for the zombies so that I could get them to shut up. I understand that these characters may have abilities to aid them in survival whether its hand to hand combat, some bad ass fire power, street smarts or anti zombie spray but if I was in their situation, I would probably be making comments along the lines of “HOLYSWEETMARYOFFECKINJEEBUS!!!!” rather than casually quipping “Sure is a lot of them, huh”.
We all get it, you’re an action hero.
Now, I am a child of the 80’s. I grew up with movies with my main man Arnie (only his buddies can call him that) Schwarzenegger. I’ve seen him take on whole armies single handed, survive a slagging match with Sylvester Stallone and even demonstrate his incredible strength in Twins by picking up a car to stop the blaring alarm. Now with all these macho credentials, I would still struggle to believe that someone as strong as Arnie could punch a man so hard…he would explode. Leon manages this with the greatest of ease using his repertoire of melee attacks straight out of the WWE handbook. This stops the Zombies (can we still call them that?) from being anything more than an annoyance during your inane wandering from darkly lit area to…well…another darkly lit area.
Now if you are wondering why I am not going further into the story of RE6 or expanding on the other characters and their campaign sections, it’s because there really is no need to. Chris, Ada and Jake all have their own ‘missions’ and still allow that second person to join you in the fight against the undead. Which tends to feel forced and overcrowded for the gamer, taking away some of the scarier and more heart pounding moments.
The Resident Evil saga has had more ups and downs than blood sugar levels at a diabetic doughnut shop and seeing as this is a re-mastering, you should know the score. Each character has their own reasons for being involved and have their own combat strategies and abilities to aid you in your adventure but it doesn’t take too long to get to grips with it.
On top of the 4 main campaign segments, there is some additional features that feel additionally stuck on rather than being an integral part of the game. A timed Mercenary mode shows up and can be fun for a little while but quickly goes stale and some four player co-op sections are mildly enjoyable but so out of place it just doesn’t make sense. Extra game types such as Predator, Agent Hunt, Survivors, Onslaught and Siege all try to give the game some longevity but unless you are heavily invested in the game in an unhealthy kind of way or you enjoy being stuck in a life or death situation with random people who just want to kerb stomp anything that groans jostle for superiority. It just will not appeal.
I won’t lie, you will get enjoyment from Resident Evil 6. You will like the varying style of combat. You might even begin to dig the sexy action star one liners in a rugged Chuck Norris kind of way but it will never, ever be what I class to be authentic Resident Evil. The fear has gone, the survival has gone, the mad scramble for supplies has gone, the Evil…..has gone. RE used to stand apart from other zombie genre games, it used to have an aura of intrigue and fill gamers with a passion for exploration of infested mansions and niggle at the brains with brain teasing puzzles. Not anymore. With many of the more recent titles in the RE franchise, trying to evolve the zombie formula is a difficult case of trial and error. Sometimes experimentation can yield surprisingly good results and other times it can create a mix that just isn’t quite what it should be.
At £16 to download RE 6, there are probably better things for you to spend your money on but if you want to enjoy Resident Evil, it may be worth waiting to see if a deal is struck to release 4,5 and 6 as a bundle which could work out a little better and will certainly make your wallet feel a whole lot happier.
Summary: In the end it is an enjoyable game that has zombies in it but a long way from the king of survival horror in which it made its name.