‘Resident Evil 6’ takes place four years after the events of ‘Resident Evil 5’ and this time round, instead on focussing on one characters story, we now have three unique story campaigns (well four if you include the unlockable ‘Ada Wong’ campaign). Even though each character has a different story to tell, the key objective remains the same and that is to bring down new titan organisation ‘Neo Umbrella’ as they attempt to take over the world by launching bio-terror attacks by infesting the world’s population with the deadly ‘C-Virus’.
As the three main campaigns have slightly different stories, I will give you a quick rundown of each.
Leon S Kennedy: U.S President and long time friend of ‘Leon’; ‘Adam Benford’ planned to reveal the cover-up behind the ‘Raccoon City’ cover-up from 1998, ‘Neo Umbrella’ find out about the Presidents plans and they respond by launching the deadly ‘T-Virus’ on the population, turning everyone who came into contact with it, into flesh eating zombies and this includes the President himself! This results in ‘Leon’ having a very tough choice to make and along with his partner ‘Helena Harper’, they are both on a mission to track down the perpetrators of this bio attack and avenge his friend, the U.S President ‘Adam Benford’.
Chris Redfield: Alot has happened to Chris since the events of ‘Resident Evil 5’ and he’s no longer the dynamic hero that we remember him to be and traumatic events cause Chris to block out certain events from his memory and his turned to the life of the bottle. Found drunk in a rundown bar, he is tracked down by ‘BSAA’ member ‘Piers Nivans’ who reminds Chris that he can’t hide away from his past and he must face up to his own demons. Chris rejoins the BSAA to not only find the truth about his past, but to fight for our future against the sinister world of bio-terror.
Jake Muller: ‘Jake’ is not a familiar face to the world of ‘Resident Evil’, but you may have heard of his father, a certain ‘Albert Wesker’. ‘Jake’ is a mercenary hired by non other then ‘Neo Umbrella’ to participate in a battlefield experiment. ‘Jake’ has a very rare blood type; in fact he has the antibodies that fight the ‘C-Virus’, giving ‘Jake’ superhuman strength and agility. But things suddenly take a severe turn for the worst and realises that there is a more sinister reason to the involvement of his so called ‘battlefield experiment’ and along with the now all grown up ‘Sherry Birkin’ (who you may remember from ‘Resident Evil 2’), they pursue a life on the run to escape from the evil clutches of ‘Neo Umbrella’.
Visually ‘Resident Evil 6’ is as good as you’ll expect from such a big franchise, even though ‘Resident Evil 5’ was not everybody’s cup of tea, visually it’s hard to argue that it didn’t look good and ‘Resident Evil 6’ enhances on its predecessor. The character animation to each of the main cast is very well done, the attention to detail on the textures and the lip sync is to a high standard, you may think that this is no particular biggy, but it’s surprising on how many games get the lip sync totally wrong. ‘Resident Evil 6’ takes place 4 years after the events of ‘Resident Evil 5’, so Chris Redfield’s image has changed a little and it appears that he is no longer on the steds; it’s also about 9 years after the events of ‘Resident Evil 4’, so now Leon looks a little older and wiser.
The collection of enemies that you will get to see in ‘Resident Evil 6’ is about as random as ever, though it appears that the majority of enemies (not all of course) have been mutated with bugs and reptiles. Up close they look slimy, grotesque and totally awesome, you can tell that alot of time and effort has been put into the design of all the characters that feature in the latest ‘Resident Evil’ instalment. Alot of thought has also gone into the level design, as each characters campaign offers something a little different, it would be wise to have a setting that complimented each character. There are points in the game where paths will cross in the same locations, but ultimately, each location fits suitably with each characters gameplay style.
Graphically ‘Resident Evil 6’ is one of the best looking games in recent times and certainly one of the games strongest points. While people will always argue in which direction the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise has gone, whichever era of ‘Resident Evil’ you refer to, it always remains one of the best looking games in its current generation.
‘Resident Evil 6’ really is a mixed bag of impressions in this department; on one hand you have a movie blockbuster style game, with four campaigns, badass weapons, mean enemies, a little suspense and horror and alot of action, but all out action has never been what the ‘Resident Evil’ gaming franchise has always been about, well not since ‘Resident Evil 5’ anyway. As much as I’m really enjoying my playthroughs of ‘Resident Evil 6’, I can’t help but think “what if?” What if they took the franchise away from this all action roots and what if they went back to true ‘survival horror’? Maybe Capcom are doing this in an attempt to appease a wider audience, reel in those 1st person and 3rd Person fanatics, but what about the true ‘Resident Evil’ fans? I know I don’t speak on just on behalf of myself when I say this, but why can’t Capcom listen to the true fans or maybe they no longer care as long as there making a bucket load of cash? From a business stand point, who can blame them, after all, money is what makes the world go round. I loved ‘Resident Evil 5’ despite its lost direction, so when they released the awesome DLC add-on ‘Lost in Nightmares’, I thought great, finally were going back to the claustrophobic, minimal ammo and survival horror routes and maybe when the next Resident Evil game comes along, us Resident Evil fans will get the game that we have been craving for so long.
So anyway, with that being said, I’ll get back to the matter at hand and that’s ‘Resident Evil 6’. Despite a fair amount of flaws, I really am hooked on ‘Resident Evil 6’, not only am I enthralled by its compelling story, despite the gameplay not exactly being as I want as a ‘Resident Evil fan’, it still leaves me with that feeling of wanting to play just a little more (which quickly turns into a number hours). But ‘Resident Evil 6’ is not without its faults by any means, as at times there’s occasions where I find myself fighting with the camera angles, especially when it involves a chase. The cover system is very much flawed and can get quite irritating during some of the more frantic moments. I expected the cover system to work similar to that of the ‘Gears of War’ franchise, where it’s a simple case of pressing ‘A’. But in ‘Resident Evil 6’,you oddly have to ready your gun first by pressing ‘LT’, then you press ‘A’ to go into cover and may times I found myself rolling around and jumping over boxes which often resulted in being downed and then relying on the hopeless A.I of your computer controlled partner to revive me.
As you already know, each campaign offers its own take on ‘Resident Evil 6’s’ events and each campaign offers something a little different in terms of gameplay. The ‘Leon’ campaign is favoured by most as it is the more true to the roots of ‘Resident Evil’. Its alot more slower paced then the other campaigns, the ammo is much more scarce, has plenty of narrow corridors and above anything else, proper zombies! which is what us fans have been crying out for, for so long. In so many ways it reminds me more of the great ‘Resident Evil 2’ then anything else, even the music is quite reminiscent, the only thing missing was the ‘Will Smith’ zombie from the ‘Raccoon City Police Department.
The ‘Chris Redfield’ campaign follows on from ‘Resident Evil 5’ in terms of gameplay, it’s all action, over the top explosions, run and gun, shotgun to the face! Even though this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is a good change of pace and most third person shooters would be very happy to be as good as this. Now we get onto the newcomer, ‘Jake Muller’. This campaign offers a blend of action, hand to hand combat and even some stealth elements too, but it’s not without a little bit of suspense too. Throughout the game you are stalked by the monstrous ‘Ustanak’ which gives the sinister ‘Nemesis’ from ‘Resident Evil 3’ a good run for his money.
Each character has their own sets of skills that bring something different to the table and these particular skills can be enhanced by earning ‘Skill Points’. ‘Skill Points’ is ‘Resident Evils’ take on the XP system, killing certain enemies will earn you a certain amount of ‘Skill Points’, the bigger and badder the enemy, the more points you will earn. You can then use the ‘Skill Points’ to purchase a skill set that will improve your character, such as ‘less recoil’, ‘more ammo dropped’ (which will be particularly handy in the ‘Leon Kennedy’ campaign’), ‘extra strength’ and so much more. These skills can also be purchased for the ‘Mercenaries’ mode as well, though many of the skills will differ to accommodate the different style of game.
Like I said, ‘Resident Evil 6’ really is a mixed bag in this department, but despite a few irritating flaws, there is also a lot of plus points to. Whether you choose to look past these flaws and appreciate the good in this game is up to you.
Like everything else in ‘Resident Evil 6’, the sound effects, soundtrack and dialogue is of Hollywood blockbuster quality. The ‘Resident Evil’ series has been around for a long time and has come a long way since its cheesy voice acting (though I do miss the legendary ‘Barry Burton’). As soon as you begin the prelude mission, you would be forgiven if you thought you was watching a high budget movie (speaking of which, check out the new awesome CGI movie ‘Resident Evil: Damnation’), the music soundtrack offers tension, suspense, horror all of which keep you on the edge of the seat. I’ve always been a fan of the audio aspect of both video games and movies, because they tell a story as much as any other element, without a quality soundtrack, it would simply lack soul.
As you’re already well aware of, each of the three campaigns (four including the unlockable ‘Ada Wong’ campaign) offers something different in terms of story, gameplay and certainly the soundtrack to help set the tone of each of the campaigns. You should be able to get a vague idea of which campaign you are playing, just by closing your eyes and listening to the music; it’s so good in fact that I want to add the soundtrack album to my personal ‘Resident Evil’ collection.
As I mentioned previously, the ‘Resident Evil’ series has come a long way since the cheesy, but lovable voice acting; if I remember correctly, this particular turning point happened with ‘Resident Evil 4’ and onwards. Even though I find the constant interruption of QTE’s irritating, watching the cutscene’s is almost as entertaining as playing the game itself, it’s certainly one of those games that the other half may certainly not mind watching on occasion. So with the high quality standard of the in game soundtrack and voice acting, add some awesome sound effects into the mix, such as epic explosions, the sound of landing that perfect headshot and the growl of an approaching zombie, you would struggle to find a game that is as strong in this particular area as ‘Resident Evil 6’.
‘Resident Evil 6’ certainly offers a lot of bang for your buck; three main campaigns with an estimated completion time of 10 hours each during your first playthrough, then an extra unlockable ‘Ada Wong’ campaign added for good measure. Then you have extra modes such as the returning ‘Mercenaries’ mode, which requires you to kill as many enemies as possible during the time limit, whilst trying to accumulate big combos and it’s just as addictive as ever, but slight changes have been made since the ‘Resident Evil 5’ version. With the gameplay being more fluid and less clunky, natural the pace of the game is turned up several notches. The maps have also been designed to be considerably smaller then the ‘Resident Evil 5’ mercenaries maps, but still with the same amount of enemies to kill, this making a faster and more frantic ‘mercenaries’ than ever before.
New to ‘Resident Evil 6’ we also have the ‘Agent Hunt’ mode (which is unlocked by completing one of the three campaigns), which has you infiltrating someone’s online campaign and you take control as one of the enemies as you hunt down and kill the heroes of ‘Resident Evil 6’. Of course, along with the campaign, ‘The Mercenaries’ and ‘Agent Hunt’ can be played both online and offline co-op. There are also many collectibles and unlocks to horde along the way, such as extra costumes, various ‘Dog Tag’ combinations (similar to the Call Signs in the Call of Duty series), in game figurines, files providing some back story and so much more.
Also if you register with ‘residentevil.net’, you will not only be able to track yours and your friends stats quicker than a hiccup, you will also be able to unlock costumes for your ‘Resident Evil 6’ characters, wallpapers for your PC, extra in game figurines, compete in various competitions and more. Think of it as similar to ‘Halo Waypoint’ and ‘Call of Duty: Elite’, another feature that particularly makes me happy, is that ‘Resident Evil 6’ has a ‘New Game+’ for each character, which means you can carry over all your skills you acquired from the previous campaign onto a new one, happy days!
There really is so much value to ‘Resident Evil 6’, it’s hard to knock it in that respect and the integrated with ‘residentevil.net’, it expands and opens even more doors for your ‘Resident Evil’ experience and you should certainly be playing this game long after you’ve finished each campaign.
Resident Evil 6 is an action packed, big budget adrenaline rush of a game, but perhaps that’s the problem with the series of today. Apart from the exception of the ‘Leon’ campaign, ‘Resident Evil 6’ is just a little too action packed. Don’t get me wrong, I totally love ‘Resident Evil 6’ and I’m finding it difficult to play anything else at the moment, but the series has lost its way for a very long time now. The majority of fans want ‘Resident Evil’ to be full of horror moments, suspense, claustrophobic corridors, scarce ammo and ‘Barry Burton’, where the hell is ‘Barry Burton’ and his “Jill Sandwich” quotes?! I miss Barry.
If you’re a fan of the series, then you very well may like the game as much as I have, but at the same time, you’ll be crying inside for the series to go back to what made you first fall in love with it. I can see what Capcom’s thinking was to offer a variety of different campaigns, but I can’t help thinking how much better the game could have been, if it was primarily a 15 -20 Leon campaign?
But no matter how much I love my ‘Resident Evil 6’ experience, like many fans of the series; I’m desperate for the series to stray away from the all action ‘Third Person Shooter’ game that it’s trying to be and head back towards its survival horror roots. ‘Resident Evil 2’ remake anyone?!