Resident Evil 6 – Review

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

A schizophrenic blend of old-school gameplay with cutting-edge visuals.

By opting to throw every third-person shooter cliché into the mix across its four diverse campaigns – each the length of a retail game in its own right and inspired by returning heroes – Capcom has seemingly finally embraced its Frankenstein leanings by itself creating a monster.

Boss fights will go on (and on) until your fingers cramp, enemies will shoot back (yep, that’s right, even the zombiefied ones) and your motley crew of good guys will find themselves in mortal peril so many times that you cease to care before a quarter of the game is through.

No doubt Capcom were thinking they’d covered all their bases (and then some) by including gameplay elements from just about every action game you’d care to mention, but the truth is they might have been better in seeking a return to the survival horror foundations that made the series’ name, rather than pursue the franchise’s latter day move into close-quarters fighting, incessant quick-time events and constant pyrotechnics.

Indeed Resident Evil 6 is almost schizophrenic in the way it blends cutting-edge visuals, which certainly impress, with gameplay which in all honesty hasn’t evolved far beyond what we experienced in the seven-years-old Resident Evil 4. Of course, there’s no doubting RE4’s qualities, but to still be singing from that same hymn sheet now not only smacks of a lack of ambition but feels ultimately lazy.

Take the best parts of Leon’s campaign – which without spoiling anything make for the best parts of the entire venture – that trap our hero as his insipid cohort in ambushes where are never ending tide of zombies must be repelled for a set time period.

Each of these moments, of which there are plenty, are tantamount to the church scene at the beginnings of RE4, and while still full of tension and hold-on-to-your-pants survival there’s just something off about playing through a scenario which you’ve not only seen before, but seen better implemented in a game published in 2005.

It’s the same throughout the other campaigns with Chris Redfield’s adventure copying the third-person cover mechanics of Gears of War, Jake Muller’s (that’s Wesker’s son don’t you know) playing similarly but with a spot of wrestling moves thrown in for good measure, and Ada Wong’s… well, actually, at least Ada’s campaign features a slight return to more the more eerie gameplay of Resident Evil’s past, not least because her episode isn’t cooperative.

I’ll state now that cooperative play isn’t a facet I need to see in a Resident Evil game and an aspect that only detracts from the experience in my eyes. For one, if there’s a partner who can revive you once you’re down then taking damage no longer holds the same cache it did.

Secondly, dialogue between character is so badly scripted that whether that’s purposely done or not there’s just no way for any atmosphere to build up before its torn down. Finally, when taken online, there’s scant chance your experience is going to go well with players our for themselves and a lack of the nudges of a truly co-op game like Left 4 Dead implemented to work against such negative play.

No doubt Capcom would point out that Resident Evil has now moved beyond the survival horror and into the action genre, so why criticise based on the series’ original blueprint? It’s a worthy point, but the issue is that Capcom still call their game Resident Evil, and so invite such comparisons.

If they’d rebranded the franchise then fine, do what you want, but by keeping the name in order to pull in fans of the series’ early entries you unavoidably invite comparison. Clearly the action genre is also one of gaming’s most crowded so, again, why bother to tackle it all when you had the survival horror genre all tied up?

At its best RE6 still works, if as an action titles rather than a horror one, and indeed being set upon by tens of zombies at a time in an urban environment in some way takes you back to Resident Evil 2 and makes you think how good that would have been given today’s technology.

Because it’s an action game upon which many hours and much money has been spent it will keep you entertained – indeed the shiny graphics alone will ensure it passes muster for a great many – but with 40+ hours of gameplay split across its four campaigns there’s just too much dross to ever let the title blossom to any more than OK.

An average Resident Evil then, and one which surely leaves the franchise in need of a return to its old ways, or else an entirely new direction.

Score: 3/5

Format: Xbox 360, PS3
Price: £54.99
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Apprentice IT Technician

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

    1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

    £153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

    Sales Associate Apprentice

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

    Apprentice C# .NET Developer

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We provide business administration softw...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit