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

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower