The design of the story follow seven characters over four individual campaigns, instead of one singular campaign. These campaigns intersect with each other at certain points in the game. Each revealing certain plot points that may not have been completed in another campaign. This makes playing through all four campaigns necessary to understand the full story arc. Which is good and bad, having to replay certain events, especially ones that are lengthy becomes repetitious and a nuance at times. Though realizing that these events are part of a larger timeline that was only partly shown earlier has a great payoff in the end. The campaign should run about 25-30 hours, but you’re probably not gonna wanna go back as you will already be replaying some events in other parts of the campaign. The story in Resident Evil 6 sees Neo-Umbrella launching a bio-terrorist attack on Tall Oaks, to stop the President from releasing info on Raccoon City and China, where the new C-Virus is being prepared to launch a global outbreak. The campaign itself is very well designed, the story is so over the top (something the Resident Evil franchise is known for) and the action is every bit as entertaining as a Sylvester Stallone movie.
Resident Evil 6 is atmospheric, the detail put into the environment makes the game that much more real, adding depth and emotion into the experience. In contrast to Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6 goes for a much darker look, a stronger use of shadows and dark moody lighting. The variation in the environments shows the level of detail put into the game (my favorite being the catacombs in Leon’s campaign). Didn’t see too many graphical hitches, some of the objects and textures drop in quality, but it is not an issue. Where Resident Evil 6 did an amazing job is in character design, not just the main characters, who are all well designed and rendered, but mostly in the enemy design and variation. The franchise has always been known for its enemy design and this game may have some of the best.
This is where things get tricky, Resident Evil 6 offers a different gameplay experience than what the franchise has been known for. Gone are the survival horror elements, although still there in smaller capacity. Resident Evil 6 introduces a new move and shoot control scheme (its about time) that is a welcome addition, the same can’t be said about the cover system. Although the cover system works well, it’s just out of place and I found myself not using it that often in my playthrough. The introduction of the cover system is due to enemies now acting more like soldiers than the creatures and zombies seen earlier in the franchise. This is an interesting design choice and one that worked well from a 3rd person shooter stand point, but may turn away veterans of the franchise. The controls scheme itself is well laid out, intuitive and easy to use. The melee system is strong and helps players to clear a room when needed. Melee attacks are strong and can help take down enemies when ammo is low. To balance this they added a stamina bar that depletes upon use of a melee attack. Inventory management is quick and streamlined, although I hate having to open a menu screen in real time just to equip herbs to a mapped button then exit the screen and push the button to heal myself. It can be a pain, but thankfully it is a little forgiving as you can still move, and partner AI which has vastly improved will keep you somewhat safe. Three main problems I saw with Resident Evil 6 were the checkpoint system, low ammunition and the over reliance on QTEs (Quick Time Events). The checkpoint can be spread out pretty far at times and at one point it didn’t save my actual progress at a checkpoint. This set me back another 30 minutes, which is very annoying. At times I would back out of a chapter after saving at a checkpoint and have to restart the whole chapter over. For a game that presents itself as 3rd person action packed shooter, there is very little ammo to go around at times. It would make sense if it was a survival horror game, but the franchise has moved away from that direction. QTEs work well, but it just seems like there is QTE for everything in this game. They all breakdown to mashing buttons or moving the stick back and forth to complete it. You fail during cut scenes, well you get to do it again.
The Mercenaries Mode returns and I see it as a worthy side distraction if you like time based horde modes. The new mode, Agent Hunt, has you enter a random game online as an enemy. Sounds fun, but it is not. For some reason the camera controls on the enemies is different than the main campaign. At points it didn’t move well and was hard to maneuver with, making it a struggle to kill the other player. The actual character controls aren’t much better either and it leads me to believe that Capcom just through this game mode together.
In recent years, the Resident Evil franchise has slowly moved away from the survival horror genre, opting for more a more fast paced action 3rd person shooter. The move maybe essential to the future of the franchise and if Resident Evil 6 is any indicator, the franchise will do well. Resident Evil 6 isn’t a perfect game, but it is definitely one that deserves your attention.