Chris ‘Capone’ Redfield: After the critical heights of Resident Evil 4 and the somewhat muted response to Resident Evil 5, Capcom has sought to bring together the most iconic characters and emulate some of the best elements in the latest entry of its popular horror franchise. Resident Evil 6 sees players assuming the roles of Chris Redfield, Leon Kennendy and newcomer Jake Mueller in three distinct campaigns, in addition to secret fourth campaign that may be unlocked afterward. And of course, no modern Resident Evil came would be complete without the iconic Mercenaries mode. Resident Evil 6 has some mighty expectations to live up to, so in our Rocket Chainsaw review, Rocket regulars Chris ‘Capone’ Redfield, Leon ‘Kontoudis’ Kennedy and Ada ‘Adam’ Wong will be discussing their thoughts on the game in a review that is bound to throw out more than a few scares.
James ‘Ghiggino’ Sunderland: Resident Evil 6 just isn’t a game I enjoyed playing. I actually have a fondness for the last few games in the Resident Evil mythos, even Resident Evil 5, but this is where I have to draw the line.
Most of my in-game playing time can be surmised as thus: Walk forward a few steps, see an obviously going-to-come-back-to-life corpse on the ground, shoot at the corpse in vain as the bullets pass through their not-yet-active models, walk over the zombie, get caught by it and lose most of your health in a stupid mini quick-time events. So is the experience of Resident Evil 6, a repetitive slew of shooting and disappointment. It’s all nicely presented, of course. There’s plenty of expensive-looking cutscenes and setpieces to feast your retinas on. That said, it does get very annoying when those setpieces kill you without warning in-game – expect to be run over by vans, trains and trucks just for standing in the wrong place.
Leon ‘Kontoudis’ Kennedy: I take no pleasure in repeating either of your sentiment, but the sad fact is that Resident Evil 6 is among the most baffling, big-budget disappointments I have ever played. This game, above all else, indicates a startling lack of vision on Capcom’s part. Where Resident Evil 4 took the series in a brand new action-oriented direction but otherwise found a way to retain the tension and invention of past entries, Resident Evil 6 is simply a colossal bore for all of its pyrotechnics and sumptuous cut-scenes. It isn’t so much that I begrudge Capcom’s insistence on ramping up the action (after all, the series has had nary a true scare since its third entry), but that the action itself is so clumsy. Moving, dodging, shooting, taking cover: none of these mechanics ever feel natural or enjoyable, which is unfortunate given that they make up the bulk of the campaigns. Everything in Resident Evil 6, from the separate campaigns, to the incomprehensible menus, to the preponderance of quick-time events and military tropes, speaks to a developer so afraid of pursuing its own vision that it is willing to sacrifice one of its grandest creations in order to maximize mainstream appeal.
Resident Evil 6 is not an abysmal game – it is far too grandiose and often-spectacular for that – but it is exceedingly mediocre in every way, and at its worst feels like the sort of misfire wrought by the Umbrella Corporation: a twisted, stitched-together mutant experiment, unsure of its identity or purpose, shambling along until its tragic end.
Chris ‘Capone’ Redfield: Unlike my fellow gaming brethren, my first foray into the Resident Evil franchise was with the fifth game, which has subsequently became one of my favourite titles of this generation. Since, I have purchased the majestic apex of the industry, Resident Evil 4 (three different versions, funnily enough), but never seen it through to completion. Nevertheless, my anticipation for Resident Evil 6 was palpable. I have gone back and searched though the internet, so I possess a good knowledge of the series’ history, but my lack of any firsthand experience with the first few games has obviously moulded my expectations differently for the latest title. Overall, I personally thought Resident Evil 6 was an excellent title by modern standards, but not without its issues.
The introduction of dual movement and shooting has brought Resident Evil 6 into line with modern shooters, and the basic gameplay was entirely serviceable. The cover system takes a little time to become accustomed to, as does the dodging, rolling and melee combat. But once I became familiar with the controls, I felt very comfortable headshoting zombie after … well … J’avo. The largest problem with gameplay is the oversaturation of quick-time events and the multitude of instant deaths if you fail to keep pace with the stick-twirling and button mashing. I was forced to replay several sections over because my fingers quite weren’t as fast as a fully-specced Lance Armstrong.
The different campaigns intersect adequately, but the underlying story feels somewhat farfetched when you reach the crux (but when has a Resident Evil game never been ridiculous?). Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the character development and dynamics of both new and old faces. I had a great fun across the separate levels, and though the level design wasn’t anything out of the ordinary playbook, the action kept me engaged and entertained. Boss encounters were always tense, but a few of them far overstayed their welcome. The visuals and soundtrack where of the usual high standard you would expect from an in-house Capcom game, and Mercenaries continues to serve as an entertaining distraction upon completion of the campaign.
The sixth iteration of the horror series is far from the pinnacle of the franchise, but in a sea of blockbuster releases, it manages to hold its own and fare above the competition. Some fans may not find solace given the excellence of its predecessors, but I personally found Resident Evil 6 to be a solid and entertaining zombie-infested romp.
But wait, now that you have braved our trio of horrific rants, a secret fourth review awaits, contributed by Cian Hassett.
Derek ‘Cian’ Simmons: Resident Evil 6 is single-handedly the most disappointing game of the generation, and now I’m going to explain why Capcom should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. This pathetic excuse for a blockbuster is about the furthest thing from quality on shop shelves right now. Granted, certain elements are reminiscent of older Resident Evil entries, which is fine… until you realise the core mechanics are a cluster of diabolical design choices. Throwing four campaigns into an already poorly written story serves only to highlight the flaws of the script, but I could have forgiven Capcom under the assumption that the gameplay was somewhat engaging. Sadly it’s not. Instead you’re left to drag the camera around bland levels interspersed with some unforgivable and downright stupid quick-time events, along with the occasional piece of semi-entertaining action.
I’m going to use the second chapter of Jake’s campaign to try and relay my hatred. Of the three campaigns that I tried, all of them were terrible but this one is exceptionally shallow. There’s a strange sensation of being bored before the chapter commences, a feeling instilled throughout Resident Evil 6. Almost immediately you’re left out in some god-forsaken snowy nightmare, clueless as to what you’re supposed to be doing and where you’re supposed to be going. If the terrible map wasn’t bad enough, the confusion gets even more extreme when snowstorms keep on rolling in, and you literally can’t see anything. Highly accurate of course, yet totally ludicrous in terms of gameplay.
After a brief moment inside a filthy cabin, Jake and his equally lifeless friend have to escape on snowmobiles through an evermore ridiculous sequence of events. First of all, the handling is atrocious. It’s like trying to steer a ten-tonne truck underwater. The physics, or lack thereof, don’t exactly help either so it’s highly likely that you’ll end up getting stuck in the environment, getting stuck to your partner, knocking your partner into a pit of death, or falling into a crevice that appeared only a fraction of a second earlier. It’s truly dreadful to the core and shares a similar trait with other chapters – it feels as though it’s never going to bloody end.
The more you play of Resident Evil 6, the more you’ll discover just how horrendous it really is. I honestly can’t think of any redeeming features or reasons to justify spending so much money on it. For the record, I haven’t finished Resident Evil 6 and I have no intention of doing so. My copy is sitting in the pre-owned pile of some EB Games store, just waiting to unleash its disturbing, stick waggling, button pressing torture on another poor unfortunate soul. Make sure it’s not you.