The first thing I noticed about Resident Evil 6 was that the spider web design of the new logo was creepy and could mean nothing good. The second was how girly Leon looked.
Still the potential for creepy zombie-spiders and overly androgynous protagonists aside I was reasonably impressed with RE6.
RE6 put me in mind of Resident Evil 2, Leon is back in the game and the zombies are much more like the traditional walking corpses that we all love to shoot in the head.
Plenty of Leon’s his old friends make an appearance. His campaign takes place in lots of poorly lit urban settings, laboratories, sewers and underground tunnels, just like old times. I’m just thankful that Leon didn’t stumble across a croc in the sewers, this time around.
RE6 has continued the trend of downplaying the survival horror elements in favour of increased gun-play and more traditional 3rd person shooter elements.
I didn’t find Resident Evil 6 (or RE5 for that matter) all that scary. Perhaps I’m not as jumpy as my 12-year-old self was, back when I played RE2.
RE6 features lots of quick time events, I mean a lot! I have never really found QTEs all that exciting; they essentially take the action out of your hands, but don’t allow for the film fun of a cinematic. They should be used sparingly, but RE6 lays them on a bit thick.
The game-play is much the same as RE5 including the partner/ co-op functionality. Capcom have included a few nifty extras, for example the cover mechanism has been upgraded to allow jump out shots (although because of the camera, you may find yourself staring at the back of Leon’s head when you line up a shot). The HUD is in the guise of the characters smartphone/PDA, which is a nice touch.
One of the more fun features added for Leon is the ability to duel-wield his pistols. This can be quite useful in a tight spot. However you rarely have enough ammo to justify going Matrix on the zombies. Also the recoil makes it hard to aim.
The graphics are amazing, hair moves pretty much as hair should, head shots that don’t kill, still blow off a chunk of zombie skull. Leon’s leather jacket has been loving rendered, so has rather a lot of the female characters cleavage, not surprising given the target audience of most survival horror games.
However my biggest issue with RE6 is the skill points system. Essentially you collect points from dead enemies and certain locations and spend these on increasing your characters stats. This has replaced the weapon upgrade option from RE5.
The annoying thing is that these points are in every crate and container you smash. Meaning you won’t be finding much in the way of ammo and recovery items in these places. Including during boss battles, when an extra 500 points is useless but a herb or ammo drop would be a life saver, quite literally.
That said there are some genuine standout moments, shooting a liquid nitrogen canister out of a zombie’s hand then calmly putting a bullet to them and watching the pieces fly is one of my favourite moments.
The melee and close combat has been amped up allowing powerful, and satisfying, attacks that will floor or finish zombies. Just like RE5 you can combine attacks with your partner for massive damage. If you are like me you will find yourself relying on your knife a lot. This lets you conserve ammo and decapitate hostiles, bonus.
Resident Evil has evolved from the days of old; the survival horror elements that made the series a success just aren’t there any more, but the plot and zombie-wasting action does help increase the joy of playing RE6.
The 6th offering of the series has done a tribute to the history of the series and the zombie genre in general, although jumping zombies are rapidly becoming my least favourite type of reanimated corpse.
RE6 isn’t perfect, but the story is engaging, and killing zombies never gets old. The boss battles are cool, if a little clichéd. Resident Evil 6 is enjoyable but not the powerhouse that I was hoping for.