Enjoyed The Hell out of It
Resident Evil 6 could go down as one of the most controversial games of this console generation, simply because bad press has divided fans of the series. While those that complained for years about Tank Controls and "wonkey camera angles" got their answer in January of 2005 with Resident Evil 4, one of the most ground breaking games of all time. Yet how quickly we forget that some of the control problems from changing gears with this franchise in that sequel, have existed since that sequel. If Resident Evil 4 was ground-breaking in changing the entire direction and style of this franchise, Resident Evil 5 brought some rather fantastic Cooperative Play to the franchise. Sure, 5 has it's moments of insane story plot points, but we also quickly forget that Resident Evil is a series grounded on b-movie settings and story-lines. Perhaps the most troubling thing for me as a Resident Evil fan, was seeing a majority of the press dump on this game a few days before it's release. Granted, I'm a die-hard Resident Evil fan, so I'm going to play the game regardless of reviews, but I can't lie without putting in there that I even hesitated for a moment about the game. But remembering back on all the fun times I had with the co-op in Resident Evil 5, and even the fun I had from the demo for 6 here in the last few weeks, I went ahead with the purchase, and man, am I glad that I did.
I wouldn't say that Resident Evil 6 breaks any major ground like 4 did for this series, but it does add enough changes to shake up the series quite a bit. For example: in Resident Evil 5, the most common complaint I heard from people was not having the ability to move and shoot. Why this is an issue, I never understood. However, in 6, this issue is addressed. All characters can now move and shoot, they can dive around, roll on the ground if you want, it all works very well. Instead of having the melee attached to face buttons, the game makes the smart decision of placing that on the right trigger. So if you are using your gun, you are aiming with left trigger, but for melee attacks you just simply hit the right trigger. This feels surprisingly natural and terrific. I know that I read a lot of reviews that complained about melee attacks not lining up for the most part, but for the 25 hours it took me to finish the campaign in this game, I would say it worked fine for me about 95% of the time. Sure, there's always a hick-up or two, but that's Resident Evil, kids.
The story of Resident Evil is convoluted, to say the least. You have the ability to choose from Leon, Chris, or Jake's campaigns from the start. Having three separate campaigns felt weird at first, but I actually enjoyed this lay out better, as overall it felt like I played a much longer Resident Evil game. I went down the list, top to bottom. So first I played Leon's campaign. Oh, Leon S. Kennedy, it's nice to have you back. Leon's campaign is a sorta throw-back to some of the tension and scares from Resident Evil 4. It also marks the return of regular Zombies, something that I know I was looking forward to. Leon's campaign is fantastic, only hindered by a boss that takes incredibly way too long to defeat, and I'm not talking about the fact that you have to fight him three to four times. However, let's just say that during one of his many "forms", he takes upwards of a billion bullets before he goes down, and to me this is just absurd. With his new partner Helena Harper, whom he meets in this game for the first time, the two set out to discover what happened at Tall Oaks. The biggest thing I want to emphasize here, is that this campaign felt like the return to horror for me. Did any of it scare me? No. But horror isn't always about being scared. I'm one of those people that felt like there was no horror element in Resident Evil 5 at all, but I think they made a welcome return to it here.
Once you finish up Leon's campaign, which I clocked it as the longest, taking me about eight hours, you get good old boy Chris Redfield's campaign, and I enjoyed his quite a bit too. Sure, it starts off a bit strange, and the first chapter of it feels more in place with something like Gears of War, but then it shifts and changes into another splash of horror. The second chapter has you deal with an invisible snake, reminiscent of a boss from the original game. This was probably my favorite chapter of this entire game, as it had enough tension to really keep you on top of things. I'll only say that for his campaign, Chris's ends on more of a sour note, and no mention of my series favorite Jill Valentine, was a bit of a let down. There's something pretty crazy story-wise that happens towards the end of this campaign, and without going into spoilers it is another one of those moments that will probably divide fans. I loved it, others will hate it.
Finally we have newcomer Jake Muller. Jake is the son of Albert Wesker, you know, everyone's favorite? While I initially didn't like Jake's snide remarks and cocky attitude, his character really grew on me towards the end. He is teamed up with the return of another series semi-star, Sherry Birkin, a surprise for some. Jake has the C-Virus anti-bodies in him, and the BSAA wants them to make a vaccine to cure it. While I would say that there's a good portion of Jake's campaign that is straight action, they also pay some great homage to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. In fact, I'd like to point out that Resident Evil 6 pays homage to just about every game from the series.
But wait, that's not all! Once you complete the three campaigns, you will unlock a sort of secret fourth campaign, starring series favorite Ada Wong. Ada Wong's campaign is the shortest, at just around four hours, but her second chapter is really where the heart of her campaign is. Featuring more great horror elements, some puzzles, Ada Wong's campaign is one of the better game unlockables in recent memory. Sure we were told about it ahead of time, but it doesn't make it any less awesome.
Making a return is the glorious Mercenaries mode, that I absolutely love. This time some changes have been made, cosmetic and aesthetic, but they all work. There's also a mode called "Agent Hunt" that allows you to join other people's games as an enemy character and kill them. This is cool, but doesn't work as well as it probably should.
You can't get a bigger bang for your buck then Resident Evil 6. I enjoyed the hell out of this game, and I still have plenty to do to mop up the rest of the achievements. While I do miss the days of Tank Controls, item management, and Survival Horror 100%, I can't really knock Resident Evil 6 for much more then a few dips here or there with the controls, and some occasional bad enemy a.i. But that's noticeable in about every game. There is in no way, anything that breaks Resident Evil 6, or makes it unplayable. It will of course take me a lot more play time to determine if it is one of my favorite games in this console life cycle, but Resident Evil 6 is a fantastic cooperative experience. Don't believe all the negative reviews coming out for this game, give it a shot. If you liked the previous two, you will most likely love 6.