- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
- Genre: Action
- Pros: Looks Great, Offers Strong Replay Value with Multiple Campaigns
- Cons: Repetitive Action, Weak Storytelling, Horrendous Pacing, Clunky Controls
"Resident Evil 6" is divided into three interlocking campaigns with five chapters each and a choice of two characters in each campaign (which, admittedly, when also combined with customizable skill sets and dog tags, makes for some deep replay value). You can play co-operatively in each of the chapters or choose to go it alone with an AI partner in zombie-killing. From the very beginning of the game, the action is explosive, including planes crashing into parked cars which then burst into flames as if they were all rigged with C4. As you run to a helicopter, which then crashes into a speeding subway car, you can immediately discern that the creative dictum behind "Resident Evil 6" was MORE. There are more enemies, more settings, more treasures to find, and more ways to make what should be exciting nothing but frustrating.
A game like "Resident Evil 6" needs to be well-paced: A bit of atmopshere, a bit of dread, a bit of wondering what's around the corner and deciding how you'll work with a partner to defeat it. "RE6" has none of this. It's a "run and shoot" game as much as the campaign in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3." You open a door, kill a bunch of enemies, maybe kill one big enemy, collect your spoils, and move on. The very few moments of honest tension are smothered by a "louder, faster, more" aesthetic that goes from surprising to frustrating to just disappointing.
Don't get me wrong -- I know that giant, seemingly immortal villains have long been a part of the "Resident Evil" series. But it's how these giant creatures are intertwined with the rest of the action that matter most to a game like this one. Fans will get caught up in shooting giant creatures that are fifteen times their size but when they have to do the same thing multiple times to do so, the grandeur of the moment gives way to the repetition -- hit the weak spot, wait for the cut scene (and "RE6" is weighed down with QT-events in cut scenes), hit the right button at the right time, and do it all over again until the damn thing dies. The idea to have different protagonists tell different angles of the same story was a clever one but the way they're intertwined means you'll sometimes face the same enemies in the same location with the same Achille's Heel in different campaigns. If I had to do the same technique with a certain "B.O.W." (shoot the weak spot, jump on his back, do it again, etc.) one more time, I was going to get out my disc shredder.
There are smaller moments spaced throughout "Resident Evil 6" that work like a chapter that takes you through a subway that's reminiscent of "28 Days Later..." or an underground cave that really feels like it's only being lit by the flashlight on the end of your gun. However, every one of these interesting scenes is off-set by a poorly conceived and designed one. On one campaign, you'll have to swim through an underground lake and it's so poorly designed that you'll be rolling your eyes that it made it through the development process. And don't get me started on the snowmobiling chunk of another campaign or hand-over-hand rope climbing at the end of another that made me scream in frustration at its faulty control design. Most of the settings are either boring or ill-conceived. Walking through snow-covered mountains surrounded by enemies works for a "Call of Duty" game. Less so for a "Resident Evil" one.
It's also a major problem that so much of "Resident Evil 6" comes down to simple fetch quests. Find three keys to open three locks on a door. Find three data cards in the snowy mountains. You're going to spend most of your time in "Resident Evil 6"" getting things to move forward or emptying a room of villains to do so. The game looks very, very good but it's like a high-budget blockbuster with stunning special effects that disguise a complete lack of screenwriting or character. In other words, the "Resident Evil" games have become the "Resident Evil" movies.