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Resident Evil 6 Gameplay
Annoyingly, someone seems to think it’s really thrilling to keep you in an enclosed area with respawning monsters and minimal ammo, ask you to survive for a specific period, then have you join up with your partner to activate whatever will take you to the next scene. With experience, you learn to recognise these sequences, give an inward groan and just accept that you might be stuck here for the next half an hour until you’re lucky enough to both get to the activation point and press the button before being overwhelmed.
Similarly, a couple of sequences have you retracing the same chunk of map with respawning J’Avo or zombies, which soon gets old, particularly when the checkpointing is poor, which it can be. Finally, in some cases the limited quantities of available ammo - presumably kept limited to up the tension – simply means that you spend huge amounts of time meleeing your way through the local zombie/mutant population. This isn’t just dull; it also looks really silly.
Yet the bad stuff is always balanced by some goodness. It’s not that the plot holds your attention or even makes sense (even Resident Evil 4 couldn’t manage that), but there’s something about the way all the byzantine threads come together that keeps you coming back for the long haul. We miss the old merchants with their cool gun upgrades, but the new system of skill points and perks works well, and you can carry on equipped perks from one campaign into another.
Resident Evil 6 Multiplayer
We also love the way that campaigns intersect within Resident Evil 6, with the game intelligently bringing in another one or two players from the masses playing online, so that your adventure temporarily connects with someone else’s. Taking down a gigantic horror with three other players is one of this year’s big gaming thrills, even if the process of taking them down feels over-extended. Meanwhile, a sneaky Agent Hunt mode – unlocked once you’ve completed one campaign – allows you to sneak into another player’s game as a monster and do your worst to take them down. If you’re on the receiving end, this adds a little frisson of excitement, though you can disallow Agent Hunt if you’d rather just get on with your game. This is really inspired stuff, showing that Capcom is still trying to push the envelope in online gaming, even if nobody appreciated it in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2.
Resident Evil 6 Graphics
What’s more, the graphics and design are consistently impressive. We’ve always said that Capcom is the world leader in monster design, and Resident Evil 6 has the developer on top form, with all kinds of pulsating, tentacle-forming, bio-mechanical, eyeball-sprouting abominations. Some, particularly those that stem from partially clothed women, are a bit unsettling for all the wrong reasons, but most of the time the beasties are a joy to watch and a joy to destroy. The environments, meanwhile, are amongst the creepiest, most detailed and most atmospheric we’ve seen in a Resident Evil game, whether we’re talking a water-filled underground labyrinth, a mountain pass in the middle of a snowstorm, or neon-lit streets in the middle of the carnage.
Resident Evil 6 is a huge game with a huge array of features, but one that does feel bloated. Inevitably, every player will be drawn to one campaign more than the others, and we’re still not sure what Capcom is playing at with Chris’s action-oriented chapters. Those who hate quicktime events will find a lot to hate throughout, there’s still plenty of poorly written dialogue, and some of the encounters just don’t work. At times more effort seems to have gone into the blockbuster cinematics than the minutiae of the level design and, frankly, we could do without turret sequences in a Resi. In the end, it’s a game where size and scale are a double-edged sword, giving fans an epic feast but ensuring that the finished game lacks focus. One third of it is the best Resident Evil since Resident Evil 4, but wouldn’t it be better if all the game hit that level, not just part?
Resident Evil 6 Verdict
In doing its best to be all things to all fans, Resident Evil 6 has lost some of its coherence. For all the ingenuity of the criss-crossing plotlines and the clever online cross-play, there’s no getting away from the fact that at least two of the three campaigns are patchy, and even the best doesn’t often hit the heights of Resident Evil 4. Improved controls, stronger AI, impressive visuals and some genuinely brilliant moments make this a stronger Resi than the last one, but for all its size and bombast Resident Evil 6 isn’t quite going to put the series back on track.