STAFF REVIEW of Resident Evil 6 (Xbox 360)

Friday, October 12, 2012.
by Brent Roberts

Resident Evil 6  Box art Here you are, fighting your fight against a seemingly insurmountable force. Nothing but death and destruction surround you while the shroud of corporate evil blankets your eyes from the truth. Every turn could be your last, and every door could spell your very doom. The nightmare that you thought was at an end has only thrown you deeper down the rabbit hole. Continuing the story of the world's most destructive virulent outbreak, Resident Evil 6 will take you on a dark journey of terror by bringing to life horrors that were once only our worst nightmares. This adventure is not for the faint of heart and it's an adventure from which your sanity may not return. As you wipe the sweat from your brow, calm your heartbeat, and steady your grip on your pistol, your hope for salvation intertwines with your quest for resolution and blinds you from the fact, that you have only two bullets left. Welcome to Resident Evil 6.

To uncover the reality behind the mist of deception, in your attempt to awaken from this nightmare, you will take part in multiple campaigns which consist of multiple chapters. Before you take your first steps you are offered the chance to alter various settings from: difficulty, which range from fluffy pink bunnies to pray to God; to co-op options involving Xbox LIVE connections or split screen, infinite ammo, and more. Now that the stage is set, and the players are ready, it is time for this hellish quest of horror and death to unfold.

The once herald king of survival horror games has had a very roller coaster lifespan. There were times when the game to play that will make your bladder lose control, your heart pound in your chest, and your forehead drip with sweat, was a Resident Evil game. Since its acclaimed "golden years" many have argued that Resident Evil has gone downhill in an attempt to become more modernized. Issues of the past include camera controls, movement and combat, and even with the horror element itself. Capcom has put forth extensive effort in an attempt to bring the undead horror series back to life, but like almost all zombies, all it takes is one good shot to the head to put it out of its misery for good.

When you play through the different chapters of each character, you will notice distinct differences that act as a double edged sword with this game. There are a couple of characters, whose story and gameplay bring out the classic Resident Evil feeling, however, there are also moments that will have you cursing the game itself. The plot behind the game requires you to play through the different campaigns while trying to piece everything together to complete the biggest puzzle of Resident Evil 6, the story. While it's nice to see a different take on Resident Evil's story, you can't help but think that Capcom could have done a better job with the delivery and not subject gamers to repetition. It's sad to say, but gone are the glory days when this game would make you wet yourself. Instead you will have your massive cinematic moments of shock, combined with a healthy dose of QuickTime events and after that, solve puzzles, shoot things in the head. While the play controls do differ in between character playthroughs, that doesn't mean that all of them are a success. It also means that Capcom has immediately subjected Resident Evil 6 to a massive, unavoidable fault, and that is no one will be happy. Back when you had the quality of the previous Resident Evil games, you had three types of people. Those that love the way the game played those that hated it, and those that thought it was ok. While that seems like a simplistic breakdown, ultimately, in the end, it's the truth. Now though, if you like only part of the game, then you run into the realization that you paid full retail price for a game you only like part of. This is unfortunately, one of the biggest draw backs of the entire game.

While there may be some major issues with Resident Evil 6, some of the biggest strengths can be found in the beauty of all the depraved horrors. The character textures and animation are painstakingly done to all the monsters which bring terror to life like never before and the lighting effects are done brilliantly throughout every moment and every level. Even though Resident Evil 6 is a graphic milestone for the series, it does pose some problems. Some of the character modeling of the monsters and your characters look purely terrifying, and even the new J'avo characters pose a threat that while deadly, turns out to become yet another disappointment within the game. The J'avo are able to use weapons against you, however, as you progress you will find yourself going into massive gunfights with multiple enemies and that is when Resident Evil 6, departs from a Resident Evil game, and becomes a mutated demon spawn that takes you away from one of the defining core characteristics of Resident Evil. Sure you may be witnessing all of this hellish action within stunning environments coupled with brilliant lighting, but when you turn a survival horror classic series into a 3rd person shooter, that's when you have a recipe for disaster.

You can't have a good horror game and not ensure that the sounds and music live up to the mark. Throughout the history of the Resident Evil games, the previous traits in regards to sound were: 1) Have ominous background music throughout the scenes to help build tension leading up to climatic events. 2) Have inevitable, "cheese" style character dialogue that plagues throughout the entire game. Now when we turn our focus to the new Resident Evil 6, your ears will be treated to more of the same. When you traverse each and every level your ears will be treated to a symphony of sound designed to do one thing only, and that's scaring the ever loving **** out of you. Then after you make it through these event scenes, you get rewarded by listening to corny, overacted, voice dialogues that immediately drop the tension and replace it with anguish.

Even though there are some massive issues pumping through this game like a raging old school T-Virus, some of the other modes such as Mercenaries bring new life into this undead franchise. Mercenaries mode grades you on your performance and will allow you to earn skill points which in turn, you use to upgrade your characters with such factors as increased melee damage or more health and allow you to even utilize them during your main campaigns. While Mercenaries mode brings forth some enjoyable replay value, the new Agent Hunt mode takes it right away. Using an almost direct knock off game mode, Agent Hunt could be classified as Capcom's Resident Evil twist on Left 4 Dead. While Left 4 Dead has managed to pull off this aspect brilliantly, unfortunately you can't say the same for Resident Evil 6.

When you get done taking in everything that Resident Evil 6 offers gamers, you realize that you are not playing a "true" Resident Evil game. While there are aspects that still remain from the franchise, when the core gameplay changes from what the series has always been about is a fault that absolutely cripples this game. There are some positives about the game, but they are overshadowed by continental sized failures and that's a shame because the gaming world is begging for Resident Evil return to their roots of delivering a terror experience that should come with health warnings pasted all over the box stating that playing the game could shorten life span, change mental state, or anything similar. Why Capcom has decided to evolve a classic survival horror game into a mere shadow of what it used to be is probably the biggest puzzle yet to be solved.

Please go back to the roots of what made the Resident Evil series the king of survival horror gaming.

Overall: 7.8 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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