In this industry, it's easy to rely on a game's hype and pre-marketing rather than its actual impact, and sometimes, despite the potential behind the project, things can just fall flat. This was easily the case with a number of games throughout the years, like Steel Battalion – which relied more on its Kinect gimmickry than comprehensive gameplay – and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, a game that, despite its multiplayer potential, simply couldn't live up to other chapters in the series. Now, both of these games came from Capcom, so clearly their year had to get better with some of their bigger franchises. Or so most folks thought.
Capcom pushed forward with their hype on Resident Evil 6, a long-awaited sequel split amongst multiple campaigns, including ones following series mainstays Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield, as well as newcomer Jake and the returning Ada Wong. With a huge production budget, plenty of marketing and tons of preview hype, what could go wrong?
Well, a lot, apparently. Despite the huge push and the 4.5 million copies that have shipped worldwide for it, Resident Evil 6 was met with a huge amount of critical backlash. Giant Bomb awarded it a 2 out of 5, calling it "the most lavishly produced bad game in history". Destructoid completely trashed the game, stating that it was "poor by the standards of any game, not just the high ones set by its own legacy." And G4TV stated that Resident Evil 6 was "the biggest misstep that (Capcom) could have made."
However, not all the reviews were completely harsh. Game Informer gave it an 8.75, addressing its problems but still giving it praise. And my review over at a different site stated that there were some things that were a pain, but there was more than enough good content to award it a potent 8 out of 10. Not the high marks that, say, Resident Evil 4 got years ago, but still recommended.
We've decided to take a look at some of the things that players got irked about the most in Resident Evil and figure out if they were really that bad, or if some folks are merely overreacting. Let's be honest, there are some hardcore fans out there who were looking for a survival horror experience, rather than the mainstream action they ended up getting. Or maybe they're still letting off steam after Operation Raccoon City stuck up the joint earlier this year. Who knows. Anyway, let's get started.
More Action Than Survival Horror
This is probably the "big" thing that is pissing off a lot of fans about Resident Evil 6. The slow, creepy atmosphere that was first introduced in the original PS One games is long gone, replaced by a bigger budget, Hollywood-style action sequences and controls that give you the option to kill enemies much better with melee, rather than just a firearm.
It's true – this series has grown, and not all of it has been for the better. But, honestly, the shift started with Resident Evil 4, especially near the end of the game, with the "big escape" scene kind of transitioning what the series was becoming. And Resident Evil 5 solidified that, introducing players to dire situations, but with a better means to taking enemies down – save for that bad-ass with the battle axe that just…won't…die.
I did state in my review that Resident Evil 7 could transition less out of the action realm and more towards the creepy kind of ambience that the series was once known for. But that's not to say Resident Evil 6 was broken to me. I still feel it's a fun experience. Is it broken in spots? Yeah, mainly with camera placement (nice to see someone not creeping up behind me) and pacing on some campaigns, but it's still good.
For Resident Evil 6, Capcom wanted to tell a story from multiple angles, all tying in to one general storyline. I won't spoil it here, but everyone – Redfield, Kennedy, Jake, Ada – have their own parts to play. And a few of you thought that some characters had it better off than others when it came to what they were actually doing.
And yes, Chris did have the "gung ho" role here as a commando working cohesively with his partner through a big city run, and that's a far cry from what Leon was doing in the back woods trying to get to the cathedral. But the fact that you could choose whatever campaign you wanted right from the beginning, then see where the others tied in – well, that offers up a little bit of difference, and it's a welcome improvement over just being stuck with the same two people throughout the game, like in Resident Evil 5.
And was Chris' campaign really that bad? Those intense gunfights in the cramped hallways were good, though the escape was a little over-the-top near the end. Still, fighting mutant goons and trying to stay in one piece while doing it did make for some exciting moments.
Hey, we can understand, though. Some folks fare better than others. But having the choice, that's a decent option…and something we probably could've used in Operation Raccoon City, honestly. That's still the worse game.
If you're concerned with the pacing of dialogue in Resident Evil 6…hey, look on the bright side. It's not entirely cornball like previous RE games. But still, maybe that's a disadvantage for some of you.
Quick Time Events
Okay, now this is definitely a complaint I can relate with. The biggest problem, to me, with Resident Evil 6 is having to go through repeated quick time event sequences to get out of skirmishes or keep from falling off a ledge. There were wayyyyy too many of these, and Capcom could've done something simpler, in real time, to make them work. I have no justification for this part of the game – these need to go away, period.
I'm not going to sit here and say you need to like Resident Evil 6. There are a bunch of great games to choose from these days, particularly with today's releases of Dishonored and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. But Capcom's sequel, despite its hiccups, isn't all that bad. At the very least rent it to see if it's your speed, and then, if you can't handle it, move it. Simple as that. Don't let the haters hate the product for you…