Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Resident Evil 6: HD
PS4, Xbox One
Resident Evil 6 is the latest game in the series’ franchise, and while it came out it in 2012, it has been given some new life (or undeath, if you will) on modern consoles. This entry in the series is generally described as an action adventure shooter, as it doesn’t really have the same feel as the original survival horror games bearing the Resident Evil name. So, has RE6 come back bigger and better, like the mutating beasts in the game that refuse to die, or has it decayed, like one of the title’s rotting zombies? Read on to find out, dear visitor.
My first impressions of RE6 were not that good. To begin, I had to endure the following exchange with my XBOX One, just to start the damned game. Actually, this was for the second and subsequent times, but the first was just as long.
Joel: Turns on XBOX and presses button to Launch RE6 (yay)!
XBOX: Press Any Button
XBOX: To play online, you will need to sign in to Xbox Live with a profile capable of playing online.
JOEL: You mean the profile I’m already signed in with? Ok. Fine. A!
XBOX: Select your profile.
JOEL: Well, there is just the one, but alright. A!
XBOX: Profile Selected.
JOEL: I know. I just selected it! A!
XBOX: Load Successful.
JOEL: Woopty Doo! A!
XBOX: This game has an autosave feature. Do not quit the game when the saving icon is displayed.
JOEL: Gotcha. A!
XBOX: <Displays intro and RE6 title screen>. Press any button.
XBOX: Play a game?
XBOX: Play the campaign?
XBOX: Continue your game?
JOEL: What do you think!? A!!!!
XBOX: Here are your game details. Press A to continue.
JOEL: Aaaaaargh! I mean, A!!!!!
XBOX: Choose your difficulty and screen mode.
Joel: Are you kidding? A!!!!!! Damn it!
XBOX: Please confirm your settings and press A to Start your Game.
Joel: What the hell is wrong with you!? I wanted to play the game when I booted it up! A!!!!!!!
So, I was a bit grumpy when I started. Let’s begin with the compliments though. Despite its age, RE6 looks reasonably decent. Characters look good and generally move well. It’s mostly set at night or in dark areas, which is fine because it’s Resident Evil, but there are some nice bright areas as well. A scene on a floating Chinese restaurant comes to mind, and it looks good. The game lives for its action and set pieces. Lots of things explode; people leap out of the way of certain death, and point guns at one another. A lot. In fact, I would not be surprised to hear that Michael Bay was heavily involved in its production. On the whole the shooting mechanics are not bad. There are lots of guns and some different ammo types.
RE6 also has a lot of game content. There are four different campaigns for four duos. You can choose which member of each duo to control at the start and there are some slight branches where you adventure apart. There is also a multiplayer offering and a mode called “Agent Hunt” which allows other players to invade your game as enemies for some PVP.
Unfortunately, there were a bunch of things I did not like about Resident Evil 6. To start, it’s a long way from the original RE games. It doesn’t feel like survival horror as you always have your partner to save your ass, although my partner did need to save my ass many a time. There are lots of quick time events and some of them are highly annoying. Like the one where you need to wiggle the control stick in a circular motion with your thumb for what felt like ages. Or mash a button for a long time. Hello RSI. I’m not a fan of quick time events anyway, but these were particularly irritating.
A stagger mechanic is used a lot in the game. If your character steps over a body or object, they stumble. If you bump into your buddy, you stagger. If you get mugged by several enemies in a corner you can get continually staggered so you can’t move and end up dying. It happened to me any number of times. Enemies are bullet sponges, and although there is more ammo than I would expect from a Resident Evil game, I was always running out. Headshots sometimes seemed to take enemies out instantly, while other times it took several bullets to the brain to kill them. My aim may not be that great, but it happened often enough that I was confused.
The game is very linear. I sometimes felt as though I was almost on rails. Well, there is a mine cart chase at one point, but still. Invisible walls or sometimes even dead bodies would stop me going in certain directions I thought would be accessible. In my opinion, that usually points to something that could have been better designed in the environment.
The camera can get a bit wonky, especially when running around with lots of enemies, and obstacles (corners, ledges, ladders, etc) in the environment. Then zombies leap out of nowhere (well, from outside of my field of view anyway), and down goes the health bar.
The game has checkpoints so you don’t have to replay too much when you die, although restarting some of the really long or complex boss battles are infuriating. Actual save points are fewer, so I occasionally had to keep playing until the next save well after I’d had enough of my gaming session. Of course, the original RE games had that issue / design choice as well.
I could probably gripe on, but I think I’ll wrap this up. If you know what you’re in for, and you enjoy the RE universe and like big action adventure shooters and love killing mutants, and are patient, then you might like this. I think, though, that there are better offerings on modern consoles competing for your gamer dollar.