Resident Evil 6 Review: So Much Game You’ll Have to Like Something


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I complained a lot about Resident Evil 6 when I was playing it.

“What a stupid design choice,” I’d cry, gripping my Xbox controller, white-knuckled, in frustration as I died for the fifth time in the same place. Or I’d ask rhetorical questions to no one, like, “How am I supposed to know what to do here?” and “Why do I have no ammo if I’m expected to kill all these guys?”

Colleagues, listening to my annoyance, asked me pointed questions like, “So the game is kind of a mess, huh?” And yet, I could never answer. I couldn’t say, “Yes, I hate it.” I don’t hate it — not all of it.

I actually think … I kinda like Resident Evil 6.

It’s by no means perfect, but it does try very hard a lot of the time. And it delivers more game than many full franchises ever seem to manage, and does so, often, pretty well.

Resident Evil 6
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: Oct. 2, 2012
MSRP: $59.99

The brilliant thing about Resident Evil 6 is that it contains a lot of what makes the franchise great and crams it all into one package. The campaign is divided into four parts, and each of those parts hinges on a different set of characters. And all those campaigns and characters play a little differently, invoking different elements from Resident Evils past.

Along with the gameplay, the narrative is differentiated into four parts as well. The first campaign follows Leon Kennedy of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 4; the second is about Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, Code: Veronica and Resident Evil 5; and the third sticks with Sherry Birkin of Resident Evil 2 and a new character, Jake Muller, who turns out to be series antagonist Albert Wesker’s son (a fourth campaign is unlocked upon completion of the other three). Each of the three primary campaigns gives a portion of the story from the perspective of those characters, and occasionally they cross over. But no one ever really knows what’s going on.

This is kind of a brilliant way for Resident Evil to develop its often-convoluted, intricate stories of evil people who create evil monsters — never tell anyone the full deal. None of the characters really know what’s going on, and because of that, it’s a little bit more okay for the player not to really know what’s going on, either. It helps in a way, because even when all the pieces are in place, there are still some big gaping holes.

But despite the issue of plotholes, Resident Evil 6 nails its character arcs. All of the protagonists are well-rounded people with their personal dramas and demons; this is easily the best-written Resident Evil on those terms, even if the greater plot dynamics are a little wonky.

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9 Comments on Resident Evil 6 Review: So Much Game You’ll Have to Like Something

Swcloud99

On October 1, 2012 at 11:20 am

I saw that every other major site on the internet gave a review score of under 6 and really hated the game and here comes the one site I know who is more thoughtful and intelligent about their opinion so I expected something under 2.
Instead, I find that you somehow managed to find what made the game interesting instead of only hating the things that don’t work. You guys really are rebels, aren’t you.

Phil Hornshaw

On October 1, 2012 at 11:25 am

@Swcloud99

So uh…is this a positive comment or a negative one?

The.Last.Assassin.

On October 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm

You guys are amazing! Other stupid sites game this game a freakin 6 or 7 saying its and not what expected from the franchise. Well fudge that! I expect from a game to be fun and beautiful and for what I’ve played in the demo I think this game got me sold. It’s not scary but it’s plain fun and that’s what matters to me ;) Really nice review Phil! I dont know why gamefront doesn’t have like millions of people come in every day… Both your youtube and page are awesome ;)

Phil Hornshaw

On October 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm

@TheLastAssassin

Hey, thanks! Appreciate it. Though I must say, I’ve read a few other reviews, like Jim Sterling’s over at Destructoid. And his issues with the game really are valid — I was pretty annoyed with it too. I think the good parts won me over a bit more than they did him, and I think I was a little more impressed with the amount of game you get for your money. Where I think it falls is co-op — if you intend to play co-op, you’ll probably have a good time. If you play alone (as I suspect most reviewers did, and I did), then the game may well suck for you. So mileage may vary, but I don’t think the sites that are down on the game are wrong. There are a lot of stupid design choices in there.

Still, very much appreciated that you’re enjoying our stuff! We’ll try to keep it up.

R.J.

On October 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

The general vibe I’ve been getting makes me think this game will be rather divisive since most reviews mention that the game does several things well and several things poorly, and it really comes down to how those things balance for each person playing it.

Swcloud99

On October 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

@Phil Hornshaw
Definitely a good thing. You think instead of deliberately bashing or praising a game based on arbitrary factors that have nothing to do with anything.

Wesker1984

On October 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm

”I saw that every other major site on the internet gave a review score of under 6 and really hated the game and here comes the one site I know who is more thoughtful and intelligent about their opinion so I expected something under 2.
Instead, I find that you somehow managed to find what made the game interesting instead of only hating the things that don’t work. You guys really are rebels, aren’t you.”

Exactly what i have in mind but positively ^^. Gamefront are no whores like IGN or Gamespot. They review a game for what it is and not for what they expected.

pedro

On October 3, 2012 at 1:56 am

Finally a fair score ;____;

Tiagonal

On October 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I crave impending doom… gotta keep waiting for it. Even if it was in a little sequence at the end of Leon’s Campaign… it should’ve been the whole game.