Ah yes, Resident Evil 6, a prime example of trying to do too much leading to a poor end result. Four separate campaigns, seven lead characters, several different themes and tones but all with the same slightly clunky-feeling controls… it wasn’t great, and thankfully the reception of the game (not including sales given it’s still CAPCOM’s third bestselling game) led to Resident Evil VII going back to a horror focus, but that game will have to wait for another time, right now we end our look at the core Resident Evil games via the Game to Live Action Movie Marathon with Resi 6!
This screenshot really does look like it could have come from any generic army-based shooter…
Resident Evil 6 was released on the XBOX 360 and PS3 worldwide in October 2012, with a PC Port March 2013, a PS4 and XBOX One port in March 2016, and finally a Switch port in October 2019.
The game had a huge development team as they tried to essentially release three games in one, with a fourth shorter campaign on top of those, and sadly it didn’t work and even the hardest of hardcore fans knew it (like me…) It didn’t help that the reveal trailer was hampered by people pointing out the 6 in the logo looked like a giraffe…
Leon and Helena wonder if they can drive out of the city… turns out they can’t.
The gameplay of Resident Evil 6 is similar to 4 and 5, with 3rd person, over-the-shoulder viewpoint that zooms in when you draw a weapon, the weapons all having a laser sight to make aiming easier. As well as guns and explosive devices, you can also strike stunned enemies with some melee weapons or even a good kick or punch. Once again in the main scenario you control somebody with an A.I. partner (or another player locally or online) but as mentioned in the opening paragraph the main campaign is initially spilt into three, with you controlling Chris with partner Piers, Leon with partner Helena, or new character Jake Muller with partner Sherry Birkin, now all grown up!
Each scenario has its differences, Chris is geared solely towards action, with his enemies mostly being gun-totting soldiers, Leon’s is more horror based and features the return of regular zombies, and Jake’s features a constant, Nemesis-like threat and has more super-powered counter attacks (more on that in the story section!). Across all three are returning gimmicks from 5, like if you or your partner get to near death your other half can revive you, you can exchange items between your two characters, and you can upgrade skills and guns in between checkpoints.
There are some new additions to the gameplay though. You can now roll around the place, shoot while running and do a “Quickshot”, which as the name suggests is a quick shot of your gun that’s an automatic headshot. All these things cost stamina, which is now a thing, with its own bar on the HUD and everything! There are moments where two or more of the storylines / scenarios cross with each other, and during these times up to four players can play co-operatively online.
It’s the Ustanak! It’s like Nemesis, but not at all memorable.
QTEs are back, and are more annoying than ever. Sure, no long cutscene deaths, but there was a sequence where you had to climb a rope as Leon and I just couldn’t do it. Turned out you had to think of it like climbing an actual rope: press and hold the button for one hand, then keep it held until you press and hold the button for the next hand, and so on… man it was annoying. In general the bosses are just full of QTEs and its just way… way to much overkill on a concept I didn’t like to begin with.
When you complete all three campaigns you unlock Ada’s campaign, which has stealth-based sections and features you playing as the spy solo. Other unlockables include the Mercenaries mini-game returning once again (kill enemies to increase you time and score to get higher ranks) and a mode called “Agent Hunt”, where you play as an enemy in another player’s game and the longer you can go without being killed the more points you earn.
I also have to mention that the game just doesn’t feel as tight or responsive as 4 and 5, and the feedback is somehow less impactful as well, combined with even the lowest enemies on the totem pole having to be shot in the head seven times before they die makes for a poor experience on the whole.
Graphics and Sound:
Ada gets ready to stealthily fire a large bolt gun at someone.
Graphics were good for the time, especially the lighting in Leon’s campaign, lots of use of a flashlight being used in the dark and all that. Now they still look fine, I mean it’s not even been 10 years, so with the exception of 4K HDR colour type stuff, the difference in graphics isn’t too big a leap.
Sound design is fine, music is good but much like 5 it’s more on the drama and loudness side than the tense horror side (understandably given the game…) but the soundeffects are good and crisp. The voice acting is, as per usual, fine, nothing amazing, nothing embarrassing.
The moment that made everyone watching the trailer wet themselves… or get mildly excited. One of the two.
This would take a while, so to sum up: Chris is haunted by having lost a recent team he was in charge of, but gets paired up with Piers and other soldiers on a new Biohazard threat in Eastern Europe anyway. Their investigation leads them to Lanshiang, China. Leon and Helena are both working under the President when he decides to let the whole world know the truth about Raccoon City and Umbrella’s involvement in order to “end further bioterrorism” but gets caught up in a virus outbreak in Tall Oaks, an outbreak that not only kills the President, but the entire population besides Leon and Helena. They manage to escape Tall Oaks and head to Lanshiang, China on a new lead.
Jake Muller, son of Albert Wesker, and Sherry Birkin, both infected with various viruses that make them either super strong or near-immortal (or both?) are in the same area as Chris but are being hunted by a huge bio-weapon known as the Ustanak. They manage to survive for some time before being captured by someone who looks an awful lot like Ada Wong. They eventually wake up in, you guess it, Lanshiang, China. During the course of this the actual Ada Wong is after her imposter… in Lanshiang, China.
This is where they all cross paths after an outbreak reduces Lanshiang to a living hell. Chris and Piers investigate a nearby oil rig where Piers ends up injecting himself with the new C-Virus and saves Chris at the cost of his life, meanwhile on the same platform Jake and Sherry escape after finishing off the Ustanak for good. Jake has found out about his parentage and is rather upset that his long lost father was a mad man who tried to destroy the world, but comes to accept it when Sherry talks about what her dad was like…
This screenshot from Mercenaries mode was going to go under the DLC section, but this story part is so long I thought I’d break up the text…
Leon and Helena meanwhile kill Derek Simmons, the old cliché corrupt politician who had been pulling the strings, and who had injected himself with the C-Virus in a last attempt to get a win. Oh, and Ada tracks down her doppleganger, who injects herself with a virus and is eventually killed. Everyone lives… well, sort of happily ever after. Well, apart from Piers, obviously.
I did enjoy seeing all the characters cross paths the first time, but in general the plot isn’t up to much. Alex is sort of a cheap Dante knock off, all super cocky and “cool” but without the flair of the Devil May Cry protagonist, but I did like the relationship between him and Sherry and generally aren’t as down on him as some people have been.
The DLC for Resi 6 is quite short. There was some free-LC in the form of a playable partner for Ada’s campaign (who just vanishes during cutscenes and is simply called “Agent”), some new camera controls and a harder difficulty mode.
The only piece of actually buyable DLC is a triple pack of new multiplayer modes, a basic death match one, a “one player plays as the big boss, the others have to survive” mode and a “two people fight wave after wave of enemies” one. Not very exciting.
One of the few legitimately creepy designs from the game.
Resident Evil 6 was disappointing. I enjoyed my first playthrough because it was more story involving the characters I’ve grown to love, but I remember getting actively frustrated at the controls or lack of ammo due to bullet sponge enemies, and by the time I finished Ada’s campaign I was happy to be done. I didn’t replay it until the run up to Resi VII, and that second time was no more fun than the first time round…
A fitting screenshot to end on, as this is what always sticks in my mind about the game…
Now? Yeah, it’s not very good. It’s long winded and just not as fun to control as 4 and 5, making it the clear odd one out of the “Over the shoulder 3rd person numbered Resident Evil games” (catchy!) I’m happy the sequel took a new approach that was more based on horror, because they really ran this era of the franchise into the ground…