Resident Evil 6 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Leo Epema 14.05.2016 1

Review for Resident Evil 6 on PlayStation 4

Capcom has endured a lot of criticism for a while now - mainly since Resident Evil 5. The most tenacious of the fans say they're not happy with the direction the series has taken. It's understandable where they are coming from, especially from this Devil May Cry fan that has seen the series turn into something almost unrecognisable. At first, Resident Evil 6 was supposedly going to be like the old instalments. Then it was heard that it was going to be like Resident Evil 5. The result? Perhaps you'll be surprised. With the most recent game in the mainline series making the jump to PlayStation 4, Cubed3 reviews this updated port.

In Resident Evil 6, the story follows Leon S. Kennedy and Helena Harper, Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans, Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin, and Ada Wong in four separate campaigns, as they try to save the world from the zombie outbreak caused by the C-virus, which was dispersed by Neo-Umbrella. Chris has become a drunk after a tragic event, Leon lost a good friend (the president) to the virus, and Jake, well… he's lost something altogether different.

The plot could be told better, as in Leon's case, it starts off right in the middle, and then reverts back to the beginning. This serves no purpose other than to spoil the plot, as the story could've simply started at the beginning with a tutorial. On the one hand, the fact that the separate campaigns eventually converge is likeable, explaining some of the things that happened in the other campaigns that couldn't be understood at the time. On the other hand, this convergence is also quite frustrating when the cut-scene that had already been seen in another campaign shows up a second time. Not only that, but there's even a moment when one of the bosses from Leon's campaign has to be fought again, this time as Jake. Since there's no difference between the two fights, it can only be considered lazy implementation.

Another flaw is that the plot doesn't turn out as spectacular as expected. Leon doesn't get too close to Helena, and the same goes for Chris and Piers and Jake and Sherry. A handshake and a pat on the back don't really cut it. Aside from that, there's no sense of urgency. Do we really need to save the world, or just have fun shooting the infected? Overall, the plot, although interesting as a concept, comes out slightly lacklustre and confused.

Screenshot for Resident Evil 6 on PlayStation 4

Resident Evil hasn't been the same since the fourth instalment. In this game, there is the possibility of shooting while walking, and sliding after running. This doesn't add to the survival part of the game, but the tension was already gone since the introduction of the AI partner. Enemies are not frightening in the least, and the third-person view doesn't help, either.

Camera angles can be very frustrating at times, as the camera often zooms in on dangerous things. This is easily experienced when fighting the final boss of Leon's campaign. Every time it tried to attack with its legs, the camera panned to an awkward angle somewhere beneath Leon to show those legs. Thankfully, the AI partner is quite skilled this time around. He or she will shoot enemies as often as a human player is expected to, and heals as soon as you're down. There seem to be no glitches. There was an occasion of the AI-controlled characters staring at a wall with a sniper rifle, but that happened only once, and very briefly.

The puzzles aren't puzzles at all; in one instance, there were statues emerging out of walls, and each had a single button that needed to be pushed. If the button wasn't pushed soon enough, the statue would aim a laser and shoot. There is no fun or challenge in that. The same goes when needing to shoot five church bells, of which one was concealed.

Screenshot for Resident Evil 6 on PlayStation 4

The biggest gameplay flaw, however, is the quick-time events, which make up about forty percent of the game, or so it seems. The thumb stick needs to be rotated at inhuman speeds, and if that's not required, a button must be pressed at exactly the right moment, for no good reason. Why not leave out the QTEs and allow the player to time their button presses, or simply attach a negative result to incorrect timing, rather than going Game Over so fast? For example, reduce the player's health if a button press is missed. That could've worked decently if combined with health conservation outside of QTEs. As it stands, you lose sight of what's happening on screen, and focus completely on the button. Bosses are defeated by the quick-time events, not tactical skill.

Some tactics can still be applied in the Mercenaries mode, where the goal is to get as high a score as possible within the time limit. Unfortunately, it isn't as good as in the past instalments. There is no warning if you're near death, and when dying, the character now drops to the floor and can't get up unless the AI partner revives you, or if you can survive for about thirty seconds. This sounds like a good addition, but during playing single-player, there is no chance… none. That is, unless you're not attacked by five or more enemies at once, for a change. As soon as you're hit, you're dead. See, this would have been a good time to include QTEs, but it seems Capcom believes players should be punished for making mistakes, even though the results of those mistakes are bad enough.

The irony of it all is that the protagonists actually talk about the game's flaws. Helena or Leon said something like: "This guy just doesn't quit." You don't say! He's made three comebacks already - what was to be expected? These kinds of gameplay shenanigans are unacceptable. Perhaps it would be acceptable if the bosses came back in a very creepy, unexpected way, but Resident Evil 6 fails to be frightening. Capcom should take a good look at what it is doing, because although the gameplay is fluid, it's simply a third-person shooter at this point - especially in Chris' campaign. The puzzles and the camera need work, and some horror needs including. Some things, like incorrectly implemented QTEs and gameplay mechanics, are unacceptable. Overall, the gameplay is subpar.

Screenshot for Resident Evil 6 on PlayStation 4

On a more positive note, Resident Evil 6 looks fantastic, although it could've looked better. The sea and skyscrapers look absolutely marvellous when the city's jacked up and lit up like a Christmas tree - like Leon says when praising Helena in battle: "Beautiful." The lighting is the best part of the visuals, but don't discount the textures. The characters especially look great, and there's nothing as glorious as Leon's hairdo, most of all when it's wet. I was expecting Leon and Helena to do a barrel roll in the mud, though, but no luck. Mud, water, fire - it all looks good. Even mutated ass-faced enemies look pretty nice… in a non-attractive kind of way. However, there are instances when enemies that are supposed to look slimy really look like they were covered in plastic or something. There's plenty of contrast in the game, although the setting, while amazing in appearance, isn't always that great. You'll find yourself in a snowy area that consists, of course, mainly of shades of grey, and you'll end up somewhere in China, where everything's mainly red. At some point, you'll wish you got to a truly disturbing, atmospheric place.

While the graphics are great, the soundtrack doesn't quite fit a game of the horror genre, as it's a bit bombastic and not frightening at all. In fact, the menu music is the most appropriate music in the game, and there aren't any other tracks as interesting as it. In Mercenaries mode, there's a constant hyperactive tune in the background that kills any immersion. Again, the question must be asked: is Resident Evil still a survival horror third-person shooter, or just a third-person shooter with rocket launcher-wielding parasite zombies? Secondly, the overall sound quality is substandard. It just seems like a filter was laid over it that muffles the sound a bit, but it doesn't add value. In addition to that, the guns sound like they're made of cardboard, as a metallic sound is missing. Compare it to any other game, and it'll be noticeable right away.

On a more positive note, the acting is marvellous; the actors sound more invested in the events than usual. That said, the actress who voices Ada Wong was overdoing it. Other than that, there are the Hollywood-like screams of citizens as the zombie outbreak starts.

Screenshot for Resident Evil 6 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

While it's admirable that Capcom tried to make the game appealing to the largest possible audience, it was unnecessary. Games should be made not to generate the most income, but to be unique. The similarity of Chris Redfield's campaign to Modern Warfare and the like is inexcusable; we need a Resident Evil game, not a "third-person shooter, only this time with rocket launcher-wielding zombies." More importantly, Resident Evil 6 fails to deliver something skill-demanding, and is mainly frustrating and mediocre in most respects. The Resident Evil series: revived, surviving, or killed? Surviving, but pleading for death and reincarnation.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It's a fun co-op game, but there are so many frustrating elements to the package as a whole that quickly make you want to smash your controller. Mercenaries is still awesome, but I really wished you could use your unlocked costumes in the story mode. RCPD Helena, mmm.

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