Once upon a time, zombies were not clichéd. Once upon a time, an incredibly pixelated live-action video sequence with zombie dogs was the most frightening thing we had ever seen. And yet, even in the year of 2012, this series remains, and despite the fact that a residence is no longer the primary focus; there is still plenty of evil afoot. Does Resident Evil have any relevance left nowadays, or is it in just as much need of a shot to the head as the enemies within it?
Resident Evil 6, otherwise known as Resident Evil Giraffe, thanks to the placement of the “6” on the logo, is narratalogically the most complete Resident Evil thus far, with most of the living main characters being present or playable, with the only exceptions being Claire Redfield and Jill Valentine. As well as these, several new characters are introduced who for the most part manage to avoid being boring filler characters. The game consists of three main campaigns, one for Leon, Chris (also known as Buff McHugeLarge) and newcomer Jake. After completing all three, a secret 4th campaign opens up. The story involves the same period of time in each campaign, with each character following their own path and intersecting with the others at key points. Every campaign involves the main character and a partner, who can be controlled by the AI or by another player online. Thankfully, the AI is far less foolish than it has been in other games so far.
Combat involves over-the-shoulder firing of multiple weapon types, sometimes with cover available or other means to engage large groups of enemies. For some reason quick time events are very popular in this installment, although Leon gets the majority of them, perhaps as a call back to their origin in the series in RE4. Your inventory is limited, but weapons do not consume slots as in other games. RE6 also has some of the most enjoyable online modes ever, aside from co-op campaigns, there is also a customary death match mode, but most fun of all is a mode where you can become a generic enemy in another player’s game, trying your best to take them down before they finish you off.
All of this is well and good, but it doesn’t go any way in answering whether this is a good Resident Evil game. For this, we need to establish a checklist. Firstly, awful tank controls on your character? Movement is a lot more fluid in RE6, for which I am grateful extremely. Secondly, when you fire must you stand completely still? Also a miss; another godsend for players. Incredibly EVIL villains for the point of being EVIL? Here we are, now we’re getting somewhere; check. People who believe the best solution to any problem is turning everyone into zombies? Check. Incredibly cheesy lines and large ham actors? Oh absolutely. Bad guys who always appear to be dead but actually aren’t, up to a maximum of 7 times? Like never before. A conclusion to THIS story, but still leaving enough plots open that we can milk this franchise forever? You betcha.
Many people have felt that RE6 shies away from its heritage as a survival horror game, and in many ways it has. But in every way that matters, it is still clearly a Resident Evil game, and is enjoyable for at least 10 hours or more. Worth a buy if you’re a fan, not much else for anyone who isn’t. Although Jake is very cool and I could play him all day.