Survival-Horror is a mixture of two gaming genres, action and adventure with horror/suspense as the theme. While it started off as a sub-genre in the beginning, it soon became a main genre in the gaming world, thanks to games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Siren. These games offer not just a scary atmosphere but a fun and tension-filled gameplay as well. Other game developers are still jumping on the survival-horror bandwagon even to this day with new titles such as Dead Space (the third game in the series is in development) and ZombieU are currently the newest ones to join the list.
Resident Evil 6 is the newest sequel to Capcom’s long running survival-horror gaming franchise. The game marks the return of some of the series’s well known characters from past games, such as Sherry Birkin from Resident Evil 2 and Leon S. Kennedy from the fourth game. Resident Evil 6 also marks the first time that a game in the series has three main characters to play as, not to mention three different scenarios to complete.
Destinies Horribly Intertwined
Resident Evil 6 has three (3) – you heard us right, three main story scenarios to play. Each scenario has its own main character and story. And while everything ties together in the end, each of the stories of the main heroes was written quite well and provided just enough content to make the players understand what is going on in the events that are transpiring in the game.
The story in Resident Evil 6 involves both old and new characters. Each hero in the game has his own agenda that ties together with the game’s overall plot. Apparently, the world was thrown into chaos after the recent bio-terrorist attacks that devastated major cities from around the world. Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy are once again caught in the middle of things, together with a mysterious man named Jake Muller.
Leon S. Kennedy never seems to get a break from all of these zombies and monster filled parties. Being involved not only with the outbreak in Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2, he was also tasked with rescuing Ashley Graham from an evil cult in Resident Evil 4. While his job as a government agent does put him in harm’s way, especially if it involves the evil pharmaceutical company Umbrella, this time it is personal, since he had to kill one of his closest friends who have turned into an undead monster thanks to a bio-terrorist attack.
Chris Redfield is now a ranked officer with the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance or BSAA for short. He has been involved with the game’s overall plot from the first Resident Evil game, and is one of the people responsible in thwarting numerous bio-terrorist plots made by Umbrella. Together with Sheva Alomar, Chris defeated his longtime enemy Albert Wesker in Resident Evil 5, preventing a worldwide catastrophe. Chris Redfield is once again called in to help stop a new bio-terrorist threat, a threat so massive in scale that even this veteran would have second thoughts on handling alone.
Jake Muller is the third hero in Resident Evil 6. He is a new character in the series and is related to one of the series’ most well known villain, Albert Wesker. Despite being the son of a complete madman who tried to “save” the world by unleashing a flesh eating virus in the earth’s lower atmosphere, Jake Muller is actually a good person. This is actually a case where we are glad that the apple fell far from the tree. Fans of the series might remember Sherry Birkin, the little girl in Resident Evil 2, she is now a full grown woman and is actually Jake Muller’s partner in his scenario in Resident Evil 6. Her involvement with Jake is purely work related though as she is tasked with guarding him since he has a special gift that he has inherited from his father.
All three main characters in Resident Evil 6 will meet each other eventually throughout the game’s story. While some might not get along with others due to events that occurred during the game, it was still quite entertaining to see Chris and Leon meet– especially for fans of the series who have dreamed of a meeting between characters from different sequels of the franchise. Now if only Capcom would do a Resident Evil game where Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield are the main characters then our lives would finally be complete.
While playing Resident Evil 6, we found a lot of places that were actually a bit scary, but to be honest, they were very few. We are not saying that the environments in the game are bad or not scary at all, it is just that most of the places where the game takes place are not really new to us anymore. A lot of the places seen in Resident Evil 6 look similar to other locales from other games, some of these games are not even for the survival horror genre. While we can understand that most of the game takes place in real locations from around the world, we were still kind of hoping to see more unique locations even if they were imaginary or real.
Resident Evil 6 should have used a better graphics engine compared to the one used in RE5, which was Capcom’s MT Framework. Capcom’s MT Framework engine has reached its limit and it shows. There were actually a lot of bad textures and collisions in the game and while they were not easily seen, thanks to the game being set in dark locations, these are all cues that the time has come for Capcom to move on in terms of using their current graphics engine.
We do not have any qualms when it comes to the character’s animations in Resident Evil 6. Capcom is one of the game developers who always uses motion capture when it comes to the movements of the characters in their games and they are quite good at it. Of course, having talented artists as models to provide the animations does not hurt also. We expect to see the same quality of character animations if not better in the next Resident Evil game.
Screams of Terror
Capcom has always delivered when it came to game music and sound effects. And while there are very few music tracks in Resident Evil 6, they were at least pleasing to listen to, despite being a bit forgettable.
Sound effects in Resident Evil 6 are a bit better compared to past games, especially if you are using a great Surround Sound system. Everything sounds crisp and clear, from the moans of the undead to the unsettling sounds mutated bio-organic weapons make. These add greatly to the game’s atmosphere and to the player’s immersion in the game.
A Mixture of both Old and New
Resident Evil 6’s gameplay is a combination of different elements from other games. While the game’s developer tried their best to maintain some of the series’ original gameplay so that longtime fans would not be alienated, the reaction was still mixed. We did not mind some of the things added to Resident Evil 6’s gameplay, such as the QTW or Quick Time Events. For us, this added interaction to the game, especially during events that would normally be considered as a cutscene rather than part of the gameplay.
We did not like Capcom’s decision to make the game overly action-oriented though, especially during Chris and Jake’s game chapters. Making the game too much like an action shooting game took away a lot of the game’s tension and atmosphere, which we consider important aspects of a survival horror game. While the boss fights in the game are still intense, they were not as memorable as the ones in the past games.
One of the best things in having three main characters in Resident Evil 6 is that each character plays a bit different from the other two. Jake Muller relies more on melee attacks while Chris Redfield plays like a character from Call of Duty and Gears of War. Amongst all the characters in Resident Evil 6, we feel that Leon S. Kennedy is the only one who played like a character from the series. This might be due to fact that Leon’s stages in the game were designed to represent Resident Evil’s classic scenarios.
Resident Evil 6 has a secret character that unlocks after completing all the chapters for each of the three characters. Ada Wong joins the game’s lineup of heroes and comes with her own story, which involves the true mastermind behind the recent bio-terrorist attacks. Despite being a secret character, Ada Wong’s story is very important to the game’s overall plot.
Players can also unlock Mercenaries mode where they can play through numerous maps while defeating enemies to gain points. This game mode has been in numerous Resident Evil games since its debut in Resident Evil 3. There was even a standalone game released for the Nintendo 3DS that focused entirely on this game mode.
In order to increase Resident Evil 6’s replay value, Capcom will be releasing numerous downloadable content or DLCs for the game. New maps for the Mercenaries mode and character costumes are now available for download. Capcom is also planning on releasing additional game modes for Resident Evil 6. Some of these new game modes are quite interesting since we will be getting the chance to play as BOWs or Bio Organic Weapons as we hunt down other players who are using hero characters. Sadly, most of these contents are paid DLCs, which means we have to shell out more money in order to get the full Resident Evil 6 experience.
Ending the Threat of Bio-Terrorism
While Resident Evil 6 has numerous flaws, it is still a solid game that deserves to be recommended to fans of action games. Fans of the series might not agree, but for us, the game still deserves the name Resident Evil, even though it has strayed a bit too far from its roots. The game has enough content to keep players busy for a while, and with new game modes being released later on, we plan on keeping the game on our weekly gaming schedules for a little while longer. Resident Evil 6 deserves a somewhat infected but still thriving 84%.