Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Backtrack Review : Resident Evil 6

While slow to pick up, I finally got my hands on Resident Evil 6. Even before I acquired the game, RE6 was already bombarded as the worst installment of the long running survival-horror franchise. So this time, I'll be judging the game for myself.

God damn, them reviews were right.

RE6 has four playable campaigns (each with their own individual chapters) to choose from while not required to play in order. Each campaign - Leon's, Chris', Jake's and Ada's - has their own unique play style. Leon's more towards survival, Chris' is more action packed, Jake's is like a mix of both with "special powers" added and finally, Ada's which is more towards stealth. Although it sounds promising on paper, however, every campaign feels flat. Importantly, even with all these varieties given to the player, the game fails to deliver one important factor - horror.

There's no sense of horror or the need to survive in this game.

There are senses of urgency thanks to scarce ammo and scripted QTEs (Quick Time Events, you nonce) but  never once the game delivers the strong sense of horror as the original trilogy of the franchise.

Also, gone are the puzzles. As mentioned before, problem solving has been deducted to mere QTEs just to keep the action up. Your inventory serves nothing more than ammo and herb storage. Even the medical elements of the game has been dumbed down to health bars which require your character to nom on tablets to refill each bar. Medical sprays works as a super health item which refills the entire health gauge.

I also have a gripe with the camera. Its ruddy annoying compared to RE5 and RE4. Unless tweaked in the settings, the game has the tendency of switching camera from right handed to left handed after moving into corner cover. While aiming, the camera zooms far into your character's shoulder view and it annoys more than trying to add suspense (ala Dead Space 1). Its like the damn developers intended you to see how gloriously rendered each strand of hair swaying around Leon's scalp.

Cover system is useless (especially when you're playing as Leon). Most of the time, it just doesn't work. Unlike Gears of War series or Metal Gear Solid series, covering will only activate when you're in a "hot spot" part of the wall or cover. Else, you'll be pressing the cover button until you actually find a suitable position.

Why do you need cover in a zombie-based survival horror game, you ask? Chris' campaign. Nuff said. As mentioned earlier, his campaign is more action packed. Action is what it lacks. Trying jump genres from survival horror to action shooter doesn't work well for RE6. Generic brain dead enemies and even idiotic AI allies that acts nothing more than just gimmicks for the level backdrop.

So all-in-all, RE has reduced itself to a linear shooter which brings players from point A to B in every chapter. Oh and don't worry. There are boss fights too but non too brilliant. RE6's story is not compelling nor memorable either.

So there you have it. Resident Evil 6 is indeed a big leap from the series but falls totally short from its intended goal. Its a given that this franchise suffers from the disorder of trying to keep up with current gaming standards but fails tragically in trying to innovate itself.

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