The Racoon City Incident is happening again, now on a worldwide scale. This time, everyone is involved. Leon takes it upon himself to track down Simon, one of the causes of this catastrophe. Chris arrives in China to put down the rebel insurgence and track down Ada. Sherry Birkin (the little girl from Resident Evil 2), now an agent, escorts Jake Muller, the son of a character we know from past games, after discovering that his blood has the antibodies for the new C-Virus strain. And Ada moves through these characters’ stories in an attempt to discover what is really happening. This Resident Evil 6 review will have minor SPOILERS.
I mentioned in Resident Evil 5 that the stories were beginning to converge and add to each other. This game is where that statement truly comes to fruition. These four storylines all meet with one another either at one point or at many. The C-Virus strain has been let loose in both the US and China causing mass death and infection that is likely to spread throughout the world. Leon’s story is the most mysterious and thus one of the best to play. The discovery of the C-Virus and the subsequent revelations about the scale of the attack are done incredibly well. Helena is an amazing partner who brings her own side to the story. While playing through this storyline, my qualms with the gameplay were present but very minor. Weapons feel less powerful and the survival horror element has basically been thrown out the window, but the game still plays incredibly well as an action-adventure.
Chris’s campaign is even better in terms of the story. The revenge aspect of it is intriguing as well as being complex – it is hard to decide on what we think must be done with Ada. She has clearly helped Leon and Helena but is seeming to destroy everything that Chris loves. Piers once again pairs with him as a great partner, and the finale between them is excellently written as well. The gameplay in this section was still good; however, this is where I began to find some issues. There are certain moments (such as right before Leon and Chris first meet) that don’t make sense. The characters are apparently doing the exact same mission, in the same room, at the same time. Even if they were to make this logical, from a gameplay perspective repeating the same mission is just boring and lazy (even if it is cool to see the converging stories).
Sherry’s campaign by far has the best lore. Seeing the son of Wesker possess traits from the villain and attempt to fight these traits to help destroy the virus is quite the story. However, the events that actually go on within their campaign do not feel all that important. It is more of an A-to-B trek in order to get where the other characters are located. Of course, it is important to understand their place within the story, it’s just that it could have been handled in a more interesting way. This is where the gameplay really started to drag for me. The varied weapons and combat styles are nice, yet the missions begin to feel like they’re following the same pattern and level styles even when they’re different. Then there comes those same missions we have already done before but to a greater degree than even Chris’s campaign.
Finally, Ada’s campaign (the one I was initially the most excited about) was easily the most disappointing. The revelation of Ada’s cloning was actually quite well done, but almost all of the other aspects of her story once again felt like an A-to-B trek. The entirety of the second mission (in the graveyards that Leon’s campaign also takes place in) is absurdly boring. It requires you to spend over 30 minutes just trying to get into a building so you can see Leon and Ada’s story connect for a brief instant. This campaign, more than the others, has you repeating the same missions again and again. The one time I like this is in the helicopter, because even though it is the same mission, at least you can do something new during it. However, the bosses in this campaign are actually atrocious. They are not well designed and feel like the gameplay is working completely against you.
While I had some major and minor qualms with Resident Evil 6, I still enjoyed it and don’t think it deserves nearly the hate it gets. Those who still bag on how terrible it is just feels like they’re falling in line with the people who wrote scathing reviews on the release. The story does feel redundant (because why do we really need another Racoon City Incident instead of some more original story within the world) but at least there is the hope that these events will lead to a newer and better story. The gameplay is pretty good too, and even the quicktime events don’t tend to annoy me other than a few of the more unfair ones. However, if what you’re looking for is the brilliant survival-horror style play of the previous games in the series, there will likely be a lot of frustration. I, personally, did like it more than Resident Evil 5, but it does rank near the bottom of my list in the series so far. Yet, in a series filled with amazing games, that isn’t too much of an insult.
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