This is not your old Resident Evil...
We're probably not going to win over many old school fans by saying this, but Resident Evil has changed since 4. We enjoyed 5 and along with Dead Space it has a soft spot in our hearts, so when we got our hands on Resident Evil 6 and saw how it had changed we knew right away that some fans would be outright mortified.
Their old Resident Evil is gone and it's been replaced with something marketed towards this current game climate. There's a place for the old school slow zombie puzzle based Resident Evil, but Capcom's direction for 6 isn't it.
Resident Evil 6 is a new monster and we're fine with that. Because really, if nothing changes, it stagnates and you have to take chances to try and keep abreast with other developers and in an industry like this it's hard to actually predict what will be a hit and what will bomb.
For us, Resident Evil 6 is a mammoth game packed with big action moments and great gameplay – it is the Resident Evil game for the modern age and that's ok.Story
Well, Resident Evil 6 is about Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield and a new guy called Jake plus their respective partners and because we don't like to spoil things we can only tell you that: *REDACTED* *REDACTED*REDACTED*REDACTED*
happens and it's pretty awesome.
The game takes a few leaves from Metal Gear in the sense that it provides a lot of interesting cut-scenes that fill in the deeper parts of the story, and the story for 6 is about as convoluted as it gets with multiple plot fragments crossing over into the other characters storylines and raising more questions.
This is a good thing by the way in case you were wondering.Gameplay
Third person is the order of the day and the type of play changes based on the campaign that you're playing at the time. There are a choice of 3 main campaigns to pick from to begin with and a 4th unlockable campaign appears once all 3 main campaigns have been completed. You have Agent Hunt mode (we'll talk about that in the multiplayer) and Mercenaries (that can be solo, split screen or over Xbox Live) is back.
The campaigns are as follows, with a brief explanation of the kind of thing you can expect without spoiling anything.
Leon: A more traditional puzzle based Resident Evil experience, the puzzles are lighter than the old games but they are there. Leon's campaign is definitely the creepier of the others and whilst there's the action elements and core shooting, you'll be doing a lot more running/puzzling than the others.
Chris: the BSAA campaign sees a reliance on shooting more than the others, with Chris falling into a third person Modern Warfare kind of mould. It is a great campaign though and will delight someone that wants a Left4Dead Resident Evil kind of experience. Far more suited to the action fan than the hardcore Resident Evil fan though.
Jake: Jake's campaign is a pitch between Leon and Chris, with some really great moments – its also something we can't talk about in depth because it has some really big revelations and things in there that are crucial to the enjoyment of the game's story.
The core gameplay of 6 has quite a lot of shooting, with move and shoot added to make things a little more fluid and cover. Cover is quite useful in terms of Chris' campaign and you won't be using it much as Leon unless that's how you like to play. Don't get us wrong though, it's not like you're Sam Fisher in terms of move/shoot. You are still kind of ponderous and the action still gets tense when it's throwing waves of zombies and other monsters against you.
The inventory system has been completely revamped, for the better we feel. Adding herbs to each other and then storing them in a tablet case is a much needed addition. You are still limited in the number of items you can carry; you still need to make those kinds of choices. It's all wrapped in a nicer GUI though; one that will take a few fans some getting used to.
Weapons can be selected quickly, items can be used easily. The game tries to make things like this less of a complicated chore and more intuitive. With all the functions tied to just one button (Y on the controller) in terms of item use, and the D-pad is used to select weapons/grenades.
Movement controls have been revamped with characters able to attack easier in melee, perform combos with multiple hits and even team up with their co-op partner (AI or player) in combat. You can't go all Bruce Lee though, there is a combat gauge that tracks stamina and once you're out of that, you need to wait before you can punch some zombies.
You can also dodge now, slide, roll, throw yourself on your back and start shooting. It amps up the options available against some of the nastier bosses in the game too.
Health has been redone as well, it works on a health block system, as long as the block isn't fully depleted by damage, you can regenerate up to the top of the block. Lose the whole thing and you'll need to take a tablet to put the block back, or use a First Aid spray to heal up fully.
This took some getting used to, but it's not a walk in the park when you're playing on the harder difficulty levels like Professional.
You can issue orders/praise/thank your AI or player controlled team-mate and there's a lot of cooperation to be had in the game in general across the 3 campaigns.
Quick Time Events make a comeback; they are peppered through the game and usually mixed in with the big action moments. There are also QTE's should you get grappled by a zombie or other monster.
There are new kinds of monsters to deal with too – ones that force you to adapt your play-style to counter the threat.
The save system works on checkpoints (a pin symbol) and hard saves (the typewriter symbol). You get a rating from chapter to chapter and your performance can earn you lots of rewards.
Finally there is the skill point system, where you can pick up points from defeated monsters and use those to buy upgrades to your character through a simple skill system.
You can play single player offline, and you'll still have a partner AI. Don't worry though, they are not as bad as Sheva and you don't need to micromanage them at all.
There are other gameplay elements but really, you need to find those out as you play because that's half the fun.
There are some amazing action sequences in Resident Evil 6 which we won't spoil, but at times it really felt like Joss Whedon was directing the scenes in 6...and that's a great compliment from us since we loved his take on the Avengers.Graphics
One of the best looking Resident Evil games to date; the graphics engine for 6 pulls out all the stops with highly detailed characters, environments, monsters and more. The game has a superb use of atmospheric lighting and delivers dramatic scenes without a frame skip or glitch. There are no texture issues and its smooth running throughout. Each character also has a differently designed GUI in terms of looks/feel.