Once the pinnacle of survival horror and the envy of the inevitable pretenders, Resident Evils prosperous dominations has significantly dwindled, struggling to ascertain its true identity in a market flooded with third person shooters. Though Berating Resident Evils deterioration from dominance has become a stylish trend, it is still one of the most financially, lucrative names in the industry, despite its apparent demise. If there’s one distinguishing formality that must be adhered too in the context of Resident Evil, is the lowering of expectations, which is a lesson I painfully learned watching Prometheus. With this methodology meticulously instigated, the chances of disappointment are greatly reduced….right?
“Your Dead!”, get accustomed to seeing this spontaneously emerge whenever you participate in Resi 6, because your going to see this a lot! Half the campaign will be spent dying and reloading your weapon, the other 50% will largely be spent procrastinating how your time could be better spent doing something excelling, like Uncharted, GTA or having your nose hairs plucked and gnawed at by disease infested rats. Theres a sense of imminent predictability about this sixth incarnation, as the standard reflects the anticipation, subdued, not so much by what it does wrong, but largely what it doesn’t achieve right. The story, just to shake things up a bit, concerns a bio terrorist attack, where the true instigators as well as their intentions remain in the secluded shadows, and its up to familiar and unfamiliar characters alike, to unravel the mystery surrounding the identity and causality of the instigators. Theres an exhausting familiarity about the narrative, despite the introduction of the new strains of virus, it’s hardly an astute demonstration of story refinement, but staggeringly its the story that is one of its strongest assets.
Not so much because of the various, nefarious incidences concerning the converted strain of the T-virus, into an airborne pathogen, or the events surrounding the characters, but rather the interactions between them. The game is split into 4 differing campaigns, and throughout each campaign, the story and characters will for a brief time overlap, and its these cursory moments of character interactions, that allows their personalities, as well as relationships to manifest, with assistance from borderline emotive dialogue, unprecedented in the series. Sure it still retains that familiar, pungent aroma of mature cheddar that characterises the series, but it’s not as pungent, and though introducing such a wide range of characters, each with their own level of personal, familiarised empathy, should feel like a novelty, without it its difficult to competently differentiate Resident Evil 6 from any other 3rd person shooter.
Chris Redfield has gone AWOL since the events of Resident Evil 5, drinking excessively and generally making a fool of himself in some generic, eastern european slum, before being enticed back into the B.S.A.A with the promise of redemption, or words to that effect. Chris’s campaign is easily the weakest, relying on explosions, firepower which feel generic more than dramatic, and includes one the most elaborate, most frustrating boss battles in Resident Evils history. The longevity of the ensuing battle is so preposterous, that your begin weeping uncontrollably for the majority. Things improve slightly with Jake and Sherry’s exploits, but not significantly. The biological son of Wesker, Sherry Birkin and her regenerative capabilities though fun for the most part, is however dependant on unnecessary vehicle interactions, that afford little time to accommodate you with the unfamiliar controls, that by the time you’ve become accustomed to the basics, it’s already moved on.
Leon S Kennedy inevitably saves this title, with his follicle, endowed locks swaying gracefully in the flowing wind, like a l’oreal commercial (because his worth it). His and new partner Helena’s journey, certainly has more bite as it were, almost hailing back to the days of yore, when ammo and herbs were scarce, as your progress becomes increasingly intensified, each tentative step is taken with a degree of trepidation, as you become anxiously aware of the encroaching dangers that lurk around every darkened corner, and this similar fear and uncertainty is echoed in Ada’s missions. Ada adds a level of functionality, recoiling the days of facing terrors on your lonesome rather than embedded by a companion, as well as the fixed camera segments, which you begin to realise totally impede your progress, but preserving that sense of nostalgia. Her promiscuous nature, ambiguous intentions and feminine charms, makes Ada one of the more interesting as well as complex personalities in the game, which is sorely required.
Resident Evil 6 retains many frustrating similarities that afflicted its predecessor; its bigger, brasher and as such, short on sophistication, fear or fun. Even the most casual gamer is aware of Resident Evil’s struggle to remain relevant, in an industry dominated by Call of Duty, and a shortening variant market, which certainly is an influence in its direction. RE6 is fast paced, but still cumbersome, with absent manoeuvrability, a partner completely impervious to damage. It explains itself about as well as a stuttering ant, and the varied gameplay leaves you bewildered rather than stimulated, so why buy it? Because its Resident Evil, and by now you know what to expect, and no review however damning or favourable will deter you from forming your own opinion. There is still considerable pulsating fear left in the series, but its more of a fear for future iterations, than the constantly altered variants of bio organic manipulations, and its a difficult to diagnose an appropriate solution to the problem, other than complete castration of the series.
What did you think of Resident Evil 6? And is there still life left in the series? Let me know your opinions.