2009's Resident Evil 5's premise was first seen as questionable - swapping the dark and murky streets of Raccoon city, the grim n' grey surroundings of 4, - in favour of the scorching terrain of africa. Despite the lack of horror and thrills, its action was unrivalled and was a blockbuster title - punching boulders into volcanos and all. Yet no.6 tries to go one further... or 3 further, as this time there are initially 3 campaigns to scour through, each one consisting of 5 chapters that are far longer than the average level time of 5's. The 3 campaigns also have intertwining stories to tie up loose ends and offer up different situations that probably could have been crammed into one anyway. Despite the many changes, 6 is unlikely to appease the fans of the series, be it from day one with 3 playstation releases, spin offs or the latest offerings. Although... if you're morose enough to hold the resident evil film franchise in high regard, you'll likely have your little mind blown away...
To start, you get to limp through a fairly eventful tutorial - based at the end of the story. This 5 minute tidbit is enough to prepare you for what's in store in jerky controls, scarce ammo and at times, inappropriate button bashing. The likes of 4 & 5 managed to pull this off well, keeping players focused during cutscenes and desperately mashing controllers to take down big bad bosses and even speed up the fights. 6 however, would rather you frantically search for a set of car keys, hopelessly put them in the ignition slot and start the engine with jittery hands as if cutting the correct wire on an explosive device. Fair enough, that was the most pointless and annoying moments of this button sequence thing but there are some satisfactory button sequences. Combat may seem a step in the right direction as now you can move whilst shooting, strafing about all over the place, firing on your back or front for unnecessary bad-assery. The games cover system though is, put simply, broken. You'll find yourself unwillingly snuggled up to a wall or pillar thats still in plain sight of enemies fire away as you frantically try to figure out 1. how to free yourself from said wall an 2. how you took 'cover' in the first place. Of course, when it comes to weaponry... '''forgeddabowdit!'''
Resident Evil's haven't exactly been groundbreaking when it comes to storyline, evil company makes virus, virus breaks out, zombies ensue (Capcom can add as many backlog extras and insights to plot as they want but its still a bit of a joke). Instead of pushing another lame story, 6 is geared towards the happenings of the games main characters. Leon (from 4) prances about, brushing his hair out his eyes, accompanied by some angry lady called Helena (no not Helena - HELAYNAR..???). Chris (from 5) is drinking his troubles away in mega cliche fashion, getting shot down by barmaids, zombies and disgustingly offensive camera angles. Anything said about this new guy Jake's campaign would be a spoiler. Thanks to the differing campaigns, players can journey through burning urban concrete jungles, mirky underground subways and tombs.
What they kept, what they changed, what the hell
Like its predecessor, 6 features cooperative gameplay for 2, utilizing teamwork slightly more efficiently and in more original and even realistic ways (such as providing support from long distance). However for every answer lies another question - why add gestures and signals? 5 let you press a button to respond to your partner - 6 lets you swagger a thumb about proclaiming "Thanks!" and several other pointless schmaltz - there is zero benefit to these actions other than general politeness - something long dead when there's a zombie apocalypse going on ya dig?
The Res series has never had a decent set of controls - ever - and this is dating back to the original. The need to hold buttons or use combinations to perform basic tasks commonplace in similar games were a chore but worth overlooking back then. Now in an age that boasts far greater capabilities, 6 is expected to be slightly better than those of its past - it aint. No pause menu, an obscuring jostled menu, 3 button basic moves and the option to use melee - something you could probably get away with using throughout instead of firing a single bullet.
By far the biggest atrocity committed by Capcom and their sixth installment in a once loved franchise is the blatant attempt at acquiring a new, larger audience, the kind of folk who're amazed by the special effects, dazzled by explosions and care little for fun and engaging gameplay. The shaky camera, abundance of firearms and cover system impart influences from Gears of War & Call of Duty. The dog tag and special abilities at the end of chapters are just forgettable and generally not worth bothering with.
I unfortunately pre-ordered this game, paying full RRP, expecting a quality gaming experience. When I got home after work, I headed straight for my mates who is equally into the RES series and played through the first chapter in Leon's campaign. It took us a good few hours each weekend to get it done, but by the end I was all by my lonesome on the final chapter as my friend had given up all hope of finding any enjoyment in the game. I wish I had called it quits also as I had to trudge through a long, drawn out uninteresting conclusion to a severely disappointing game... one that should of and could of met its lofty hype and expectations.