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[PS3 Review] Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil is a long running series that has featured hot girls, zombies and action that gets even more ridiculous… and that’s just the films! Fortunately Paul W.S. Anderson has nothing to do with the games which appear to be mutating and expanding just like the monstrosities featured within. Adding new elements like co-op and tweaking long standing traditions such as being able to move whilst aiming. Has Resident Evil 6 become an unrecognisable beast or does it now cater for all audiences to create a blockbuster hit?

The new C-virus has been released across the globe causing quite a few people to start craving human flesh. Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) Captain Chris Redfield and mercenary Jake Muller are caught up in a bio-terrorist attack in Edonia. Meanwhile Leon S. Kennedy is busy executing the president who has conveniently become infected before revealing the truth behind the Raccoon City incident. A series of events leads to everyone convening in Lanshiang, China where to be honest; it doesn’t get much better for them.

New to Resident Evil 6 is the ability to move and shoot, it seems so natural I didn’t realise it was new at first. A major landmark for the series has come just in time considering the significantly heavier focus on gunplay, a cover system has been added but it’s nowhere near as refined as Uncharted’s . Melee combat is an option now but is restrained by a stamina meter to stop you from roundhousing every zombie you encounter, making it useful for saving bullets on the odd straggler. The classic Red and Green herbs make an appearance but the health system is now in recoverable blocks similar to Resistance. Co-op partners are handled much better this time, in single player there is no item trading or worrying about them using all the health items and ammo as they have their own infinite supply.

In a nice twist, each campaign plays differently intertwining for some memorable moments such as teaming up in large areas to battle even larger monsters. Leon’s story is the most Resident Evil as zombies brandish melee weapons, a few puzzles are solved and the monsters increase in size as you progress. Chris fights the J’avo in a Call of Duty slash Gears of War inspired campaign, which is not quite as horrific as it sounds but is easily the worst. Amusingly, there’s a flashback sequence which provides you with a new weapon which travels in time to the present with you. Oh and zombies brandishing guns? Why not have them drive tanks as well… oh wait. As Wesker’s illegitimate child, Jake is capable of calling on upon the guns in his arms along with the weapons in his hands but essentially this don’t change the play style much. What does though is the Nemesis a-like Ustanak, who pops up at the most inopportune occasions. Not now Ustanak! I’m having a heart to heart with Sherry Birkin!

It’s a shame RE6 has become more action than survival horror, I never felt scared nor was there anything that made me jump… well except for the time my co-op partner appeared from behind a corner when I least expected it. There are some memorable set-pieces though, like chasing a dog around a cemetery, a panicked street descending into chaos along and some truly inventive monsters. Unfortunately there are also moments that are memorable for all the wrong reasons particularly anything involving a vehicle. The big set pieces are better suited for the OTT films rather than the games and the abundance of quicktime events gets old before the prelude is even over. There are practically no puzzles to speak of either which disappointed me the most as they’ve been one of my favourite staples of the series. Your grey matter’s biggest task to solve is which part of the monster to shoot, pro tip – the glowing bit.

Agent Hunt Mode adds competitive multiplayer to Resident Evil and amazingly it’s not a half-baked deathmatch mode. Taking some cues from Left 4 Dead’s Versus Mode, Agent Hunt allows you join another player’s campaign session but instead of teaming up as their companion you control the monsters. This actually induces fear as you see another player’s name pop up on the screen when they enter and you now know one of those monsters is now capable of human thought… Mercenaries mode makes its customary appearance too as you survive against hordes of zombies alone or with a partner to gain high scores for global leaderboards.

With 3 campaigns that could individually be a game on their own right along with a couple of decent multiplayer modes there is a lot of content here, but quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Whilst they offer variation, their over reliance on action and little in the way of suspense or scares leaves RE6 feeling like a generic action game rather than the king of survival horror. New additions such as the reworked combat controls help but too much of what made Resident Evil great has been removed sadly. Still this is a decent romp if you don’t mind some shonky vehicle sections and the lack of puzzles. Hopefully the series will remember what made it great in the first place, instead of trying to cater for the mass market like a blockbuster movie, removing the originality that made Resident Evil a resident in our disc trays.

[review pros=”3 Campaigns
Agent Hunt Mode
Move AND shoot
Inventive enemies” cons=”Ridiculous
Few puzzles
Vehicle sections
Too many QTEs
Not Scary” score=70]

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Resident Evil 6 provided by Capcom.