In 2012, Resident Evil 6 released across multiple platforms to almost overwhelmingly negative reviews. Longtime fans of the franchise despised the action-heavy direction, while fans of Resident Evil 4 and onwards found little to enjoy, too. In fact, Capcom even recently acknowledged its mistakes and the tremendous negativity following the game during its 20-year Resident Evil anniversary. Still, Capcom chose to release Resident Evil 6 on the PS4 (for the low price of $19.99) with all DLC and costumes included. Having found some value in the original release, I decided to purchase it (if anything, I know I can platinum the game again).
For those unfamiliar with the title, Resident Evil 6 is the narrative culmination for every numbered Resident Evil (and more) game in the series. The story is grandiose – too much so for its own good. The story follows four sets of characters: Chris, Leon, Jake, Ada, and their respective partners (though Ada goes it alone) during a worldwide terrorist outbreak by the Neo-Umbrella group. The story is told in pieces through each character and somewhat fits together like a puzzle as you play through it. The problem, as far as exposition is concerned, is that there is far too much happening in the world of Resident Evil 6 that it’s difficult to comprehend and improbable to believe. And even if I do believe, our heroes are some of the worst professionals at their job. Ever.
Gameplay in Resident Evil 6 both shines and succumbs within itself. Personally, Resident Evil 6 added the gameplay mechanics that I’ve always longed for in a Resident Evil game (though the console port of Revelations also does so). In particular, Resident Evil 6 incorporates the ability to move and shoot. In just about every Resident Evil game in the past, your highly trained professionals were utterly incapable of moving – at any pace – and firing a weapon. Fans and friends have argued that it’s “part of their vocational training” while others completely disregard that (particularly those who have served in the military). A game can’t lose its frightening aspects simply because you move and shoot, which is my only guess as to why it was never available before.
Yet, while moving and shooting and the overall mechanics of the gameplay work reasonably well, Resident Evil 6 drops its survival/horror persona to adopt an action horror façade. Only Leon’s story, which is considered the consensual favorite for fans of the series, resembles a survival horror game. Chris and Jake’s collective story finds itself infected with the Call of Duty virus (the CoD virus, if you’ll indulge me). Again, this isn’t to say that the gameplay isn’t fun – I really enjoy the combat (although Professional difficulty with a computer ally is a pain). The problem is that this really doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil title. Sure, there is a zombie-esque J’avo creature that finds unique and ludicrous means of evolving. There are some cool boss battles (the snake that Chris and Piers fight against is really fun and clever). But the over-the-top action and numerous shootouts leave longtime Resident Evil fans in its zombified dust.
Resident Evil 6 does shine in a few places, however. The voice acting of the main cast is fantastic. Veterans like Troy Baker and Laura Bailey, along with regulars Matthew Mercer and Roger Craig Smith (along with so many others) lend their voices to the lead roles. The additional DLC added to the PS4/Xbox One version adds plenty of value to an already lengthy experience, too. The multiplayer section and DLC offer various game modes (including multiplayer) and character costumes/unlockables (which present goals for fans to strive for). Also new to the remastered version of Resident Evil 6 is a cycle mode for multiplayer. Now, you can join the cycle mode from the main screen, and it inserts you into whatever game mode the current cycle is playing (it also tells you how much time is left and what mode is coming up next). What this does is eliminate lengthy wait and search times, so that you’re nearly instantly emerged into a game.
In summation, Resident Evil 6 for PS4 and Xbox One offer players the same overall experience from the original title. Most gamers familiar with the series already know whether they’ll be playing the game again. But for those on the fence or those who have never played it before, the cheap price tag, the addition of all DLC, and working/enjoyable multiplayer mode makes the game a potentially worthwhile buy. Mechanics and gameplay work, but if you’re expecting a traditional Resident Evil experience, you will find the game sorely lacking.