(Note: This blog was originally written two years ago, but after playing the Resident Evil 6 PS4 port, I decided to bump it. Damn, reading this again brings back memories. I guess I was always pretty witty! :D)
No no, that number isn't a typo: I really mean I love Resident Evil 6. Now, I wouldn't say that it's my favorite Resident Evil and it certainly wasn't perfect by any means... but I didn't find it to be the abomination that everyone believes that it was: some people, including Destructoid's own Jim Sterling, said that it was akin to a Michael Bay film, with it's copious amount of explosions, setpieces, and enemies to kill... which is pretty much the opposite of what an Resident Evil game is supposed to be: campy and corny, limited ammo, and scarce encounters perfectly placed just outside the camera so, as soon as you round the corner, there's a jump scare waiting to make you shriek out in terror (I'm not a fan of the fetch quest-like mechanic of finding a key, finding the door that it unlocks, and repeating the process, so I'm glad that that's mostly gone).
However, while it was drastically different from the series, even in the direction Resident Evil 5[/ was heading in, I honestly thought that this game had some pretty interesting concepts. Sure, it may not have been fully realized, and some of the gameplay mechanics hold it back from being on my list of favorite games... but I enjoyed playing the game so much that I accumulated much playing time on it: it took up the majority of the month that it came out in because I wanted to unlock everything (I didn't, but I tried)! There are some things about the game that really piqued my interest, and I have to give credit where credit is due, so here's a few thoughts why I think Resident Evil 6 stands out to me.
Please hold your projectiles until after I made my case: you'd be amazed how hard it is to speak when a tomato flies directly into the crotch of your pants... and that red liquid that splatters is not tomato juice.
When one's not enough and two is too low...
Everytime there's an announcement of a new entry, the number one thing I look forward to hearing is who will take the lead role: will it be Leon Kennedy, whose sharp skills, a knack for survival, and witty one-liners, have escaladed him from a police officer into becoming a Secret Service agent... or will it be Chris Redfield, who was part of the original S.T.A.R.s team that got stranded in the mansion in the middle of nowehere, if not Jill Valentine, who also managed to elude and take down the monstosity that is the Nemesis? However, when it was announced that Resident Evil 6 will feature three separate campaigns featuring Leon, Chris, and even Sherry Birkin, the little girl survivor from Resident Evil 2 (who has a disturbing, but not shocking, amount of hentai, particularly with Claire Redfield), and a fourth unlockable campaign featuring the lovely femme fatale gal Ada Wong... and that all the stories will intersect with each other, I immediately giggled like a schoolgirl whose sempai has noticed her.
I was slightly disappointed that their partners were a new cast of characters other than an older character though: as hot as Helen is, with her big ol' booty and her unlockable sexy cop outfit that shows off how much leather loves to hug her behind (but still less than I would), I would've loved to see characters like Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, and even characters like Barry Burton and Rebecca Chambers take their place, especially when the latter two need more exposure for the fan following they have. Still, although some people would prefer quality over quantity, I love to see a game pack in so many notable characters, and I honestly wish that they included more into the campaign by having them involved with the story... or simply there to round out the Mercenaries roll call since Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition had a much fuller roster, even if the characters only had passing appearances (like my favorite sidekick Josh Stone, or the aforementioned Barry Burton and Rebecca Chambers). Besides, while Jake didn't really grow on me, Piers became a frickin' badass (I don't need to mention Helen) and that's cool.
Excuse me fellas: you got a train to catch.
The campaigns themselves were pretty damn memorable: one of Leon's level sets the bar by having you explore an abandoned school, a dark underground subway tunnel, and finishes it with a bang by having you team up with other survivors at a gas station before taking shelter in the gun shop to fend off a zombie horde long enough to catch a ride... but the other campaigns were no slouches either since one of Chris's level has you roaming through China as part of a military team to mow down the new evolved forms of the Las Plagas virus while Jake is being chased across Eastern Europe by a hulking monster that could give the Nemesis a run for his money (and does an admirable "Kool-Aid" man impression by smashing through walls). Sure, the campaign might be the stuff of summer blockbusters and nothing like the original games... but like the vast amounts of Call of Duty games I played, each action-packed moment really gives me an adrenaline rush, and that's not even considering some of the more awesome scenes, especially the ending of Chris's campaign or the outbreak in Leon's campaign!
I mean, while some levels brought some really frustrating moments (Ada's helicopter segment is a real chore while one of Leon's late boss encounter is a real bore), there are still some pretty controller-gripping moments generously sprinkled throughout your adventure: fighting a giant dog-like B.O.W. on top of a moving train as it rips through the metal with its newly formed projectiles is a better sight than the city, and riding in mine carts and dodging obstacles while avoiding a slimy, naked woman with sharp spider legs is pretty rad (and sexy)! And some of the parts were genuinely haunting: walking through the previously mentioned subway and seeing the shadows of over a dozen zombies coming at me is pretty frightening... but when I was in the middle of a horde onslaught and you see the bright light attached to a whole lot of metal (bonus points if you get the reference, though I'll admit it's pretty damn subtle), my heart so pounded when a zombie grabbed me in the middle of my escape that I almost had a panic attack!�
Need a ride?
But my absolutely favorite moments in the game are when the campaigns crossover the same events and intersects with one another: it's pretty entertaining to see these characters meet in the same area under their own circumstances like the "Impossible Trinity" Grand Theft Auto IV established with their lead characters. When a television show like The Simpsons do these sorts of things, where they'll play out one character's entire day before replaying that same day from someone else, it's pretty cool to watch, and adds a bit of mystery when you don't know how or why that character is here until you play through his perspective and see how he arrived there. While it was frustrating as fuck (I'd do a sex joke but you probably had enough of that) that Leon and Chris's "meeting" is so disappointing, considering that they only meet once and in a very anti-climatic way for such big stars... the other moments, like a certain character providing sniper support, and the 4 player boss fight that brings me back to the types of encounters Lost Planet 2 had, pretty much outweighted that one scene.
Speaking of 4 players, while it didn't work as intended in practice, the idea that you could team up with other players was really novel because it was done differently: you not only had to be the same level as someone who's also playing through that same level, but as the other set of characters and must arrive at the certain segment at the same time. So, as an example, when one player enters the area with the crossover, they must be playing as Chris and Piers, and the game tries to match him up with someone at that same segment at the same moment, but as Sherry and Jake. Does it sound like a hassle? Yes, and I won't deny that... but it kind of makes sense: it's technically a coincidence that the characters in the campaign are meeting up, so the developers translate that same principle to determine how players will meet each other in the online space. Would a standard mission select be better? Hell yes (disclaimer: you can pick a checkpoint in a patch), but I do admit that the original idea was interesting. Either way, the crossovers were easily the best parts of the game even when you're playing solo.
Better Control and Mobility
Stop, drop, and roll: works on fires, works on whatever the hell that is.
Okay, let's get this out of the way first: the control are not intuitive, are not user-friendly, and are too damn convoluted for its own good... but (you knew there was gonna be one), once you actually take the time to learn them, you can make you character so agile that you're performing John Woo-styled asskickings (is that a word?). With the quickshot mechanic, your character can immediately pop a shot at the nearest enemy with whatever gun they're holding... so if you have a sniper rifle and you noticed that that zombie suddenly disappears from the scope, you can hit the quickshot command and immediately fire the sniper rifle at the zombie lunging to bite you in the neck (total no-scope too!) This can save your ass because, when the enemy is so close that aiming, despite having a bigger target, is still so slow that actually pulling the pistol up to his body to shoot will be too late... you can, at the very least, stun him enough to pop a bullet to its brain. And some character with certain guns can pull this off very stylishly, such as Helen's Hydra: she flips when you use it, and sometimes give a nice view of her ass.
However, that's just the tip of the iceberg because not only can you sprint in this game (I believe this is a first for the series), but you also can do things from a running shoulder bash to sliding soccer tackle: it's even better when you're holding C4 because then you can slide into a group of enemies, plant the bomb down, and then detonate the explosives when you slide out of range to very cleanly, and very stylishly, take them all out. My favorite thing to do has to be dodging an attack, which I know is impossible in the older games with their tank-styled controls (not counting quick-time events in Resident Evil 4 and above), and then returning fire: I tell you, quickshotting a zombie with a shotgun, then jumping backwards to avoid the swing of a monster's giant arm, then whipping out your dual pistols mid-flight to unload in his exposed face before rolling on the ground to narrowly dodge his follow-up, is something that Tequila would be proud of. Sure, this isn't the Resident Evil we know... but I can't deny that that isn't the stuff of awesome water-cooler moments.
So, that's why I love Resident Evil 6, and chances are I know exactly why you hate it... but comment down below and tell me anyway. Would I love for the franchise to continue in this direction? I wouldn't mind it, but I do want the series to continue in the direction of the Resident Evil 5 DLC Lost in Nightmares: the classic Resident Evil feel and atmosphere, but modernized, like how Bravely Default reinvigorated the old-school JRPG by reinventing the mechanics while still keeping the integrity of the genre. That being said, Resident Evil 6 was great, despite the changes they made and the explosions that they added.