In a much less forgiving timeline, Resident Evil 6 may have been the ultimate breath for gaming’s best horror sequence.
Coming off the critically (and ethically) panned Resident Evil 5, the franchise’s sixth mainline installment is broadly thought of its worst. The title would transfer completely away from the sequence’ signature puzzle field horror in favor of a fast-paced motion sport with an over reliance on cinematic quick-time occasions. That departure, coupled with sloppy execution, would depart a bitter style in gamers’ mouths. The sport would launch in 2012 to mediocre opinions and fail to hit the lofty gross sales expectations Capcom set for it. It felt just like the sequence was one unhealthy traders’ name away from a “You Are Dead” display screen.
Resident Evil 6 reveal trailer
Its repute was so instantly poisoned that I didn’t have the center to play it when it launched. As somebody who grew up loving the sequence, I used to be disheartened to see a once-trendsetting sequence lose its identification. It didn’t simply really feel like a loss for Resident Evil, however one for the gaming business as an entire, because it appeared to be buying and selling in what made it particular to attempt to replicate Hollywood.
It took a decade (and quick access to the sport through PS Plus) for me to work up the braveness to lastly play it. And as soon as I did, I used to be shocked by what I discovered: that for all its apparent flaws, it’s type of a blast. Yes, Resident Evil 6 is a complete mess, nevertheless it’s a misunderstood sport that deserves relitigating now that it’s faraway from the expectations held on it in 2012. It might not really feel like a basic Resident Evil sport, however in lots of respects, it’s essentially the most Resident Evil sport there may be.
Much of the criticism lobbied towards Resident Evil 6 is earned — even a recent 2016 remaster couldn’t cowl up its blemishes. It’s uncharacteristically sloppy for a serious franchise launch of this scale, one which I can’t consider made it previous Capcom high quality management. Its controls are confounding, the unforgiving quick-time actions are a literal ache to execute, and there’s a wholesome serving of “jank” that makes all the pieces really feel much more unwieldy.
All of these points (and, belief me, so many extra) all put a hazy filter over an in any other case memorable expertise. What Resident Evil 6 has over the remainder of the sequence is that it is aware of what it’s proper out the gate and sticks to it. It units out to be an over-the-top motion sport from begin to end — and I imply that in the very best method. That’s greatest typified by its wild fight, which throws the sequence’ sluggish, methodical gunplay out the window in favor of absolute mayhem. Melee assaults play a a lot larger function in battle, as gamers can faucet a button to punch and kick any remaining brains out of their zombie foes. Characters even make the most of a full suite of wrestling strikes, turning one thing like a German suplex right into a head-exploding ending maneuver.
Resident Evil 6’s gleefully ridiculous fight solves an issue the sequence nonetheless has to at the present time. Historically, the Resident Evil sequence has at all times struggled in terms of balancing survival horror and motion. Many video games within the sequence start as tense haunted home thrillers, however peter out of their last acts by ramping up the gunfights. Resident Evil 7, as an example, loses steam when it trades within the eerily secluded Baker compound for a large boat full of mildew monsters to gun down. That pacing shift creates a problem for builders who must create a fight system that may operate on either side of the aisle. It usually leaves video games feeling disjointed, as sluggish capturing simply doesn’t really feel proper in a out of the blue high-octane motion scene.
That’s not an issue in Resident Evil 6, because it’s the uncommon entry the place Capcom truly commits to 1 style somewhat than making an attempt to awkwardly juggle two without delay. Love the method or hate it, it undoubtedly makes for a extra constant sport finish to finish.
The actual coronary heart of Resident Evil
The resolution to drop survival horror completely made sense from a sport design perspective, nevertheless it understandably left followers feeling bitter on the time. After all, Resident Evil is particularly recognized for its tense bounce scares and claustrophobic puzzle field gameplay. By buying and selling these in for scissor kicks and quick-time occasions, it felt like Capcom was betraying the sequence’ coronary heart to chase trendy sport tendencies.
However, Resident Evil 6 isn’t as large a departure because it appears at first look. While it does abandon the sequence core gameplay tenets, it understands the sequence’ true defining aspect: its world-class shark leaping.
There are a number of phrases I’d use to explain the sequence, however “cerebral” isn’t one in all them. Resident Evil is a goofy B-movie full of unhealthy performing, gross-out horror, and absurd set items. Each sport tries to 1 up the earlier installment by making all the pieces that a lot larger, from sport scope to the monsters themselves. In that sense, Resident Evil 6 is essentially the most logical development of the sequence doable. After a long time of slow-simmering, it was the franchise lastly boiling over in spectacular vogue.
Leon S. Kennedy’s storyline, as an example, begins with him capturing the zombified U.S. president useless. It’s a laugh-out-loud second, as Leon melodramatically sulks over his actions like a cleaning soap opera character who’s simply betrayed a lover. Chris Redfield is the star of his personal warfare film send-up the place he fights off a military of militarized monsters. There’s even a riotously left-field boss battle towards, sure, a literal shark. Each second is extra unbelievable than the final, making for a totally unpredictable gauntlet of popcorn thrills.
Leon Kills the United States President – Resident Evil 6
I’m not praising these moments mockingly; Capcom is at its most playful right here, embracing the sequence’ goofy streak. It will get that Resident Evil isn’t meant to be taken too critically and as a substitute capabilities greatest as a horror-melodrama hybrid. Resident Evil 6’s greatest power is that it’s not overly valuable about its lineage. It’s fascinated about escalating the sequence, not replicating it.
Completing the stakes
That escalation isn’t only for present. Resident Evil 6 performs an essential function within the general story of the franchise, one which pays off a long time of stakes. Before 6, Resident Evil video games largely centered on experiments gone awry. The overarching story revolves across the Umbrella Corporation, a shady pharmaceutical firm testing out viruses on human and animal topics. The underlying horror is that Umbrella is hoping to show its zombie virus right into a organic tremendous weapon that could possibly be bought to the army for a excessive value. It was a hole menace, as there was at all times a hero to foil these plans, nevertheless it posed a scary query: What would occur if this acquired into the mistaken palms?
Resident Evil 6 lastly solutions that query. A rogue group dubbed Neo-Umbrella will get ahold of the C-Virus and makes use of it to launch a worldwide terrorist assault (therefore the aforementioned zombie president). It ends in the nightmare the sequence at all times forewarned, totally realizing its anxieties round extreme militarization. Major cities are became warzones stalked by a literal military of monsters. It’s all the pieces Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine fought to cease within the Spencer Mansion.
Just a few features of earlier video games retroactively start to make sense in that context. For occasion, the sequence at all times had a serious emphasis on animal experiments as much as that time, with large sharks and scorpions showing as bosses. The justification was that Umbrella was testing its virus on animals, nevertheless it at all times felt like extra of a handy video gamey excuse to have some larger-scale fights.
However, we lastly get some smart (and foolish) payoff in Resident Evil 6. Many of its C-Virus contaminated J’avo troopers have been seemingly infused with animal DNA, turning them into deadlier killing machines. Noga-Trchanje are troopers which have spider-like legs that permit them rapidly scuttle and pounce on enemies. When I first confronted one, I believed again to combating a large tarantula within the first Resident Evil and thought: “So this is why Umbrella was experimenting on these.” That feeling particularly involves a head in Chris Redfield’s story, as he fights a stealth-cloaked snake – a now militarized model of a reptile he fought within the Spencer Mansion.
Resident Evil 6 is a bit like Avengers: Endgame, in that it’s an enormous conclusion to a sprawling story that had been constructing for many years. Every organic catastrophe involves an explosive head in 6, because the worst-case state of affairs lastly unfolds. It is smart that this particular story would name for a pure motion sport somewhat than a decent horror one: This is all-out warfare, Umbrella’s personal endgame.
There are a number of legitimate causes to dislike Resident Evil 6, however there’s a number of (admittedly dumb) enjoyable available when you go into it with recalibrated expectations now faraway from the emotional turmoil surrounding its launch. While it’s not a basic puzzle field horror sport filled with memorable bounce scares, it’s nonetheless undeniably Resident Evil by and thru — mutated sharks and all.