Full disclosure heading into this review: I’m not the biggest Resident Evil fan. While I have played through the original game and Resident Evil 5, it wasn’t until Resident Evil 6 that I genuinely enjoyed playing a Resident Evil game. Blasphemy, I know! But let me explain why.
I originally played through Resident Evil 6 on the Playstation 3, having picked up the game because of the one important change that made the game enjoyable for me – the ability to move and shoot. Core to the Resident Evil series are the tense situations that the games throw you into as a result the impaired ability to move and shoot. Understandably, this change with Resident Evil 6 put some fans offside. For me though, it was the prime entry point to this monumental series.
Which brings me to the re-release of Resident Evil 6 on modern consoles. Capcom has always been a company that I’ve admired from a distance, as the organisation continually provides their older games on modern consoles – including the recent remake of Resident Evil and continual re-release of their games. Some may see this as a petty cash grab, but for me I see it as a sign of the future of the industry – making different games available at all times on all available platforms.
Resident Evil 6 arrives on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with a mild HD polish and all DLC bundled for a reasonable affordable price. If the core game seemed filled to the brim with its four campaigns, then the inclusion of all DLC truly tips it over the edge. You simply won’t be disappointed with what’s on offer here if a high level quantity of Resident Evil is what you want.
So, after that extended preamble, what is the plot of Resident Evil 6? No, seriously, what is the plot of Resident Evil 6? The game opens with the climax – throwing you right into the action: a battle against zombies and a haphazard helicopter chase through burnt-out buildings. If Resident Evil 6 set out to ‘shake up’ the series in more ways than one, then opening this entry as a “balls to the wall” action game is an audacious way of doing it. Throughout the four playable campaigns, you’ll be less scared than by the machinations of this exploding haunted house-style ride and more aware of the zombified dog waiting behind the curtain to jump out at you.
There is no prescribed order to playing through the campaigns, making some of the crossover between character threads confusing. During one playthrough, my character met up with a character from another campaign. Together, they discussed many plot points, which only made sense upon playing through the other character’s campaign. Even then, I was unsure what was going on. Resident Evil 6 plays more like a massive action film that is less intent on telling an easily followed plot and more interested in throwing in an insanely over-the-top set piece that defies all logic. No doubt the Resident Evil faithful will be able to fill in the gaps in the lore that exists here, but Resident Evil 6 is still a fun game even if you don’t pay attention to the plot.
Even though the visuals have been remastered for modern consoles, the tedious aspects of the game haven’t received the same makeover. Characters walk at snail pace when not in combat, something that is exacerbated when you have to continually backtrack to get items. The rinse-and-repeat gameplay – go to open a door, find it’s locked, go get a key, battle zombies, go open the door – feels more like forced time extension rather than adding anything of substance or variety to the mix. Because of this ludicrous “bull in a china shop” take on storytelling, Resident Evil 6 is made all the more enjoyable when playing co-operatively with a friend and guffawing at the madness of what’s happening on screen.
Having played through most of the campaign on the PlayStation 3 version, I sat down to play the campaigns I didn’t complete with a Resident Evil-loving friend. It’s here that the game truly shines. As anyone who has played through Resident Evil 5 co-operatively would know, these are games that are better experienced with friends, as sadly the AI companion is not always the best at tackling enemies or keeping themselves alive. Given that couch co-op games appear in short supply on the current generation of consoles, it’s great to see Resident Evil help fill that gap.
I was surprised to see that the various online modes were still active on these new platforms. I was able to try out all modes with little wait time for a round to begin. The best of these modes is easily Agent Hunt mode, where you can jump into another player’s game, embodying an enemy and terrorising that player. Other varieties of online games include Horde Mode, and Mercenaries – each providing a unique Resident Evil spin on online competitive modes.
Yes, Resident Evil 6 is not a perfect game, with moments of pure tedium being more frequent than the wonderfully insane set pieces, but it is a fun game. Whether you’re laughing with the game, or even if you’re playing co-operatively with a friend and laughing at the game, there is an exhaustive amount of content to be had. Each campaign runs for about eight hours, making the whole experience a solid forty plus-hour endeavour. Throw in all the available DLC, the extremely hard modes and gaining S-ranks, and you’re provided with a wealth of content. As someone who was not a huge fan of the Resident Evil series to begin with, I am curious to check out other games in the series as a result of Resident Evil 6, especially if they are as much fun to play co-operatively as this one is. And really, isn’t that what these remastered editions of games are for? To give old fans the opportunity to replay games with improved graphics, and to also give new players the chance to see what all the fuss is about.