Resident Evil 6 was originally released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in October of 2012, and then for PC the following year. Some fans loved it, many hated it, but it still went on to sell over six million copies. It can’t be that bad if it’s one of Capcom’s best selling titles, right?
To give a brief refresher, the game presents players with four different campaigns, each with connected storylines. The protagonists include Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Jake Muller and Ada Wong. The co-op partner system from Resident Evil 5 makes a return, with the second player controlled by either AI or a human player via local or online multiplayer.
Now with more powerful game consoles on the market, Capcom has re-released the sixth (and arguably the most controversial) entry in the Resident Evil franchise for PS4 and Xbox One consoles. The graphics have been given a facelift, the game runs at a much smoother 60FPS, and all previously released DLC is included. But is it worth playing again, or even for the first time? Let’s find out.
Since it first hit store shelves, the most polarizing thing about Resident Evil 6 has been the gameplay. There’s no question it’s drastically different from early Resident Evil titles that emphasized atmosphere, story, puzzle-solving and survival – in other words, everything that defined the survival horror genre. The sixth installment of Resident Evil, though, deviates heavily from that formula in favor of a linear, straight up shootout. Run and gun through groups of zombies, collect power ups along the way, kill a boss, watch a cutscene and move on to the next level. Oh yeah, expect lots of QTEs too. Each character has his or her respective campaign with some subtle differences, but the core gameplay remains the same throughout all of them.
Action games typically aren’t known for deep, engrossing plots, and Resident Evil 6 is no exception. The story is not the best in the series, but it’s not so terrible that you’ll want to skip all the cutscenes – at least during the first playthrough. There’s some backstory between Chris and Piers I found interesting, as well as Ada Wong’s ever-intriguing tale. Plus, having four scenarios and several multiplayer modes to play through keep things fresh for a while.
Bottom line is, think of it as an Expendables movie with Resident Evil characters. If that sounds like fun, you won’t be disappointed.
With all that said, I like Resident Evil 6. I really do. Sure, it’s less survival horror and more about shooting anything that moves, but if you go into it expecting a pure action game it’s fun. Yes, it’s a very different experience than the earlier games, but that doesn’t automatically make it a failure. I think it’s been unfairly shunned by a lot of diehard Resident Evil fans. It’s not a perfect game by any stretch, and I love survival horror just as much as the next person, but anyone who enjoys a decent third-person shooter should give it at least one playthrough.
Additionally, the ‘Mercenaries’ mode should chew up lots of hours in itself. It’s good for playing in short bursts, which is great if you need a Resident Evil fix but don’t have hours to sit in front of the TV. Lots of replay value there and if you have friends to play it with, it’s even better.
Unfortunately, the clunky inventory system that plagued earlier versions of the game is still present on the PS4 release. An unintuitive combination of buttons (that I can never seem to remember in the heat of battle) must be pressed to mix herbs and to equip items, which quickly gets frustrating. This is my biggest complaint with the game. Other than that, controls are fairly easy to pick up.
Expect a consistent 60FPS on PS4, which is a massive upgrade from the previous generation console versions which suffered from frequent frame-rate drops. The increased resolution and sharper textures look great and movement is smooth as butter. If you can’t play it on PC (which still provides the best graphics), definitely play it on PS4/Xbox One.
As a dedicated fan of Resident Evil since the 90’s, I can still recommend Resident Evil 6. It doesn’t offer the pulse-pounding terrors of Resident Evil 1 and 2, and it doesn’t have the near-perfect mix of action and suspense that made Resident Evil 4 a fan favorite. What it does have are interconnecting storylines, tons of different modes to play, and a slew of zombie action to get the adrenaline pumping. So if you enjoy a fast-paced shooter set in the Resident Evil universe, pick it up. Just be aware of the type of game it is before you dive in.
I still have to recommend the 2013 PC release for the definitive Resident Evil 6 experience, but in terms of consoles the PS4/Xbox One versions are absolutely the way to go. At $20 with all DLC included, it’s worth the asking price for many hours of entertainment.