A hush falls over the crowd as the chatter stops and the host walks on stage. Game developers from around the world sit anxiously in their seats, waiting to hear the next category of award. After all, it’s not every day that they’re invited to the 37th ‘Annual Generic Hypothetical Video Game Awards Ceremony Used To Set Up A Metaphor That Will Serve As The Opening Of A Dopefish Blog’.
The host reaches the microphone and announces the upcoming award – it’s a big one. The award for ‘Video Game Series Most Indistinguishable From Their Most Iconic Enemy’. The nominations are promptly disclosed.
First up is Metroid, and even though ‘Other M’ came out quite some time ago, the damage still remains and as a result both the series ‘Metroid’ and the alien creature ‘Metroid’ share the similarity of being responsible for semi-literally sucking the life out of the protagonist.
Next up is Pokémon, represented by Pikachu – cute, enjoyable, and loved by millions, but nonetheless losing attention due to not changing noticeably at all in the last 20+ years.
Penultimately, largely as a result of a few Anti-Nintendo folks, the Mario series has ended up nominated in partnership with a goomba, as both are recognizable and popularly-received but also unlikely to challenge any but the youngest of gamers. A few boos ring out from the crowd (and not the kind that could be sucked up with the Poltergust 3000) and accusations are made under people’s breaths that whoever supported this nomination clearly didn’t play through every level of Super Mario 3D World.
But as the last nomination is announced, everyone loses interest. There is no chance of anyone losing to this – it’s like going up against Season 5 of Breaking Bad at the Emmys, there is just absolutely no way anything will take home the prize but this.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the prize goes to Resident Evil.
Yes, Resident Evil, once represented by the zombie and now practically identical to the damn thing. A lifeless mess of parts, stumbling onwards with no logic or passion, never quite dying because nobody’s shot it, but nonetheless it stopped going interesting places a long time ago. Sure, there was that time it wandered onto a jet ski loaded with grenades filled with sherbet, and Resident Evil 4 came out of that, but the longer the shambling continues the more that seems like a fluke. Now, all it can do is slowly shuffle down the same path it’s been on with no creative consciousness behind it whatsoever.
Further adding to the comparison is that a zombie may have once been a unique creature in a crowd of others, but as infection spread and more zombies were borne, some belonging to Dead Rising, others from The Walking Dead, the originality the series once had is as dead as the almost-inanimate corpse traipsing onwards mindlessly. Towards what? Who knows. Certainly not the zombie.
… I think that’s enough metaphors for now so let me lower the tone a little by speaking a bit more bluntly – Resident Evil 6 sucks. Resident Evil 6 is one of the worst Resident Evil games I’ve ever played and it’s nothing short of baffling how a team of Capcom staff presumably responsible for some of the highest points in the series could half-heartedly fart out such an uninteresting mess of a game. It sucks on every conceptual level and the brief moments it doesn’t suck only serve as a mocking taunt to the player; as if the designers were aware what could make the game fun and actively chose to ignore it.
If you read my thoughts on Resident Evil 5, then first of all, wow, thank you, I still have trouble believing anyone would be interested in this garbage and the idea that someone was reading my blogs a few years ago and still is would be an enormous ego-boost for me. But also, you may recall that although I had my problems with Resident Evil 5, these problems were offset by the game as a whole being pretty damn fun! Decent characters, decent plot, decent action, and a more-than decent game as a result! It wasn’t perfect, but the pros outweighed the cons by a fair shot. So… what the hell went wrong with Resident Evil 6?
Well, there’s no point saying something generally sucks if you don’t want to get into the details, and although it pains me to say, there’s also no point explaining the bad if you don’t scramble through the wreckage of the product to find one or two decent ideas that could be worked on, unless you’re playing something completely reprehensible. And don’t get me wrong – Resident Evil 6 isn’t… that bad. I mean, it’s bad, very very bad, but it’s bad in a way that over-hyped games from series that ought to know better are bad. It’s not unplayable, or even particularly unpleasant for more than half of the time. It’s just utterly mediocre, and for a game series as famous as Resident Evil – which by now should’ve had more than enough time to learn how to get things right – it’s hard to defend.
But let’s give the positives a mention before I put on the grumpy hat completely. For starters, the graphics. I am reluctant to say this but they are great. There’s a… well, it’s not really a wide range of environments, but there’s more than one at least, and they all look pretty good. There’s an abandoned block of apartments, a cathedral, some chaotic streets populated by the undead, a plane, and a military base somewhere in the Balkan Peninsula during the day. Even though a lot of the surroundings are grey, brown and black, at least they’re very high-definition grey, brown and black.
Also, erm… I think…
Alright, I have to admit, I thought there would be more than that but I’m genuinely struggling to keep up the compliments. Um, there aren’t any horrible glitches? At the very least, it’s a very functional game, and on a technical level I didn’t see anything wrong with it. The controls respond very well and nothing is horrendously difficult to achieve. And the difficulty levels themselves are alright, I never felt unfairly challenged except during some of the driving stages, and boy were they awf- no, no negatives for now, back to positives.
Jesus tap-dancing Christ, is the game really so bad that I’m resorting to ‘The game didn’t glitch out and kill me!’ and ‘The buttons worked!’ as positive criteria that the developers should feel proud of? Wow, I can honestly say right now that I can think of more ‘sarcastic criticism disguised as praise’ than I can ‘genuine praise’. Let’s see… ooh, instead of zombies, we now have ‘J’avo’, who are more like ‘infected humans’ than zombies, unlike anything we’ve seen before if you don’t count, you know, every single enemy in Resident Evil 4 and 5. Original! Enemies also drop skill points instead of money, and to show how different the two are, they fulfil the exact same purpose as money. And to top it all off, you now have a melee attack, which you will inevitably use because the game subscribes to the Halo manner of thinking in that being hit with the butt of a gun does three thousand times more damage than being shot with the same gun!
Is it obvious that I really don’t like the game? I feel like I’m being too subtle.
Right, swallow the pride, really reach down and find some more positives. Well, I like that there are four campaigns of five chapters each instead of one campaign of twenty chapters. On that note, the game is very character-heavy, featuring Chris, Leon, Sherry, Ada, and even Hunnigan has a few scenes. And although the melee attack creates more problems than it solves, I do genuinely like that you now have a melee attack, and it adds a bit more variety to combat. Also, when playing in co-op, weapons automatically come in pairs so you don’t need to argue over who gets to pick up the shotgun and who gets to keep chipping away at the nigh-invincible mutated abomination with a glorified pea-shooter.
Also, while this would be a negative quality by itself, there is a system for regenerating health that is both kind of fair and kind of decently implemented. See, you have six or so ‘blocks’ of health, and if you take damage, a block gets thinner. If a block gets thin and then you don’t get hit for a minute, it respawns. If you lose a whole block, it stays gone. So getting hit doesn’t permanently take away your health, but getting hit multiple times does. I think this is fair-ish because with the new melee attack option available to all characters (and with the guns all becoming next to worthless) then it’s a perfectly viable combat strategy to simply run into a crowd of enemies and mash the melee attack button for three minutes. It works.
Can I get back onto the negatives now? Wahey! Oh boy – the guns are awful! There is no reaction when you shoot a zombie in the face! Of all the things to take out from Resident Evil 4 and 5, why on Earth would you give the zombies an immunity to bullets?!?!? This is infuriating – obviously they react from a point-blank shotgun blast but what the hell is the incentive for a player to use their guns if the undead don’t even slow down when you plant a bullet in their chest? This is why I used the melee attack so much – it was more effective to just run up to a zombie and kick it a few times than it was to shoot the damn thing in the head!
And you know what else sucks? In every single campaign, there’s a moment where you’re being chased by a big nasty monster. And the camera focuses on the monster, with you in the foreground, while you wildly run away. This is terrible direction because the game ends up asking you to run towards the camera in a mad bid to flee despite not letting you see where you’re running! The game tells you to run and holds its hands over the map, saying ‘Aha, now that would be telling, wouldn’t it?’ I’m only just noticing that I italicize words and use more hyphens when I’m angry. Presumably if I ever had to write something about GamerGate it would be nothing more than enraged punctuation marks.
But since the game was kind enough to divide itself into four campaigns, let me divide my complaints in a similar manner. First off, the campaign of Leon and newcomer Helena Harper as they embark on a mission to take down their enemy, Derek Simmons, whose role in the story can best be described as ‘some evil guy in the government’. I could be more specific, but honestly, why would I bother? He’s a walking cliché and you’ve already gotten the gist from that six-word description. Heaven forbid the villain has more than two dimensions or something. Not that the main characters are any better.
So the first major problem I experienced in Leon and Helena’s campaign was the NPCs. Now I understand that games can have flaws all the time and it’s usually a sign of unpreparedness, misjudgement or downright stupidity, but a part of me feels genuinely insulted by the mistake Capcom made here. To put it concisely, the NPCs in Resident Evil 6 – every last one of them – will die. All of them. To put it not concisely, here’s a timeline.
Leon and Helena wander around the White House and meet a guy searching for his daughter. She’s a zombie. She turns him into a zombie. Later, Leon and Helena are at a subway station. There’s a survivor. The survivor opens a gate despite Leon saying ‘Oh no don’t open that gate even though after you die we’ll waltz on through like it’s the right way to go anyway’ half-heartedly, and the survivor is killed by a zombie. Then you make it to a gun shop holed up with survivors. One of them is a jackass and runs off and dies (to zombies.) The rest continue surviving up until the end of that section where half of them die and half of them make it onto a bus with Leon and Helena. Then the bus crashes and they all (excluding Leon and Helena because of the powerful main character armour they’re wearing) die.
Then Leon and Helena make it to the Cathedral, where a whole bunch of survivors are holed up (Can you possibly guess what happens next? Can you?) Leon and Helena find a passage into some generically ominous crypts and a zombie comes out and kills everyone (it’s actually possible to save 1 or 2 NPCs but they don’t say anything or do anything or move and they probably die off-screen.) Then Leon and Helena go further down into the crypts and something something boss fight.
Then (I hope you find this as remotely unintentionally funny as I do) Leon and Helena get on a plane to China. Can you guess what happens on the plane? Everyone except Leon and Helena randomly turn into zombies! Or get attacked by zombies! Everyone dead, again! Then the plane crashes and Leon and Helena somehow survive. Then they meet the characters from other campaigns and some plot happens but nobody really cares. A chapter or so later they’ve narrowly averted a crisis, only for a zombie-virus-carrying-nuke to get launched and every NPC within five miles becomes a zombie. They never really explain how Leon and Helena survive that one, but they do.
Now, this isn’t limited to Leon and Helena’s campaign – in Chris’ campaign, you lead a squad of his men and watch them get picked off one by one because of course they do because the lead writer for the story didn’t have time to try something original because his kindergarten break was over and he was already late for naptime. The reason I despise this happening so many times in the plot is this. I lost count of how many times you meet an NPC and shortly afterwards, they die, but I think they broke a dozen, and around ten of those are just Leon and Helena’s campaign. The problem is that the way the game is directed, with the sad music and the cameras glancing over the victims, the game genuinely expects you to be surprised, horrified, and saddened by this shocking turn of events.
Or to put it another way, Capcom openly believe that their audience are severely mentally impaired. Thanks, Capcom! The last nine times you introduced me to an NPC, they died immediately, but I’m sure this time it’ll be different – oh no, a zombie got him, oh Lord this is so horrifyingly unexpected and out of the blue, how will I sleep tonight?
I’m genuinely insulted by this. How… just how? How did you think it was a good idea to have insultingly low expectations of your target audience? How did you come to the conclusion that a good plot is dangling a meat puppet with the personality of a brick in front of us and prodding it saying ‘Ooh ooh, friend! This new friend! You care very much!’ shortly before cutting it down and feigning in shock, ‘Oh no! Friend dead! You sad now! You very very sad!’ and then repeating that process ten sodding times in a row, expecting it to have any impact on anyone?
Towards the end it really did feel as if the developers of Resident Evil 6 were insulting me for playing their game. As if they thought ‘Christ, you’re actually playing this? Well, we’d better slow things down for you, we don’t want you to get confused and mistake this repetitive linear slog through zombies for an actual game with substance!’ But I digress. There are many more problems in the campaign.
Leon and Helena’s campaign was touted to me as ‘The campaign closest to traditional Resident Evil.’ All I can really say in response to that is NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. NO. WRONG. YOU’RE WRONG. NO NO WRONG NO. Just because there are zombies in it doesn’t mean it’s traditional Resident Evil, and that’s literally the only thing close to traditional about the game. If you took an area from early Resident Evil 5 and replaced the angry villagers with zombies, it would be Resident Evil 6. Traditional, my ass. I don’t even like the traditional Resident Evil games but to play through them with the control scheme of the newer games would be amazing compared to what we’ve had.
The last annoyance of Leon and Helena’s campaign is the villain. As I’ve said, the dude was Derek Simmons, I think the Chief Security Advisor or something with a fancy title like that. He has an ‘I’m obviously evil’ moustache and an even more ‘No seriously, how is nobody getting how evil I am’ demeanour as well. It sure would be fun to kill him! Except you don’t. Fake-Ada (Oh, um, plot twist, there’s a fake Ada Wong running around doing bad things the whole game,) shoots him with the virus. Yes, he survives and turns into a zombie T-Rex (I wish this was 1% as cool as it sounded) for you to fight, but infecting him is basically a death sentence. And you know what else? When you get to the end of the opposing campaign where you fight Fake-Ada, one of Derek’s goons shoots her. The villains do each other in while the heroes are standing around exuding blandness and failing at their goals. Wonderful.
I think that’s about it for Leon and Helena’s campaign – I know I’m missing out gameplay things and types of zombie but I want to spread these things out, and plus, I genuinely didn’t care about which new types of zombie were in the game. From what I’ve heard from people who have played Left 4 Dead, a number of them are ‘inspired’ by those enemies as well. I certainly saw some blobs that reminded me of Boomers, even having never seen a Boomer outside of YouTube clips. If I could have one last parting shot though, the characters.
This isn’t particularly about Leon and Helena, more about all of the characters, but they are not engaging, or interesting, or… anything. Replace them in cutscenes with cardboard cut-outs and nothing would change, except the game might become funny. The death of the many NPCs wouldn’t have been helped with a condescending ‘No! He’s dead! I knew him so well!’ from Leon, but it wouldn’t have killed the cast to show a shred of emotion. If the main characters were being played by animated actors, I would accuse the actors of phoning it in. The characters reactions to the story clumsily unfolding around them are the same as Capcom’s feelings towards the design process of the game; clearly, nobody gives a shit.
I actually had a more positive reaction to Chris and Pier’s campaign, but for a simple reason; much like the general consensus that ‘Leon and Helena’s campaign is classic Resident Evil’, I’d heard that Chris and Piers section of the game was more reminiscent to Call of Duty, so naturally I expected both characters to be placed onto a travellator that slowly guided me through a series of barely-interactive cutscenes where I occasionally had to press the right trigger button to kill something. Instead, I got Leon’s campaign except with alive-but-infected enemies instead of zombies.
So basically, Resident Evil 5.
The immediate downside to Chris’ campaign is that every chapter is more or less the same. There’s one chapter that actually feels specifically more ‘Call of Duty’-ish than the others, with some sniping and actual warfare gameplay, and it’s actually… good. Just because it’s a break from everything else in the game. Plus, the co-op works relatively well here – I was Piers, so I made my way through a series of abandoned apartments and got into a sniping position where I helped blow up a barricade so Chris could advance forwards and fight on the front lines. I hesitate to say it, but I enjoyed myself.
The rest of the campaign is just repeating Resident Evil 5 in a small variety of locations. A few BOWs show up but they’re not particularly interesting. A few minor characters show up but they’re not particularly interesting. You pick up a few weapons but they’re not particularly interesting. It’s all a bit of a boring blur to be honest. The only notable things I can recall from ‘Campaign 2: The Ballad of Chris & Piers’ is that two plot-points at the end are really stupid. Kind-of-but-not-really-spoilers ensuing.
One, they interact with the stars of the third campaign – Sherry Birkin, who has lost what little personality she had in order to become another stereotypical action girl, and a newcomer named Jake who has special anti-virus blood or something which is probably related (paternity pun) to the fact that he’s Wesker’s son. The stupid interaction here is that Jake openly thinks his father was a gigantic dick (understandable) and has no pride for him or the Wesker name. It’s kind of hard not to when your Dad tries to take over the world, is defeated by his love of sunglasses combined with a syringe full of dangerous chemicals he keeps near him at all times, and a boulder-puncher and his sidekick.
So near the end of the game, in Generic Underwater Lab Facility 37, all four of them meet up, and in a truly cringeworthy scene, Jake finds out Chris killed Wesker and gets all angry. Y’know, despite openly hating Wesker. It’s all for the sake of a big stand-off where Chris and Jake stare each other down and eventually Jake lets out a hilarious manly scream and shoots just to the right of Chris’ face before saying something vague about his past and future or… something. As you can tell, I had great emotional investment in the story.
Second weird issue, every final-boss in every campaign has at least a little bit of build-up. Leon and Helena have Derek Simmons. Jake and Sherry have… a weird flaming Nemesis-inspired thing – I’ll get to that – and in the bonus campaign of Ada, she takes down the Fake-Ada, and then fights Derek Simmons too in a mostly-identical fight to Leon and Helena’s. Chris and Piers fight against… Haos. Get it? It’s Chaos with a C! Because… the C-Virus! So it’s… C-Haos. Hahaha, such wit.
My problem with the boss is partly that it comes out of nowhere. It just appears and someone says ‘It was Fake-Ada’s plan for this thing to burst out of the sea and infect people because if she does that then first everyone dies, then fonsiumdnehg djsdnfdfg qzaldap, then she rules the world!’ My problem is that it’s one of those boss-fights where very little time is spent fighting the damn boss. Instead you just run away from it for a while in a poorly-executed chase sequence, then in a non-spoilerrific way you find a way to combat it, then you use that way, then you win, the end. The game gets the smallest amount of bonus points for having something resembling an unexpected twist at the end of this campaign, but given that it’s the one part of the game that isn’t ruined by horrible extenuating circumstances, I’ll leave it unspoiled for now.
Chris and Piers campaign was the first one I was ever injured on – my character, not myself from banging my head against a wall following one of the ‘run into the camera’ setpieces – and let’s take a second to chat about the inventory. Like Resident Evil 5, the game doesn’t pause when you check your inventory, but the way you select and use healing items is just weird now. Rather than crafting a healing spray out of herbs, every healing item gives you a specific number of pills, which restore one bit of health. A red/green herb combination gives six, I think. And if you select ‘move to case’ on the healing item, they become transformed into readily available pills you can access by pressing the right shoulder button.
Two issues here – firstly, there’s a limit on how many pills you can have readily available. Around 15 is the maximum. Have more healing items in your inventory? Tough, you can’t add them. Those extra five pills would weigh your character down much more than the grenade launcher, sniper rifle, assault rifle and shotgun they’re carrying. Secondly, healing items retain the same spray effect from the fifth instalment in the series which helpfully meant if you used a health spray near your partner, they would also be healed. Except… they’re pills now. How does that work? Does your aura radiate off of your body and onto theirs? Obviously this is more of a superficial nitpick, but it still made me turn my head inquisitively the first time I noticed it.
Let’s move on to the third campaign of the game, featuring Sherry Birkin and Jake. And here’s a shocking twist in this review – this is by far my favourite campaign because one of its chapter was downright… good. Not incredible, but wholeheartedly well-made, suspenseful and fun. It also turned out to be the mandatory stealth chapter that many people who aren’t me seemed to despise. Go figure.
At the risk of sounding too positive, a lot of Jake and Sherry’s campaign seemed to suck as well. Most of it was almost identical to Chris and Piers’ two-buddy rom-com, as your enemies are also alive – here’s a weird factoid, according to Wikipedia, the ‘J’avo’ or whatever these weird totally-not-zombies people are can apparently take time in groups to arrange specific tactics to attack you, and I can honestly say I never noticed this through the whole game because their tactics amounted to ‘I’m going to run up and try to hit you with this frozen leg of lamb’ – but there’s a slight difference when playing as Jake. Every character has a melee attack, but Jake is the only one who can actually select his fists as a weapon and use punches and kicks as primary attacks. It’s… not bad? Although using physical attacks guarantees you’ll be taking damage more often. Although this is counteracted in regards to player-happiness because every once in a while you can successfully charge into a crowd of enemies, rugby-tackle one, kick another’s head off, and then punch the rest into oblivion without taking a single hit because while hitting an enemy, you’re rewarded with invincibility points.
So a generic chapter to start with and then a brilliant one. Even though it starts off strangely; for whatever reason, Jake and Sherry are in the mountains. The chapter opens with a fetch-quest of USB sticks in the snow, and it really is a blizzard on these mountains, not that it stops enemies with snowmobiles from chasing you down, although you can blast them off the vehicle with a shotgun and then get on yourself and mow down survivors. It’s not great – it took me and my co-op buddy half an hour to find our way back to the exit once we’d found the USB sticks – but it was different, and mostly enjoyable.
Then came the forced stealth section, and forced stealth has never been so welcome or beautiful. See, there’s a handsome fellow following you around for more or less the entire campaign. Say hello to the Ustanak, guys!
I would give a list of personality traits but he/she/it can be summed up with the description ‘Think ‘Nemesis’ but he looks like he grew up in a volcano, designing a Mr Driller cosplay that he’s grown far too attached to over time.’ Anyway, it’s relentless, it chases you, and it can’t be killed (until the final boss fight in the last chapter, which is hilarious anti-climactic in how he’s finished off. They shoot him in the head. Gripping, eh?) In this chapter, you have to constantly sneak around it to get through some ice caves, and to make things worse, the Ustanak somehow gained the co-operation of strange flying bats that can somehow sound alarms. Somehow. So you need to stealth-kill the bats, grab any ammo or treasure you can find, all while running into the closest hiding spot available if you start to hear heavy footsteps and dramatic music. It’s no ‘Haunting Ground’, but it’s decent enough, and frankly, survival-horror and stealth go incredibly well together because sneaking around a nigh-invincible enemy with the potential to drill straight through your face is something that simultaneously frightens you and gently encourages you to keep the noise down.
One unintentional moment of humour comes near the end of the chapter when you have to avoid stepping on ice, because it makes a crunching noise and alerts the Ustanak (this is the only chapter where he goes all DareDevil on you and relies on sound instead of his sight, which I think is actually fully-functional, so… *shrug*) and naturally it’s quite tense and silent. Except when any character reaches the door to the next area, tapping the ‘open door’ button results in a request to the other character to maybe hurry things along, which quickly becomes impatient shouting. So the Ustanak could hear the sound of shoes on ice, but not Jake screaming, “SHERRY! SHERRY! COME ON! SHERRY!” barely ten metres away.
There are some more tense encounters and at one point you flee the Ustanak through a series of teamwork-based doors that require both players and I’m told the AI is horrible if you’re attempting single-player because your partner will have no problem ignoring the doors and instead running up to shoot at the flashy invincible monster, but this sequence ends by letting you drive a rather large drilling machine into the Ustanak and through several doors. Just to reiterate, he survives this but dies at the end of Chapter 5 because they shoot him once in the head.
That’s really all I have to say about their campaign – the next three chapters are generic and boring and take place in small corridors in a mansion in China, because at the end of Chapter 2, they’re kidnapped and taken to China for research. And also because that’s where the plot is and there was no convenient way for them to tag along with the others. So now we’re finally onto the bonus campaign, Ada’s!
Well the first thing to say in this campaign is that co-op sucks. Co-op is godawful in Ada’s campaign because unlike the other three campaigns which were designed for two players, Ada’s campaign was designed for one. Apparently enough people complained for them to add in a second player in Ada’s campaign named ‘Agent’. He looks kind of like HUNK, he has no plot-relevance and is never acknowledged by anyone, disappears shortly before cutscenes, is incapable of opening doors for crying out loud, cannot pick up treasure, and is wildly teleported around the level whenever Ada does any of the above things (except picking up treasure.) It would’ve been kinder to leave it as single-player because after three co-op campaigns my friend and I each just played through Ada’s campaign as Ada.
Ada’s campaign isn’t too bad. There’s a stealthy bit at the beginning, ruined somewhat by some of the people you need to sneak past being out of your line of vision, so you don’t know if you can safely enter a room until you’ve entered a room and someone’s shooting at you. And if any alarms go off, restart. Even on the easier difficulties, restart. It’s not worth it.
Ada spends most of her campaign tagging along on other people’s campaigns from the shadows, which isn’t terrible, but I dislike it because it rather devalues the campaigns of those other people. In Resident Evil 4, Leon and Krauser have a knife-fight on top of a castle rigged to explode and Leon finishes him off and escapes just in time. Then Krauser turns up again in Ada’s tie-in and fights her, having survived, only to die in the exact same way using the exact same animation as before. I didn’t see that as an awesome moment for Ada as much as a negated awesome moment for Leon.
But nonetheless, she dips in and out of storylines, occasionally helping out with boss fights, which grows repetitive fairly quickly because they’re boss fights you’ve already done. As the other characters. You fought Helena’s weird mutated sister as Helena and Leon, with Ada assisting. Now, it’s the exact same fight, but you play as a different character. The fun (or tedium, whichever) just never ends.
Much like Jake and Sherry, Ada ends up in China because she needs to be in China for the plot to continue. While there, she basically babysits Jake and Sherry from a distance with a sniper rifle, once again diminishing anything Jake and Sherry achieved by surviving in their own campaign. Then she finally catches up to Fake-Ada, and a stunning boss fight begins. Just kidding, there’s a brief chase sequence and a final confrontation that’s over much too fast.
I was kind of expecting the Ada VS Fake-Ada plotline to be one of the biggest, but it’s not even the end of Ada’s storyline. Fake-Ada injects herself with a virus because of course she does, and turns into a big amorphous blob creature that chases Ada through a battleship. That’s not a terrible idea, and Fake-Ada really is big enough to pose a serious threat – she can block off doorways and spread down corridors so quickly you’ll think you’re watching mould grow in fast-forward – but the final fight involves shooting a bunch of liquid nitrogen tanks and then Fake-Ada just sort of shatters. Despite how unlikely it is that this would kill her. Despite how large her form was and how unlikely it is that it was all captured in the icy blast. Huh.
Then you fight Simmons and… it’s more or less the exact same fight against Simmons that Leon and Helena have. Speaking of which, the boss fight against Simmons is ridiculous. He has about seventeen different phases, which can include turning into a zombie Tyrannosaurus Rex and throw a train roof at you, to climbing a building as some weird… um, it looks like somebody made a monster out of spaghetti sauce and Meccano blocks. Do you have Meccano in the states? I’ll include a picture.
Then Ada’s campaign ends and in a sense of the plot, everyone’s campaign ends. Leon keeps on keeping on. Helena keeps her job. Chris is interrupted eating a steak because he also keeps on keeping on. I don’t remember if Sherry was involved in the epilogue at all. And Jake stays in the Balkan Peninsula, fighting BOWs that somehow still exist, accepting payment in the form of fruit. The end.
All in all, the endings, much like the game, leave a lot to be desired. Leon and Chris seem to be on autopilot for the whole thing. Sherry and Helena may as well not be there for the effect they have on the plot. Jake is the only one remotely interesting, and even then they cut out before the action begins. So just as the game is perfectly symbolised by the zombie lifelessly shambling towards a target it doesn’t even recognize any more, the ending symbolises the series as well as the conclusion of the character arcs. Nothing changes, everything goes back to normal, and everyone is mostly left unchanged.
There are a few decent bits of backstory, but they’re only found if you shoot the glowing blue targets in every level, some of which are actually hidden and some of which are horrendously obvious – although a few of the maps are big, useless and maze-like enough that I’m sure I never would’ve found them – and the backstory provided is actually interesting, even including cameos from other characters. Sheva tells Piers where he’s most likely to find Chris. Claire Redfield warns Helena about working with Derek Simmons. I actually quite liked these, and would’ve liked them more had they been actively included in the game instead of hidden away in the extras, as if Capcom forgot that they did something half-decent.
But half-decent is a generous description of Resident Evil 6. I wholeheartedly enjoyed Resident Evil 5, I really did. It was flawed and buggy and flawed again but it was still worth playing by a long shot. I would only suggest you play Resident Evil 6 if you have it available for no cost at all and there is genuinely nothing else you would rather play. I gained more in terms of ‘material for complaining about things on the internet’ from Resident Evil 6 than I took away in terms of enjoyment from gameplay and general content-feelings about the game.
In summary, I can phrase it politely and professionally, I can shout it in Caps Lock, I can expand upon my thoughts until I’ve gone through another 6,000+ words, but at its core, I only really have one thing to say.
Resident Evil 6 sucks.
With that in mind, here’s hoping Capcom either point their zombie in the direction of another jet ski, or at least put it out of its bloody misery.
Thanks for reading!