Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Not-So Obscure Video Game Review - Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6. So, I played it. Despite expectations, I rather enjoyed it. Right up front, I will tell you that RE:6 is a game you have to love warts and all, or else, well, you just won't like it one bit.

Now, the sixth main installment in the Resident Evil franchise, like some of the others, is a multi playthrough affair, where you see bits and pieces of the whole story as you play through each main character's 'chapter.' Essentially, an alphabet soup of viruses break free or is set free by 'insurgents' or evil corporations, and it's up to an alphabet soup of agencies (some real and fictional) to contain, counter, or otherwise control the virus and its related horrific monstrosities. There, that's the whole synopsis.

  • Graphics. They're decent. There are the occasional odd animations, primarily in cutscenes, though the facial animations are surprisingly amusing in some places. Especially Sherry and Jake's scenes where she gets exasperated with his ogling.
  • Scope. The story is tremendously ambitious. It more or less delivers on these ambitions in a way that makes for fun game play. Yes, many of the games premises are questionable or downright stupid, but the chapters' story setup does make, by and large, for some amusing situations to shoot your way out of.
  • Voice Acting. Okay, so at this point you all are aware of how much I enjoy good voice acting. It's pretty good in this. With the exception of a few annoying characters (I'm looking at you Piers), the voice cast was rather top notch.
  • User Interface. Who thought it was a good idea to have the HUD be different based on which chapter you were playing? It's not.
  • Cutscene'd. This is a term I made up for games where you get screwed over regularly by events outside of the players' control during rendered cutscenes. It happens in this game. A lot. It is still just as annoying as it ever was. Worse than the regular cutscene, even, in RE:6 enemies can move towards you during cutscenes, then when you come out of the render and resume control, you find yourself being downed by an animated kill move that the enemy could not possibly have pulled off if you had been playing. Losing ranks because of this is frustrating.
  • Control Scheme. I am going to use this as a catch-all for 'bad game design choices,' since there are several worth mentioning, and I don't want to give them all their own category. Things like odd or hard to accomplish Quick Time Events.  Being unable to share supplies with your partner (something you could do in the previous game). Gimmicky partner actions (how many times in your life have you gone through a door that took two people to open? It's never happened to me). Your aiming choices can be categorized as bad or worse. Vehicle segments are odd to control and seem pointless. And this is hardly an exhaustive list.
Final verdict. While I generally had a good time playing Resident Evil 6, I bought it REALLY cheap. Like $5 ballpark. If I had paid full price for this, I would have been pretty unhappy. It just should have been so much more than it turned out to be. The bones for a really good game are present here, but they're put together wrong, like a Victorian era dinosaur. And like said Iguanadon,  the most it is good for is a laugh.

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