No Need to Fear this Impressive Game

It’s that time of the year when fear takes over. Horror and paranoia run rampant as the supernatural rule popular culture for the month. On that note, let’s look at Resident Evil 6, the supposed return to horror that fans of the series have been waiting for.

Resident Evil 6 is unique in that it attempts to please all of the fans of the series through its three different campaigns. For those of you who wanted a horror based adventure, Leon’s campaign was supposed to be your answer. If you wanted good solid action, Chris’s campaign delivered. Capcom even made Jake’s scenario similar to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis for those who wanted to be stalked by a giant tyrant.

I’m sorry to say, there isn’t much horror to be found in this game. If you were looking for the next action packed “kill everything in sight” entry, here you go.

The game sports highly detailed graphics and a superb musical score. They tend to get overlooked in favor of the action packed campaigns, but if you slow down you’ll notice a dramatic piece playing as the camera zooms out dramatically as you cross a narrow bridge over a burning building.

The story of the game is that a new virus, the C-virus, is being used by terrorists all over the world. In an attempt to slow down the new wave of terror, U.S. President Adam Benford was planning to reveal the American government’s involvement in the dreaded Raccoon City incident of 1998. Unfortunately the speech doesn’t go as planned when the president is turned into a zombie shortly beforehand.

This is the start of Leon‘s campaign as he and his new partner, Helena Harper, escape the zombie infested town of Tall Oaks to confront the culprit behind the outbreak.

Meanwhile, another C-virus outbreak occurs in Lanshiang, China. BSAA soldier Chris Redfield returns No Need to Fear this Impressive Game from an alcohol filled depression with his former squad mate, Piers Nivens, to capture Ada Wong, who they believe to be the true culprit of the attacks.

Six months prior to this, in the eastern European country of Edonia, U.S. government agent Sherry Birkin finds a mercenary named Jake Muller, a man whose blood holds the cure to the C-virus. The two are pursued by a behemoth known as Ustanak as they race to get the cure to the right hands and stop the virus.

The plot itself isn’t too bad. All six main characters are very well developed and interact with each other in believable, endearing and often intense ways. This is further complimented by the superb voice acting. It’s kind of funny how the series that was once notorious for its awful dialogue and voice acting is now at Hollywood level quality.

Unfortunately the villains of this game don’t get the same treatment. These guys just don’t have the same charm that Albert Wesker once had. Maybe it’s because they’re so transparently clichéd that it’s actually comical. One guy literally twirls his goatee and gloats right in front of four of the characters before ordering his goonies to finish them off. At least Wesker would have at least said a cool one liner and then have taken the protagonists on himself.

At least the fun game play makes up for it. Make no mistake; this is an awesome game. Once you get used to the controls you’ll find an enjoyable, welldesigned game that easily has over 25 hours of material to play through.

But this leads to why the game isn’t scary. The characters are too powerful and can do just about anything. Zombies are surprisingly not intimidating when you remember that you can roundhouse kick them so hard that their heads explode.

This is why I didn’t care too much for Leon’s campaign; only one part was actually scary, and that was mostly because of the haunting atmosphere of the area. This segment is then followed by two hours of trekking through a cave which gets very boring, very fast.

Ironically, I ended up liking Chris’s and Jake’s campaigns much more. Their stories are more action packed and involve fighting enemies that actually use firearms and other weapons. The additional excitement doesn’t slow down much in their stories. They stay consistent, while Leon’s can get tedious.

This is a good game to do cooperatively. I don’t say this because the partner AI is bad; it can be much, much worse (I’m looking at you, Operation Raccoon City). It’s more enjoyable when that other player is a human helping you out. It really makes a difference because it makes most parts easier to approach.

There are also storyline crossroads where you encounter another pair of characters. If anyone is playing that pair’s campaign, they’ll join the game with you for that segment. For example, at one point Chris and Piers join up with Jake and Sherry to fight a Bio Organic Weapon the size of a house, and it’s more enjoyable with other people.

Mercenaries mode is back too. The “kill everything in a time limit” mini game is still as fun as ever, especially with some of the hilarious alternate costumes you can unlock like pirate Leon or samurai Chris.

Fans who wanted a return to true horror and not pirates and samurais teaming up to battle the undead, you might want to pass on this game and go play Resident Evil: Revelations on the 3DS.

All in all I give Resident Evil 6 and 8 out of 10. I see it as a legitimate successor to the series and I do appreciate Capcom’s attempt to appease all members of their fan base, whether it worked out or not. If you want a fun action game with a strong replay value, check it out. Oh yeah, and the pirate/samurai tag team is the most awesome thing I’ve seen this year in gaming.