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Late to the Game: Resident Evil 6

What a load.

The start of the game is bonkers-go-nuts. It throws you in the middle of a terrorist/zombie attack with no instructions on where to go or how to play or why you’re there. It’s been a while since I played Resident Evil 5 and I just finished Resident Evil 2 so I’m used to its slower pace. But all of a sudden I’m falling out of a helicopter and climbing up skyscrapers. What kind of tutorial is this? Can you not give me at least a little context? Mise en Scene is for movies, not video games.

Plus I hate when they throw you in without a chance to adjust the controller or the video settings. I thought I’d have to save at some point before even getting to setup. How do I get health? How do I deal with inventory? What’s new and different in this game compared to RE5?

Not much it turns out. It seems like the big draw is that there are four interconnected campaigns, each about five hours long. But each story is so fragmented that it makes no sense, and playing each campaign does nothing to fill in the gaps.

How about some background on these characters? Who is this Nemesis-knockoff Ustanak chasing Jake Muller? What’s the deal with him being Albert Wesker’s son? (Jake, not Ustanak). When did Sherry collect Jake’s blood after they crash in the helicopter? They’ve been running around crazy the past hour (video game time). It sounded like you needed a lab for that. And now they’ve got a fetch quest to find three data chips that fell out? Plus, you’ve still got him next to you. Just collect the data again!

Half of Chris’s story takes place in flashback. What is it, five years ago? So that makes it all pointless–I know Chris survives because I talk to him in Leon’s story. Playable flashbacks in video games are as pointless as sesame seeds on a hamburger bun. I should be invincible because, by laws of temporal mechanics, I have to live in order to do the actions which are already cemented in time.

I played Leon’s and Chris’s campaigns on easy and felt like it was an on-rails shooter. The stages are so difficult to navigate you have to pull out your GPS to find your objective, which creates ludonarrative dissonance. There are no pauses, no puzzle-solving. It’s like they’ve been injecting steroids since the success of RE4, trying to one-up each with action and explosions. All it does is turn them into cheesy movies.

And then the final boss is a giant housefly

It’s weird, Resident Evils seem to go in trilogies. One, two, and three are fixed-camera horror stories with jump scares. Four, five, and six are action games without scares (just grody monsters, like a Asylum movie). I haven’t played seven or eight yet, but judging by the metascores, they do something different. But for RE6, you might as well just watch a Let’s Play of it. That’s what I’m doing. It looks and feels like Call of Duty or any of those high-octane army games. Brown and gray, shoot-shoot-shoot, no challenge whatsoever.

I got more out of Plants vs. Zombies than this game.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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