Told in multiple perspectives, Capcom fires another round into its renowned survival-horror franchise. Hyped up for greatness or doomed to be another “questionable” entry in the series, we'll see if the Umbrealla-built virus still has clout.

The Resident Evil series has had its share of ups and downs, transitions, and triumphs; so jumping into a new entry comes with some trepidation. Thankfully, Resident Evil 6 industriously tries to bring in more of its core elements that made the series a hit in the first place; the zombies. Killing the undead is the focus of the game like it should be. Add in a few new J'avo flavoured varieties and we have a purpose to pull that trigger while being freaked out in the dark. Now its not all brains and single focused, which isn't overly surprising. Capcom still takes the time to fool around with the formula by appointing three main protagonists. Add in co-op centric play and an interweaving story ach and we have something a little more ambitious then we are used too. Heck, why not, I guess it puts the odds in our favour.

Before we break down the individual campaigns, it should be noted that each character(s) story ends up intertwining with one another. Interestingly, significant points within the tale will draw you together which helps pull together some conformity in the segregated story and gameplay. Of course, Resident Evil 6 is designed for co-op or single player, online and off, making it a treat when these moments happen online with four players. Each campaign has two characters leading the way through the mounds of foulness, except for a fourth specially unlocked character whose surprise I won't ruin. The plus in having multiple character-driven sections is that Resident Evil 6 feels like three different feeling games packed into one. However, the downfall - slightly broken cohesiveness that ends up making Resident Evil 6 feel more like a straight-up action game with horror elements than a solid survival-horror game. Uh, no survival, no fear, but at least we have Leon.

Leon S. Kennedy's campaign stays the closest to the “roots” of the original Playstation 1 "Res" titles. Filled with dark lit corridors and hordes of moaning zombies, Leon's tale is the most interesting, even if it reminded me of the zombie-runner 'Left for Dead' more than a few times. Teaming up with Leon is Helena Harper as the both investigate the truth behind the bio-terrorist outbreaks. Taking your time, conserving ammo and watching each footstep is what many consider to be a “real” Resident Evil game, and I agree. Although, Leon might have this nailed, his friends on the roster don't have this kind of patience. To each his own, but for those wanting a dose of the “old school”, you will be pleased with Capcom's direction here.

Paying close attention to 'Resident Evil 5' is BSAA member Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans who action packed campaign feels the most like an "action blockbuster." Here we are dealing with more of a straight-up third-person co-op shooter than anything. Initially I thought this style would put me off, however, after the anxiety-driven slow build of Leons' adventure, the change of pace was welcoming. Helping to blow of steam, Redfield and his mayhem filled city-street driven tale had a few surprises. While it should be noted, the mechanics aren't quite up to today's standards, but I found the gameplay and gunplay solid enough to hold my attention.

Inaugurating the new, we have gifted bloodline of Jake Miller and the wildly Sherry Birkin who must escape the clutches of perusing foes (or in this case, one bad-ass monster.) Jake's campaign is comparable to Chris' endeavor - tilted towards action. However, since we're dealing with a new character, I found the winding chase game intriguing, even if it didn't offer up much diversification. You can tell that Jake's prose has been given some thought, and has a unpredictable nature to it.

Also in the "new" is a fresh skill-based upgrade system. Rewarding your zombie-killing efforts, specific skills/perks will becoming available so you can customize your in-game character. Perks come in the form of simple bonuses like improved defense, to other more specific branded aids. Upgrading your character happens at the end of each chapter, which provides an extra nudge of incentive to keep trucking forward. It's not “groundbreaking” by any means, but it simply helps by providing extra depth. Character customization – always a plus, and at times these slight aids actually come in handy. Thank you, quick reload.

Graphically, Resident Evil 6 looks great. The atmosphere is flushed out by the spectacular lighting engine. While there isn't much room to breath in accordance to going off the beaten path, there is enough background happenings to make the impedance and dangerous nature of this horror game stand out. Environmentally, "Res 6" shines with a vigor we haven't seen in the past. The style is 100% Capcom, which isn't a bad thing for fans of their art-style. Leon's campaign takes the spotlight because it is the most moody, but the others should be discounted because they have their own strengths. Its clear the move to a more dynamically grand scale is attempted and for the most part Capcom succeeds. Additionally, the audio tracks from the voice work to the soundtrack helps purify the evil into one slick production. Not discounting the strengths of the series in the past, but this is the best looking Resident Evil game to date.

For more, Capcom introduces resident evil.net. A new service where you can pull data from your game and compare it with others. This all connects via the popular social media sites including a smartphone app. Although being globally connected isn't going to be a bullet-point biter for everyone, the returning Mercenaries mode is. This horde battling mode is always entertaining taking us back to the primal fear of fighting for your life against waves of undead zombies.

Lastly, a new mode called Agent is available once you complete the game. “Borrowed” from other games, here you play the enemy who has to take down the humans. Basically, play the zombie. Oddly intriguing Agent mode provides some fun, although all the kinks haven't been worked out, it's a nice switch up and gives you one more reason to revisit the game.

The Resident Evil series continues its quest for the perfect formula with another juxtaposed jumbling of horror and action. While the series has been leaning more towards action as of late, the combination of multiple characters playing through an intertwining story arch makes this new lean, surprisingly enjoyable. Filled with many great moments, Resident Evil 6 truly has something for everyone. Resident Evil 6 won't be remembered as the best Resident Evil game, but it definitely has merit and is worth checking out.

  • Multiple campaigns filled with great moments and characters
  • Intertwining narrative and separate perspectives make RE6 feel huge
  • Graphics and sound are a clear showcase
  • Something for every Resident Evil fan
  • New skill point upgrade system ads some depth
  • Even though Leon helps, RE6 still pulls away from its survival-horror roots
  • When analyzed as a pure shooter, the mechanics feel slightly behind-the-times
  • Narrative ambition becomes unfocused
Quote: "The Resident Evil series continues its quest for the perfect formula with another juxtaposed jumbling of horror and action."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 10.09.12 | Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360

Similar Games: Cold Fear (7.0) | Resident Evil: HD Chronicles (8.0) | Shadows of the Damned (8.5) | Left 4 Dead (8.8)


Resident Evil 6




US Release
October '12


X360, PS3

Players 1-2
Co-op 2
Sys Link 2
Online MP 2-4
5.1 Surround
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content