11 January, 2013

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6 is a game which has collected a lot of shit leading up to and after its release. I can see why people don't like it and I can see why people are disappointed in it, but on the other hand it baffles me how a fan of Resident Evil can not like this game. I hear their reasoning, but it just sounds like excuses. Well, baffled Terr aside, I loved the hell out of this game. I have four platinums on the PS3 and Resident Evil 6 is one of them so bear in mind that this review is from a PS3 point of view.. Let's get stuck in then, shall we. 

The graphics are wonderful and crisp as hell. Character models are done very well and their movements are believable and accurate. Scenery is beautiful as well, especially the background and distances, and heat shimmers were quite awesome to look at. Another thing I really enjoyed was the use of specular lighting on almost everything. It wasn't done over the top either... you could see how and where it came from. Additional specular lighting when it was raining was a really nice effect as well. Clothes were rendered really well, even wet clothes, but one thing that was a little weird was hair. I don't think they'll get hair right for a long time, but it was much better in RE6 that I've seen it in many other modern releases. Splashes, rain, thunder, sunlight, and explosions. Fantastic and as realistic as I've seen in many cases. The only real fault was with the hair and at very rare occasions the lip sync was a little weird, but it's something that I have never seen done 100% accurately. The weapons looks nice too. Now it's one thing for a weapon to look nice when it's not live, but it's another thing for a weapons graphics to keep their believability when they are firing or being used as a melee weapon. It's not something I pay much mind to, really, but I noticed it a lot in RE6, and it held up well.
Now, the interface is something that I struggled with constantly. Not to an atrocious degree, but I never felt quite right with it. The only one I did actually enjoy was Jake's pre-cube interface. It was concise and compact, and I felt that it was perfect. Everyone else’s was too big and bulky and looked weird or out of place. Still, they weren't a downfall, just a struggle. Almost everyone has a different variation on the interface and so switching from person to person sort of upsets your flow a bit... or it did for me. You can also switch it left or right preference and neither really felt good for me. I ended up keeping it to the left primarily, but still it didn't keep too right with me. The voice acting was fan-fucking-tastic. Although I didn't like all the characters, I think the voice acting for all of them was pretty amazing. Everyone delivered beautifully and did their character's a massive boon. My favourite characters ended up being Leon (of course), Jake, and Piers. No surprise that I hated Sherry and Helena, and Chris was never a star (see what I did there) in my books. Ada was all right... I don't trust myself to give an unbiased view on her character since she's Leon's girlfriend and I want Leon all to myself. She delivered her lines well though. Along with the voice acting, the other audio was great too. I don't really hold the soundtracks of Resident Evil games at a very higher tier and that's no real fault of theirs. The music isn't bad, but it's not really something I've focused on too much. With the exception of Resident Evil 4, I haven't felt compelled to listen to the soundtracks more than a few times and they haven't really gripped me. It's OK music, but I always turn it off in favour of my own music... excepting Resident Evil 4 as I said, which had a phenomenal soundtrack. The other audio was good though... interface sounds, ambient sound, weather sounds... kicking someone in the chest sounds. All good and not a bit of distortion anywhere.

On to where most people seemed to have all the shit to throw... game-play. I loved the game-play. Everyone says there were too many quick time events and too much button mashing in the game and that Resident Evil had flown from it's roots into some freaky FPS (if I can see my character, guys, it's not FPS) gore feast. I'm going to start by saying that I've had a serious loathing for quick time events since Fahrenheit decided it would be awesome to have me making out with my girlfriend as a quick time event. They are just shit now, so any game with even one quick time event makes me annoyed. That being said, I didn't think Resident Evil 6 had more quick time events than an average game which would have them. Sure looking for my keys as a quick time event was a bit wtf, but that was the only really stupid one I saw. It was a fine amount and I thought they were pretty well placed for the most part. As for the rest, action wise, it was brilliant. I loved combat and I loved being able to move around while aiming (thank you!) and firing. Melee combat was greatly improved and weapons were easy to use. I even liked the crossbow a lot and the quick combat fire for it is fucking awesome... but not as powerful as I would have hoped. Points for skills, combos, and weapons were all tallied pretty accurately, I thought, which made the grind to unlock different abilities to slot and skill sets to set up, not that terrible. A little tedious at times, but not the worst ever. Mercenaries mode was finally something I enjoyed as well. I played a little of it in Resident Evil 4 (just enough to unlock everything, nothing more) and in Resident Evil 5 (didn't even unlock everything, ugh), but resident Evil 6 is where it shone like a glittering butterfly brooch in the sparkling sun of a mid summers day. I think that people are just disappointed at the direction Resident Evil has come and everyone wants it to be like Resident Evil 1, 2, or 3 without even really remembering that control and combat in those games were balls. They were good games, great games even, but it was hard to do fuck all in them. This is the progression of the series and how games are made/played now and it has to be realised that things can't stay the same forever. This is much better than how games used to be and I enjoyed the game-play of Resident Evil 6.

Now, after the debacle that the story of Resident Evil 5 was, and some people liked it, that's fine, but I was sorely saddened when Wesker died at the end. I won't get in to the tragic writing that Resident Evil 5 did, because this is for Resident Evil 6. Needless to say, though, I was hesitant about what they were going to do. Surprise, surprise.... it was fabulous. I was genuinely amazed about the story and the writing. The dialogue was so well done and the time-lines were integrated at such a fantastic pace. I didn't fully get the entire story until I played through each campaign as each character... you really need to in order to find all the pieces of the puzzle and appreciate the entirety of the story for what it is. There were even a few surprising moments and oddly touching parts as well... and anyone who knows me knows I don't let the feels get to me very often at all. Piers was the most surprising of them all. I hated him almost right away, but as I played as him through his story I started to really identify with him. Piers is a true bro. He is a seriously well written character and his fate got me well verklempt there at the end. Aw man, here it comes again. 

Well now that I'm back, there were a few more things I'll mention. Coming back to Mercenaries. I got seriously addicted to this for quite a while there and it's great fun to play, but I found that I enjoyed it a lot more with someone else. This is something that doesn't happen to me often, as I like to play solo, so when it does I take special note of when and where. I think it's the combo thing... it works a lot better, in Resident Evil 6, than it has in it's other iterations. I guess there are bigger maps now with more than two people allowed on it, but I don't know. I have a lot of other games to play and don't have the time to get addicted to the awesome that is Resident Evil 6 again. Bouncing combo points off each other is great and certain perks you can slot really shine when you have someone else there to benefit from them. I have got such high scores with a partner in Resident Evil 6's mercs mode than I have in any other and it was great every time... never a chore. I would really recommend this game to people who like action games and also role-play games. The story is amazing and the combat is well integrated. The characters are believable and the game, itself, is beautiful to behold. Movements are fluid and pacing is spot on. If you're a Resident Evil fan, this game is still great, as well. It stays with the Biohazard themes and brings in mentions from a few of the other games. There are some unsettling moments, some shock moments, some ew moments, and a smattering of humour and smart arse quips that I actually laughed at. I bought it fairly soon after it's release so I paid almost full price for it, which doesn't happen often, and I don't regret it at all. Well worth the cost! Grab it up guys. It's a keeper.

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