‘Resident Evil 6’ Packs a Punch

Courtesy of Capcom

“Resident Evil” has expanded its scope and ambition with every game in the main series. It’s only natural, then, that “Resident Evil 6” is the most action-packed out of the series yet and escalates the adventure to a global scale. Whether you play it alone or with a friend in co-op, “Resident Evil 6” is a highly entertaining experience.

After the short tutorial, “Resident Evil 6” presents players with three different campaigns to choose from, each of which can be played cooperatively. Each campaign has its own distinct flavor. While Leon’s campaign focuses on traditional zombies and features a relatively slower pace, Chris’ story leans heavily on intense fire-fights with mutating monsters. Jake’s campaign features a recurring foe who chases him and his partner throughout, similar to Nemesis from “Resident Evil 3.” Finally, an unlockable fourth scenario emphasizes puzzle solving and is single player only.

It’s clear, from the first bullets fired, that “Resident Evil” has really left behind its survival horror roots. The tank controls from yesteryear are gone, as it’s now possible to both move and shoot at the same time as in every other modern action game.

Furthermore, “Resident Evil 6” introduces new evasive moves such as leaping to the ground and rolling around. The new maneuvers take a while to get used to, but the increased freedom allows for new strategies and is really fun once mastered.

The gunplay feels great, so it feels weird at first that ammo is so scarce. The lack of ammo isn’t an issue however, because it actually encourages creativity. Whether I was charging in to deliver a powerful melee combo or hanging back and luring zombies into remote mines, I always felt empowered against overwhelming odds.

The absurd and completely over the top action of “Resident Evil 6” occasionally pushes away the importance of the story, but the game still delivers in presenting great locations to explore. The game is linear, but it makes the most of each of its multiple settings through impressive lighting effects and sheer graphical prowess. Creeping through dimly lit underground tunnels and navigating cities on fire each have their own appeal that is brilliantly portrayed. Even without necessarily being scary, “Resident Evil 6” often creates a strong sense of tension from its environments alone.

Once you are finished with the four campaigns (which could take up to 30 hours easily), there are a few other modes available, but only one is worth your time. The Mercenaries mode returns for “Resident Evil 6,” and it’s awesome, thanks to the new control advancements.

Basically, you are given a set amount of time to survive on a small map and the waves of enemies become increasingly tougher throughout. Mercenaries truly puts the game’s combat and enemy types to the test, and it holds up really well.

The other two modes are conceptually interesting, but just don’t work well in practice. There are sections in the campaign where two of the pairs of protagonists cross paths. Normally, the other team you meet is controlled by AI, but if you are playing online, another co-op team of real players fills these roles. You can’t talk to one another, and if you die, you can’t screw up their game, so it really isn’t very interesting.

Similarly disappointing is the Agent Hunt mode, which lets you take control of the monsters and try to stop players playing their campaigns. Unfortunately, you are significantly underpowered as an enemy monster and they are wonky to control, so Agent Hunt isn’t very fun.

Despite those two modes being forgettable, it is important to note how awesome normal, two-player co-op is for this game. Both the three main campaigns and Mercenaries can be played in either online or split-screen, which adds significant value to the experience. “Resident Evil 6” is fun by itself, but it’s even better with a friend.

With “Resident Evil 6,” the series has become evenly split between its survival horror origins and its evolution into an action game. “Resident Evil 6” completes the transition away from the series’ roots delivering an insane action romp that is awesome to play through.

Final Rating: 4.5/5