What’s With All the Dismal Resident Evil 6 Reviews?

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Resident Evil 6 is in a pickle, caught in a narrow, lightless corridor of its own design and swarmed by critics using words like hacked off limbs to bludgeon it into Metacritic mediocrity.

I’m probably exaggerating a little. It’s still averaging in the seventies on PS3, or as Metacritic puts it, “generally favorable reviews” (it’s in the sixties on the Xbox 360). Magazines with “official” and “informer” in their names seem to like it well enough.

Not so, with others like GameSpot:

With Resident Evil 6, a once-mighty series makes another stumble. From a production standpoint, this atmospheric third-person shooter (this is no survival horror game, certainly) hits a number of high notes, weaving multiple stories into a single narrative that you untangle from different perspectives. It’s unfortunate that actually interacting with Resident Evil 6 is an excruciating chore. This is a wannabe action film that resents your interference, and punishes you by forcing one horrible quick-time event after another upon you.

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Or this from Joystiq:

The problem isn’t that Resident Evil is changing direction over time. No, it wants to go in all directions at once. It wants the creeping pace and the hectic shootouts, and the blockbuster set pieces, the vehicle chases, the resource management, the hand-to-hand combat, the online co-op, the drama, and the extravagant boss fights. You might not fault Resident Evil 6 for its attempt to be an action game for all, but there’s no choice but to speak up when the overall result feels unpolished and scatterbrained. It’s chaos.

Or my favorite of the bunch (because as usual, it’s the most interesting) at Quarter to Three:

“This is just like Raccoon City all over again,” someone says in Resident Evil 6. I’m not sure who it was. Chris? Leon? Doug? Kevin? But when someone invoked Raccoon City, the place where the series was bogged down for so long before breaking out into Spain, Africa, and decent gameplay, I couldn’t have agreed more. Yes, this is just like Raccoon City all over again: stilted, awkward, ridiculous, embarrassing, tedious. Except for the parts where it’s like Call of Duty, which are equally stilted, awkward, ridiculous, embarrassing, and tedious, but with more NPC soldiers milling about. Resident Evil 6 is thoroughly oblivious to so many of the things that make a good game these days.

I haven’t finished the game — I’m traveling with a two-month-old, and XCOM just showed up — but I’m pretty meh about the whole affair so far.

I was never really into the early Resident Evil games — the controls were a mess. But Resident Evil 4 was a fascinating, freak-filled vehicle for head-popping, twitchy crowd-control free-for-alls. Then Resident Evil 5 let in the sun, iterated the game’s action vocabulary and gave your companion a slightly more full head of brains.

Resident Evil 6, by comparison, feels like director Eiichiro Sasaki’s idea of a Michael Bay movie, all the eeriness and occasional goofery shorn away, replaced by characters that ask questions like “You’re not a fan of sewers?” and take the time to clothesline zombies. After shooting, spin-kicking and pipe-smacking your way through this or that shambling scrum, you’ll walk into an eldritch-lit room, prompting your companion to deadpan “Something feels wrong here.” Is that meant to be ironic? I can’t tell, because RE6 is at once earnest and stultifying.

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Or take the game’s intro sequence, which you play before reaching the selectable campaign menu. I imagine the design consult went something like this:

“We want zombies, guns, cars, explosions, soldiers and a helicopter in a vaguely city-like city.”

“Fine, excellent.”

“We want Leon hanging off the helicopter skids with a zombie dangling from his leg.”

“Fantastic!”

“We want him to shake off the zombie, climb into the helicopter, man the controls and barely save it from spinning to the ground while at the same time shooting a zombie that’s attacking Helena. We want the helicopter to sideswipe a train, crash first into, then through an entire building, pop out the other side and plunge into a tower.”

“Go with this, go with this…”

“We want Leon and Helena to fall from the wreckage, turn to see it suspended above them, then dash out of the way just as it lets go, plummeting through a glass floor to squash a swarm of zombies below.”

“Brilliant! Maverick! Incroyable!”

It’s exhausting just typing that, but it’s the sort of ridiculous cinema RE6 uses to punctuate its trademark corridor-shuffle, as you creep down hallways blocked by thoroughly impassable objects — like a couch. Where you’re forced through a door into a side room with zombies that only spring to life after you’ve crossed an invisible tripwire. Where you’ll emerge moments later in the same hallway — on the other side of the couch.

Where’s Tom Cruise when you need him to show you how couches work?

In the meantime, you have RE6 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi with this interesting response on the PlayStation blog to the question “Is it frustrating trying to keep [the Resident Evil fan base] happy?”:

The way I always think of it is that if Resident Evil represents a child, then the fans and us as creators are the two parents. The resulting games are like the children that are born between both of us. And just like real parents, you’re not always going to agree on what is best for raising that child.

Now, we do always have our ear to the ground and listen to what the fans are saying and we try to take that into account when we’re making the game. But it’s our job to create a new gaming experience and to offer them something that’s fresh and challenging. We want to make sure that what we do pleases them but the initial reaction might not always be positive. We do listen to the fans but we can’t be beholden to them at every turn or I don’t think we’ll ever make progress in terms of the series’ development.

So in Kobayashi’s mind, RE6 represents “progress.” What say you, RE6 players?

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27 comments
ImoenOfTelengard
ImoenOfTelengard

Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube is the DEFINITIVE Resident Evil. It's hard to accept the new Resident Evils after playing such an amazing game so many years back.

lil-J
lil-J

I thought it was great. It was something new, something fresh. And we got to see more of why things happened the way they happened, and not just by hearing, by experiencing. And I believe that to see it through your eyes, and to have to fight as hard as they did, it let us actually appreciate, and actually comprehend it as well as it could be. Plus, by not having to play just one story, you can enjoy the game longer. It's a shame that everyone loves the old so much that they don't want it to ever be any different. I think that a true fan loves the franchise as it develops. It is essential to the over all growth, having a change in the series. What you might as well be asking for is a whole entire game watching exactly what you watched the last, and I equate that to seeing three movies that have literally, and I mean literally, the same exact thing going on in them. No. Like all three are just the first movie, but they say it's different, and put different titles on it. I think it was a really good game. Leon and Helena were a very good opening to get you up to terms with RE6, and it had more to offer than simply a zombie outbreak. It had stories. It had depth. Chris and piers were an amazing story, and to finish it off with Jake and Sherry was, I think, the appropriate ending. Each shows character development, and each shows the development of friendship. You get to develop with the character. Not saying you don't in the other one. But it is not nearly that the game is a let down, not at all that it is bad, it is simply that you can't stop hanging on to what caused you to love it. That's like falling in love with a person because they are like you, and then once you find out that they like a cartoon you don't like, you love them less. All because there's more to it then what caused you to love it. And something you are too heavy about is that not everything will be exactly the same. With the things I'm seeing all around the internet, I can't stress this enough. What's wrong with something new, here and there? I thought that the development was for the better, and I most definitely agree with Hiroyuki Kobayashi . Why does everyone dislike RE6 because it isn't completely and entirely like the older versions. You know something. It's actually called improvement. That's why in a franchise, it has the old games and the new games. Old games are good, but could be better. The new games are better, and a set for a new audience. If you really can't get over the differences, why be upset and ruin it for any others who might beokay with some change. Maybe, if you can't understand that it'll only get worse if nothing is different, because where's the real challenge in that, then the franchise really just isn't for you anymore. But I can accept a change for the better, even if I didn't think it was all that, even if I didn't think it was for the better, enough to either keep playing or bite my tongue, because I just can't see what about it was that bad.

beezerbuilt
beezerbuilt

sucks on pc  really bad, crashes etc, errors galore

JameelAboulhosn
JameelAboulhosn

What's with them is that the game was 85% horrible, be it the gameplay, the story, the new BOWs, the multiple different directions at once, the on-disc DLC, the stupid multiplayer modes, or the absolute lying and unprofessionalism of Capcom once again.

AliRico
AliRico

they need to make even more solo horror campaigns cienamatic angales with 3rd person or add to what they have by not forgettingg both styles. once in a while or classic re solo modes,for re 6 dlcs maybe  . i love re as a series but ilove re 4 ans so on  its all fun 2 me. bring jake back for the next 1 i want to kno more about the mysterous warrior. make him the main vocus of the next 1 bring a phycotic nature to him like wesker maybe hes his incarnatuion from the future but really we need more horror and focus on the music and the atmosoher. cop wis fun but we as are fans need that just as a bonus. 

Mathew Wilson
Mathew Wilson

I think this game is pretty good. I have accepted long ago - Re4 - that it will never be the same, it will never be SURVIVAL HORROR again.

Like the director said, he is trying to create something fresh, something that pleases the fans - unfortunately for Resident Evil, Call of Duty/Battlefield is what pleases folks and that's the direction RE has headed.

Just enjoy the game guys - really, it's not that bad.

Paul Margolin
Paul Margolin

I honestly dont know why this game is being received poorly on any level. I've finished about half of both Jake and Chris's campaigns and I've enjoyed every minute so far. Suffice it to say I'm saving Leons campaign for last since that looks like the most enjoyable/scary. It's definitely a challenging game and you'll be dying and continuing a lot in some parts which can seem frustrating. But overall I haven't had any problem coming back for more and as far as gameplay, graphics, soundtrack, voice acting etc. this game hits all the marks more than any other in the series. (besides 2 and 4) IMO opinion it's another step forward for RE, even if it is kind of a small one. 

Chiron Basileus
Chiron Basileus

Thank you Christopher Amenita! I could not agree more. 4 and 5 fell a bit short on story for me. This one feels much more like the original 2 in that it actually has me asking questions. I am playing to get the answers, at least the first time through. I GOTTA KNOW!!

Chiron Basileus
Chiron Basileus

I love it. I'm having an absurd amount of fun. Been playing the franchise since 1996 and am more in love with this game than any other. I've played Leon (and I gotta disagree with all the positive feedback on his.... first two chapters were kinda dull) and now I'm having a blast with over enraged Chris. He's never been more interesting. I look forward to Jake and Ada. I don't see why it's getting super low scores. I'd give it about an 8 so far. It is flawed, but I am really enjoying it. 

Derceto
Derceto

I think the first inevitable DLC Capcom should release for this turd is a

Hiroyuki Kobayashi skin to map on to grunt zombies.  Then, we can all

show him first hand, what we think of his "progress"..... over and over

again.

Derceto
Derceto

I think Capcom's first inevitable DLC for this game shoudl be a Hiroyuki Kobayashi skin to map on to the grunt zombies.  Then, we can show him first hand what we think of his progress...... many times over.

Derceto
Derceto

I think Capcom's first DLC should be a Hiroyuki Kobayashi skin to map on the grunt zombies.   Then we can let him know first hand, just what we think of his progress.

Christopher Fisher
Christopher Fisher

You can't simply rip away many of the series' original developers and expect the game to be up to par with what it once was; people matter. Diablo 3 wasn't the same without Blizzard North, and Resident Evil isn't the same without Mikami and his team. 

Javon Hernandez
Javon Hernandez

The Resident Evil I know and love started with 4 in my eyes-- 5 was good, but it lost that sense of insecurity you felt in 4 which is a big no-no. In 6, you don't feel safe even with a partner at your side and that's only one of the many improvements. Resident Evil 6 is still a survival horror but it's an action game and shooter now as well. The most IMPORTANT thing however is that it's still a freak show. RE has always been a freak show and it STILL is. The monsters are nasty, the bosses are disturbing-- but now they added a pinch of "Epic" to the series. 

I finished Leon's campaign the other day and was pleasantly SHOCKED that I only finished a 4th of the game. I honestly cannot believe that I am playing the same game that those reviwers slammed so hard. Scores like "4.5" and "3" are beyond unfair for a game with NO bugs, NO glitches, amazing visuals, solid gameplay, fun online co-op, and some really good story telling and voice acting. Not to mention the return of some of the series' most beloved characters.

For me? This is the best Resident Evil in the series-- but like I said earlier, the series began at the fourth one for me. 

If you adored Resident Evil 4 like I did, then Resident Evil 6 will rock your world. 

Christopher Amenita
Christopher Amenita

So far I like it because I've been following the series since the first RE game, and I'm sort of into the cinematic aspects.. although the Michael Bay comparison is funny and true, RE has always had that corny, pun-filled atmosphere.  It is sort of upsetting that all you have to do to combat a zombie is continuously press the trigger button and watch your stamina meter, but I think we can all agree that the controls / camera angles are at least much better than some of the older games.

I honestly bought it for one reason regardless of replay value or gameplay, and that is to continue the story and see how the creators have unraveled it to this point... so for you fans that are more wrapped up in the story this is great, as opposed to someone who is a serious gamer seeking more complex gameplay and gaming skill.

Craig Reynolds
Craig Reynolds

I had no idea 'progress' and 'failure' were synonymous...

Drew Quarles
Drew Quarles

That intro sequence you described is recycled in its entirety during one of the later chapters in the Leon scenario.  Also, that same campaign tries to play the fake ending card...in the fourth chapter of a five chapter scenario.  I keep getting the impression that RE6 thinks I'm pretty thick, but then again, they know I paid real money for this game.

soy
soy

@lil-J u said "a true fan loves the franchise as it develops"... well, i'm a true fan of sonic. i guess that should explain everything i want to say. my love for him haven't die -just yet. but yeah, you know... i'm holding out really thin for every new sonic game releases.

more, why most people are turned off by the new RE, are because most of them are "survival horror gamers" in the first place; the one that play Fatal Frame and Silent Hill, not COD and Battlefield. that's why. it's like proposing to a rocker girl because she rocks, just to find her turning slowly into a good ol' country gal. that would suck, wouldn't it...?

so yeah, it's not the fans nor the game's fault. sometimes our children grow up to be something we never even thought of -they liked justin bieber and one direction, i'll be damned. sometimes they become a doctor or a kickass businessman when all we want is for them to finish school.

as simple as that: the horror gamers shouldn't overreacted like that, but the action gamers should understand where this series came from

angel cuso
angel cuso

Javon your one of the few optimistic people in this world. i love RE6. unfortunately gamers today are spoiled brats and cant appeciate games anymore. they bash RE6 but IGN GIVES UNCHARTED 3 A 10/10!!!!!! FOR A 7 HOUR CAMPAIGN!! WHAT!! UNREAL. this is a society of monkey see monkey do. you cant judge and love something at the same time. stop being critics. be appreciable and optimistic and everything will fall into place.

Dony001
Dony001

 you dont know resident evil, you do not understand its name

Drew Quarles
Drew Quarles

You were shocked that you had only completed 1/4 of the game?  Is this because one of the three remaining scenarios you could choose from playing hadn't been unlocked yet?  Because, really, the difference between 33% and 25% isn't actually all that staggering.

Drew Quarles
Drew Quarles

I'm glad at least one of the other commentators seems to understand that the titular question of this article is answered quite thoroughly within.

Javon Hernandez
Javon Hernandez

What I meant is that I felt as if I completed the game rather than just one of the 4 campaigns. Leon's campaign was very wholesome.

Commentonitall
Commentonitall

If you think the gameplay mechanics are good then you think enemies hidden by your character taking up too much screen is a good thing, you think QTE's which are over used are a good thing, and you think the abysmal Chris campaign which apes COD is a good thing and the horrible driving sections from Jake's are a good thing.  Basically you think generic and poorly implemented = good mechanics.  You need to start playing real games.

Brandon Bevilacqua
Brandon Bevilacqua

you would not be saying this if you had just played jakes campaign which i did first and was mediocre at best and has really made me feel bad towards this game so far