A massive, action-packed game with four interweaving campaigns between eight agents, Resident Evil 6 was an ambitious game trailing on the disappointment of Resident Evil 5. Strap in, my lovelies, this is going to be a long one.
The first campaign brings back Leon S. Kennedy along with Helena Harper, whom I ended up loving as a partner for Leon. Of the four campaigns, I feel that theirs was the strongest. It begins in standard, over-the-top Resi fashion where you have to shoot the zombie president and then make your way out of an infested city; sound familiar?
While not especially scary, I would say that their campaign did have some great moments of tension. One of my favorites was being down in the subway station and seeing the 28 Days Later-style shadows in the foreground. That was a nice touch. Really, the entire campaign for Leon and Helena is this hilarious mix of old-school Resident Evil mixed with Expendables-style action. We begin in the city, move to a church boasting an underground laboratory, then an ancient catacomb and finally, China (I don’t know either).
Helena and Leon’s campaign was my favorite and the first I played. Leon is still cheesy, the no-nonsense Helena balancing him out by being just as badass and they share a lot of touching moments – I’d ship it, get out of here Ada canon. The big bad of their campaign is Derek Simmons, the Colonel Sanders wannabe who apparently hangs out with MGS Patriots in their secret family; Illuminati confirmed. He goes through many ridiculous mutations, but gods if his boss fights and interactions aren’t so over-the-top enjoyable that it’s hard to be mad.
Now, we move to Jake and Sherry; again, I ship it. Jake, a punk mercenary with the joy of being the son of Albert Wesker (I’d really love to know the story there; Wesker getting laid just sounds wrong). Jake is found in a fictional Baltic area by the grown-up Sherry Birkin to hopefully become the cure to the new virus threat. Jake is a dick, Sherry is adorable and they end up making quite the pair while running from zombies that look like someone glued googly-eyes on them and one giant, pissed-off creature called Ustanak.
The environments are switched up in their campaign – from the Baltics, to snowy mountains and then back to China to join all the fun. It is my second favorite campaign and about the closest thing to a believable romance in Resi history. Even the tension with Chris Redfield and Jake is a nice touch coated in cheese. There’s something funny about, “Hey, I killed your Dad, but he was a dick.” “Agreed. Later, I gotta go see Sherry’s butt under a hospital gown.” Jake, Helena, Sherry and Leon all hold special places in my black heart.
Now, on to Chris and Piers’ (why no Sheva or Jill?) campaign. Chris is still a mopey-butt, and also a drunk now, apparently. Piers Nivans, who’s name cracked me up, is his proverbial Robin – a hot-headed, faithful side-kick trying constantly to get Chris off his ass to actually do shit. This interaction, setup, and just everything about their campaign felt so bland. The monsters weren’t even that interesting when compared to the others, and Chris largely spent his time watching his men die due to his own poor leadership and chasing after Ada in a murderous rampage.
If there is anything good about their campaign, it’s toward the end as their final boss is pretty intimidating. A tough challenge, it reminded me of the Human Reaper from Mass Effect 2. Plus, through a series of unfortunate events, Piers gets goddamned LIGHTING ARM. That is so stupid that it’s awesome. Even that can’t make up for the rest of the lackluster experience, though. I hope the next time we see Chris he’s a lot more interesting.
And last, and least in my mind, is Ada’s campaign. While it does explain a good deal about the story, and it is OK in terms of play-through and atmosphere, Ada herself just killed the experience for me. They later added in a useless second character to tag along with her that lacks the ability to do anything besides shoot and watch Ada’s leather-clad arse squirm through tunnels; bastard doesn’t even have a name, but sure, thanks Capcom. Ada gets more people killed than Chris ever could and never seems sorry about it. The only emotional response she gives is when fighting her clone, Carla, who was the only good part of her campaign for me. Carla’s final form is terrifying. Odd that my least favorite campaign had the scariest boss, and my favorite had the least frightening.
I believe Resident Evil 6 accepted its’ own silliness from the get-go and thus, everything felt fun. While this game got very mixed reception, I actually think it’s a ton of fun to play with others or just in general. The partner AI is still a bit mixed, but it’s a vast improvement. Its size alone is really impressive.
As mentioned, all of the campaigns interweave at some point with each set meeting up with the others to bring the whole story together. But what exactly is the story? A cacophonous Ada Wong fanfiction. Now, please don’t crucify me, but I have never liked Ada as a character. Her sassy, vague one-liners and lack of emotional response just rubs me the wrong way. I know she’s meant to be a detached, quadruple agent, but some sort of reaction to ANYTHING beyond a smirk and a one-liner would be nice. Capcom seems to have a thing against romance as well, so poor Leon is on a consistent cock-block track. Rant aside, Ada has a clone, the clone is a douche that was created by another lust-obsessed douche dressed like Colonel Sanders and everything is just shit due to Ada being Ada. NEAT.The death toll of people brought on by one jerk having an Ada-boner rustled my jimmies, and I don’t mean the sprinkles on my ice cream.
The bright side is that, in Ada’s campaign a lot of the plot holes are filled in and players do get arguably one of the scariest boss fights in the whole game. In a nutshell, the story is as silly as the game itself. I don’t go to Godzilla to see rich characters, I didn’t watch Expendables for a deep plot and I certainly didn’t go to Jurassic World expecting a moral – I went to see those respective movies to see monsters, action heroes and dinosaurs wrecking shit, and that is what I go to Resident Evil 6 for – shooting zombies and watching big, doofy monsters and villains wreck shit. Ada obsession aside, I thought the story worked in a comical sense, so it was good enough for me. There’s upgrades, Mercenaries and even a mode where you can drop into peoples’ games as a monster. Nice touches all around.
What are my final conclusions? Resident Evil 6 isn’t a horror game, it isn’t scary, but it is absurd fun. At the end of the day, I remember it much more than I do Resi 5 and came away satisfied. Though many fans were disappointed, I personally had fun and that was enough for me.