Capcom’s latest crimson covered soirée into the realm of zombie flesh eaters and tentacled bio-terrors attempts to cater to the series’ habitual gorehounds yearning for a return to its survival horror roots, as well as fans of fist-pumping blockbuster action, with not one, but /four/ separate campaign modes.
Flip-flopping between the puzzle-solving, exploration and jump scares of the ’96 mansion crawler and the more gun-crazy, quick time event-filled exploits of later entries, Resident Evil 6’s shamelessly hokey narrative casts you as series’ stalwart, Leon Kennedy, Resident Evil 5’s Chris Redfield and newbie Jake Muller – the offspring of longtime super villain, Albert Wesker – as you battle your way through North America, Eastern Europe and China in the midst of a global outbreak of the C-Virus. The fourth and final campaign – a puzzle-centric tale anchored by Resident Evil 2’s Ada Wong – is playable only when you’ve polished off the others.
Mirroring the design principles laid down by Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 6 boasts eye-watering set pieces and wealth of new creatures that require a little contemplation before disposing of for fear of triggering a couch-cowering mutation.
But with its four-headed structure and its 40-hour playthrough, it feels at times like a bloated monster – a game fails to work out really what it wants to be. That said, it’s still got a lot of bang for your buck during the silly season, especially when you consider in co-op, the Demons/Dark Souls-inspired Agent Hunt, the returns of Mercenaries and more replay value than you can shake a severed limb at, but be warned – though it’s by no means as bad as the worst in the franchise, it’s not quite the masterpiece it so wants to be.
Reviewed by Sebastian Williamson