Resident Evil is probably the most recognisable survival horror series of all time. Capcom wowed everyone back in 1996 when they first introduced the title to the world. Since then the company has released around 20 titles and there is a mass following for the Resident Evil brand and as a result films, figures and other merchandise has been produced to cater to the fans needs. In 2012 already Resident Evil has already had 2 new titles released, a new feature film in the cinema and another new film animated and released straight onto DVD so looking back it was a massive surprise when Capcom announced earlier this year that Resident Evil 6 would be out late November, it was even more a surprise when they bought the release date forward by nearly 2 months which is pretty much unheard of in this day in age. So expectations were high for fans who were somewhat disappointed with Resident Evil 5 and Operation Raccoon City didn’t please many either.
What Capcom have done with the Resident Evil series is keep together a very strong group of appealing characters right from the start. In Resident Evil 6 you get to play along as some very familiar faces, you don’t get any bigger than having Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield both playable in the same Resident Evil game!
The game features 3 initial campaigns and every campaign has a partner meaning that you can complete the game with a friend. Leon Kennedy and partner Helena Harper are both US government agents, Leon is a highly through of agent and reports directly to the president, He is also one of the few survivors of the Raccoon City incident back in 1998. The two are attending a do for the president in which he plans to reveal the truth behind the Raccoon City incident in hope that it will curb the current resurgence in bio-terrorism activity. But things don’t go to plan and the venue becomes host to another bio-terrorism attack which mutates the president into a zombies forcing Leon to kill him. The two are then bound together in the American community of Tall Oaks and have to fight for survival.
Then you have Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans’ campaign. These two work for the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance or BSAA for short. Chris is no stranger to the various viruses that have infected the planet over the years and he was one of the first people to come into contact with the infected and live to tell the tale (On multiple occasions). Chris’s life has gone a bit derailed and after Piers convinces his sorry butt to get back into duty, he begins to recover from his alcohol induced memory loss and retain his leadership ability. This campaign is based in China where Chris, Piers and his new squad are sent in to deal with a threat of a bio terrorism attack. But Chris ends up going on a vendetta to kill Ada Wong because she infected his whole team with the C-virus, killing them all except himself and Piers, he eventually comes face to face with Ada only for Leon to step in as the main men in the games series come face to face for the first time.
The final campaign features new boy Jake Muller and his partner, the familiar Sherry Birkin. Sherry was only a child when the Raccoon City incident occurred but she somehow managed to survive. Jake is the son of late bio-terrorist Albert Wesker, the main villain from the past titles. Jake is a professional mercenary of the South Slavic Edonian Liberation Army, he escaped from the authorities during a bio-terrorism attack and linked up with Division of Security Operations agent Sherry Birkin. The pair bump into Chris Redfield and his team as they are fighting some Bio-Organic weapons and J’avo. Jack and Sherry witness Ada Wong attacking the squad with the c-virus. Jack and Sherry’s extraction from Edonia by the BSAA is sabotaged by BOWs at the two crash into mountains and are eventually captured.
Upon completing the 3 campaigns you unlock a secret one. Which I won’t go into and I’ll let you find out for yourselves. But each campaign has its own unique appearance and offers a different kind of challenge. Leon’s campaign is very dark and has that tradition zombie apocalypse feel to it. Whereas Chris’s campaign is more assault based and requires a lot more full blown shooting than the others. Ammo is scarce across all campaigns so it is important to not waste what you have otherwise you could find yourself in real trouble. The game has a simple point and shoot system but you can also use your knife to melee an enemy. If a zombie grabs you then you have to quickly move the analog stick to shake free which really adds to the suspense of the game. You never know what’s hiding in the dark and the game makes you weary of this with the use of sounds and shadows.
Although the game has received very mixed reviews so far, I personally think it’s a great success. You have some of the most recognisable characters from the past titles in it, Capcom have bought back the survival element and that fear of the dark when playing puts you on red alert all the time. Being able to complete the game with a friend is pretty cool as well as you will really have to work as a partnership to survive the outbreak in each scenario. Lastly, 4 campaigns for £40? Which 3 of them can be completed with 2 characters? Not a bad deal really and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat for hours.
Resident Evil 6 is available now for Play Station 3, Xbox 360 but no release date for the PC has been confirmed yet.
Review in association with Duracell Gaming Accessories, which are available from Amazon, Play.com and Zavvi.com Review by Thomas Thompsett, White Room Games.