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When we last left Resident Evil, fans were disproportionately praising it for a 3DS game that was basically Dead Space without the things that made Dead Space unique. Resident Evil 6 was almost universally panned, and Kotaku even acted like it was doing us a favor by doing everything it could to insult Capcom's developers. Will Paradigm the Fallen be able to find something good in RE6? Will Game Informer ever admit to the fact most of the "dorks" they make fun of in these sorts of games are the people who make jokes just like they do? Will Robin the Boy Wonder escape Quiz Master? Find out now, in Paradigm the Fallen's Resident Evil 6 In-Progress Review!
This in-progress review is for the PS3 version of the game.
Today I come to you with two of the four campaigns completed, and my goodness... Resident Evil fans are not going to be happy with me. Why? Because dangit, Resident Evil 6 is good based on what I've played so far. And the supposedly "best" campaign (Leon's) actually so far seems to be the worst of what I've played; but I'm getting ahead of myself.
I started Resident Evil 6 on Jake's campaign, mainly because it was the most divisive. It had some of the most out there mechanics and moments, apparently, and Jake wasn't received that well. From what I've seen... there's almost nothing wrong with it. The pacing is lost in the middle section but towards the end the game starts to find it again. If anything, it really does feel like if you'd played the other two starter campaigns, the jumps ahead in time would make some sense, but on their own it's a bit confusing. Still, Sherry and Jake have so far the best chemistry of any pairing in this game. Leon and Helena barely seem to do anything but complain at each other but somehow become friends (misery breeds company?), and Piers seems to just be a Chris Redfield fanboy (hopefully I'm proven wrong in that respect by the end of that campaign).
The campaign makes for one of my new favorite female action protagonists. Not only does Sherry have combat abilities that match Jake's, but she's just as often saving his arse as he saves her's. They are equals, an unlike Helena, Sherry actually keeps it together even when put through hell time and time again. They work together organically and compliment each other in both combat and personality. Jake's melee attacks work great when combined with Sherry's stun baton. Their preference for handguns keeps them mobile and countering enemies coming at one another. I could see an entire game just centered around the two of them going extremely well if executed properly and with a few more ideas tossed around. And please, not another Ustanak. Give us something more substantial an enemy than a guy who just won't die, who looks like a hybrid of three slasher flick villains.
Speaking of which, I really truly wish we'd seen more stealth gameplay than what we were offered. That brief bit with the Ustanak in the caves was excellent and game a slight Arkham Asylum feel but turned on its head where you're trying to evade the predator instead of being the predator himself. The on-rails vehicle sections however weren't nearly as enjoyable, but they got the job done and gave the game some pause between shoot outs. And my gosh, there are a lot of shoot outs and combat sequences in every campaign.
You see, before I started Jake's campaign, tried co-op on a whim, since I had played the RE6 demo a bunch of times. I figured I could handle playing it with a person online. Except that person left and I was in the Graveyard section of Leon's campaign. I must say, if you think this game isn't hard enough, that it's too "action game" styled, go play that section without any gear or abilities than what you start with by default in Leon's campaign. I got my arse handed to me, repeatedly, by the brutally balanced combat system. RE6's combat is intense, and very much built around core ideas that can either save you or get you killed. Dodging enemy fire, shooting from prone, a massive arsenal of weapons, and limited ammo space in the inventory system all are built on ideas present in other third person games, especially Resident Evil 4.
I can't say this enough guys -- you told them you loved RE4. So they're gonna keep trying to make games like RE4, because they ran out of ideas for RE2-like games a while ago. Stop being surprised by this! Speaking of RE4 though, we should move on to Leon's campaign...
Sherry? Leon? Helena? Jake? Bueller?
I can't speak as highly for Leon's campaign, mainly because it has more logic and plot holes than any of the campaigns I've played thus far, even by Resident Evil standards. The amount of patience Leon exerts as Helena repeatedly brushes off telling him why they have to get to the damn Cathedral is monk like. Even though I was playing as her, I just frankly didn't like her, even if she does come with a free shotgun. She's an awful addition and they could have easily gotten rid of her after the campaign ends but still keep her around. Why? I dunno! Maybe because they spent so much time making her chest jiggle.
It became a bloody running gag after a point. Swap weapon, jiggle. Run forward, jiggle. Take cover and slowly walk along wall -- jiggle, jiggle, jiggle jiggle, wait for it, jiggle. Not only is it just stupid pandering, but her blouse is several buttons undone for no reason, so you can even see her chest a bit as it jiggles. Sherry only once is revealing and there's actually an excuse for that situation (no spoilers, don't worry), whereas Helena basically is dressed like that for almost the entire campaign. Not that Leon's much better -- he's like a walking, talking hair gel commercial that I think was likewise supposed to be the "manly yet sensitive and funny" man that Capcom apparently thought would sell the game to women. Instead of being real characters, they're stock archetypes really, and most of their dialogue reads like a bad romance novel. Hell, Leon's entire campaign kind of feels like a bad survival horror romance novel.
Instead of two fleshed out, defined, and sometimes genuinely funny characters (people in glass houses shouldn't be annoyed when other characters do they're style of humor better, GI), we get tragic damaged revenge girl and hair clubs for men as our heroes. But from what I understand, this is the one Resident Evil fans like the most. Why? Because it's the "scariest". And by "scariest", they apparently mean there's some flashes of lightning and contrived references to Resident Evil 1-3. Woop-di-friggin-doo! They might as well just name it "Fanservice: The Video Game" at this rate.
Yes, run Jake! Run Sherry! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! IT'S THE LEON CAMPAIGN!
I do find it interesting that Leon's campaign is the most detached from the other stories. It only has about two crossover points total, if I understand right, and one is purely in a cutscene. Jake and Sherry get three (maybe four, my memory is fuzzy on one situation on whether the BSAA were just there for a moment or not at one point), and from what it looks, Chris might rival Ada's campaign in having the most. It's almost like Capcom knew that this campaign was the worst one and was trying to slowly remove it without anyone noticing. If only they had had more time... ah well, it's not like it's got some of the stupidest QTEs and ridiculous scenarios on the -- oh come on, ZOMBIES ON A PLANE? Zombies in a section from Tomb Raider? Zombies in a dance club? Zombies that eat other zombies that turn into other types of zombified things? Are you bloody kidding me? And why is it the main antagonist is only present for, like, five to ten minutes before an inevitable thing happens? He chews up the scene in great, campy lines. He should be on screen more often than these two idiots you call our heroes.
Still, the game mechanics on their own hold up well. I wish we had some less cramp environments to do the fighting in, but I'm okay with most of what's presented. Jake's AI is particularly handy and made me glad I got the Field Medic perk when I found out that apparently very few genuinely serious players are online anymore and it's mostly trolls now. I look forward to Chris and Ada's campaigns, and leave you now with this:
They made four campaigns, each with unique UI, HUD, and gameplay ideas. But all you can do is complain about how it isn't a game you can just download for ten bucks and play instead. REALLY?
Cheers,Paradigm the Fallen