Resident Evil 6

QTEs. They’re bad. I’ve talked about this before. Here’s a new way I thought of putting it: when I need to reload my gun, I think, “Oh shit, I need to reload.” But when I need to dive with a QTE, I’m made to think, “Oh shit, I need to push the A & X buttons.” And to think in terms of the controller in your hands is an immersion breaker, even though the point of QTEs is ostensibly to give the user a feeling of agency (and through that, presumably, some immersion) even while you’re in a cutscene. And because every chunk of gameplay in RE6 is interspersed with a million tiny unskippable cutscenes, and QTE failures don’t divert the plot but instead kill you, the problem is multifarious.

It doesn’t help that buttons you’re quickly told to press aren’t consonant with the game’s actual control scheme–normally a player would dive by pushing the control stick to specify direction, holding A to run (adding an intent of urgency), and hitting the left shoulder button, which is normally the aim button but in this context of direction+urgency is for quick evasions. This is an intuitive way to do it (though only with a gamepad), and the diving actions are RE6’s greatest iterative improvement to the arcade shooter formula that RE4 established. But the QTEs pay no attention to any of that. Hopefully you like forgetting the things you’ve unconsciously mastered so you can quickly be told to dive with the reload button.

Also awful is how the camera loves to get away from the player. If there’s a tall building, the camera pans up out of your control to look at it, as if to say, “Look, look at this art asset we spent a bunch of time on,” instead of leaving these things for detail-oriented players to appreciate on their own. By forcing it, every time you play that level, it feeds resentment instead. Even worse, the game occasionally decides to make you run toward the camera, especially in cinematic moments where you’re being chased or the environment is exploding behind you, which is to say, especially when you’ll die if you linger around for a moment. RE6 is rife with instant deaths in these moments and they often come while you’re thinking, “Okay, where did this cutscene put me, which way am I going here? Did I just come out of that building in the background or from behind the camera?” What’s especially heinous is that in single-player, the AI partner can actually get its pathfinding messed up or something and fail these sequences, causing the human to get a game over. This happened to me 4 or 5 times. If you were searching for a new thing worse than escort missions, this would be it.

All these things–the QTEs, cutscenes, instant deaths–deeply hurt the game’s replayability, which is something RE5 was amazing for, despite its own QTEs and other flaws. A co-op game where you can drop in chapter-by-chapter, unlocking costumes, weapons, infinite ammo… that should be a recipe for a game I want to play forever. But unlike RE5, this time you don’t even get to buy any new guns or pick up rewards for S-ranking chapters, even if I were otherwise willing to put up with all the tricky fail states and slow-walk-and-talk segments. But if I could skip even the five-second cutscenes and stay where the game is good, in control of my character on the ground at all times, things would be different. It would be far more fun to play again without being made to do the tedious driving, helicopter piloting, cinematic chase sequences, stealth areas and whatever else I’m forgetting about them shoving in there. I do like to shoot the guns, and to be fair while I’m hurling criticism after criticism, I should mention that this is still 80+% of the game. I like rolling around on the floor in co-op like an idiot even more so than the shooting of guns. The rest of gameplay is diverse but too shallow to be welcomed. And it’s a long campaign.

I think the point system is a great idea, which lets you choose 3 perks to take with you into a session. Infinite ammo for a weapon type takes up one of these, which limits the cheese potential if you want to replay missions for S ranks without the game just disabling the rankings entirely while infinite ammo is on. You have to buy them though, and it’s a bit grindy. And there was a missed opportunity for some interesting perks, like one to automatically succeed in all QTEs, even the ones where you have to spin a wheel to get a door open. If that had been a real perk, I’d have bought it first and never replaced it, even for infinite ammo.

Multiplayer is kind of cool, especially the idea of you and a friend teaming up with some rando and their friend for a 4-man boss fight. But I only got this working once or twice, because the game’s too dead for other people to be going into the same sub-chapter within a minute of you, and who can blame them, given what was already said about the replayability?

There are a several other multiplayer modes, none of which I really cared about, though Agent Hunt caught my attention first with its Dark Souls invasion mechanic. I tried it a few times, but it was frustrating for the incredibly weak and slow invaders, who spawn miles away from the good guys. There are also no unique unlocks or rewards even if you’re prove to be good at it. You get a win when another player dies from an instant death, which is far more likely than you killing them if you join in on the right level, but it’s pointless: if you’re farming for perks, it’s fifty times more efficient to just repetitively farm on a subchapter that’s short and has treasure caches in it–and equally boring.

Lastly, the game needs more Wesker boss fights, which is to say more than zero. You mean to tell me he’s actually dead because he was shot with a rocket launcher several times and he fell into a volcano? I’m pretty sure I did more than that to a handful of RE6’s bosses and still saw them crawl back up for another fight before the end of the chapter.

It’s a solid game if you thought RE5 was great, and not so much if you like honest survival horror. Thankfully, I can’t stand that stuff. But it’s a must to do this in co-op, preferably with someone who can laugh instead of getting angry at you when you’ve died to the same instant death trap ten times in a row.

The reviewer finds this game hard to get excited about, but still has a positive opinion of it. It may be somewhat fun, having good features or ideas counterbalanced by a few boring parts, bad design or other fundamentally irritating qualities that can’t easily be overlooked. Alternatively, it could be pleasant, but with nothing new to offer. Worth a little money if you’ve got the time for it.

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