Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Resident Evil Six - Leon and Ash

So a few weeks back I got a copy of Resident Evil 6 for the PS3. For those who aren't aware, the thing that separates this game from its predecessors is the fact that the entire story arc is divided into four interlocking campaigns. Each one features a different set of protagonists as well as a distinct feel in terms of gameplay.

Hence I've decided to split the review into four parts and I'm starting with Leon Kennedy's and Helena Harper's campaign (since it's the only one I've beaten so far). As a side note, I've been playing as Helena in my sessions, simply because an extra shotgun will always be better than a combat knife - at least in most games.

I guess it's safe to say that Leon's chapters are a refreshing departure from the combat-heavy heels of RE5. The series returns to its survival horror roots and the narrative circles around the theme of tight resource management, where the player is forced to decide whether they would fight or flee the undead hordes. This makes gameplay is frantic at times, and there will be times where running away is the more logical option, especially in higher difficulties.

The story revolves around common zombie flick tropes, such as attempting to escape (or defend) indefensible positions and working with different groups of survivors at various points in the game. One of the most welcome elements is the return of actual zombies - which has not happened in a very long time.

Another thing of note is the fact that RE6 introduced a skill system, which replaced the weapon upgrade system of RE5. Skills points are accumulated over the course of a chapter, which in turn could be used to purchase skills. These skills allow players to customize their characters' abiity to handle different threats according to their personal preferences, which I think is quite nifty.

Perhaps one of the few things that annoyed me was the emphasis that Capcom has placed on the melee combat system. It isn't a bad thing in it self, but the devs made it a point to drastically reduce the effectiveness of headshots - something that a lot of people are very fond of in games of this nature - in favor of stuns that allow some form of melee finisher. Unfortunately, this can be frustrating during those back-against-the-wall moments, where engaging groups of undead in hand-to-hand combat is not a very good idea.

There are also sections that force players to expend their hard-earned ammo. It's not gamebreaking for those who already expect it, but it might prove to be a challenge for those who tend to run-and-gun these types of games.

Like all of the previous titles of this series, inventory management is still horrible. Packrats like myself find it hard to discard excess items (for obvious reasons).

Overall, Leon's campaign is an excellent introduction for newcomers to the series on how the game is meant to be traditionally played.

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