|System: Xbox 360*, PS3|
|Release: October 2, 2012|
|Players: 1-4 (Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes|
In Resident Evil 5, one of my biggest complaints was how you had to rely on your partner to get you out of the stickier situations, like when you're incapacitated and in need of a good epinephrine injection to the chest. This might sound like an odd complaint for a co-op game, but when you're surrounded by enemies and you take that one last hit that sends you into the dying mode, you're very likely going to die. This was especially frustrating in Mercenaries, where you'd have to split up in order to get all of the time capsules scattered around the map. Thankfully, now you aren't completely reliant on your partner, because when you're incapped in RE6 you're only down for a few seconds. This "last stand" status is temporary, so if you're able to survive long enough to get back up, you can heal yourself and go on your merry way.
Those are the good things, so let's jump into one of my biggest issues with Resident Evil 6: the guns. Since Resident Evil 4, we've been able to choose and upgrade our loadouts. That's gone now. Not only are you no longer able to upgrade your weapons, you can't even choose them. This means it's now up to Capcom to decide which guns they want to give you, so if you find a sniper rifle in-game, you should expect to have to use it pretty soon. I absolutely loathe this decision, because much of the feeling of progression and of getting stronger the farther you get into the story is now gone. It's not entirely gone, thanks to the skills, but those aren't the same.
The skills are new passive perks, much like what's seen in Call of Duty, that you can equip to grant you little bonuses like steadier aim, quicker reloads, damage resistance, and more bizarre ones like Lone Wolf, which renders your A.I. companion into a mindless husk that follows you around, unable to fight. Many of them can be upgraded, using the skill points you accumulate in-game, and you'll have to play through the game multiple times to unlock them all. They're an interesting enough addition, but they just aren't enough to make up for the loss of gun customization.
Naturally, Mercenaries makes a triumphant return, and for the most part it hasn't really changed. This is because it doesn't need to change. It's still insanely addictive and adds countless hours of replayability to Resident Evil 6's already impressive shelf life. The more intriguing new mode is called Agent Hunt, and while I can't believe it's never been done before, since it's such a simple idea, the result is one of the most exciting things Resident Evil 6 brings with it. In Agent Hunt, you join another player's game, or open your game to other players, so you can play as one of the enemies. Your goal is simple: to ruin the other players' day. If you succeed, you're rewarded with neat little bonuses like titles, medals, and skill points. The matches don't last long, usually not more than 10-30 minutes, making this an excellent source of bite-sized multiplayer entertainment.
As you might've gathered, Resident Evil 6 is not a perfect game. It's not even all that scary, but it is immensely entertaining, gorgeous to look at, and it has more content than I've ever seen in a game like this. It might not revolutionize the genre like Resident Evil 4 did, but it does offer something for everyone. If you have an itch that only Resident Evil can scratch, then this game won't disappoint.
Date: October 1, 2012