So we all know that beginning with Resident Evil 4, Capcom gave up on the classic survival horror genre and turned it into an action series to gain not a BIGGER audience, but a DIFFERENT audience. And they succeeded. No more frightening atmosphere or puzzles to solve—hell, even the zombies are gone. Action gamers love it, horror game lovers, not so much.
Resident Evil 5 made the brilliant move of going 2-player, which offered fun in exchange for the fear. Resident Evil 6 sticks to the 2-player fun, but completely revamps the series again. This is pretty much the same type of game as Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. You spend a majority of your time running and gunning—even the “monsters” have guns. It’s a military action game with monsters. And you’re a killing machine. In fact, most enemies can best be taken down if you run up to them and melee them!
The game is broken into 4 campaigns, each with different playable characters. As a result, the storyline is incredibly weak and uninspired. You’re basically playing just to get through all the enemies and to the end of a chapter. Plus, the campaigns cross over, so you’ll experience certain sections from different character perspectives. But you have to play the same EXACT boss battles again! Talk about padding a game experience!
There is one campaign that brings back the zombies and intentionally gives us some of that old school atmosphere, sort of. For instance, you begin the campaign without the ability to run or shoot, as if they’re saying, “See how slow and boring this series was before we made you a military pro?” You’ll also come upon areas that will remind you of Raccoon City, the mansion, or the police station, but these are merely nods of remembrance for fans.
The most agonizing part of Resident Evil 6 when playing 2-player is the quick time events. They are brutal. Buttons are unresponsive and your characters get in each other’s way as you try to slide under crap or jump over shit, causing one of you to fall behind and get splattered. I played the game online with a friend, and there were points when we decided it would be better if she just dropped out of the game, I did the quick time part alone, and then invited her back into the game. Seriously, sections that we tried dozens of times together I was able to complete with absolutely no hiccups when I played them alone with the AI character.
Even so, the game is definitely more fun with 2-players, and has a unique design element—any items you either smash out of crates or that are dropped off by downed enemies are available to BOTH players. That makes things quite a bit easier.
The 4th campaign, Ada Wong’s, was originally a 1-player unlockable, but a downloadable update made it a “2-player” game. Not a lot of effort was put into integrating the generic mercenary who accompanies you. We played this one co-op local, and as a result, we had to share all the ammo and healing items we found. When Ada uses her hookshot to travel across buildings and platforms, the merc will just be transported there when she lands. Also, the merc can’t do anything that involves opening doors or pushing buttons. So he’s basically just accompanying you to help fight off enemies.
Finally, another big disappointment is the user-unfriendly upgrade purchasing system. You don’t really build up enough points to buy much, and even if you do, you can only “equip” three upgrades before going into a chapter. You’ll really only want to have some of the bare necessities like “faster loading times” and “more items dropped by enemies.” Why buy upgrades for, say, the shotgun, equip it for a chapter, then discover in the chapter that you aren’t getting enough bullets to USE the shotgun?
Resident Evil 6: it’s a fun 2-player game, it’s hella annoying at times, and it’s the farthest thing from classic Resident Evil we’ve gotten yet. And there’s just no going back to good old survival horror at this point. On the bright side, Chris Redfield has never looked sexier.