Resident Evil 6

Resident_evil_6_premium_edition_c8szoBeing a long-term fan of the Resident Evil series but having been disappointed by its fifth instalment I was quite anxious leading up to the release of number six. After playing the demo though and reading the reviews any buzz I may have originally had for the game was swiftly smothered. In the end I waited for a while and after not hearing anything much good about it I decided to rent it rather part with a larger chunk of cash. I’m so glad I made that decision.

In case you don’t know about the game it takes a rather a more holistic approach than any of its predecessors, offering you with four different campaigns all from the point-of-view of different characters the majority of which have been the leads in previous games. All four stories coincide with each other to paint a bigger picture of the games dense storyline. The first three story-lines all offer co-op play throughout, whereas the last one that only becomes available after finishing the other three is only single player. The campaigns have all been given a different feel in an attempt to keep all types of gamers happy.

The first story is led by Leon (previously the main character from Resi 2 and 4, 4 being my personal favourite of the whole series) and his partner Helena, this campaign is probably the most like the original Resi games at various points taking you into sewers and graveyards. It is the only story where you actually fight zombies, the J’Avo which you fight in all the other campaigns can barely be described as such. Leon’s campaign is easily the best on the game it being the only one that actually feels like a Resident Evil game, albeit a fairly poor one. By the end of chapter two I was beginning to get into it quite a lot and thought that perhaps it won’t be as bad as everyone says it is but then once you get on to the campaigns later chapters and are bombarded with constant button-mashing and cut-scenes and are barely given a chance to do anything it fast loses its charm. Chapters four and five are a relentless pounding of action none of which is enjoyable and you are ultimately glad for it to finish when it does.

Moving onto Chris (the protagonist from the very first Resi as well as Code: Veronica, The Umbrella Chronicles and Resi 5) and Piers’ campaign and things take a turn even further into shitness. This campaign had my wanting to my hear out pretty much from start to finish. Where Resi 5 failed by trying to make the game attract the Call of Duty market they make the same mistake with this campaign. It’s far too much like a war game and the J’Avo who are the main types of enemy are simply just soldiers with masks. There of particularly infuriating moments which have stuck in my mind, one in which you have to shoot down a helicopter from a boat, I was playing on Veteran difficulty and it seemed whatever I did I would just got shot down immediately to face the ‘You Are Dead’ screen. And the other being a despicably awful QTE in which you have to escape from a strange corridor that is under attack from a disgusting sea monster by sprinting to a door shooting the things hand, sprinting to the next door shooting the things hand then alterantly pressing L1 and R1 but a really awkward pace otherwise the game won’t register it. It’s QTE scene’s such as that which really are the games biggest downfall, not a single boss fight is left to you to do and is instead decided by these fast-tapping moments which are stupidly easy half the time and ridiculously hard the other half with no consistency at all.

The next story is led by Jake (in his first ever appearance) and Sherry (who previously appeared in Resi 2). I found this story to really be just a filler. In one of its chapters it tries to be a stealth game stealing ideas from Hitman or Splinter Cell as you have to sneak you’re way through a cave and avoid being caught by a giant ogre. The story really is just a strange hybrid mash of a load of different video game cliches. There’s the stealth section in which you even have to hide a dumpster and peer out waiting for enemies to pass a shameless rip-off of Hitman. There’s a part where you have to guide a snow mobile away from an avalanche with an incredibly clunky control system that reminded me of one of the more terrible missions in 007 Nightfire. Then there’s another mission where you wake up in a hospital and have to escape with no weapons, but for some reason the hospital is such a bright white that it makes all objects apart from your player invisible for no reason whatsoever.

The final story is Ada Wong’s (previously from Resi 4 and selection of spin-off titles) and her plot coincides with all the other four meaning there are only a couple of parts of her campaign which you haven’t played before. Those bits are actually some of the best in the game, she has a couple of puzzles to solve which were previously one of my favourite things about the series and a boss where you actually get to fight whole thing without control being ripped from you in order for you to mash a couple of buttons really fast. It’s a shame then that hers is the shortest of all the stories and the majority of her missions are just stuck together out of bits that you’ve already got really pissed off with in the other campaigns.

Overall, by then end I really did hate this game. It seems that they’re are trying to cater for too many different markets and in the process have lost what it was that made the series original in the first place. It’s not survival horror game any more and is barely even a horror. It’s basically just a poor action adventure that seems more intent on telling you an over-exuberant storyline than letting you play a game. It’s a massive shame that a series that used be one of my favourites of all time has produced two big misfires for this console generation. Let’s hope that this dip in form will come to an end with PS4 and new XBox but I’m not holding my breath.

 

The Opposite of Absolution – 30.01.13

So I’ve failed to write three posts this week and still not managed to do my weekly update on time but I will definitely try and get four done before Wednesday, fingers crossed. So the first was one of my most anticipated albums of 2013 Biffy’s new double album, Opposites. Then I got round to reviewing the game I’ve been playing most recently Hitman: Absolution┬áso please leave any comments you may have on either.

As I right this I’m fresh of the heels of seeing Zero Dark Thirty so I’ll leave you with the trailer and expect the review this week:

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman-Absolution-preview-thumb-largeBack in the day I used to be a big fan of Hitman, I used to play the first two games fairly relentlessly but I eventually forgot about the series getting side-tracked by other games that got in the way. However with the release of Absolution I thought it was probably about time I got back into the silent assassin’s universe.

Absolution, unlike most games that come out nowadays still keeps an arcade feel scoring you on how well you do for each level and giving you grades to tell you how good, or more often in my case how shit, you are as a hitman. It kept me entertained trying to find the sneakiest ways to kill your victim without being seen and trying but failing not to let the whole thing spiral into an all-out gun fight. Another factor that I’ve always liked about the Hitman series is that it is always still possible just to shoot your through but the scoring method deters you, you don’t want to do that, the most satisfaction comes from causing no carnage whatsoever and skulking off without a trace. I loved the amount of items available to use in the game you can pick up almost anything and there’s a massive variety of disguises you can pose in.

A minor though would be the very un-inventive storyline with games such as Heavy Rain around nowadays nearly all games have been forced to produce much better stories, a fact which the Hitman team obviously haven’t fully grasped as I found myself just wishing for the cut scenes to hurry up, this was made even more annoying by the fact that they are un-skippable as is, for some strange reason, the opening video which you’ll have to sit through every time you turn the game on. But the gameplay is done so well it’s hard to let the story get in the way.

The contracts mode is an effective new way of competing online too letting you play through the levels already in the game but picking your own targets and the ways in which to kill them before posting them online and seeing if anyone can do it better than you, a fun addition to the game that will certainly get a few more hours out of me.