‘Resident Evil 6’: Initial Impressions

10.02.12 5 years ago 9 Comments

If you want a demonstration of the gulf between Japanese gamers and Western gamers, look no further than the fact that this game has been taking a beating at the hands of the Western press, while it becomes only the thirty-third game in Famitsu’s history to pull a 39/40. According to Famitsu, this game is as good as A Link To The Past.

Where do I fall, three hours in? I find myself asking why a game so far this mediocre is getting reviews of high praise or pure rage.

There are no surprises here. The story is insane and a bit dim-witted, if adorably so, the gameplay is action-heavy, and the controls, while improved, are still kind of awful in some respects. Are there quick-time events? Oh my yes, and plenty of them. Are there lots of set-pieces? You bet.

As an action game, so far, it’s pretty good. It’s not innovative, but it’s not bad. It’s fun, for what it is, which is a very basic, very linear third-person shooter. To give you an idea of how linear, Leon treats flimsy chairs and brick walls exactly the same way. There is only one way to go in each area and by God, you will go that way.

And there’s so much of it. Each part of the campaign is enormous, 70 to 80% of the length of Resident Evil 5, and there are three of them before you finish and unlock a fourth.

I will say that of the reviews I’ve read, most of the harsh ones are ridiculously unfair and most of the praise-filled ones are absurdly generous, so far. This is not a game that merits 4/10 or two and a half stars, but what Famitsu saw in this baffles me, as well. I’ve played games that are far less fun and far more buggy that got better scores. It may not be terribly original or well-written, so far, but really I can throw that criticism at Mass Effect, Call of Duty, or most other massive franchises. I fail to see why I shouldn’t fault Western developers for pretty much exactly the same sins.

I have little doubt Resident Evil 6 will move a lot of games. If nothing else, Capcom makes sure you get a lot of game for your $60. But I’m not sure the hype over this one is anything other than overblown nerd rage.

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