This review of Resident Evil 6 is way late compared to everyone else's. With good reason—the game is very, very long.
By now, you may have already read a few of the reviews, many of which are not kind to the game. Some outright call it a disaster or awful.
In my opinion though… you're going to love it. Then you're going to hate it. Then you're going to love it. Then you're going to hate it. Then you're going to...
Resident Evil 6 is made up of three separate campaigns, plus a fourth one unlocked after you complete the first three. They're all fairly different from each other in terms of gameplay, even if they all have the same annoying QuickTime Events and bosses that only seem to get angrier and stronger when your characters foolishly say, "I think he's dead."
Leon's campaign, for instance, may remind you of Resident Evil of old. Less available ammo and more moody. Chris' campaign, meanwhile, plays like a Gears of War clone—except Resident Evil 6 remains pretty stingy with the ammo. (And not in a good way.)
The first three campaigns are played with an AI partner (as I played) or via co-op. Oftentimes, characters will overlap throughout the campaigns, and even more is unveiled during the fourth campaign when you're all alone as Ada, filling in any remaining gaps in the story.
The story is much improved over previous Resident Evil games, even if some of the insanity remains. The cut scenes are not only well produced, but there's genuine attempts at real characterization and emotions that I wasn't expecting—that especially rang true throughout during Chris' campaign. (I highly recommend you play as his partner Piers if you play alone. The ending of that campaign will feel even more moving and effective that way.)
You might get whiplash, however, from how quickly even within individual campaigns that game developers decide to switch things up. While the submarine escape in the first chapter of Ada's campaign is thrilling and unique, you may find yourself annoyed at "re-killing" a boss you took on in Leon's campaign which is tedious and repetitive.
In Jake's campaign, as good as the pummeling you deliver to a boss towards the end of the campaign felt, it didn't help how annoyed I was hours earlier at the clumsy stealth level.
I found myself rushing to finish Resident Evil 6—I even switched to "amateur" so I would die less. Some of that was due to the fact that I have a ton of other games to review. But some of it was a desire to finish the game, especially the repetitive sections where I simply re-played a scene from another campaign as another character.
This is also not a game you're going to play in twenty minute breaks. Don't let the Checkpoints fool you. Unless the screen says Saving, you can't quit the game without losing your progress. Checkpoints simply mean you'll go back to that spot if you die. Not a problem if you're playing for long hours a time, but frustrating when your time is short.
You're also not going to want to order food for delivery when playing this game because yes, you're not allowed to pause. The game doesn't even pause if you take the battery out of your controller. (I tried.)
There's a lot to annoy you in Resident Evil 6. Gameplay decisions, somewhat baffling puzzles (especially in Ada's campaign) and repetitive gameplay may make you turn off your console in anger—but only after you get a Saving message of course.
But there are some action pieces that are thrilling and gorgeous to look at—and the game's controlling, I-am-the-boss camera WILL make sure you don't miss it.
Small parts of Resident Evil 6 lobby for top ten game of the year status. But as a whole, it is hard to recommend it without trepidations. Fans will likely find enough to enjoy while it will be hit or miss for newbies. As long as they don't take the game too seriously, and focus on the spectacle and not the mechanics, they'll enjoy it.
* Disclosure: A copy of this game was provided to the reviewer for the purposes of this write-up. *