There Will Never Be Another Resident Evil 6 (And That Sucks)

A rough gem that may never get the proper treatment it deserves.

                                                                            Story Highlights

  • Resident Evil 6 is often maligned as the worst entry in the Resident Evil series and is cited as the cause behind the long death of the franchise.
  • The series’ current rise paints the game in a brand-new light unburdened by its unfortunate legacy. 
  • The Resident Evil franchise is currently in a state of experiencing another major shift in style and tone, and it is unclear whether the series will again take the plunge into action or stay within its survival horror roots.

If you examine every game in the Resident Evil series, something you’ll realize pretty early on is that the series never shies away from reinventing itself, whether for better or worse. In the case of Resident Evil 6, a large portion of the fanbase argues for the latter than the former, but why is that? 

The Death of Survival Horror 

Resident Evil
Resident Evil 1 Remake

Following up a title like Resident Evil 4 is an unenviable task. RE4 led the vanguard of innovation at its time, inventing an entirely new style of gameplay perspective that would eventually be the base template for every single third-person shooter following its launch. Even today the game feels like lightning in a bottle, with pitch-perfect pacing, tight satisfying combat, and a super replayable campaign. 

But I’ve already taken the time to praise Resident Evil 4 in great detail. 

The point is that after Resident Evil 4 and the departure of director Shinji Mikami following internal disputes at CAPCOM, the natural progression for the series was to take what Resident Evil 4 did and expand it further. Couple that with the bizarre cultural shift at the time when Japanese publishers were desperately trying to appeal to a Western audience. You got a title that felt far removed from the series’ roots in all but narrative and characters.

Gone was the time of careful resource management, dodging and juking zombies, and solving puzzles. Resident Evil had grown from its survival horror roots into something unrecognizably malformed, especially in the eyes of its fans. 

Resident Evil 6, As Bad As You’ve Heard?

Resident Evil 6
Least insane RE6 encounter.

It is only expected that Resident Evil 6 would be the natural conclusion of that formula. Taking its survival horror ancestry to the back and putting a bullet in the back of its head and burying it in the cold, muddy ground to which it would remain eternally doomed. 

But all this is solely with respect to how fans felt back in 2013 when Resident Evil 6 had just been released. The game resulted in the series getting indefinitely killed off until 5 years later when we got Resident Evil 7 and balance was restored yet again. Before that however, the game had to deal with the mark of being the game that killed the Resident Evil franchise and it’s no wonder that many players, me included, hated it at the time. 

Looking at it in hindsight, however, Resident Evil 6 was a bizarre experiment from CAPCOM trying to make an “ultimate horror experience” and ending up with a hodgepodge of ideas that didn’t really work to form a cohesive whole. 

The game is riddled with problems, the pacing is about as consistent as the last few seasons of Game of Thrones—it’s long and overstays its welcome. It is filled with sections that just do not work at all and feel frustrating at their best and utterly painful at their worst.

But…god is Resident Evil 6 good.  

Hell, I might even daresay it’s one of the best action games I’ve ever played, and I’ve spent over a decade of my life playing action games. 

Resident Evil 6
A chase against the Nemesis-inspired “Ustanak” in Resident Evil 6.

Despite all of the game’s many many flaws, it has some of the most enjoyable co-op campaigns you will ever experience. Everyone says the phrase “Everything’s better with friends” but it’s spectacular how drastic the enjoyment shifts when you’re playing it with a friend. Most of its problems become hotbeds for friendly shenanigans and its silliness is magnified tenfold. 

On top of that, Resident Evil 6 may have the best third-person shooter combat in any game, possibly ever made. You ever want to play a game that makes you feel like a zombie-killing John Wick? Well, this is the closest you will ever get to it. Leaping backward into the ground while gunning down a zombie in front of you with dual pistols and rolling around the ground to dodge a hail of machine gun fire.

Resident Evil 6 soars when you’re engaging with its combat system. There is so much depth to this game’s combat that it would make a sea diver blush. Parries, trick shots, slides, stamina management. It is Resident Evil 4’s combat taken to such an illogical extreme that it’s both impossible to take seriously, but also impossible to not have fun with it. 

Unfortunately, the game suffers because it’s terrible at actually teaching you how to play well. The entire depth behind the combat system, the special moves, trick shots, and parries are never explicitly told to you. While there’s an argument people make about hand-holding in games, something like this feels counterintuitive as I’m sure a majority of the players who hate RE6 don’t even know that such a combat system exists. 

What really sucks about RE6 is how much it tries to take you away from what makes it so much fun, frequently putting you in set pieces that just don’t feel good. It’s also why one of the best parts of that game is The Mercenaries which lets its combat soar to incredible new heights because it doesn’t have the virtue of being bogged down by the pacing of the campaign. 

Combat aside, Resident Evil 6 entertains even outside of its gameplay. With sharp, pristinely directed, and choreographed cutscenes for a story that is just impossibly unhinged. While it would be what you’d consider “bad” if you’re playing it and trying to take it seriously but playing it with a friend leads to borderline stand-up comedy. 

In essence, the entire game is a love letter to the series and serves as a greatest-hits compilation of some of the series’ most memorable encounters. Leon’s entire campaign is a homage to Resident Evil 2 and 4, Jake’s campaign brings you back to Resident Evil 3 with the Ustanak, a stalker that frequently chases you at multiple points in the game’s story similar to the nemesis. 

With the new remakes taking a more subdued approach, it’s hard to imagine a future where Capcom will ever revisit this part of Resident Evil’s history, and if they do, it absolutely won’t be on the sheer scale that Resident Evil 6 originally was. Something about fighting a mutated T-Rex doesn’t seem like the kind of thing CAPCOM would want to return to, especially knowing that it’s from a game that put the series on indefinite life support.

The Silver Lining…Or Is It?

Resident Evil 4 Remake
Resident Evil 4 Remake

It’s not the end of the world though. If the coming remake of Resident Evil 4 and its demo is anything to go by then the series is in extremely competent hands. Furthermore, players are already discovering some mind-boggling gameplay strategies from the demo alone. It shows that even if Resident Evil 6 may not ever come back, it lives through the modern Resident Evil franchise. 

It does beget the other major problem with the series that will only be exacerbated in the future, with the action-oriented nature of both Resident Evil 4 and RE Village, what happens to the survival horror side of Resident Evil? RE 2 Remake was an excellent survival horror title and 4 years later it remains mechanically the best game in that genre. 

Yet the incredible ideas from that game remain abandoned, thrown by the wayside like that one family member you’d rather not talk about. As a fan of both forms of Resident Evil, I am put in a troubling dilemma when I consider the trajectory of Resident Evil’s future.

Resident Evil 4 is one of my favorite games of all time, a masterclass in the third-person shooter genre, but so is the remake of Resident Evil, which to me remains to this day, as the best remake of all time and the best survival horror game ever made. Surely the reasonable approach would be to alternate between action-oriented and survival horror releases? Or would it? I don’t know the answer, and I find it both troubling and exciting. 

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Nameer Zia is a video game News Writer on eXputer obsessed with hunting down all the latest happenings in the industry. Nameer has been gaming for more than 15 years, during which he has spent more than 3,000 hours on Overwatch 1 & 2. As a literature student, his literary chops feed into his passion for games and writing, using eXputer as the medium to deliver the latest news in the industry. Websites such as GamingBolt and IGN have also credited his works. Experience: 4+ Years || Previously Worked At: Tech4Gamers

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