Resident Evil 6
|Resident Evil 6|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, third-person shooter|
Resident Evil 6, known as Biohazard 6 (バイオハザード6 Baiohazādo 6?) in Japan, is an action-adventure third-person shooter video game and the ninth installment in the Resident Evil series, developed and published by Capcom. The developers define the game's genre as "dramatic horror", although promotional materials for the Japanese version (such as the packaging and official website) still classify the game as survival horror. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 2, 2012 and for Microsoft Windows on March 22, 2013.
The story is told from the perspectives of Chris Redfield, a former member and founder of the BSAA traumatized by a failed operation; Leon S. Kennedy, a Raccoon City survivor and agent for the U.S. government; Jake Muller, illegitimate son of Albert Wesker and associate of Sherry Birkin; and Ada Wong, a freelance agent framed for the bio-terrorist attacks by Neo-Umbrella. They must all confront the force behind a massive bio-terrorist attack with the newly developed C-virus in cities across the world.
Concept development began in 2009, with full development beginning the following year under Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who produced Resident Evil 4, and eventually grew to have the largest staff so far to work on a Resident Evil game. The game has received mixed reviews from critics; it faced both negative reactions to the control problems with the demo and mixed reviews for the drastic shift in gameplay focus for the main game, being a point of both praise and criticism for different review outlets.
Resident Evil 6 allows players to select between four scenarios with connected storylines, each with their own intentionally different design. Each scenario follows one of four main protagonists - Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Jake Muller and Ada Wong. The player characters from each scenario will have their own partners which are controlled by either the computer AI or another human player via local or online multiplayer. When playing in single player, the player can allow another player to join in online at any time and inventories are now kept separate from each other. The game also features the Mercenaries mode, where players fight hordes of enemies, and the Agent Hunt mode which allows players to take control of random enemies in other people's games.
Players can pick up items quickly and change weapons in real time. Players are also able to move while aiming their firearms. A new feature comes in the form of tablets, in which players can recover health at the push of a button. More tablets can be produced by locating herbs. By finding various herbs and saving them before converting, more tablets can be obtained from them. If one player runs out of health, that player will have a short time to try and defend him/herself while his partner attempts to revive them. If either player is killed, gameplay resumes at the last checkpoint. The game has several primary enemies, including zombies and the newly introduced J'avo. Unlike zombies, J'avo are able to interact with each other to plan an attack, use weapons, and heal themselves. Certain enemies drop skill points when killed, which can be picked up and spent on upgrades such as increased weapon effectiveness or specific ammunition drops. Players can equip three of these upgrades which apply to all the campaigns. There are set piece events that require different approaches, such as shooting at zombies, prying through a door, and attempting to locate keys in a vehicle.
On December 24, 2012, Jake Muller, a mercenary of the fictional South-Slavic Edonian Liberation Army and son of late bio-terrorist Albert Wesker, flees from the authorities during a bio-terrorist attack. He partners up with Division of Security Operations (DSO) agent and Raccoon City survivor Sherry Birkin, who was sent to Edonia to ensure that Jake escapes safely from the country so his blood can be tested for anti-bodies for the newly developed C-Virus. At the same time, Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) Captain Chris Redfield and his team, including sniper Piers Nivans and demolitions expert Finn Macauley fight against rebels infected with the C-Virus (referred to as "J'avo") and two large B.O.W.'s referred to as "Ogromans". However, they are attacked by the leader of Neo-Umbrella, who refers to herself as Ada Wong and kills most of the BSAA members using a device that injects them with the C-virus turning them into monsters, except Chris and Piers. The aftermath causes Chris to go into self-imposed exile, being afflicted with post-traumatic amnesia. Meanwhile, Sherry and Jake's extraction from Edonia by the BSAA is sabotaged by a BOW codenamed 'Ustanak', forcing the pair to crash into the mountains, eventually leading to their capture by Ada.
On June 29, 2013, U.S. President Adam Benford has decided to officially reveal the truth behind the 1998 Raccoon City incident and the U.S. federal government's dealings with Umbrella, believing that it will curb the current resurgence in bio-terrorist activity. By the President’s side is his friend, DSO agent and Raccoon City survivor Leon S. Kennedy and United States Secret Service agent Helena Harper, but when the venue becomes host to another bio-terrorist attack, Leon is forced to face the infected and mutated President, and kill him. Helena leads Leon to the Tall Oaks Cathedral amidst the zombie outbreak to rescue her sister, Deborah. By the time the pair reaches Deborah, she had already been infected with the C-virus, and the pair are forced to kill her. Along the way, the two encounter Ada, and Helena then discloses to Leon that she was blackmailed by National Security Advisor Derek C. Simmons, into aiding the assassination of Benford. She also discloses Simmons's affiliation with Neo-Umbrella. Shortly after escaping the Cathedral, Tall Oaks is destroyed by an airstrike. Leon and Helena then decide to pursue Simmons into Lanshiang, China (the city's background is based on Hong Kong) while faking their deaths with aid from Ingrid Hunnigan. Meanwhile, Jake and Sherry manage to escape captivity in Lanshiang after being held captive for 6 months.
At the same time, Chris returns to duty in the BSAA with Piers and a new team, arriving in Lanshiang under the threat of a bio-terrorist attack. Chris recovers from his amnesia and goes on a vendetta against Ada, resulting in mounting casualties for his squad. Chris and Piers corner Ada, until Leon intervenes. After being updated by Leon, Chris and Piers pursue Ada to an aircraft carrier, destroying cruise missiles laden with the C-virus, while an assassin apparently kills Ada. Leon, Helena, Sherry, and Jake confront Simmons over his involvement with the outbreaks, where Sherry covertly hands Jake's medical data to Leon in case of their captivity. Leon and Helena corner Simmons, who has been infected by a J'avo, atop a train, where he confesses to having killed the President to keep him from disclosing the truth behind Raccoon City, which would have led to the U.S. losing its authority. The two temporarily defeat a mutated Simmons while Sherry and Jake are captured once again. While attempting to leave the city, Leon and Helena are warned by Chris that a missile has been launched, but they are too late to stop it. Leon discloses Jake's real identity to Chris and has him rescue Jake and Sherry in a remote oil platform. With the assistance of Ada, Leon and Helena finally kill Simmons before escaping with evidence proving Simmons's crimes provided by Ada, exonerating Helena.
In the oil platform, Chris and Piers head underground, managing to free Jake and Sherry from captivity before preventing a large-scale BOW attack from the location. When they meet up briefly, Chris reveals to Jake that he was the one who killed his father, but Jake resists the urge to kill him, saying that there are more important things than his want for revenge. Jake and Sherry manage to finally kill 'Ustanak' once and for all during their escape, securing a steady supply of the C-virus vaccine while Chris and Piers fight the host BOW, Haos. Heavily wounded, and in a desperate attempt to save Chris, Piers injects himself with a sample of the C-virus to help turn the tide of the battle, temporarily defeating Haos before evacuating. Aware that the mutation would worsen, Piers sacrifices himself by pushing Chris to an escape pod. After Chris' pod is launched, Haos makes one last attempt to kill Chris but is killed itself by a powerful lightning charge from Piers, which ensures Chris' escape and the destruction of the Neo-Umbrella base.
In Ada's story, it is revealed that the Ada Wong that interacted with Chris and Piers was actually a doppelgänger created by Simmons, a scientist named Carla Radames, and that the real Ada Wong was aiding Leon and Sherry while destroying the Neo-Umbrella lab in Langshiang. Although presumed dead after being shot by one of Simmons' soldiers, Carla tries one last attack against the real Ada, after having injected herself with a powerful dose of the C-virus, but is killed. After aiding Leon and Helena in their battle with Simmons, Ada reaches the lab where her clone was developed and destroys everything. She then receives a call from someone, accepting a new assignment. Meanwhile, Leon and Helena are cleared for duty; Chris remains with the BSAA in command of a new squad, overcoming his guilt; and Sherry continues her duty as a DSO agent, while Jake starts a new life fighting BOWs in an underdeveloped country with his real identity covered up by the BSAA.
Concept development of the game began soon after the release of Resident Evil 5, and began full development in 2010. Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi said that he considered a "completely new system" for Resident Evil 6, but later ruled out his involvement with the game. In March 2009, co-producer Masachika Kawata stated that the new installment was not decided upon, but that it could take Capcom four to eight years to develop. Sources familiar with the project indicated that the series would return to its roots and be "brutally scary."
The development of the game was led by Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who is stated by Capcom to be aiming to "deliver the most impressive Resident Evil title ever both in terms of scope and production values." Capcom also noted that the game is meant to be "a giant stride forward in the evolution of the series." The staff wanted to give the game a new setting with director Eiichiro Sasaki wishing to place it in China. While the country of Edonia was not modelled on any country from Europe, it was given an Eastern European air. The character of Jake was also made to attract new fans. The game has a development staff of more than 600, making it Capcom's biggest production to date. In May 2012, Capcom announced they expect the game to sell 7 million copies by the end of this fiscal year. However they have recently lowered their expectations to 6 million due to the game's reception.
An official trailer was released on January 19, 2012. On April 10, 2012, a second trailer was released which detailed the game's plot further, also revealed that the release date has been moved from November 20, 2012 to October 2, 2012. At Microsoft's press briefing at E3 2012, the first gameplay demonstration was shown, depicting Leon and Helena fighting zombie hordes in China. A playable demo of Resident Evil 6 was scheduled on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace on September 5, 2012. Capcom later announced that the demo would become available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners on September 18, 2012. Early access to the demo was included with Dragon's Dogma. As a result of criticism of the first demo, Capcom brought a different version of the demo to the San Diego Comic-Con 2012, modifying various parts of its gameplay. A new playable demo was released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace on September 18, 2012.
Several stolen copies of the full game, in Polish and English but in German packages, were available for sale in Poland on August 31; one of them was obtained by Polish NEO Plus magazine "in one of Poznań stores." In a later statement, Capcom said this "unfortunate incident" was "limited to a small quantity of stolen copies of the German USK PlayStation 3 version of the game."
If pre-ordered from EB Games in Australia or the UK PlayStation Network Store, the game includes all three bonus maps for The Mercenaries mode, "Rail Yards", "High Seas Fortress" and "The Catacombs". In North America, pre-order bonuses are "The Catacombs" from GameStop, the "High Seas Fortress" map from Amazon.com, and the "Rail Yard" map from Best Buy. EB Games Australia released the game on September 28, prior to its official release date.
Resident Evil 6 was also contained in Biohazard Anniversary Package, a special edition for Resident Evil's seventeenth anniversary, that came out in Japan on March 22, 2013.
In response to a public backlash over classifying on-disc content as downloadable content (DLC), Capcom released a patch in December 2012 free of charge. The patch included new camera controls, a new difficulty mode named "No Hope", an option to play Ada's campaign without having to complete the other three, and the addition of an online co-op partner for Ada's campaign simply called "Agent". Unlike any other character in the game, Agent cannot interact with doors and treasure chests; he also disappears when a cutscene is triggered.
On December 18, 2012, new multiplayer downloadable content (DLC) was released. There are three new multiplayer modes: "Predator", "Survivors" and "Onslaught". Predator mode is a series of quick fire rounds, up to six players take their turn as the fearsome Ustanak with full access to its weapons, while the others must avoid capture or worse. Human players score points for successful attacks, but lose points for being caught or taken down. The match is over once all have played as the Ustanak, with the participant with the most points crowned as the winner. Survivors mode is Resident Evil's take on the classic solo and team based deathmatch mode. Survivors is available for two to six players. Onslaught is a two player mode where each must clear waves of oncoming enemies. The twist comes when a player completes a combo chain as this will send enemies over to their opponent’s screen.
On April 4, 2013, a Left 4 Dead 2 crossover DLC was released for the PC version, adding the main characters and two monsters from Left 4 Dead 2 to the PC-exclusive The Mercenaries: No Mercy mode in Resident Evil 6. Various weapons, characters, and monsters from Resident Evil 6 have also been added as optionally-downloadable replacement skins on the PC version of Left 4 Dead 2.
Capcom provides a free web service called Resident Evil.Net which offers online game events, detailed player statistics and unlock-able game and web items for Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil: Revelations, which players can earn with Resident Evil skill points through synchronizing their gaming platform with the service.
Resident Evil 6 has been met with mixed reception from both critics and fans alike. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 73.55% and 74/100, the PC version 69.67% and 69/100 and the Xbox 360 version 69.03% and 67/100. PlayStation: The Official Magazine praised the story and marking the game and the experience as "an unforgettable one." Similarly, Game Informer said "The game's minor flaws don't hold back the decadent experience from being an unhinged, flaming rollercoaster ride." Official Xbox Magazine UK concluded their review calling it "an accomplished shooter on the whole, and a fittingly thunderous send-off for current gen Resident Evil", praising the length and variety of the game. GameTrailers noted the shift away from the style and tone of past games in the series yet still praised the overall direction, stating that with the "old identity stripped away you've left with a massive action game that tends to check all the boxes instead of creating new ones, yet measured against its contemporaries it remains near the top of its class." IGN was favorable toward the technical and artistic design of the game, with "some of Capcom’s greatest successes [...] incredibly strong world, lighting, and creature designs", noting the new enemies as "some of the best designs and concepts in the history of the franchise." GamesRadar praised the improvements to the controls over its predecessor with "an emphasis is placed on fluidity and movement--a massive departure from the tank-like controls of previous games" but did criticize the cover system "that never seems to work right (but, thankfully, is never really necessary)." The Escapist also praised the improved AI companion that "does a decent job of backing you up and taking the fight to the enemy rather than just standing by", however also disliked the cover system, calling it "the most forgettable new feature of the game."
Eurogamer was divided over the campaigns, calling Leon's "the strongest" and "the closest we get to the series' survival horror roots", along with Ada's as having "diverse flavour". However they felt indifferent to Jake's campaign, which "rarely delights" while calling Chris' "the worst" and "a second-rate, third-person sprint interrupted by endless shootouts with gun-toting grunts and idiotic cut-scene dialogue." Edge magazine also felt that the chapters noticeably contrasted in quality more than others. More negative reviews were made by GameSpot who concluded "this long, poor sequel is the ultimate test of patience for even the most dedicated", and Destructoid called Resident Evil 6 "not just a step back for the series, it's a step back for commonplace, unassuming action-shooters".
In an Official PlayStation Blog interview, Resident Evil 6 executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi responded to fan criticism shortly after release, noting the creative differences with fans. He stated "the fans and us as creators are the two parents [...] and just like real parents, you’re not always going to agree on what is best for raising that child," going on to say, "we want to make sure that what we do pleases them but the initial reaction might not always be positive. We do listen to the fans but we can’t be beholden to them at every turn or I don’t think we’ll ever make progress in terms of the series’ development."
While Capcom has dubbed the game "dramatic horror", several critics instead noted the game's departure from survival horror genre compared to previous installments. Reviewers like GameSpot and GamesRadar noted that "[the game] is no longer a survival horror game." Destructoid stated that "Capcom has abandoned any pretense of the survival horror genre." Many reviewers listed the game's genre simply as "third-person action shooter." ScrewAttack included it on their 2012 list of top ten Capcom mistakes.
Capcom announced that it has shipped 4.5 million copies worldwide, setting a new record for the company. In October 2012, the game sold 806,000 copies in the United States. According to Capcom, sales "weakened" following the strong start, with the publisher admitting that the game would not meet their goals, lowering financial projections for their fiscal year as a result. The game had sold 4.9 million copies by April 2013, and, by October the same year, had sold 5.2 million copies worldwide, becoming one of Capcom's best-selling video games.
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- Official website
- Official website (Japanese)
- NoHopeLeft.com, an alternate reality game promotion of the game
- Resident Evil 6 at MobyGames