Resident Evil 6 had one of the most controversial development cycles of the series. Capcom expressed an interest in getting more casual fans to gravitate towards the series, and this acknowledgment caused an uproar among long standing fans of the series. Capcom's attempt to reach out to a wider audience does not go unnoticed, in Resident Evil 6, nor does it help make the game better. Only the strong points of the game, the ones that more often than not come from past entries into the series, pull Resident Evil 6 from out of the dregs on mediocrity and make it a game worth playing, just not one that is must play.
Instead of simply making one game that appeals to a certain niche, Capcom decided instead to combine four separate games and smash them into one game under the same engine. The result is the largest, most epic and most varied entry into the series, but it is also the most muddled. Rather than having one campaign Resident Evil 6 has four. Each campaign follows one or two different character from the Resident Evil series. The game's storylines intersect and overlap but each one can be played individually and has its own beginning, middle and end. The Tarantino-ish take on story telling is very effective and when they intersect it can be very satisfying. It is encouraging to see Capcom take this approach with Resident Evil, and it provides hope for where the series might go in the future.
The issues with Resident Evil 6 become apparent when the player realizes that some of the campaigns are simply not fun to play. Each campaign has its own feel and pace to it, Leon Kennedy's is a fantastic journey not unlike previous entries into the series, and is full of suspense and legitimate fear. On the other hand Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin's action-packed campaign seems like a generic pop and shoot game with a broken cover mechanic.
Extended fire fights and car chases are not the things fans remember when they think about the Resident Evil series, and Capcom's attempt to grab some gamers from Gears of War and Call of Duty by adding these elements did not work in Resident Evil 6's favor. Ada Wong's campaign is similar to Leon's, only with more stealth elements and it too is a great testament to the Resident Evil series. Chris Redfield's campaign meanwhile, falls somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.
Fortunately, regardless of the campaign, the graphics are top notch. With a greater emphasis on dark environments than in Resident Evil 5, the atmosphere is incredibly creepy, when it isn't being interrupted with gun fights and car chases. The controls are mostly solid, except for the cover mechanic, which is border-line broken, but most of the game can be played without it.
The good parts of Resident Evil 6 are some of the best in the series, and are a real testament to how good Capcom can do the survival horror genre.
Unfortunately the campaigns that put an over emphasis on action bring down the experience quite a bit. If those shortcomings can be overcome there is a great storyline and some terrific game play to be had here.