Resident Evil 6 moves the franchise away from its legendary survival model to an action oriented shooter. The old tank mechanics are gone and so is the partner-shared inventory system. Some people don't like the change, but I was all for it being a keyboard and mouse user as well as a shooter fan. Another slightly different approach is that game-play is broken up into four totally separate campaigns involving two-member teams with the exception of Ada's campaign, which is solo.
All of the story campaigns take place simultaneously within the same time frame and overarching story, but each team has different missions and different priorities. At some point, all of the characters show up temporarily in each other's campaign and also some fights are replayed from the perspective of the different teams. All seven characters are playable, but partner stories remain the same regardless of which member you choose. The only irritating thing about playing the off-partner is the over the shoulder mechanic. Their automatic position is left and if you want to play right, you have to keep switching back to it after actions that involve both people such as opening doors. The only advantage to playing the other partner is to people that are left-handed or possibly those with accessibility issues. If you just want to toss it up, it's more irritating than enjoyable.
The main characters all have somewhat different melee moves and also different weapon specialties. Each campaign also has different HUD styles. Health is basically a repeat of RE4 that involves colored plants with the ability to combine them. Upgrading relies on experience points and tiers become extremely expensive from upgrade to upgrade. I don't think it is possible to achieve these in the main game without playing the mercenaries mode to accumulate points. Once you purchase upgrades, you can only group 3 skills together, but you can form other 3 skill sets that you can switch between. Skills can be carried across to the other playable campaign characters.
As per usual in Resident Evil games, there are lots of QTEs and context sensitive actions, which is typical of the series and still typically sucks. For instance, breaking out of an enemy grab presents you with the four movement keys spinning like a dervish. The only way that particular design worked for me was to just mash all four keys as opposed to chasing the highlighted ones. Also, sometimes there is no screen prompt for a specific action and you're left to guess by trial and error what they want you to do.
Throughout, there is a variety of human, mutant, and bio-engineered enemies to face and each team has their own boss fight as well as personal conflicts to overcome.THE TEAMS
The Leon and Helena game-play style is more reminiscent of the series with a story that begins when Leon is forced to kill the zombified president of the United States. Intimating that Helena has some nefarious connection to the incident, she promises Leon she will explain her involvement if he first helps her with something else. Although Helena refuses to elaborate on either point, Leon reluctantly agrees to go along with this for awhile. The campaign focuses more on Helena's personal quest than on the overarching story, although it obviously has ties to that as well. When it is concluded, the team moves on to merge with the main story objective of the game.
The Chris and Piers campaign is more in line with a squad shooter, with Chris leading a small team for much of the mission. However, when separated from his team, Piers is his partner. This segment focuses more on the threat of an imminent bio-terrorist attack. It's a quite different experience than Leon's. Unfortunately, Capcom quite ruined the mood by inserting a rage-inducing timed run just before the end boss fight. It drew so many complaints about the camera-angle locks that Capcom had to adjust the difficulty. Even still, this did not really solve the problem as the run requires numerous angle switches and QTEs particularly difficult to control with a keyboard and mouse. It will leave you running in circles if you don't make the proper adjustments at exactly the right time. I'm sure I died uncountable times due to the fact that you cannot see what's immediately ahead of you. It's thereby impossible to plan your run until you've mastered getting a little further after each time you die. On watching videos, it looks like you might fare somewhat better using a controller, although users were complaining here too. On a keyboard, the problem is magnified.
Sherry and Jake's campaign is more melee oriented as that is Jake's specialty. The game introduces a couple of new moves specific to him. He is the illegitimate son of the bioterrorist Albert Wesker and plays a rebel with a cause. Jake, raised as a mercenary, is crucial to the story as he carries the antibodies for a cure to the new C-virus and it's Sherry's job to make sure he lives long enough to get a blood sample to the appropriate people. Jake has demanded to be paid 50 million dollars for the privilege. Their story is about making sure he survives.
Ada is the only character that plays solo and she shows up at some point in all of the campaigns, as do the others. Her story has a twist, though, which I won't reveal here. One of her main weapons is a bad-ass crossbow, but it's a little slow on the reload. She can also perform various moves with her grapple. As usual, you are never quite sure exactly what Ada's motives are. She has a complicated history with Leon, which was established during their Raccoon City days.SUMMARY
User opinion is all over the map in regards to rating the campaigns from best to worst. Although, some people weren't happy about the move to an action shooter and felt it was a serious departure from what made RE games great, I didn't mind it. I enjoyed being able to play many of the Resident Evil characters and each campaign offered something different to keep it fresh. I also love the franchise premise, which is about characters, their complex relationships, and most of all their loyalty to each other in spite of their differences. They're a team of heroes without the costumes. I can, and do, complain about some of the gameplay mechanics and technical issues in these games, but in the end, there is something about them that defies a purely pragmatic understanding of their appeal. I hope Capcom never sacrifices this magic in exchange for the latest trend towards prioritizing technological marvels over substance. With RE7 released, reviews indicate that they have returned the franchise to its survival horror roots.
Although the game was praised for many of its elements, it came under fire for abandoning its survival horror roots. It was also criticized for a design that broke the game up into four individual campaigns, which were then judged on what some considered to be of inconsistent quality.
In 2012, in defense of breaking the iconic Resident Evil tradition, Capcom announced that due to the survival horror market being too small, they had decided to orient the gameplay around the action genre. This did not sit well with many fans and while Capcom viewed their game as a "dramatic horror" many sites labelled it's genre as simply a third-person action shooter.
The game received less than stellar reviews, but none-the-less has continued to sell well enough over the ensuing years since release. However, in 2016, the producer of the upcoming Resident Evil 2 complete remake (not a remaster) stated that the fan response to Resident Evil 6 has greatly influenced their decisions in rebuilding the IP. A release date has not been announced.
Capcom's newest game, Resident Evil 7, is available now. In an interview with Gamespot, the developers are cited as saying that they are bringing Resident Evil back to its original survival horror roots.