Boom! Headshot... wrong game? oops.
Seriously reviewers, its easy to whine about how not scary a game is, how you can melee the whole time and fail to mention the good qualities of a solid title. So instead of showing a video, I will actually write a proper review, since all I seem to read is people bitching that it’s like a Michael Bay movie. Go back to playing Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty you fucking simpletons.
Instead of a simple review, I’ll be looking at each campaign as it’s own individual game. Each campaign has its unique points and story, and on average takes about an hour a chapter. “But Josh, everyone else reviewed the game as a whole!”, there is a method to the madness, there usually is.
Let’s start with Leon and Helena. Since the prologue makes you play a brief section as them and explains a few of the mechanics in a vague tutorial kinda way. It actually didn’t annoy me this time to have a “tutorial” of sorts. It was done in a nice way in tone with that happened in the prologue. However it does make me a bit nuts when things drag on…
Which is my first major complaint. I love story, but immediately as the game starts being forced to stop and make dramatic moments randomly (thankfully when no zombies are about) is annoying for me. Thank the pixel gods that at least the voice acting is good. Leon and Helena start off in a university and must escape shortly after the outbreak in Tall Oaks, CA. While the university has shades of Resident Evils of the past, it is still quite driven by audio and cheap scares (lightning flash, hey zombie). Whinge on about the melee being OP, but lets face it, not being able to have melee in a zombie game is idiotic. Yes, it could have been weaker, but that doesn’t break the game. So anyhow, from the university, they go into town and it’s Raccoon revisited, except this time we get to see the mayhem from the inside. While not paying attention, I did get hit by an ambulance while trying to save some other survivors. FFS.
I get through town, not feeling any form of hindrance from the AI, (in fact with the field medic perk, she saved my ass a few times) we get to the church and discover why Helena is involved. Meet up with Ada, venture through some family crypts, go for a rather awkward swim… and then its off to China.
Well that escalated quickly…
In a scene out of a certain ‘something on a plane’ motif… take a guess what happens… plane crash. But hey, Leon and Helena walk out of a plane crash unscathed! (yes suspend disbelief a bit for some things) Leon and Helena meet up With Jake and Sherry Birkin (if you don’t know, she was the little kid from Resident Evil 2, you get a brief background in Jake’s game) and meet up with their stalker, Ustanak or some shit, the names are ridiculous now, so I’ll refer to him as WWE’s Kane. You end up in a 5 way orgy with Kane, Leon, Helena, Jake and Sherry, which is actually quite fun. At the end of the fight, it looks like Kane gets crushed by a radio tower and Leon and Helena continue on as Jake and Sherry go their way. After a bit, you run into Chris and his new partner Piers (what the fuck happened to Sheva, I mean at least explain that…) who are after Ada.
Stuff is revealed and Chris and Leon go their separate ways. I forget how (I’m playing through it again), but Leon and Helena end up on a train, fighting a B.O.W that looks like a dog mounted Honey Boo Boo and this is what came out. It’s ugly and somehow has a organic machine gun mounted on it’s back. After a pretty intense fight, Leon and Helena end up running from more Zombies before ending up at the Quad-Towers for the finale. I swear to god Leon’s final chapter is chain boss fights, however they’re all interesting. Mechanics in the final one, involve a lightning rod…
I’m not saying anything about the endings, so we’ll wrap Leon here. Leon’s campaign is a solid tribute to where Resident Evil came from, cramped spaces, ammo conservation, and of course, the end game rocket launcher. Leon’s campaign is by far my favorite, and aside a few random issues (fucking screamers, swimming…) I found this scenario excellent. I’ll give it a 4/5 in my books.
Next up I played Jake (I was still on the fence about Chris’ campaign…)
Jake starts out as a soldier of fortune in Edonia, and we see himself injecting something in his neck. Sherry then runs in, talks about antibodies and they escape into the sewers. You then spend the rest of the game running from WWE’s Kane between firefights, vehicle segments and just attitude. Jake starts with the worst attitude since Bubsy. Yes, I went there. Thats where my mind stayed until China. I’m skipping quite a bit because the sneaking parts annoyed me. OH and the snowmobile… I played that online, and I got so sick of hearing JAAAAAAAAAAAAKE (I got forced to play Sherry) I had to quit. The guy must have been aiming for the avalance. So anyhow China.
You start out unarmed, and Jake is awesome to play with. He has shades of his father (Wesker) in his combat with open palm strikes. I easily wade through SMG fire and meet up with Sherry. In an awkward sexual moment, the two get dressed and start to escape the facility. They have to collect umbrella symbol looking ID badges, and just as they’re about to escape, a fucking TANK shows up. You spend a chunk of time killing J’avo and running from it, until Jake finds a motorcycle and they escape.
The motorcycle scene is quite fun as well. Sherry as AI actually nice, she shoots followers pretty quickly and all I had to do was dodge cars and barrels. After an all too brief motorcycle trip, Jake and sherry find themselves fighting a chopper… Jake takes care of business and then they end up meeting Leon and Helena…and WWE’s Kane. So you get to do that kickass fight again, playing as Jake (it would have been awesome if it recorded me playing as Leon, that would have been interesting…) they kick his ass and continue on. There’s an annoying boat section, Ada makes an appearance and they run into Leon and Helena again. Then they get captured, again.
Jake and Sherry’s final segment is on an oil rig, they escape and meet up with Chris and Piers. There’s some more over dramatic stuff, and then Jake and Sherry have to fight WWE’s Kane yet again… This is pretty much their final boss, so I’ll wrap them up now… Jake’s unique hand to hand is awesome, doesn’t kill your action bar (or whatever they called it) and Jake actually has a good character arc by stories end. I’ll give his a 3/5 due to all of the vehicle segments and chases.
Chris… what is this, his 4th game? (5th if you count the RE2 Dual Shock part where you can play as him)
Chris’ campaign is pure shooter heaven. This entire one feels like its catering to the CoD fanboys. Chris’ campaign starts off as him as an alcoholic, you do the first chapter then flashback to before he was a drunk. Chris looses men, and loses it. …so not the mansion incident, not Antarctica, not Africa, losing a squad in Edonia causes him to finally snap.
I can’t even review his seriously, due to how poorly Chris has been developed after all his other games. Let’s talk about that Piers.
Piers is the voice of reason. Chris goes from sad bastard, to angry panther, to ‘must complete the mission’ or (RE5 mode) Piers spends the game telling Chris to quit being a douchebag, I ended up liking Piers more than Chris, that’s saying something. Hell bringing Barry, Rebecca or Carlos back would have felt better than the poorly developed Chris. Anyhow, Chris goes on a blind rage Ada Wong hunt and loses another whole team to the brother of the RE1 snake, who is there to avenge his brothers death (my story to myself to justify a mutant snake in a game full of insects) Anyhow, they catch up to Ada and Leon and Helena show up, intervene, and Ada escapes.
Chris finally listens to Leon (and Piers after the whole game) and calms down and gets SRS. Because SRS BUSINESS IS SRS, and Chris finally uses some of that USAF training and you pilot a Jet to take out a missile. After you succeed in stopping it and it launches anyway, you receive a message from Leon to go rescue Jake and Sherry from an oil rig. Fuck me swinging. Fine! I’ll go rescue someone else now. You set Jake and Sherry free and meet up with them at the video game equivalent of the current political machine (a big ugly mess) which Chris and Piers decide to fight. Rather than ruining the M. Night Shyamalan moment, I’ll stop here for Chris’ wrap up.
Chris winges the whole game like other reviewers winged about Resident Evil 6. My driving force to complete this was to never play it again. Chris, the patron of the Resident Evil heroes, annoyed me so much, they made the Chris Redfield from the movies BEARABLE. If it wasn’t for Piers and the twist ending… 2/5. Fuck you Chris.
Ada Wong’s story ties the whole thing together, and is full of spoilers. Play through all 3 main campaigns to unlock Ada’s campaign. It’s an awesome solo mission, no partner, so be on your toes. Her campaign is a 4/5
Over all the game gets a 3.25/5 I felt more like I was surviving Chris’ campaign rather than zombie onslaughts. Of course the game gets ‘The Mercenaries’ which seems standard now, and is still fun, however it’s changed slightly to reflect the melee abilities. It’s a fun side experience to an overall good game. Don’t go in with nostalgia and you’ll have a good time, play with an idiot online…. you’re gonna have a bad time.
Oh and thanks to the random dude I played with online. I was missing that emblem in the labs from Leon’s campaign.
Josh Flaherty is an independent game designer from Minneapolis, MN and owner of Queuethulu Games LLC. He has worked on independent video games since 2003 and is passionate about the art of games, unique stories, and long walks down dark alleys. Visit Josh at his personal blog, http://vonshmoot.blogspot.com/ and also at Queuethulu Games Blog (personal game design blog) http://queuethulu.blogspot.com/. You can follow him on Twitter as well @SWTZMBEJESUS. To contact Josh, email him at email@example.com.