That’s what Resident Evil 6 was to me in 2012—a bloated product connected to the subtle horror and smart design of its roots in name only. For what it represented, I had no interest in playing it back then. But with Resident Evil 7, Village and everything in between, it now feels like the series’ action era is far enough in the past that I could finally face up to it without the seething indignation that it ruined my favourite series: I was ready to green-pill, and face its vapid void of action-pseudo-horror.
There’s something apt about the way you heal in Resident Evil 6. Traditionally, the series relied on lively leafy herbs to restore you. These conveniently potted plants still exist in 6, but you can’t take them in their natural organic state. Instead, you break them down into blisters of perfectly round green pills, which you put in a case so that you can quickly pop them mid-battle. You’re no longer interacting with something organic and mysterious, but sterile—an overly processed and market-researched product far removed from its original form.
But I knew I’d have to come prepared. I’d need to cover my critical eye with my monocle of ironic appreciation, laughing and scoffing in response to mechanics and utterly unpredictable quick-time events that would otherwise enrage me. I’d need to stop questioning the difference between cutscene, quick-time event and gameplay, accepting its strange flow and the fact that at any moment a zombie or helicopter blade or plane might burst in from the edge of the screen and insta-kill me.
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- It’s worth playing Resident Evil 6 again, but only with a pal
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