The first of the game's main three campaigns features Resident Evil veteran Leon S. Kennedy teaming up with newcomer Helena Harper in the zombie infested town of Tall Oaks. The duo explores the cause of the outbreak that Helena has claimed to be the cause of, and the campaign will definitely bring back fond memories of exploring Raccoon City way back in the 90s. This shot of nostalgia is thrilling but eventually fades as the two escape the town and coincidentally meet up with the other characters from the game numerous times on the way to their ultimate goal.
Another of the game's campaigns features series veteran Chris Redfield, his partner Piers Nivans and the rest of their B.S.A.A. squad heading to Linshiang, China to face a new bio-terrorist threat. The team will face many dangerous J'avo and fearsome B.O.W.s along the way, and most of them won't make it out alive. What begins as an action oriented campaign with plenty of gunfire from Chris and his comrades quickly turns into a fight for survival as each of his comrades are taken out one at a time.
In the last main campaign in Resident Evil 6, Jake Muller--son of infamous bio-terrorist, Albert Wesker--teams up with Sherry Birkin--who is all grown up and an agent in her own right, long after the events of Resident Evil 2. These two each have their own reasons for fighting against bioterrorism, but their attempts will often be thwarted throughout the game by an unstoppable force simply called the Ustanak. Of the three, Jake and Sherry have by far the most intriguing storyline.
Resident Evil 6 is crammed full of bonus content, and the game's fourth, unlockable campaign is evident of that. The campaign stars another familiar face for the franchise, Ada Wong, who will encounter plenty of creepy caves, dungeon crawling and puzzle solving that will instantly feel familiar for fans that have been following the series for a long time. In addition to Ada's campaign that will unlock after completing the game's other storylines, players can also unlock Agent Hunt which allows J'avo and other C-Virus mutations to be controlled by human players and attack others playing through the campaign as the usual characters. This unlockable mode is optional, but it's a whole lot of fun to experiment in with a few friends.
There will instantly be noticeable new features to anyone booting up Resident Evil 6 for the first time, the most prominent being the ability to run and shoot at the same time. In addition, players can now run and dive at anytime and even lay on the ground and fire off shots before standing. The game also boasts a game changing new melee combat system that makes bashing in a zombie's skull more fun than it should be. On top of an overhauled control scheme, the game manages to look even more impressive than its predecessor Resident Evil 5 thanks in large part to very impressive lighting technology that creates striking silhouettes on incoming hordes in the game's darker areas. The sound and graphics are easily some of the best to ever appear in a Resident Evil game. Combine that with yet another fantastic voice over with returning stars and a strong effort from the game's newest characters, and players will be in for a real treat when the king of survival horror games takes back its crown this year.
Resident Evil 6 won't be everyone's favorite game, but most people will find something to love about the game whether it be one of the game's many campaigns, the return of Mercenary Mode, the all new Agent Hunt Mode or the game's new approach to the survival horror genre it helped establish in the late 90s. Resident Evil is the premiere video game series for survival horror, and Resident Evil 6 is the culmination of both the series' past and where it will head in the future as it continues to change the landscape of the gaming industry.
Developer & Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: Xbox 360 (reviewed) and PlayStation 3
Rating: M for Mature
Release Date: October 2, 2012