Mon, Oct 01, 2012 | 17:17 BST
Resident Evil 6: a message from hell
Resident Evil 6 reviews have begun. It’s dark, it’s big and it’s full of zombies, but will it make you angry? Let’s ask Leon S. Kennedy.
My name is Leon S. Kennedy. Right now, I’m tired.
I’m tired because I’m trapped in zombie apocalypse hell for the third time and no matter what I do the horde keeps on coming back. It’s like a repeating nightmare that etches into my mind and follows me wherever I go. It’s as if misfortune haunts me like a spectre.
I’m here in Tall Oaks city with my partner Helena, and we’re trying to escape another zombie outbreak. Some 70,000 civilians turned to mindless flesh-hungry monsters, who only yesterday were going about their ordinary lives. Sort of puts everyday problems into perspective.
I also just shot and killed the President. Although he had already turned into a husk of his formal self. I shot him, and now a lot of people are now asking questions. So not only am I on the run from Neo-Umbrella’s biological abominations, I’m a traitor running from his own country.
I’m just so tired.
Even as I walk through the bowels of Tall Oak University I can’t seem to move in a straight line without difficulty. I become inexplicably slowed down by furniture, and I can’t even step over a dead body without tripping over like some tackled English footballer.
Then suddenly the horde is upon us, I draw my gun and aim for the head. One, two, three… surely not four? I blast at the zombie’s head as accurately as my pistol’s incredibly broad cross-hair allows, and even though I just scored four hits on target, I feel like shouting verbal insults at these guys would have more impact.
They don’t call this survival horror for nothing though, right? I’m supposed to feel this disadvantaged, just like I did during the Raccoon City incident, except now, times have changed. The world has changed. I’ve got more guns then I did back then, but yet I still feel useless.
I shoot down the first wave of zombies but in my peripheral vision I see another one lunging at me. I try to swing around to shoot him as fast as I can but my tiredness kicks in, and I can only only manage a morose pivot.
He takes a bite out of my shoulder before Helena rushes in and dropkicks him, taking his head clean off. I didn’t think that was possible, but then again I’ve seen weirder things in my time. Ever see a Spanish midget turn into a 20 foot vagina monster? Yeah, didn’t think so.
My shoulder hurts, and I’m just so very tired.
Helena helps me to my feet and injects me with some kind of stimulant. I’ve no idea what it is, but I see a lot of special agents use these things so they must be good. We regroup and start walking through a security corridor with metal detectors.
I know my gun – which is made of metal, I think – will set off the alarm and alert the horde so I try to play it smart and hop over the waist-high table next to it, but my tiredness stops me.
I can’t even get a leg up on it. I just wish I could be somewhere else, away from this madness. After a few seconds of questioning who designed the room, we pass through the scanner and fight off the zombies drawn in by the deafening alarm.
With that messy ordeal behind us, we venture into the subway network and it’s dark, really dark. As we walk down the platform edge I see them, three, no – maybe five dormant zombies lying there, waiting for us to pass by.
I’ve learned a lot about survival since Raccoon City, so I take aim at a zombified young woman and shoot her in the head. But nothing happens. Shit. This worked in Spain, why isn’t it working here? Confused and irritated by my inability to prepare, we walk ahead and approach a shutter door.
I know what’s coming, but how can I properly prepare for it when I’m this tired?
Suddenly, as if walking through some invisible tripwire, the horde wakes up. I knew this was going to happen so I’m not in the least bit surprised. Instead, I’m angry, so I try to take the initiative by shooting a nearby zombie before he stands up.
But still the hits don’t register. It’s like in those video games I play whenever I have some downtime from the agency. You know how sometimes enemies can’t be hurt until their scripted animations end, and how that serves no purpose than to irritate people and make initiative unrewarding? It’s just like that.
I politely wait for the monster to stand up before blowing his head clean off, and I notice Helena being grabbed by another pack of them. I sprint over to to her and grab the nearest zombie I can find, before pulling off some reverse DDT move I learned while watching wrestling one night.
We both slam into the ground the zombie’s head bursts like a ripe melon, but now I’m hurt. I take a look at whatever supplies I have and I realise that the action isn’t stopping. It’s like in that Dark Souls game I sometimes play.
I like that you can’t pause that game because it makes the action a lot more tense, and how it forces you to prepare ahead of fights. It puts pressure on players, sort of like the same pressure I felt back in Racoon City all those years ago, except this is a new kind of fight.
These enemies are faster, I’m faster and because I’m fighting these creatures in such small, enclosed spaces all the time, I can’t find a safe spot to stop and mix herbs into tablets before healing my wounds. Whoever designed this city didn’t think about us herb-mixers at all, not one bit.
I get chomped on some more while trying to mix herbs. Now I’m really tired.
Back on our feet we meet up with a pack of survivors pinned down at a gas station. We run over to help them, and suddenly I stop in horror. Are these humans, or are they more zombies? They’re so pale and lifeless I can’t even tell the difference.
One of them speaks, shouting for assistance, but his voice and lip movements don’t match. Now I’m convinced he’s one of them. Cautiously I raise my gun and start driving off the horde until, out of nowhere, an out of control ambulance screams into view towards me.
I haven’t got enough time to slowly pivot on the spot and run away and I become crushed by the vehicle. I feel cheated and frustrated for not being given a sporting chance to escape, but hey, I’m used to these sort of odds. I just expected a little more warning is all.
Although I’m beaten and my body aches, I stop for a second after the madness dies down. Maybe some of those skill point things I’ve been picking up will help me become stronger so that the fight is more manageable? I open my PDA for advice but I don’t know where and how to use them.
I know I can spend these on new skills, but no one has told me how. I’m frustrated and lost, and so very, very tired. Instead I decide to take this time to check on my buddies Chris and Jake. They’re also fighting Neo-Umbrella across the other side of the world. I hope they’re safe.
But wait: I can’t check in on them because if I do that, my progress so far will be lost. It’s like those games I often play when I have downtime at the agency, you know the ones that only have one save?
I’m told that I can’t check in on Chris or Jake until I finish this chapter or I’ll lose my progress. I definitely don’t want to do all of this again so I march on and suddenly it all clicks. ‘Progress’… ‘chapter’… ‘skill points’… could I be?
I’m a character in a videogame… none of this is real…
But yet, why am I still so tired?
I want to just stop and catch my breath, to make sense of the insanity going on all around me, but I can’t, just because someone forgot to put a pause function in the game. How much crueller can this existence be?
I’m just so tired, so very tired, but hope drives me on… hope that something better, a glimmer of ingenuity lies in wait around the next corner. I hear the graveyard level is much better, so I close my eyes and try and picture it.
Suddenly I stop moving as the guy controlling me leaves to go for a piss. I panic, screaming at the top of my lungs for him to come back. But the world doesn’t stop, and the advancing hordes of the undead descend on my immobilised, beaten body.
I try to escape, but I’m rooted to the spot as they bring me to the floor and tear me limb from limb. I know the guys who made this world must have had a good reason for taking the ability to pause out.
The guys responsible for this whole world were only trying to recapture the dread of the Raccoon City incident in an attempt to make people happy, I understand that now, but I still can’t forgive them as my life quickly fades away.
Then, I respawn and do it all over again.
My name is Leon S. Kennedy. And I’m just so very tired.