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Resident Evil 6: a message from hell

Monday, 1 October 2012 16:01 GMT By Dave Cook

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.

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45 Comments

  1. j1015

    Ugh! Too long. Stopped reading after the 3rd needlessly long paragraph and there’s THREE more!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    That was the point. The game is needlessly long, clunky and boring.

    The article sums up the game mate. Should have read it all.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    Really seems to be the consensus that good moments were just too sparse. I like longer games but it’s pure torture if they can’t make the experience worthwhile.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. supersir

    What… I mean… erm… what even?… I…

    What is this?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. rafterman83

    Excellent parody. Well done.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    First the Borderlands 2 write up, now this… Some avent garde critique going down at VG247!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @6 following the pack is boring ;)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Da Man

    Inferior JP design, apparently.

    You can’t get away with clumsiness disguised as quirkiness anymore.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. KAP

    A friend of mine told me that he thought Skyrim was boring after I suggested the title to him a while ago.. Does that make my opinion on the game wrong?

    It’s obviously a matter of opinion, so just buy the game if you think many are unfairly hating on RE6 which seems to be the norm of late.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. LockeTribal

    This is brilliant Dave :)

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dave Cook

    @9 speaking honestly in my own opinion, the game has fundamental issues. It pales in comparison to Resi 4 and the originals.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    Great write up Dave, shame some don’t get it.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Beta

    Against the protests of my non-existent attention span I read the article ;)

    Brilliantly done Dave :D

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DSB

    New Games Journalism: Making simple points in the most obscure, complicated way you can think of.

    May Cronkite have mercy on your souls.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. TheBlackHole

    Dave, how does it compare to RE5?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dave Cook

    @15 the shooting is worse, the controls are worse, it feels less like a Resident Evil game now.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. TheBlackHole

    @16… depending on what you thought of 5, I’m not sure what to make of that.

    It’s not as good a game as 5, is that right? But just because the controls and shooting are worse (despite many reviews saying that was one of the things that had improved).

    Reading a bunch of reviews, 80-90% of them can’t stop talking about the older games in the series. Would be nice to see someone review it as a standalone product so we can tell how good it is as a game.

    I’m not a survival horror fan, not in the ‘Amnesia’ mould anyway – I prefer them to be more action orientated, ala Dead Space or RE5. Still hoping this might be a fun co-op experience.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. osric90

    Still gonna get it. I remember people hating the fifth and cursing the 4th for life and still playing it later and telling it was awesome.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. RandomTiger

    Lol, very good Dave.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DLTDawnlight

    Looks like Capcom will not get my $59.99 from me! :lol: Wouldn’t be funny if reviewers demerited this game if it had disc-locked content?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. SplatteredHouse

    *applauds* very nice piece. An entertaining way of expressing your views on what you played.

    “Would be nice to see someone review it as a standalone product so we can tell how good it is as a game”
    @17: Youtube may be your best bet. To your point about comparisons being drawn: 1) Capcom, by the direction of the game, and by it’s comments with press practically invite them. 2) What criteria are the readers of reviews, on the whole, likely to want to regard RE6 against?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. supersir

    Guys, seriously?

    Look: I enjoyed Pat’s Borderlands 2 thing, that was clever. This isn’t, this is kinda ridiculous.

    I’m fine with concept reviews as a whole, but they have to be really, REALLY fantastically written to work and this just… well, it needs to be half the word count for one.

    Also, Dave Cook: “That was the point. The game is needlessly long, clunky and boring.

    The article sums up the game mate. Should have read it all.”

    So… the point of this concept review is that the game is needlessly long, clunky and boring so you’ll write a review that is long, clunky and boring?

    Way to subvert the expectations of the masses.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    @14 Lighten up DSB. It was just a bit of fun. There’s nothing wrong with mixing it up once in a while.

    That was… definitely unique. Sad to say I completely agree.

    This franchise, much like Call of Duty, is a has-been. A relic. It should Jane been buried a long time ago, but just like the movies of the franchise, people still spend their money on it, no matter how completely shit it gets.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. DSB

    @23 Right, hence the Cronkite gag.

    I really don’t like new games journalism though. Do I want to see a journalist make an ass out of himself because he can, or do I want to know whether Resident Evil 6 is actually good or not?

    I always think it’s a shame when a journalist puts himself before the story. I don’t care whether it’s Anderson Cooper or a games journalist.

    If I want to know what’s going on, I’ll read the news. If I want to indulge in experimental literature, I’ll go out back and shoot myself in the head.

    That being said, there’s obviously an audience for it, so that’s all the justification you need.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. supersir

    @DSB Agree with 100%. I get what this ‘review’ is saying, but it’s so much effort to have to read and interpret – and no review should be like that.

    I don’t get this sudden craze for new media type stuff… but I hope it stops soon. Games journalism isn’t taken very seriously at the best of times, and its easy to see why if this kind of stuff continues.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Dave Cook

    @25 it’s not a review.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Beta

    It’s not a review people and it made me chuckle. Don’t be so cranky! :P

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Dave Cook

    @27 Cranky isn’t the word Beta, it’s verging on nasty. It wasn’t attempt at new journalism, an attempt to make myself sound clever or a statement. We haven’t got a review done yet, and this is more a comment on how utterly dire some of the control and feature aspects are in the game. It was just an attempt to do something else and have bit of fun with it.

    Then DSB starts name dropping Kronkite and other writers.

    The mind boggles.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. OrbitMonkey

    @25, Yeah it’s the journalists stopping games media being taken seriously… Lets see a serious dissection of the cultural impact Mario has made and how Sonic influenced the zeitgiest of a generation!

    That’ll show peeps games are for the mature discerning masses!!

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Beta

    @28 “The mind boggles”

    The universal description of gaming forums ;)

    Someone will always be negative, I wouldn’t worry about it. Oh yeah, and keep up the awesome interviews please! :D

    #30 2 years ago
  31. DSB

    The Cronkite thing was a joke. I thought that would be pretty obvious, given his limited exploits in games journalism :P

    It’s an alright piece for what it tries to do, it’s just a style I personally dislike.

    No offence intended Dave.

    @29 That’s just as bad though, only to the opposite extreme :P

    You don’t have to be boring to cover the news, and you don’t have to make stuff up to be interesting.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Strange Sultan

    We need some smart and funny articles like this every now and then.

    write one for FIFA 13 :D

    #32 2 years ago
  33. supersir

    @28 That’s not what the URL says “resident_evil_6_review_message_fron_hell”.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. absolutezero

    http://youtu.be/Mv5d-lLGa30

    NSJ yeah?

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Telepathic.Geometry

    @26: It IS a review, and a good one at that. Well, maybe you’d rather use the word “Preview” or “First Impressions” but if you take this as a review, it’s a fine example of why you don’t need a number score at the end of a review to convey your opinion on the game.

    Thanks to this review – pedantic fucker aren’t I – I can see that this will be a second hand purchase next year some time… It’s Biohazard so I have to get it, but I’m in no hurry.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. tane

    Created an account to say thank you for this… I enjoy reading about games, and this was a great read.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. lubba

    thank goodness! I thought I was the only one who had issues with the controls and menu system as a whole. Frankly I don’t like how they all have the same gears of warrish moves, call of duty like gameplay. This is what Excella has to say about RE 6, “you’re still a child!”

    #37 2 years ago
  38. locus2k1

    +1 this article, especially as I have had the same issues with it this weekend (mysteriously, it arrived on Saturday morning).

    I got to the graveyard… In my opinion it doesn’t get better :( Holes in the ground that somehow you fall into from a distance away from them. Respawning Zombies. That damn dog that I had to chase all the way back to the beginning of the chapter. Is it just me or is a zombie lands near your feet that is close enough for them to actually be attached to your throat?

    I will keep going though, fingers crossed the niggles will become less tiresome :)

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Dave Cook

    @38 oh god that freaking dog chase. That was horrible. Also felt like my shots were doing nothing to hurt them. Just no aesthetic feedback when shooting things at all.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Da Man

    Just no aesthetic feedback when shooting things at all.
    Like in Gun Survivor and Code Veronica?

    It always amazed me how Capcom managed to create better effects in 90s games.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Dave Cook

    @40 well yeah pretty much dude. The sound on impact is muffled so you never know if you hit on target properly, the enemies dont flinch so much – it actually gets you doubting if you’re hurting them at all, or if there is some hidden weak point you’re missing.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. The_Red

    @41
    Wow, I’m pretty sure zombies did react in both RE4 and 5. The zombies in Operation Raccoon City was the one that had feedback-less zombies and I thought it was because of the western dev… Way to go Capcom.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. Dave Cook

    @42 yeah it’s a real issue. Doesn’t help that the laser sight on guns has no trail. Just a tiny red dot and a massive crosshair that means you often miss shots.

    Believe me as well, it’s not because I’m shit at shooting games. It’s just an aiming mechanic that fights you at every turn.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Daggy

    I created an account just to tell you how much of a beautiful, beautiful explaination of this game this is. I literally saw myself as the person controlling the Leon in this article. One thing you lack though, the quick time events. More specifically, learning how to climb. “I’m climbing this rope…moving one arm above the other…when suddenly, OH GOD I’M FALLING! Let’s try this again…and freefalling again.” Over and over. But this…I’ve never seen anything more accurate in my life. And I am an honest, and accurate, individual. Bravo.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Daggy

    You should definitely post an article about RE: ORC just like this one. It would be very humorous.

    #45 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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