For fans of the series, specifically the games before Resident Evil 5, you're going to be a bit disappointed here. Resident Evil 6 is an action game first, with horror and puzzle elements taking a backseat. The puzzles in the game are elementary and the RPG like upgrade system feels pretty minor. In fact, you can only purchase upgrades between chapters and the costs of the upgrades can take a few chapters to earn.
Each campaign contains five chapters and each chapter can take anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours to complete. Like I said, this is a meaty game and completing everything will take you well over the 25 hours. The chapters are broken up into sections that auto save, but between those sections are checkpoints. It's very tricky and it's easy to lose your progress if you don't see a proper save icon. On more than one occasion this happened to me, so make sure you see the typewriter icon when saving to know it's safe to quit. One nice feature is the ability to switch between campaigns to keep the story timelines in sync, though you can only have one mid mission save at anytime, so you best do that at chapter breaks. You'll also need to hit the chapter breaks to save your progress if you join someone's game, otherwise you won't get credit for completion.
Mechanically the game does have its problems whether you are fighting the camera or being blindsided by enemies. There's an overabundance of quick time events for several actions, including the frequent grappling by the undead. You may even find the shooting system a bit unforgiving, but for the most part I can look past these issues. The biggest problem I have with Resident Evil 6 is it offers a lot of variety in the way of handling the situations thrown at you, but there is virtually no tutorial or even a manual to tell you that you are capable of certain things. For instance, if you are playing the game in single player there are ways to tell your AI partner to do certain things, but it's nowhere to be found in any of the game's menus. Instead, to find out the controls, you'll need to download a PDF from Capcom's website or if you are lucky, catch it on a loading screen.
It's also hit or miss from the co-op side of things for game mechanics. Playing online Resident Evil 6 is a blast, dropping in and out of a game is smooth and seamless. Both players get healed if they pop some pills or spray themselves when standing close together, promoting teamwork. Another great feature of online co-op is that each player gets their own copy of items to pick up so there's no fighting for ammo. But if you are playing Resident Evil 6 in split-screen, it's a fight for ammo as the double spawning doesn't take place. Also during couch co-op play there are some quirky camera and screen oddities that are distracting.
Outside of the core game there's some alternative modes buried in the "extras" menu. You can jump into other players' games as a zombie in the agent hunt mode, something I was unable to try in a dozen attempts to find a match. Allowing players to "raid" your game is something you must turn on when starting game, but I don't think it's entirely obvious what it is. There's also a return of the Mercenaries mode. This is a fun, arcadey diversion that can be played in singleplayer or co-op and earn you skill points for your characters. Sadly, there's only three maps out of the box for Mercenaries and three primary characters to choose from - none of the co-op partners are present for whatever reason.
Resident Evil 6 is an ambitious game on many levels and I can't help but feel with a little AAA polish it could have been something really great. Some of the earlier set pieces in Leon's campaign are top notch, showcasing the high production values and fun that can be found throughout. On the flip side it seems that all the time and effort on certain "popcorn moments" have caused basic gameplay elements to be lost. I can't say enough good things about the intersection mechanic and the potential it showcases, not only for what's there, but for what other developers might try to do in the future. If anything has to be Resident Evil 6's legacy, let it be that.
The Co-Optimus review of Resident Evil 6 is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up through the game's story with one of 6 different characters (3 stories, 2 characters each) and team up for four player co-op through specific intersection moments. The game also supports a two player co-op mercenary mode.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.