Review – Resident Evil 6 (Switch)
I’ve talked about Resident Evil 6 before on WayTooManyGames. I am one of the weirdos out there who actually likes this game, albeit for completely different reasons than the ones Capcom wanted people to cherish this game for. Resident Evil 6 is a bad Resident Evil game, being as much as a scary title as Shaun of the Dead or Scooby Doo, but I can’t help but enjoy how idiotic it is. I have a soft spot for unintentional comedic disasters and Resident Evil 6 is a perfect example of that. Capcom has finally released this game on the Switch, pleasing basically no one else but myself by doing so.
Resident Evil 6 was the result of Capcom looking at the ridonculous sales figures for the boulder-punching opus that was Resident Evil 5 and realizing that the best way to make the series sell even more copies was to turn the Michael Bay dial to eleven. In a way, they weren’t wrong, as the game is still the third best-selling title in Capcom’s history, but it also turned the franchise into a pure action title, straying far away from its horror roots. Gone was the survival horror from the original Resident Evil. Gone was the pristine mixture between tense horror segments and third-person shooting from Resident Evil 4. With that being said, I have to consider Resident Evil 6 important for one thing: without it, we wouldn’t have gotten Resident Evil VII!
Enough history, let’s talk about the game itself. It is as far from a proper Resident Evil game as possible. The game is now basically a third person shooter with a few survival horror elements, such as item scarcity and a ton of zombies to deal with. There aren’t many puzzles to solve or small but open maps to explore; you basically go from point A to point B, shooting anything that looks decayed. While Resident Evil has never been a subtle horror franchise per se, as it always aligns itself with plots and performances worthy of the realm of cheap dumb B-movies. Resident Evil 6 is all about explosions, guns, set pieces, explosions, cover shooting, quick time events, and even more explosions. Oh, there’s also a section in which you pilot a jet fighter, because of course.
Sure, Resident Evil 6 suffers from a serious case of identity crisis and it doesn’t feel like Resident Evil at all, but technically speaking, it was a pretty good game for the time. It looked fine, it featured decent voice acting from returning cast members, and it had great controls. Resident Evil 6‘s third-person shooting mechanics and movement are pretty good, with responsive controls and fast-paced dodges. The fact that you can dodge a flying zombie (yep, those are here), fall on the ground, continue to aim at them, and still be able to dodge while on the ground, has always been really cool in my opinion. Exaggerated and over-the-top, surely, but cool nonetheless.
Porting Resident Evil 6 to the Switch ended up becoming a mixed bag. No, I’m not talking about the game itself being a mixed bag, I’m talking about a handful of technical issues that weren’t present in other versions of the game that are all throughout this port. Other Switch ports, like Resident Evil and Revelations, featured decent framerates and good textures, but that’s not the case in here. Resident Evil 6 features a completely unlocked framerate which never manages to reach 60fps. In fact, it barely manages to reach a stable 30fps, as the framerate goes downhill whenever there’s too much action happening onscreen. Considering that this is a game that throws a non-apologetic amount of zombies at you at any given time, with tons of Michael Bay-ish explosions happening in the background, you can already imagine the results. The overall lighting and textural quality has also suffered a hit.
With that being said, this game is still playable. Very playable. It still features splitscreen co-op, even in portable mode. It is very impractical, but it’s here. Every single previously released DLC is included in this package. There are four main campaigns to tackle, but let’s be honest, Jake’s is abysmal and Ada’s is mediocre at best. Leon’s campaign is the closest to a proper Resident Evil campaign, but it features laughable set pieces that I can’t help but love. Chris “Merica” Redfield’s campaign is what would Tom Clancy would come up with if he ever decided to write a zombie novel. It’s equally dumb and entertaining.
Then there’s the Mercenaries mode, which is basically a timed survival mode set in small arenas. The objective is to basically kill everything in sight, while trying not to get killed or let the timer run out. Mercenaries is a very arcade-heavy mode, which fits perfectly on the Switch. It is, by far, the best feature in this version of the game.
I’m not going to sugarcoat Resident Evil 6‘s design flaws or try to convince you that everyone else is wrong for not liking this game. I know very well that I like it for all the wrong reasons. With that being said, I still had my fair share of fun playing this idiotic yet charming game on the Switch. Although it is plagued by framerate issues, it is packed with an impressive amount of content and the arcade-focused Mercenaries mode ended up being a perfect fit for the portable system. It’s dumb and messy, but fun, and now I can experience this lovable stupidity on-the-go.
While detailed for PS3 and Xbox 360 standards, this version of Resident Evil 6 is plagued with less impressive textures and an unreliable framerate.
Resident Evil 6‘s controls and movement have always been its highlights, and it’s the same here, but the erratic framerate does make the overall gameplay less responsive and fluid.
As dumb as the game’s script is, the voice acting has never been bad. Most of the cast does a very good job. The soundtrack is a bit too “Michael Bay-ish”, more often than not providing tunes that would be a better fit on an action movie.
Fun Factor: 7.0
Resident Evil 6 is so downright imbecilic it’s charming. It’s so ridiculous that you can have quite a bit of fun with it if you don’t take it seriously. It’s also impressively packed with content and the Mercenaries mode is a perfect fit for the Switch.
Final Verdict: 7.0
Resident Evil 6 is available now on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC and Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.