Resident Evil 6 is the eighth mainline entry--when including Code: Veronica & Zero--in the popular Resident Evil series, announced by Capcom on January 19th, 2012 and released at October 2nd, 2012. Set in 2013, four years after Resident Evil 5 (and 10 years since the downfall of Umbrella), Resident Evil 6 brings back the two most prominent leads Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy to canonically star together for the first time in Resident Evil history.
Shying away from a linear progression like the most recent Resident Evil titles, Resident Evil 6 allows players to select from any of the four available campaign stories--Leon, Chris, Ada, and the new character Jake Muller--in whichever order they so choose, somewhat reminiscent of the first two Resident Evil games. Despite this freedom of choice, it was suggested by RE6 director Eiichiro Sasaki that Leon's story be tackled first.
Initially Ada's campaign had to be unlocked upon first completing the three prior campaigns, however via a patch update it is now available from the outset.
Resident Evil 6 is an action-shooter with an over-the-shoulder perspective in the same vein as prior entries, Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, though it features a "totally new control scheme" allowing much more manoeuvrability. This includes the ability to now move and shoot similar to the 3DS Resident Evil games, Mercenaries 3D and Revelations, and a full 360 movement scheme replacing the series' long-standing tank controls. Characters can now utilise a roll ability to help dodge incoming attacks and also now for the first time are able to quickly dive into prone and fire their weapon.
RE6 sees the return of cover mechanics along with the newly introduced ability to sprint. While sprinting, the character will automatically vault over obstacles and jump across ledges without any additional player input. Because of the added ability to sprint, characters now run automatically by pushing on the analogue stick all the way; pressing it gently will have the character walk instead. The player's camera view has also been expanded, now allowing a full 360 degree perspective rather than being restricted to as far as the character's neck can turn.
Additional customization options have been afforded for players within the options menu. These allow players to now freely switch between aiming from the right side or left, to whether or not their weapons will reload automatically, to choosing between the new cross-hair or the classic laser sight for aiming their weapons, to then even choosing from a small selection of colors for said laser sight.
Melee combat has been heavily streamlined and can be utilised at any time--rather than requiring specific context-sensitive button prompts--which will allow the player to string together a few simple combos using the RT/R2 button. Context-sensitive prompt attacks are still available, however they have primarily been reduced to the available attack whence stunning an enemy via a headshot.
Players may attack with a dive should they be in the middle of a sprint, and breakable boxes no longer require a knife and can instead be automatically destroyed with a regular melee attack. To compensate, characters have a stamina gauge that slowly depletes (but will recharge) after each melee attack; when timed correctly just before an enemy melee attack, the player can do a powerful counter attack. The gauge is used up when players make use of the Quick Shot ability, which allows the player to swiftly fire off a shot with their equipped weapon complete with auto-aim.
Along with the overall control scheme, the inventory system has also been given a complete overhaul, now designed as two separate menus for supplies and weapons -- both of which the player must scroll through horizontally. The player may now move while perusing their inventory, though they control their inventory navigation with the right analogue stick temporarily removing control of the in-game camera. The player switches between the two menus using the RB/R1 button by default for the 360 and PS3 respectively.
Health items can now be used with just a single button press as well. For a more convenient approach, the alternative is to use the directional buttons (left/right for weapons, up/down for supplies) to scroll. Items cannot be combined within this menu, however.
Herbs can once again be combined, but this time must be converted into 'tablets', which will allow players to heal themselves with just the press of a button rather than having to first select it out of their inventory; players can also tap the button consecutively to use multiple tablets at once. First Aid sprays must still be equipped for use, however. There exist no blue nor yellow herbs this time around and only green and red can be found and combined; red herbs still have no effect when used on their own.
A list of the herb to tablet conversion is as follows:
Should a player take enough damage, they will enter into a 'dying state. Here, the player can only crawl, but can also pull up their weapon and attempt to defend themselves. Unlike RE5, however, the player will eventually bring themselves back off the ground once enough time has passed without the player getting attacked; the player's partner character can also still revive the player as well to speed up the process. The player is still within the 'dying' state during this stage and must heal themselves, otherwise a single attack will kill them outright.
Unlike Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, players cannot buy weapons. Instead players will find all of each respective campaign's weaponry as the story dictates it, and certain weapons are exclusive across specific campaigns and even characters. Weapons cannot be upgraded either, and now players may purchase ''Skills'' and can equip three at a time. Players can create up to eight different combinations at once and then choose to switch between their configurations mid-game Most, but not all, Skills such as Piercing or Defense can be upgraded after they've been bought for an additional price, increasing their overall effectiveness.
A list of the Skills are as follows:
Cooperative play is once again featured within the game, with each of the three storylines starring two main characters. Leon has Helena Harper at his side, Chris is teamed with BSAA marksman Piers Nivans, and Jake Muller is paired with Sherry Birkin. Matchmaking has been introduced to allow a more accessible venue for cooperative play, including drop-in drop-out capability. When played solo, players can now select which of the two main characters to star as, rather than having to complete the campaign first to unlock the secondary character. Like in RE5, the other character is taken control by an AI should it be a solo game. Though this time around there is no inventory management between the two characters, and the AI is invincible with infinite ammo.
With each of the three stories primarily happening concurrently, this eventually allows certain characters to coincide with one another introducing the concept of 4-player cooperative play in Resident Evil 6. As long as the player(s) is online, once they reach a point in one of the stories (eg. Leon & Helena) where the cast will meet up with two from another story (eg. Jake and Sherry), the player is given the option to search online for any other player(s) who is currently at the same spot with the other characters. From there, the quadruple can then temporarily play together to fight against a specific story-dictated boss battle. Otherwise the player(s) can opt to fight alongside two temporary friendly AI's instead.
QTEs once again return, though they are now much more prevalent overall than previous games in the series. They are still most commonly encountered should a player be grabbed by an enemy or in the case of bosses to sometimes avoid an attack entirely. Though unlike in Resident Evil 5 for example, some enemies will require the player to complete multi-tiered QTEs in a row, such as wiggling the stick and then having to time a button press afterwards to throw the enemy off.
They are also encountered during specific cutscenes, where the player must press the on-screen prompts as they appear otherwise they will die. Sometimes players may also have to rapidly tap a single button as well, usually as a means to further illustrate a scene depicting a struggle for example. Not only do they occur during cutscenes, but even during in-game events as well. This includes a QTE involving the player dodging an incoming train, to one that has players climbing up a long string of rope by alternating between R2/RT and L2/LT at a specific pace.
If playing cooperatively, cutscene QTEs are divided between players depending on which character is doing the action on-screen. Though there are still some that require both players to press the prompts simultaneously.
Via an online patch, a setting was added so as to make cutscene QTEs automated with no fail state. However in-game QTEs will still persist.
Like past Resident Evil games, Resident Evil 6 allows players to go through any of the completed campaigns with all the weapons they've found and as much ammo and healing supplies as how they left it. When playing through the already completed campaign with the alternate character, however, the player will begin with that character's default equipment only and will have to collect the campaign's set of weapons again. Though even when heading again with the same character as they completed the game with, the game will also give players the option to play through again with the character's default equipment should they so desire.
After surviving Raccoon City and saving the President's daughter, Leon isn't ready to retire just yet. In fact he now must go back into the heart of the nightmare as his employer and the man he believes in most, the President of the United States, has turned into a zombie and another American City is overrun with infected.
Helena is a relatively new addition to the United State's Secret Service. Unlike most of the other Resident Evil 6 protagonists, Helena hasn't had much experience battling B.O.W.s. Trying to get to grips with the nightmarish situation she's found herself in, she ropes in Leon S. Kennedy to help her save her sister, Deborah Harper.
Chris still with the B.S.A.A. works alongside B.S.A.A. marksman Piers Nivans amidst their excursion in China to uncover the plot revolving around the latest strand of B.O.W. virus, the C-Virus.
A BSAA sniper, Piers is an up and coming soldier within the unit who has been serving with Chris for a long while. As the very man who manages to bring Chris back into the B.S.A.A, after suffering Post-Traumatic Amnesia, Piers will try his best to both battle the J'avo and save Chris from his own downfall.
An all new character, Jake Muller is the third protagonist of Resident Evil 6, who is directly related to previous series antagonist Albert Wesker.
The daughter of deceased Umbrella scientists, William Birkin and Annette Birkin, Sherry finally returns into the fold with Resident Evil 6 working alongside Jake Muller.
The mysterious and often illusive Ada Wong also makes her timely return. Attempting to capture Jake Muller because of his natural immunity to reanimation viruses, Ada will come into conflict with both Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy as her true motives are finally revealed.
Presidential aide and friend to Adam Benford, Derek is soon revealed to be the culprit behind the Tall Oaks C-Virus outbreak and as such the death of the President. Strongly believing in his own vision of 'World stability', Derek's methods for sculpting the world as he sees fit is often at the expense of innocent human life.
Exclusive to only Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy, they're both equipped with a knife from the outset as a reference to their experience across the franchise. Leon's is the Survival Knife whereas Chris is given the Combat, though besides some cosmetic differences they mostly function the same. The name difference is implied to signify the style and tone of both character's respective campaign they're both assigned to, with Leon's slower-paced more horror-oriented atmosphere, and Chris' much more action-focussed military aesthetic.
The Knives are slow and not exceptionally powerful, though when used with the Quick Draw ability, the character will do a quick few swipes. Executions on downed enemies are also more powerful with the knife equipped.
Sherry Birkin's own exclusive melee weapon, the Stun Rod can do minor electrical damage to her foes, and can also be charged up to discharge a significantly more powerful current - one that can even spread across multiple enemies.
Jake Muller, while can still do regular melee attacks, also has available his own additional set of melee attacks tied to his 'Hand-to-Hand' weapon. Using the regular attack buttons, Jake can perform a few simple combos, including a flurry of acrobatic attacks should the player continually use the Quick Draw ability. Jake can also ready himself for a running lunge attack not unlike that of Albert Wesker by holding down R2/RT; from there players can select their target and then 'fire' to have Jake rush forward and perform a forward strike.
Using Hand-to-Hand will still deplete the player's stamina gauge.
A semi-automatic pistol and one that is exclusive to Leon S. Kennedy, the Wing Shooter has an alternate firing mode where Leon will equip another and duel-wield the two for more damage output, but less accuracy.
Helena Harper's own semi-automatic pistol. It is slightly more powerful than the others but has no alternate firing mode. While Helena is the only playable character across the story to have it available, in The Mercenaries mode Carla Radames also has it as apart of her inventory and is shown with it equipped during the flashback in Edonia during Chris Redfield's campaign.
Standard military sidearm whom both Jake Muller and Chris Redfield have available, the Nine-Oh-Nine is the weakest of all the handguns and has no alternate fire.
This is Sherry Birkin's exclusive pistol and like the name applies can fire in bursts of three. Though there is also an alternate single-shot mode where it'll fire like a regular pistol instead.
Standard pump-action shotgun available across both Leon's and Jake's campaigns.
Returning from Resident Evil 5 is the Hydra sawn-off shotgun. However, this time around it is only available for Helena and is made available from the outset. Loaded with up to three shots, the Hydra is able to unload all three of its shells as fast as the player can press the firing button. When used with Quick Shot, Helena perform a number of unique stunt-roll animations per shot; after all three shots, Helena will then immediately reload the shotgun as she gets back up.
Similar in power to the regular Shotgun, the Assault Shotgun is semi-auto and can hold more rounds. This variety of shotgun is available across Chris Redfield and Ada Wong's campaigns.
For Ada's hands only, the Ruger SMG is shot from the hip and has a high fire-rate, though little damage output.
Starting SMG for Piers Nivans, the MP-AF is highly accurate but deals little overall damage. It has two firing modes available: full auto and single-shot.
Chris Redfield's starting assault rifle and his primary weapon. Accurate and rather powerful, though its reload animation is slightly longer than the other assault rifles in the game.
Its name is a reference to Chris' history as a STARS member -- Special Tactics and Rescue Service.
Available across Jake Muller and Ada Wong's campaign, the Bear Commander is the most powerful assault rifle in the game, though to compensate has the worst accuracy. It also comes equipped with a grenade launcher attachment.
Found exclusively in Leon's campaign, the Assault Rifle RN resides within a middle ground, with its modest power and accuracy. Though what really sets it apart is the added bayonet, which when equipped will allow the player to use it for any melee attacks and finishers.
Also returning from Resident Evil 5, the Lightning Hawk continues on with its specific blend of power and recoil resistance. This weapon is only found in Leon's campaign.
Resident Evil 6's own revolver-magnum, the Elephant Killer is the most powerful weapon in the game minus the RPG. Its recoil is strong, though its power is so great it can often shoot through up to three enemies at once.
A standard bolt-action sniper rifle, this weapon is only found in Jake and Ada's campaigns.
Found in Leon and Chris' campaigns, the Semi-Auto Rifle has a much faster firing rate and quick reload, though it lacks in power to its sniper rifle brethren.
Piers' sniper rifle exclusive only to him, the Anti-Material Rifle is the third most powerful gun in the game behind the Elephant Killer and RPG. Because of its power, it has a hard kickback and requires that every bullet must be loaded between shots.