Crazy Busy October and Crazy Weird Resident Evil 6

resident evil 6 6

October is a major time for video game releases, and thus I’m finding myself with plenty of freelance action going on in the next few weeks. There also might be a few new developments brewing by the end of the month, and while I’m not able to discuss them just yet, they are occupying my time.

So I’m keeping today’s post a little shorter because I’ve got some World of Warcraft to get to for work, plus interviews to plan for the week. But let’s talk a minute about Resident Evil 6.

I played through the game all weekend, and I left it a little more positive on it than I was going in. My review tries to capture the dichotomy of how I felt playing it, because there were points where I seriously hated the game. Hated it. Cursing stupid design decisions. Irritated I had to keep replaying portions. Not having fun at all.

But occasionally I’d have to stop after a certain section or level and say, “Okay — that part was fun. I kinda liked that.”

In retrospect, I realize that I did a lot better with Resident Evil 6 once I understood it. Once I had seen its flaws, pock marks and pitfalls, I was able to adapt to them. I was able to avoid the lame parts and find the fun parts. I was able to play around bad design.

I didn’t realize I was doing it at the time, and I wrote the review without really acknowledging that “getting better at the game” was another way of saying I was adapting to stupid things and finding a way to minimize them. I don’t intend to amend the review, because I think the experience I had is still valid: I did get better at the game. I did start to understand how it works. I did adapt to what the game is. It’s not like I was changing my play style to dodge bugs; I was adapting to the systems, even if on their face, those systems were kind of stupid.

Interesting about that whole situation is that I was willing to go back and play through portions of the beginning levels of Resident Evil 6 once I had learned how the game worked to see if I hated them as much. I didn’t. I knew better, of course, but it demonstrates something that I tried to get across in the review: Resident Evil 6 is a co-op game, and it is seriously s–t in single player a lot of the time. Play it with a friend: it’s fun. Play it alone: it’s infuriating.

But I can’t remember a game I had such mixed feelings about before. Sometimes I like it. Or I like what it wants to be, and I like that it tries to be that. But so much is so poorly handled, and so much of the experience sucked.

Another bit of fascinating Resident Evil 6 gunk: the game’s story is completely freaking weird, especially in context of the other Resident Evil games. I intend to write about that this week as well, but it’ll be spoiler-heavy.

Anyway, that’s all — just some random thoughts about a strange game. Tomorrow I’ll probably be addressing Looper; co-writer best friend Nick and I are currently working on a big analysis that we’re hoping will find a home as a Huffington Post blog. More on that later too.

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