We recently reviewed the Nintendo Switch port of Resident Evil 5 and mentioned that it was a divisive yet underrated title in the series. Well, Resident Evil 6 also released on the platform at the same time, and to say that the game rattled the cages of even MORE fans of the series when it released would be an understatement. It was always considered to be one of the worst titles in the series and even I’d agree that it’s a weak entry – however, after coming back to the game a good few years on, I do have a lot more appreciation for Resident Evil 6’s action and cheesy premise.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a great game by any means, but it might not be as bad as people remember…
Resident Evil 6’s narrative is a bit difficult to explain, mainly because it’s spread across four different campaigns that feature an assortment of protagonists. Basically, you’ll be heading across the globe taking down zombie and monster threats as an assortment of returning series heroes and some all-new faces.
One of those ‘new faces’ is Jake Muller, who just so happens to be the son of big baddie Albert Wesker – that’s intriguing, right? Unfortunately, like a lot of the story decisions in Resident Evil 6, it isn’t something that’s explored in a particularly interesting way that’ll excite fans. In fact, the tale of Resident Evil 6 could feel a little bit disorientating at times thanks to all of the different campaigns and character-swapping, so it’s hard to feel too invested in what’s going on.
Thankfully, Resident Evil 6’s gameplay is a lot more interesting, with it featuring more action-focused sequences and a half-decent amount of horror across all of its campaigns. Be warned though: there are PLENTY of QTEs to be found this time around, so you can expect to spend a fair bit of time mashing some buttons. However, unlike Resident Evil 5, you’re able to move and shoot at the same time here – it sounds like such a small addition, but believe me, it makes taking down enemies in the game feel much more enjoyable.
There are four campaigns to play through in Resident Evil 6, with the game putting you in the roles of Chris and Piers, Leon and Helena, Jake and Sherry, and Ada and the ‘Agent’. Each campaign has two characters to play as – this means you can play in local or online co-op (which is a lot of fun), though the AI is a competent enough partner… for the most part.
Each campaign feels slightly different to the rest, with Chris’ feeling much more action-orientated and Leon’s having some genuinely chilling horror-like moments. A sense of action is still at the forefront of them all though, with the series’ puzzle-solving antics taking more of a backseat here – it’s something that disappointed die-hard fans, but the action sequences are competent enough that you won’t mind too much. Like Resident Evil 5, the Switch version of Resident Evil 6 also features gyro controls which add an enjoyable and surprisingly intuitive way to experience the action. Just note that it’s a heck of a lot more over-the-top and silly than other Resident Evil games… it’s not always a good thing, but if you can just accept the game for what it is, it can make it feel more endearing at times.
Besides the campaigns, there are extra game modes on offer such as the arcade-like score-chasing Mercenaries, Survivors which acts like a deathmatch mode, and Predator which sees players work together to take on a nasty player-controlled baddie – these can all be played in multiplayer and they’re actually pretty fun. Admittedly, I haven’t managed to find too many players to play with online, but if you can get some friends together you can get a good few hours of both co-op and competitive enjoyment here.
So clearly, Resident Evil 6 on the Nintendo Switch isn’t all that bad at all – thankfully, it performs quite well too. Now obviously, it doesn’t hit the calibre of visuals seen on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but it still manages to look pretty good throughout on both the Switch’s portable and docked modes. The frame rate is pretty consistent too, with it sticking to around a steady 30fps for the most part and only dropping during the more intense and busy sections of the game. Those drops never make it unplayable either, so it’s nothing that hampers the experience too much.
Resident Evil 6 isn’t a great Resident Evil game, but it’s a surprisingly slick and fun action game. Is that enough? Probably not for everyone, and even I’ll admit that the cheesy narrative and over-dependence on QTEs can be a little bit annoying for fans of the series.
Those who’re willing to look past those shortcomings and just enjoy Resident Evil 6 for what it is though might find themselves pleasantly surprised by this Nintendo Switch effort. It’s a far, far way from perfect, but there’s certainly fun to be had in this action-focused romp.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC