The joy that gamers get when they grind through the Resident Evil series comes to a screeching halt when they start to play Resident Evil 6. To find out the reasons why Resident Evil 6 failed, just try spending an evening with it.
Capcom's Resident Evil series has a reputation for dishing out some the best survival horror games in the genre. That is, except for Resident Evil 6. It aimed to please a wide range of players, particularly those of first-person shooters, but ended up pleasing no one.
While some may vouch for the zombie shoot-em-up, their voices are smothered by the litany of complaints about how bad the gameplay mechanics are and how terrible the style is compared to its predecessors. These are the biggest reasons why gamers hate RE6.
Although Resident Evil 6 attracted fans of both survival horror and action video game genres, it just couldn't decide which one it wanted to be. So it went for both.
The game features four story campaigns with four separate pairs of heroes, fracturing the narrative and creating a grab bag of different play styles. Campaigns seesaw between "fight-or-flight" sequences, with players either aggressively maneuvering against grotesque monsters in an all-out melee, or stealthily avoiding them in narrow escapes. Ada Wong's campaign was dubbed the "worst" of the four by Metro, which called out the section of the game for its "ridiculously contrived puzzles and remedial level stealth sections made almost unendurable by the higher difficulty level."
The game's medley of styles proved too much for most players to swallow. As game reviewer Matthew Byrd put it,
Rather than try to craft a prix fixe menu designed to highlight the skills of the chef, Capcom opted to turn Resident Evil 6 into a buffet. That way, everyone could find something to like no matter what they were looking for. The thing about buffets, though, is that there’s always something a little off about their offerings.... Capcom’s decision to not commit to any one play style meant that each of their chosen methods suffered from a lack of attention. If anything, having the campaigns stacked on top of each other only served to agitate the people they were meant to appeal to.
For a survival horror game, much of the horror in Resident Evil 6 was severely lacking. While players are certainly required to survive through wave after wave of zombies, the game doesn't work very hard to actually scare the players.
Resident Evil games are known for their horrifying monsters, well placed jump scares, and psychological torment. However, in RE6, these key features all but vanished. "Leon’s story is the closest the game gets to survival horror," Metro claims, "although all this really means is that most of his levels are very dark and it’s harder to see monsters before they leap out at you."
Filled with campaign stories, time attack modes, and endless amounts of action, Resident Evil 6 was specially designed to attract a new type of player - namely, fans of online first-person shooters like Call of Duty. Capcom UK's head of marketing, Dave Turner, said this shift was due to the success of the previous game, which featured an even greater emphasis on action than Resident Evil 4 - itself a shift for the franchise.
"The dream would be that the millions of Call of Duty fans that are enjoying these fast-paced online games are attracted to this Resident Evil," Turner said.
However, when long-time Resident Evil fans saw the trailer, they were far from pleased. Despite their complaints that the series was getting too action-packed, the developers went full speed ahead with the new vision.
After the creation of Resident Evil 4, which is considered one of the best games of all time, the original series creator, Shinji Mikami, split from the team. That hardly deterred the development of the next installment, however, as the franchise was - and still is - immensely popular. Resident Evil 5 was claimed by a completely new team who began working on the booming Capcom title.
Upon completing and shipping Resident Evil 5, it became the then best seller in the series, urging Capcom to appeal further to the first-person shooter crowd. The Resident Evil title was again passed to a different team of developers, who constructed Resident Evil 6 under this new direction.