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This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Resident Evil 6.

TranscriptEdit

The core Resident Evil series doesn't seem to do subheadings. It wasn't Resident Evil 2 colon There's Still A Bit Of Evil Hanging Around; it's mostly just clinical numbering which, come to think of it, also sums up its approach to box art lately. But my unofficial subtitle for Resident Evil 4 is The Only Good One 'cause that was the only one that seemed to 100% aware of how fucking stupid the central premise is, which is that unleashing giant feral slime monsters in populated areas is considered a flawless all-purpose assassination/terrorism/home security solution to the point that inexplicably wealthy Saturday morning cartoon villains are queuing up to invest.

I want to go to the world of Resident Evil and introduce everyone to the concept of a really big bomb. No cleaning up piles of snot, no plucky survivors to follow your retarded evil schemes, no getting eaten by close friends and family members you mutated against their will 'cause you needed a test subject and have some kind of blind spot for homeless people; you just drop it and everyone dies! I'd make a fucking packet!

Resident Evil 6 returns to something of series tradition by having multiple simultaneous story campaigns: outspoken misogynist and former Boyzone member Leon S. Kennedy kicks it off with a nice traditional zombie killing, Chris "Fuck Boulders" Redfield fights mutant terrorists in a more tactical shootery sort of way, some new cunt called Jake fends off the lovechild of Ivan Drago and a piece of industrial farming equipment, and there's a fourth one that only unlocks after you've done the other three at six p.m. on Saturday afternoon just when you think you're comfortably within deadline for once. And the plot involves - wait for it - an inexplicably wealthy Saturday morning cartoon villain unleashing monsters upon both China and the United States so at least they're not being racist again.

In his first scene, Leon has somehow forgotten what a zombie is as he attempts to reason with one that is advancing towards him smacking his chops and wearing a brain-patterned barbecue apron, while in the three years since RE5, Chris has somehow acquired an entirely new backstory in which he lost his men and became an embittered drunk. So they could have replaced the two recurring protagonists with Laurel and fucking Hardy and it would have meant precisely as much!

The big problem with Resident Evil is that it has completely undermined itself. It was about fighting the Umbrella Corporation, who were kind of an anomaly in being a pharmaceutical corps that just happens to be run by Satan who was devoting all of their resources to destroying the world because he's a prick like that. And by now, Umbrella is supposed to be gone and CEO Albert "Satan's hairdresser" Wesker was pretty thoroughly Redfielded at the end of RE5, so what now? Oh, with this and Rerevelations, we now learn that the world has an inexhaustable supply of cartoonishly evil dipshits in inexplicably lofty positions of power who regard zombie apocalypses as the sanest way to avoid potential intelligence leak and no-one's learnt a fucking thing!

And doesn't this render all the hardships and struggles of the previous games completely pointless? If I were Chris Redfield, I'd fucking give up. "Well," I'd say. "Guess the human race is just determined to wipe itself out. Let's gather up every other Resident Evil protagonist and found our own city on the moon!" But you just know Leon will insist on bringing his dumb friend Keith who forgets to file his tax return one year and tries to cover it up by causing a zombie apocalypse.

Speaking of pointless struggle, when I defeat a boss monster, I wish my character would make a habit of maybe jumping up and down on the corpse a few times before leaving the room 'cause after a while, they have no right to be surprised when it comes back for more two minutes later. I swear we have to go through this charade seven or eight times with every boss, and you can't just keep pulling that shit without devaluing it!

See, I know Capcom games are never well written. Somewhere at Capcom, there's a copy of the big book of dialogue cliches with a very heavily weathered spine, but this gets as boring as a playground fight where your opponent keeps making up new shit so he doesn't lose until you want to take him behind the sheds and see how much good his everything-proof shield does him when you're knocking his teeth out with a bicycle chain. And in a game were ammo is eternally scarce, it would be nice to know if this is a "boss fight" boss fight or if I'm supposed to run away or hold out for ten seconds before the next cutscene 'cause if that's the case, I won't waste my three precious Magnum bullets on it! Its horribly inorganic design and the interminable unfair quick-time events add what they always add: the same thing that landmines add to a romantic stroll by the river.

Now then, co-op. Resident Evil 6 is a fussy suburban mother insisting you invite that weird dribbling kid to your birthday party. So every now and again on the loading screen, the nom-de-shithead of some tosser who's playing the same bit at the same time appears to explain why you're not going to enjoy the next few levels very much, and thank goodness it does because otherwise I might have thought my faithful AI partner had had some kind of stroke that makes them run around smashing crates while I'm waiting at the level exit fending off monsters that look like they were made of sausage and onion gravy.

Broad philosophical question: What is the point of multiplayer? Socializing with other humans (correct, that's why I hate it), but also having two intelligences on hand to assist with the game's challenges. Well, when you can't communicate with your random stranger assistant beyond a generic praise emote that nobody uses because it's fucking faffy and the extent of the challenge is directing bullets skullwards and pulling a lever at the same time you do, then what benefit does a human partner have over an AI one? Besides forcing you to restart when they die which I am forced to count as a benefit because of mirror universe political correctness. Fortunately this is all opt out, and if you've got any sense, you'll opt so hard that your fingertips snap off.

But another online gameplay mode I kind of liked involves taking control of a monster in someone else's game, which provides great opportunity to avenge those fingertips. I got a little satisfaction from knifing to death some stranger who might not have deserved it, but that was one out of ten attempts. The rest either didn't connect or I'd join five seconds before the guy got killed by a regular non-self aware monster. It's disheartening to know your job could be done equally as well by a pixel-brained bleep-bloop non-controlled twat.

Which, come to think of it, might as well be the motto of Resident Evil 6. It doesn't want a player, this linear, quick-time-event-speckled parade of meaningless twaddle, it wants a little ducky it can drag along on a piece of string. Show it a bunch of sparkly lights and then smack it when it doesn't seem impressed. Resident Evil 6 is not the bold fresh continuation needed by a series that hasn't so much worn out its welcome as spent most of its visit shuffling about on its arse, leaving an elongated brown smear along the hallway carpet.

AddendaEdit

Relevant weasel: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

I have a feeling that the S in Leon S. Kennedy stands for "Sinead"

I approach most problems by founding my own city on the moon

Extra: Jam and Mogworld AudiobookEdit

My second novel, Jam, is now out! You can order it now from your preferred literature distribution facility and while you're waiting, why not download the audiobook version of Mogworld from iTunes or audible. Now you can listen to me talk for thirteen hours without the expense of getting me coked up!

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2

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