Saturday, October 6, 2012
Resident Evil 6 journal - entry two
One of the main themes that Capcom stated they wanted to come across in Jake’s campaign prior to the release of Resident Evil 6 was the sense of being stalked by the Ustanak as mirroring Nemesis from Resident Evil 3. While Ustanak is prominent in the first couple of chapters of RE6, those same chapters control like a curious combination of Resident Evil 4 and the older entries in the series. The European town that Jake and Sherry run through as they try to escape the Ustanak and J’avo is reminiscent of RE4 both in terms of aesthetics and layout. While the two aid Chris Redfield and company in fighting a giant B.O.W. that bears some resemblance to the El Gigante, they also spend plenty of time solving environmental puzzles, riding vehicles, and sneaking around sensor bugs that Ustanak sets up within an ice cavern.
Being children of two of the most important Resident Evil villains, Jake and Sherry have a unique and genuinely interesting relationship. Despite Capcom’s tendency in recent years to create or recreate female leads that are weak and whiny, Sherry holds her own alongside bad boy Jake as one of the strongest lead characters in RE6. To that end, I think Jake and Sherry’s storyline could prove the best of three, though Leon and Helena’s is certainly more dark and creepy.
Going back to the gameplay, the brief stealth sections are not particularly well-handled, and the Ustanak is more of a constant annoyance than a full-fledged villain. The latter element would be fine, if the campaign did much of anything to explore the individuals who command Ustanak, but in the end Jake and Sherry’s story feels the most far-removed from the main storyline. Jake controls more or less like the other characters, though his kung-fu fighting and wrestling suplexes give him a distinct leg up in hand-to-hand combat. The enemies do not feel quite as varied as in Leon’s campaign, though there is still a solid variety presented, most of them being B.O.W.s and J’avo as opposed to traditional zombies.
There is one level where Jake and Sherry must collect a series of key items scattered about a mountainside in the middle of a snowstorm. There are quite a few enemies littered about, and the entire scenario is pretty tense and creepy. However, it is also easy to find yourself lost, and the mini-map in the top corner of the screen practically becomes a necessity. Perhaps the most poorly designed gameplay element of Jake’s campaign are the running sequences that border between traditional gameplay and quick-time events. I wasn’t much a fan of the way these were implemented in Leon’s campaign, but they are usually a mess in Jake’s campaign. Though there are only a handful of these running sequences, the level designs always grant you minimal space and Sherry tends to get in the way, slowing you down and sending you to a premature death within seconds.
Don’t get me wrong – Jake’s campaign was fun, and the story was really cool, even though Leon’s proved superior as a whole. Even though Jake shoots off his fair share of cliché bad boy phrases, they are nowhere near as silly as some of the dialogue in the older entries. As a whole, Jake’s campaign plays pretty solid, despite a few hiccups along the way. The hand-to-hand combat works better than I expected, and there is a nice variety presented in the level designs. There is a large gap of time that the story skips over, and even though it makes sense with the overarching plot, it feels like another chapter could have been added to Jake’s campaign.