I am not one to necessarily enjoy rating systems that many sites use that quantify whether or not a game is good based on some arbitrary number, but glancing through ye olde Metacritic recently has shown that many places aren’t too fond of newly released Resident Evil 6. And that’s a shame because I thought the demo was pretty fun for the most part.

As of this writing, RE6 is sitting at a yellow-orange 67 on the critic-o-scale with 21 Positive, 18 Mixed, and 4 Negative reviews counted so far. To be fair, this is a pretty mixed bag, so not everyone doesn’t like the game (what a terrible sentence), but for a pretty high profile title that brings along with it some fifteen years or so of history, a lower average score is too bad.

What many of the Mixed and Negative reviews have in common is describing how the game ditches any semblance of “survival horror” and focuses instead on explosions and mediocre shooting. Granted, a lot of people complained about this same thing with Resident Evil 5, but that more or less seemed like an experimentation on the greatness that Resident Evil 4 brought us. Now, with two games increasingly going away from scares and jumps to “oh, so I am just shooting zombies; that’s it?” the heart of the franchise seems to be gone.

From the Escapist:

When you get down to it, Resident Evil 6 isn’t a horrible game, but it certainly isn’t a great game, either. The action sequences and boss fights can be fun, and even challenging on rare occasion, but the whole experience blends together far too easily, feeling more like a generic action shooter than a classic Resident Evil game.

The other thing that comes up a lot in these reviews are complaints about the controls. Basically, you shoot zombies and then you shoot zombies some more, but the controls kind of fight you the whole way. I got this from the demo:

Speaking of cover, there definitely is a cover system in this game, but it is awkward. Instead of pushing a button to get into cover like you might be used to, you instead have to walk up to a barrier to hide behind, pull your gun to aim it, then press X to duck down. It is like the opposite of what your brain wants to do to take cover. It works, but it is weird.

The Destructiod review pointed out other control obstacles:

As for dodging, it wasn’t enough to have a simple combat roll. Instead, one has to aim a weapon, then push on the stick while hitting the sprint button. If the weapon remains readied, the character will lie on the floor like an idiot, only getting up when buttons are released. It’s an awkward thing to get used to in the heat of battle, especially as the whole “floor combat” thing is inefficient and mostly leaves players vulnerable. All we needed was a combat roll. The kind of thing games have done perfectly well for years. It’s pitiful that Resident Evil 6 can’t even do that right.

Still, there are just as many folks out there that seemed to enjoy it, warts and all. GomeTrailers and Game Informer both seemed to like it, among others, so it is not all doom and gloom.

Although I haven’t had a chance to play the final game, hearing such mixed reviews certainly have put me off a bit even though I try not to let other people’s opinions guide me too much. I still would like to experience Resident Evil 6 at some point, but now might just settle for the bargain bin.