I am a very cynical Christian. I try my best to be honest, no matter the cost. I appreciate compliments, but I do not need them -- I'm here to do work and praise God. I will correct grammar. I am a political centerist. Also, 4 out of 5 dentists agree that I can be a smartass. I am also the head of an unannounced UDK project.
Resident Evil 6 certainly has been getting a lot of attention these days, isn't it? Kotaku's making a tirade against it, Jim Sterling's gone to town criticizing it, and reviews a ranging from high praise to utter hatred. Funny how no one noticed that a similar sort of metacritic was like this for Resident Evil 5. But that's not why we're here today. No, we're here because people just haven't caught on to the simple fact that Resident Evil 6, while definitely rough around the edges, is definitely in response to what fans seem to think it failed to follow in. Resident Evil 4. And the truth is, RE 4 is just RE6 with clunkier controls.
Some may be saying "no way. RE 4 was a survival horror game and RE6 is just an action game in survival horror skin!". Well, actually no it wasn't. I've recently gotten the chance to finally play RE4 and while there's definitely survival horror in there, it's just really got a slower pacing. Similarities include:
Ammo is still just as scarce. Enemies take about as much punishment. Weapons are similar, although there are some new ones added in RE6. You almost immediately into RE4 get a shotgun (essentially the fist of God), yet somehow Leon starting out with similarly powered weapons in the beginning of RE6 is different? Aiming is near the same pace and you can even still use a laser pointer like in the olden day. There are actual sections in RE4 where you are supposed to take cover behind chest high walls while popping up to shoot enemies. The health system in RE6 is actually more efficient and easier to gauge while still requiring proper herb management. The camera has always been that close up since RE4 and if you can't play an over the shoulder game then you might as well never play any third person game beyond something like Heavenly Sword, where the camera pans so far away that you can see several yards away. The camera in RE4-6 works fine so long as you know how to use it and have roughly some situational awareness. This isn't like Human Revolution on Hardest where you have to memorize every enemy movement before you start doing stealth takedowns. Speaking of takedowns, Resident Evil 6's melee takedowns take maybe a second longer than the kick motion in RE4 at best. The enhanced melee actually makes sense considering all of these people are supposedly trained fighters. If Leon can only swipe a knife at a zombie then it's clear he hasn't had that much practice with it. Horror games are about limiting players, but survival games are about just making it hard to stay alive. The latter is something RE6 is still intent on just as much as RE4, and in reality who was honestly scared after they got more than one weapon in RE4? How about after you upgraded them all?
And on specific points about RE6. The movement while aiming is very limited, cover based shooting (from what I've gotten to play) is pretty much only useful in Chris' campaign and Chris' campaign is the worst of the bunch so really its just there if you want to use it. If you actually use the melee and shooting in coordination you can be deadly enough to never have to need cover. The roll function actually is a very handy trick to master. The QTEs they use in this game have been used before not only in RE4 (you wiggle your stick just as much there as in RE6, and it's even worse if you fail) but in many other games. That may not excuse Capcom for using QTEs but at least some of the more scripted moments with them felt like something of Silent Hill; Shattered Memories. Hastily searching for the car keys in Leon's campaign actually amaze me in how tense and dynamic it felt. This is the type of mid-cutscene game play we actually should see more in games. Cutting off zombie's heads so Helena could close a door also was a hell of a lot more interesting than just sitting there watch.
The positives of RE6 are being ignored simply because it's easier to complain about the faults. It's not a perfect game, that's for sure. I've heard some gripes about it that I agree, and I do genuinely find the wiggle-stick bit annoying in both RE4 and RE6. But this doesn't change the fact that those two games are in fact quite similar to one another. Just because it isn't exactly what you wanted doesn't make a game horrible.
The action focus may genuinely be Capcom being afraid to do its own thing in order to keep itself afloat, and they certainly could do more to make genuine horror games, but there are better ways to make horror than just tank controls. Some games, like Silent Hill; Shattered Memories, are slick in how well they were done while still being scary. You don't have to make a game be crappy in order to scare people, you just have to be better at it. Capcom so far doesn't seem to be, and it's clear that they think this action focus is working since everyone loved it in RE4 and a bunch loved it in RE5. So accept it, and take your money elsewhere if you don't want an action/survival game. There are plenty of indie games waiting. But try to keep everything in perspective about why Capcom did what they did and why they made RE6 be what RE6 is.