Resident Evil 6: up-close and monstrous

Resident Evil 6 is a very simple game, really, which is why I think it’s provoked such differences of opinion. It has one ambition, which is to be a mainstream action game, and in this it succeeded – in some parts, magnificently so. But the fate of such a well-loved series is expectation. Many folk don’t want a straightforward action game from Resident Evil – they expect something more… well, surprising. I’m not arguing with that perspective, in fact I think there’s a lot to be said for it. But for my part, I had a blast.

I am luckier than most, of course. I reviewed Resi 6 over a blissful week, holed up in a dark attic with beer and cigarettes, blasting my way through wave after wave of monsters. I wouldn’t argue it’s a forward-thinking game, or any kind of progression for the series. But if you want uncomplicated blasting action, it delivers in spades.

One area of Resi 6 that I think didn’t get the credit it should have was the monster design. This is probably because it has some real red flags – specifically, the zombie types that owe a lot to Valve’s peerless Left4Dead series. Unoriginal as these were, I actually think the designers did a superb job in giving them a Resi flavour. And outside of them, there are some truly brilliant designs – my very favourite being the grotesque Lepotitsa.

These are photographs of concept art from the Resi 6 working environment. I’m sorry that a couple are blurred, slightly skewed, or have camera flashes on them – but I think they’re pretty interesting to see regardless. Enjoy!

Ustanak. This ugly chap is a kind of mecha-tyrant that chases Jake. For some reason, the combination of stringy hair and scoured pate freaks me out.
The Needler. Ranged enemies aren’t common in Resi, which is what can make this such a nightmare to deal with – ESPECIALLY when it’s human-controlled in Agent Hunt.
Invisible enemies in games generally suck. But this one was handled very well, I think, particularly in the way Resi 6 handles the build-up.
Speaking of which, these are concept sketches for just that build-up. In-game I don’t remember it being quite so toothy.
Really sorry about the focus on this one, got a close-up for the next shot tho – this is the snake picking off one of Chris’s team.
EXXTREEEMMMME CLOSE-UP! Of all the horror cliches, being attacked from above is still the one that makes me go ‘brrrr’ a bit inside
The Fly is one of the weaker enemies in Resi 6, in terms of how you engage with it. But I think the design’s wonderful – look at that hand at the bottom.
The Ogroman (where do they come up with these names?) looks a lot different to this in the final game, and not all for the better. It’s a bit more exagerrated in its features, but I prefer this more understated and pallid interpretation
Leon’s first encounter with the ‘Whopper’, and you’ve got to love that name. These artists are amazing, aren’t they?
The Whopper in action. These turn up a few times, and it’s a kind of running joke they get stuck in a few places. Resi 6 has a sly streak of humour running through it, one of the things I most enjoyed.
This is the Shrieker, which dies in the most awesome way if you pop its throat. Love the detail on its spinal column, and the visualisation of its dysmorphia from various angles
The Lepotitsa, one of my favourite Resi 6 moments. The concept of this enemy, and its various characteristics, is matched perfectly to the situations in which you encounter it.

Wish I had a few more, particularly of the other bosses, but this was what was on the walls. Hope you enjoyed!