Fans of the Resident Evil franchise have varied opinions on the fifth and sixth entries, but each of them definitely have their own merits.
By Zackery Carnley
Published Apr 20, 2021
With so much hype surrounding the imminent release of?Resident Evil Village, many fans have taken the time to go back and play older games in the long-running survival horror franchise. Naturally, this leads into discussions online about which games are best in the series, and which ones that aren’t necessarily worth replaying before the new title. While each game can be somewhat contentious among fans,?Resident Evil 5?and?Resident Evil 6?each have more than enough merit to warrant playing through again.
The?Resident Evil?franchise has spanned an impressive number of mainline games, spin-offs, and other media since its original inception.?Resident Evil?is even set to cross into streaming television soon. With so many entries in a popular franchise, there are bound to be some entries that?are?contentious among the fans. Two prime examples in the mainline series are?Resident Evil 5?and?Resident Evil 6. Each game built out from the new framework established in?Resident Evil 4, but many felt that the move towards action moreso than true survival horror was overall detrimental. That being said, each game definitely has its own legs to stand own.
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Part of why?Resident Evil 5?received the amount of criticism that it did was simply a matter of timing.?Resident Evil 4?was massively popular and is still considered by many to be the greatest?Resident Evil?game of all time. A remake of?Resident Evil 4?was one thing fans were hoping to see at the recent showcase.
With such a high bar set in expectation of?Resident Evil 5, it was only natural that players and critics would be comparing every moment of?Resident Evil 5?with a microscope. The game definitely had a larger focus on action in its gameplay, more enemies and ammo around, bigger set-pieces, and more action-thriller style encounters. But?Resident Evil 5?still has many things that made it a fun and important part of the franchise.
Resident Evil 5?was, when taken out of the context of being a?Resident Evil?title, objectively fun to play. The controls were tighter, and the co-op gameplay was full of tense moments and required cooperation. The co-op was a big draw for?Resident Evil 5, its emphasis on communication and coordination made the experience challenging and exciting. Sharing resources between two players brought back an element of the survival elements as players couldn’t just hoard them for one character the way they might for the single-player campaign. This was also the first time?Resident Evil?fans were able to play through a game together.
Obviously?Resident Evil 5?has some absolutely bonkers moments (Chris punching a boulder into pieces) that really pushed its genre more toward action than horror. But the game still features some of the most horrifying creatures and?Resident Evil 5?offered some of the most intense sequences in gaming at the time. The story also helped to weave the events of?Resident Evil 4 back into the main plot, with Wesker’s attempts at dominating the world through engineering of the T-Virus. It was also an important vehicle for shaping the events that would jade Chris Redfield into the version of him players have seen in?Resident Evil 7 and the upcoming?Resident Evil Village.
Overall?Resident Evil 5?was a solid entry in the franchise for its gameplay, features, and overall importance to the story at large.
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Resident Evil 6?is certainly the more controversial of the two games. The game’s tone skewed more towards that of the?Resident Evil?movies, both live-action and animated. The action was over-the-top, sometimes reaching Devil May Cry?levels of action. A lot happened between?Resident Evil 5?and?Resident Evil 6?as well that culminated in a story that was often crazier than anything the series had done before. However just like?Resident Evil 5,?Resident Evil 6?has plenty of things that still make it a worthwhile detour in the series’ history.
Gameplay conventions introduced in?Resident Evil 6?would later find their way into other titles, including the remakes. It expanded on the fan-favorite Mercenaries mode that’s still a part of?Resident Evil now. The game also widened the scope of the co-op experience and introduced a mainline?Resident Evil?with more playable characters than fans had seen in a single game. The gameplay was precise enough to compete with many of the over-the-shoulder shooters that had been inspired by?Resident Evil 4 in the first place, and featured an incredibly robust system for weapon upgrades and character growth in a?Resident Evil?title.
The story of?Resident Evil 6?is largely responsible for the contentious relationship some fans have with the game. That being said, it still does a lot for the franchise and some of its characters as a whole.?Resident Evil 6 does a lot for Chris Redfield and his overall narrative, continuing from the events of?Resident Evil 5?to change him into the antagonistic force players will see in?Resident Evil Village.
Seeing his ideals clash with those of other series mainstay Leon Kennedy was something that seemed like fan service, but does a lot to tie the disparate elements of the story together. And without spoiling much, the game does a decent job of wrapping up the story of Albert Wesker?and his manipulations of the Umbrella Corporation.
Resident Evil 5?and?Resident Evil 6 are definitely still controversial among longtime fans. Both games moved further away from the survival horror roots of the series original release. That being said, both titles were natural extensions of trends pulled from?Resident Evil 4,?which is still inspiring the series today. Fans of either title are still correct in identifying the game’s individual merits.
Each game features gameplay mechanics that further enhanced player control and ability and expanded on multiplayer in ways that greatly enhanced replayability. While the two titles may not be the perfect games for every fan of the franchise,?Resident Evil 5?and?Resident Evil 6?are both still very strong entries in a series with now more than twenty-five years of games under its belt.
Resident Evil Village is set to release on May 7, 2021, on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.
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