New Releases for the Week of September 30th: Resident Evil 6, Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection

by johndrewmarkley on October 3, 2012

Resident Evil 6 (Xbox 360, PlayStation) the newest entry in the long-running survival horror/action series. Like its two predecessors, it continues the trend in the series of emphasizing the action and shooting elements rather than the slower, more deliberately paced survival horror game play of the early series. Whether that’s good, bad, or indifferent is a matter of opinion, of course.

Resident Evil 6 is a bit broader in scope than previous Resident Evil games, bringing together protagonists from several prior games in the series with new characters in three different plot threads spanning outbreaks of the undead in the United States of America, China, and Eastern Europe. The zombies and other inhuman monstrosities of the previous games are joined by a new group of undead adversaries called the J’avo, who are more intelligent than their traditional cousins and can coordinate their efforts and use weapons.

(I played the PlayStation 3 demo of the game without knowing this, which made for a brief but very confusing moment when I suddenly started losing health when they were seemingly no enemies close enough to threaten me, and just stood dumbfounded in the middle of the street while my brain processed “Wait, they’re using guns now?” )

The game has revamped its controls to something better suited to its action-focused gameplay, since one of the common complaints about Resident Evil 5 was that it still used a control scheme that had been created for style of the original Resident Evil games- slow, deliberate pace, slow-moving enemies that usually only appeared a few at a had time, tightly limited ammo supplies that deemphasized gunplay and combat in general- in a context where that no longer made sense. It also adds a co-op mode, playable locally or online, in which a second player can drop into the action playing as your otherwise AI-controlled partner on the fly.

Critical response to the game has been strikingly polarized, with very positive reviews from some some outlets and vehement criticism from others. There’s a downloadable demo available, which you should definitely look into if you’re interested in this game to see if it’s to your taste or not.

Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection (PC) Massive compilation of the venerable real-time strategy series. Command and Conquer has been largely overshadowed in the real-time strategy genre that it did so much to popularize and define by later series like Starcraft, but they’re fun games and an important part of gaming history that’s worth looking into if you like the genre. The Ultimate Collection contains nine full games and 8 expansions spanning 17 years, including the main series, spinoff series Command and Conquer: Red Alert and Command and Conquer: Generals, and the franchise’s foray outside of strategy games and into the first-person shooter genre with Command and Conquer: Renegade, which is quite a bargain for the price of one game.

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