This week in zombie news: Humans have discovered the existence of zombies, zombie dogs, zombie sharks that live in streams and, yes, zombie maggots. So make sure your mops are clean to avoid zombie maggots.
This is a silly zombie development, yes? And yet, it is not played for laughs in “Resident Evil 6.” Zombie maggot monsters will kill you while devilish choir music plays in the background.
Plot: Kill zombies and try to save humanity from evil. I am not kidding. It’s that simple.
After playing for five hours, a character finally says to another, “What the hell is going on here?” The other character, who has zombie knowledge, replies, “It’s complicated. … It’ll make sense later.”
OK, sure, fine. Let’s kill zombies.
Or let’s don’t?
I’d rather run past most zombies than kill them, because I don’t feel rewarded for shooting them. It takes a gazillion bullets to execute them. I often said out loud at the TV, “How many times do I have to shoot this guy point-blank in the face to get rid of him?”
The answer is often four bullets to the brain — to kill easy zombies. It takes many more bullets to kill a zombie in the chest. And I never had a good supply of ammo in this game.
I had to scoop up bullets and First Aid plants when I occasionally saw them lounging around on the floor or on a dresser. I ran out of ammo during boss fights. That is not a good feeling. That is a dead feeling.
The only reason to kill all zombies is some give you bullets and “skill points” once they’re dead-dead. I used those skill points to pay for nice upgrades, such as more powerful bullets and defensive moves.
To me, much of “RE6” is just running through trains and a plane, across human war zones and in caves, dodging zombies, sometimes engaging in hand-to-hand combat and solving puzzles — but mostly enjoying pretty movie scenes.
However, harder levels did require I kill all enemies in a room, or slay a zombie shark in a stream (a stream shark?), or murder a three-story-building-size monster.
During those moments, “RE6” comes to life. However, some gamers may detest the quick-time button-response system. (I didn’t.) Worse: Big monsters keep resurrecting to an absurd point.
Boss monsters Simmons/Derek kept coming back to life after I killed them repeatedly, a three-hour exercise in futility.
After many hours of Derek withstanding thousands of bullets (thousands?), one character said, “This isn’t working.” The other agreed: “You’re right. We’re wasting our time.” Amen. I killed Derek then judged him the most inane game climax this year. I wanted to quit the game because of him.
Overall, “RE6” is neither pure joy nor pure misery. It is a great and terrible cinematic feast, a long romp (four different solo campaigns!). But the game play is barely good enough. Signed, your friendly neighborhood zombie Elfman.
(“Resident Evil 6” retails for $60 for Xbox 360 and PS 3 - Plays OK. Looks very good. Very challenging. Rated “M” for blood, gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language and suggestive themes. Three out of four stars.)