Time to take responsibility, Capcom
Given, that RE6 theme seems to be "taking responsibility for your actions", i think it's time for you, Capcom, to take responsibility for yours and try to make this game better with patches. I realise it is naive for me to think that Capcom plans to fix any of the issues I'm going to list here, despite the fact that most seem to be very easily fixable with others been not that much harder to fix, since it's been almost half year since the game original release and the issues are still present. But i care about Resident Evil a lot and actually managed to enjoy Resident Evil 6 despite it's many flaws and problems. And i believe that with these simple changes the game can be made much more enjoyable, without changing the overall structure or design.
Supposedly easily fixable things:
- Disable most of the unconventional (for this game) camera angles. I know why they are used - to show something important, to create a heightened sense of danger or show off the destruction, but most of the time, these camera angles lead to frustration and game overs, as they confuse the player and/or obscure the path the player needs to take, instead of helping him/her. I don't think it's very hard to just disable those angles, with the game simply using the camera system it uses elsewhere, unless some of the angles are used to help with data streaming. Here's a simple rule for this - if the player is in full control of the character and especially if the player can die in the situation the camera change is used - do not use the camera change. Leave it only for the moments, where the character is not being controlled/using something/doing a coop action.
- If you're showing the cutscene, where something happens as the cause of player's action, and this cutscene is shown to all active players - stop enemies from moving. You have stopped them from damaging you - that's good, but very often you can find yourself in a situation, where you complete an action, get a long cutscene, where something is happening and you can't control (or see) your character, and after that find yourself cornered with 3 or more enemies, who were far from you at the start of the cutscene.
- Tweak the timings for QTE moments, including the breakout moments, especially when the player is playing singleplayer. Currently, a lot of QTEs, which are not very well done most of the time, serve as an annoyance and busywork, instead of being challenging/tension increasing moments. This is especially true to some enemies, who instakill you if you don't perform the breakout, like Rasklapanje who is (at least on keyboard) almost impossible to escape from in singleplayer.
- Tweak the "slow-motion shoot things or you die" moments, so you either automatically switch to the weapon with ammo, or the ammo in the gun you hold becomes infinite (and loaded) for that moment. Those moments don't feel tense or challenging if you just happen to need to reload when they happen, they feel cheap.
- Change the automatic action for crawl-places when already running to slide, instead of stop and crawl. Currently, enhanced with the aforementioned bad camera angles, moments where you need to press aim while running with you instantly dying if you don't, are one of the biggest frustrations which feel like cheap and bad design, rather than an actual challenge. Make it so you sit and crawl only in standing position, while in running position you automatically slide, the same way characters automatically jump or grab ladders if they are already running. This way, dodging enemy attacks or some moments like the red-beam-trap will still require you to manually slide, while removing the frustrations from the "run!" moments.
- Tweak the active area for items and action and partner button presses, such as doors, levers, buttons and such. Currently you may be slightly to the side or simply too close to the item you want to interact with, and the prompt to interact will not appear. It frustrating to be pixel-perfect in such interactions and finding the "right spot" where the game will recognize what you're trying to do.
Things which will require some thought to implement:
- The way the health and healing works. The system works almost perfectly for Chris's campaign, which relies on cover-based shooting against enemies with firearms and seems to be designed around that campaign. In Leon campaign, where most enemies are close-combat and most of the time enemies attack in large groups, the damage they do seems ridiculous. Maybe Leon campaign characters should be more defended against close combat attacks, while all the other campaign characters have their system the same or slightly tweaked using the Leon campaign as a basis. Currently it feels just silly to not have Defense skill on and maxed at all times, and this doesn't feel balanced or well-designed.
- Rethink the ammo drop formula. It's way to easy to suddenly have no ammo, or few ammo for the most useless gun for the situation. Ammo and item drop skills shouldn't be the solution to clearly bad designed system; they should enhance it and play styles of different players. Scarcity of ammo can work in moments, where the game motivates you to escape instead of fighting, but in many moments where you have to find, it's just frustrating to suddenly find yourself out of ammo. As such, it's usually silly to also not have firepower skill always on and maxed, so you have to take less shots and use less ammo. Maybe the amount of ammo you can have at the same time should be bigger, maybe the ammo drops should be more often and more adequate to the situation. I believe, there is a way to strike good balance between ammo scarcity and fun gameplay, and last-year, very Resident Evil-like kind of third person action Binary Domain from SEGA proves that.
- Rethink the amount of some QTEs, especially in the Jake and Sherry campaign. Simply set some QTEs or QTE sections to auto-succeed as you have apparently made available on Amateur difficulty. One-two QTEs in a row is what a lot of people will be able to take before becoming highly frustrated and annoyed.
- Make characters less clumsy. The concept of falling from damage or tripping over obstacles is fine. The way it is done is not, especially since it seems that most enemies ignore a lot of things that make you trip and/or fall. Either making the character animations connected to this play faster, or making some of these things to have random chance, instead of 100% chance, or at least making enemies susceptible to all the things that cause characters to do it, may make the system much better.
- Stealth section in Sherry Chapter 3 should be redone with enemies actually losing you if you hide while not being in their line of sight. Currently it seems that enemies, when alarmed, will always know where you are, which makes the section into "guess what the designer was thinking" kind of trial and error, instead of tense adventure.
- Timings and lose conditions in driving sections should be changed, it's way to easy to lose during these, completely unnecessary for the game in the first place, sections. Remember, that players didn't buy the game to play badly designed driving sections, make those feel like bonus fun and exciting sections. Also, there seems to be no hint that you can move in helicopter, only the one that you can shoot while in it, which leads to some frustrations. Otherwise, Ada helicopter section is a good example of how this kind of optional gameplay section can be fun and exciting.
Harder things to change, but which will still benefit the game a lot:
- AI partner in sigleplayer is mostly fine, but there are sections, where they create a lot of frustration. Those usually involve sections, where the AI partner or AI partners from another campaign have to kill/destroy something, while you can't really help them in accomplishing the goal - these moments take up way too much time to be enjoyable. Another highly annoying moment for AI is the circular lift in Jake and Sherry campaign, the one with Rasklapanje enemies. Partner AI, especially Jake's, seems to have a lot of trouble navigating that area.
- Rethinking several subchapters, especially those involving arena-like "survive until something happens" moments (like the end of the first Leon chapter), the majority of Jake and Sherry campaign, in terms of enemy respawn rate and other and should the tank shoot you in the "escape from tank" section, as it currently does and it seems to be wrong (especially since AI Jake doesn't feel fazed by the shots). Maybe with the easier changes listed above, these sections will become more exciting and less frustrating on their own, but maybe not.
- Make checkpoints savepoints. I don't know, if it creates some trouble for the way the game is loaded or for the console versions, but currently it seems that the savepoint checkpoints and normal checkpoints both spawn you in relative safety and it's weird to have some of them save you and some of them not. It also makes it harder to track if you can stop playing if the need arises or not, as it's hard to note if the game is just checkpointed or also saved at times.
- Add the "quit" and "restart the checkpoint" options to the pause menu (and give the ability to have the pause menu on the keyboard, as it seems to be absent). The realtime menu is stylish and cool, but it makes it way too hard to simply quit the game in the midst of action, when playing offline.
- Rethink the way weapon switching works, or give the ability to "disable" weapons. In the ending chapters of each campaign you have simply way too much weapons to scroll through them. Which also seems to screw up the ammo drop system. Maybe there should be an option to make a weapon inactive, so the ammo drop for it becomes highly improbable and you don't select it while scrolling through weapons.
- Tweak minor HUD things, especially the Ada's cubephone. It's currently very hard to read the cubephone health cubes with precision needed by the game.
- RE5 felt like the perfect RE5 version (until Capcom decided to not update it to Gold version and also GFWL). RE6, maybe to have better compatibility with console build, maybe for other reasons, seems to be less convenient on keyboard+mouse. This is especially apparent in driving sections and during the QTEs. It insane to expect people to emulate stick rotation on the keyboard, which is why RE5 switched to using only A and D keys during the "rotate something" sections. In RE6 it is possible to rotate things using only A and D but it's *much* slower than using the analogue stick rotation. So much slower, in fact, that the ending "run" section in Sherry and Jake chapter 2 is impossible to complete, at least in singleplayer, on keyboard as there is no way you will be able to open doors as fast as the game requires you to.
- Apart for the problem of Mouse pointer simply disappearing from time to time, it is bad, that mouse cannot be normally used in the inventory, which instead requires some ridiculous mix of using the mouse and action button on the keyboard. Which, again, seems weird after the truly optimized for PC inventory in RE5.
- If possible, add the secondary assigned button for each action. So the on screen prompts show the primary one, but you can also use the second one, which makes performing certain actions easier. Of course, it would've been preferable, as I stated earlier, to have a more RE5 definitely refined for PC control scheme and options, but I can understand if this is impossible.
I believe that with these changes and not changing a single other thing, Resident Evil 6 could become a much much better game. It won't fix some things, that are simply parts of the game design, as that would require some serious rethinking and remaking parts of the game, but will still make the game a much less frustrating experience it, unfortunately, is now.