Resident Evil: Revelations
Genre: Action, Horror, Puzzle
What we liked
What we didn't
Resident Evil: Revelations is not only the best game on the 3DS but it’s one of the best entries in the whole Resi series.
Synopsis: Jill Valentine and BSAA partner Parker Luciani have been sent to search for Chris Redfield, whose last known GPS data positions him as being onboard a supposedly abandoned cruise ship. Far from being empty, danger hides around every corner as Jill and Parker explore the confi ned space of the ship and must face a menacing new enemy and virus; the T-Abyss. Adding a new unique horror setting to the series players will venture underwater as they try to escape the terrifying creatures roaming the ship. – Amazon.co.uk
Gameplay: Resident Evil: Revelations combines the over the shoulder camera ‘action’ game play with the horror tactics seen in the original games and adds new gameplay features which are sure to be regulars in the franchise. For those that played Resident Evil 4 or 5 (and according to Capcom’s sales figures an incredible combined total 12.9 million of you have) the controls will be nothing new. You aim by holding down the right shoulder button, aim with the analog stick and fire with a button. Nothing new there. However the biggest change which will affect the whole franchise from now on is the ability to aim and shoot whilst moving. For most games it’s a standard feature but it has been absent from the Resident Evil series until now. A returning feature to Revelations is fear. It’s fair to say whilst the recent entries in the franchise are excellent; they are not scary in the slightest. From the outset of Revelations you constantly feel uneasy. Lights flicker, air vents fall from the ceiling and there’s a constant sound of something following you. Certain enemies who haven’t quite mutated yet can still speak broken English (again a series first). There really is nothing scarier than wondering around in the dark, hearing slow, broken breathing with it to suddenly be replaced with a soft “Found you” before your attacked. The partner mechanic returns but without the campaign co-op element which made Resi 5 so enjoyable. Your partner will follow you around and give you helpful tips about what you should be doing or providing story background. You cannot trade items with them and whilst they will shoot at enemies, it doesn’t look like they do much damage if any at all. Make no mistake though, whilst the game is not perfect, it’s a giant step in the right direction for theResident Evil saga.
Story: The story is full of twists and turns which keep you on the edge of your seat. Set between games 4 and 5 you will see how the BASS (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) became the UN’s agency to stop the growing bioterrorist activity throughout the world. You will meet new characters, a new evil organisation and the new T-Abyss virus. Told through a new Episode system, each episode will deal with a major story point, be it a flashback explaining how a character got to where they are now or finding a particular item to begin the next chapter. Each new episode will give you a ‘previously on Resident Evil: Revelations….’ to recap you on events previously in the game, much like they do on US TV shows. This, whilst being helpful, became an annoyance if you are playing several episodes in a row, although you can skip it by pressing the start button. With a length of around 7 hours the story is engaging and will keep you guessing right until the credits roll. Capcom have also stated that the events in Revelations will have ties to the recently announced Resident Evil 6 and judging by the scene at the end of the credits they are not wring.
Multiplayer: Whilst there is no campaign co-op there is a new Raid Mode. This is select levels from the campaign mode and allows two players join up and kill the monsters on board the ship the ‘Queen Zenobia’. Much like the Mercenaries mode seen in every Resi game since RE3: The Last Escape. You can upgrade your weapons using the points to gain at the end of each game and new levels will unlock as you complete campaign episodes.
Replayability: Upon completion of the game you will unlock a new difficulty and new levels for the Raid mode. This game relies heavily on its single player campaign mode, so if you like to challenge yourself by beating your episode grade, your time or just completing it on a harder difficulty then you will enjoy it. Otherwise this will sit nicely in your collection until you need to scare yourself stupid again.
What we loved: Resident Evil is back in its horror roots. As I played through the story I felt scared to turn a corner. I felt terrified when I could hear heavy breathing from a monster and I literally shouted and dropped my 3DS on the sofa when monsters burst out at me. This is why I play a Resident Evil game, to be terrified. It’s my favourite game franchise for the scares, the interesting stories, the characters, the monsters and zombies and this game delivers nearly all of that. If Resident Evil 6 is anything likeRevelations it is going to be the best Resi game by far.
What we hated: Keith Lumley and Quit Cetchum. The two new characters introduced in this game are simply terrible. They are included to ‘provide comedy relief’ according to the games producer Tsukasa Takenaka and all the do is annoy. Their campaign levels are essential to the story but as characters they ruin what makes the Resi franchise so good. They have slight hip hop music during their cut scenes, ruining any tension or atmosphere you could have. They make unnecessary comments during each battle making you wish they didn’t say anything at all. It makes it impossible to feel any kind of attachment to them and quite tempting to just let them get savaged by the infected zombie wolves rather than keep them alive otherwise you might see them in another game. I read an interview with Resident Evil 1’s director Shinji Mikami during the making of Resident Evil 2. He stated they originally had an unnamed comical character in the STARS (Special Tactics And Rescue Squad) Bravo team but he was scrapped because they didn’t want to distract from the constant terror. That has kept Resident Evil at the top of the survival horror genre for 15 years and created some of the most memorable characters in video game history. I hope these characters never appear in another Resi game again, unless they are zombies which I can kill.
Final thoughts: Resident Evil: Revelations is not only the best game on the 3DS but it’s one of the best entries in the series. By adding simple mechanics like shooting whilst moving and bringing back horror to the core of the game they have reignited the franchise and put it back on top as the king of survival horror. It nicely wets the appetite for Resident Evil 6 and shows how good the 3DS can be.
Ladies and Gentlemen the king is back. Be VERY afraid.