Resident Evil Revelations is a survival horror game published and developed by Capcom. Originally released on the 3DS it has finally made the move to all three major consoles as well as PC.
The game takes place between the events in Resident Evil 4 and 5, showing some of the early stages of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), which Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are founding members of. The plot follows events on board the ship SS Queen Zenobia, one year after a huge bioterrorist attack on the floating city Terragrigia in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
For the majority of the game you will be taking the role of Jill as she and her partner Parker investigate the deserted Cruise ship, looking for answers as to why it has reappeared and what caused its lack of inhabitants and why the terrorist organisation Veltro has reappeared so suddenly. Besides Jill’s story it will also let you play the parts of Chris on his search to find Jill, Parker recalling events from one year ago before Terragrigia and Keith, who along with his partner Quint end up trying to unearth another side to the investigation.
The game is broken down into an episodic nature, with chapters within the episodes ranging from under five minutes in length to a maximum of roughly 45 minutes. After each section you can save outright before carrying on with the story (sometimes it will switch to different stories here), or if you start a new episode it will give you a TV series style recap on the events leading up to your current predicament. Each episode is also graded by how many deaths you’ve accumulated in that chapter as well as your accuracy, giving you points to spend in the separate Raid mode.
Gameplay is an odd mix, while the atmosphere starts off quite heavy on the horror; it loses out as you start to walk through rooms devoid of creatures until the later episodes fill them back up. With some weapons being so powerful it makes light work of many of the enemies and none but the toughest feel particularly fun to kill. That being said, having the various different weapons and weapon upgrades is fun in its own way.
You’ll find various weapons across the Zenobia and along with it many custom parts, including rare effects in Illegal custom parts. These allow for damage, fire-rate and capacity to be upgraded alongside the special Illegal upgrades like charge shots or reduced shotgun spread. While useful in the Campaign it becomes more interesting in the Raid mode.
You’ll find yourself fending off Oozes for the majority of the game, having to fight them off at the beginning shows off how deadly they can be on their terms. But the further in you get the more of a nuisance and less of a threat they become. Dropping out of vents, rising up from the water and generally getting the element of surprise on you doesn’t make them scary if you can dispatch them in a shot from a rifle you have plenty of excess ammo for. Some of the tougher enemies however just don’t make enough appearances. The most deadly Oozes don’t get much time as only one or two crop up for every 10 or so of the basic ones even though they feel much more like the deadly enemy that you need obstructing your path.
The biggest problem with many of the enemies is that they just disappear, fizzling away after being taken down. There isn’t a weight behind them that you can gain anything from killing them off. At the beginning of the game it’s practically a non-issue you still feel like you’ve accomplished something because of your strength in relation to theirs. They just feel like roadblocks stopping you from reaching your destination.
The boss fights are usually the most memorable parts of the Resi series and they are all quite memorable for one reason or another. One sees you fighting a creature while a tide of Oozes constantly spawn. It is particularly frustration to fight as the boss does have the ability to instantly kill you. Other bosses work well within the confines of the rooms you fight them in but the final boss has a build-up that doesn’t really pull through and ends up being quite lacklustre.
The Genesis is one of the weird inventions from using the 3DS features that has carried over to the port. You can scan the surroundings for hidden items as well as monsters. Scanning monsters will give a percentage towards another green herb, but in tight situations if you scan and get a herb, you lock yourself down for a few moments, as the sequence rewarding you with the herb keeps you in scan mode leaving you open to attacks. It is incredibly helpful as you can keep yourself supplied with health.
After completion of the game you will unlock Infernal mode for the campaign. It features the same story but monster and item positions are reworked heavily, as well as creatures being much stronger from the off. You do get to carry over any weapons and upgrades from your previous playthrough with Newgame+ if you wish so you aren’t completely overwhelmed by the more numerous enemies during the early stages of the game.
Raid mode takes the loot system of action RPGs and combines it with short time-trial style levels, where you can play singleplayer or co-op as you complete levels based off of the campaign modes environments. You get different character and weapons all with different unique abilities or benefits. It offers a little bit of progression and allows you to chase high scores in a way that’s quite different to the Mercenaries mode that appears in other Resi games.
Resident Evil games always have slightly silly stories and I enjoyed much of this one but it does tread the ground of your partner telling you to wonder off while they sit tight and work out how to push a button, way too often. There are some genuine surprises in the story but much of it is conveyed so you can work out a lot of it by yourself. Keith and his partner Quint are assumedly supposed to provide some sort of comic relief but fail miserably.
Presentation and Audio
The HD makeover was essential for the port and it pulls it off reasonably nicely, not everything looks particularly detailed and people are already showing off fixes for the PC version which unblurs some of the textures. Sound design is pretty solid and the voice acting is reasonable, you’ll hear all the familiar voices from past games and a voice more familiar from another series. The scoring, ambient noise and the sound effects are all handled quite well for building atmosphere until the action side sets in more.
Exploring the Zenobia makes up quite a lot of time and at first it is really strong. The horror aspects play well and the lack of weaponry heightens the atmosphere. As you progress though many once dangerous rooms are left barren for far too long leaving you feeling mostly unthreatened as you wonder through corridors that once made you feel uneasy. The lack of variety in enemies doesn’t help especially as the most common types become the most boring to fight quite soon on. Raid mode might satisfy you more on the action side of things as you run though the levels with all sorts of loot but it is purely action, the horror element isn’t really built into the mode unless you specifically play with weak weapons against tough enemies to get your kicks.
The game is easily strongest when it begins as you a restricted so heavily by your lack of power and ammunition. It unfortunately gets gradually less scary as you begin to get more powerful weapons and upgrades. As a port you can see where things haven’t been reworked and the loading times, hidden behind doors and elevators gets a bit tired when you are running back and forth. It compares to both the newer and older Resi games but doesn’t really settle on being either, it will probably suit fans of the older games more than 5 and 6 but it isn’t the perfect return to the series roots that some want it to be.
Maybe the 3DS version has a different feel to it, or mind-sets are different between playing the game on handheld and console, but either way it feels smaller than it is. The game is relatively big and the campaign clocks in about six or seven hours on a normal playthrough but it still feels like something is missing. The restrictions it had on 3DS make the transfer over to PC feel slightly lacking, it is by no means a bad game but it doesn’t quite feel like it’s all there.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.