Resident Evil: Revelations - REVIEW
Taking to the sea, the Resident Evil series finally returns to handhelds.
Taking place after Resident Evil 4 and before Resident Evil 5, Revelations puts players in the role of Jill Valentine. Who is trying to find the missing Chris Redfield on a ghost ship. There, she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy, and has to find the truth.
The game is broken up into episodic chapters. Each episode is introduced with a “Previously on” segment that reminds you of what‘s going on. The game also jumps to the past from time to time, to provide exposition on the new characters. This episodic nature makes it quite easy to play in short bursts, which is perfect for a handheld game.
Though it provides a fair share of cheesy moments, Revelations storyline is taken seriously. Though it’s also pretty obvious who’s going to betray who. Still, there are plenty of twists and turns in Revelations that should keep those who don’t know much about Resident Evil interested all the way to the satisfying conclusion.
Revelations is an over the shoulder third-person game that plays exactly like Resident Evil 4 and 5, with some big additions to the formula. The biggest of which is the ability to move and shoot at the same time, and aim and shoot in a first-person view. Also new is the ability to strafe (although you cannot aim and strafe at the same time), and this comes quite in handy against the enemies, since peaking around corners became a constant tactic I used. Making a welcome return to the series is a dodge command, that is difficult to pull off, but satisfying and life-saving when done correctly.
The enemies in Revelations are tough. With the majority of them being slime-like creatures that resemble the “Leech-Man” from Resident Evil 0. The Hunter also makes a triumphant return to the series as one of the deadliest enemies the game has to offer. There were many times when I had to choose my weapons wisely, since ammo, and health were not as plentiful as I thought they would be. I would actually have to avoid fights with some enemies, just so I could conserve precious ammo.
It’s quite sad that there aren’t enough different types of enemies in the game, though the ones that are here provide an ample challenge in tight hallways. Boss fights are challenging, memorable, and provide an ample challenge at just the right moments. Another surprising aspect of the game, is that it actually provides genuine scares throughout. It’s been quite a while that a Resident Evil game had me micro-manage my supplies, and debate whether it’s better to run and live to fight another day; or kill everything in my path. The ship is also very reminiscent of the mansion an police station from the first two Resident Evil’s, so its design will be very familiar to fans of the series.
It’s not all about survival though, as there are segments in the game were ammo is plentiful, and the enemies are everywhere. These action scenes do a great job of changing the pace, and are closer to Resident Evil 5’s action-based focus. In these moments, item-maintenance, exploration, and ammo conservation take a break; and the player has to survive wave after wave of attacking enemies. These moments are intense, and allow Revelations to appeal to both Survival-Horror and Action fans. There are also some underwater portions in the game. These moments are unique, but the lack of an underwater attack, and an oxygen meter of any sorts makes them more annoying than they should be.
And once you’re done with the story mode, you can play the addicting Raid mode. Raid mode pits you in sections of game where story, and horror doesn’t matter. It’s just about trying to survive, getting to the end of the level, and trying to get a high score in a pure-action mode. Raid mode also has RPG elements thrown in too, with characters leveling up so that they can use better and stronger equipment. This mode also raises the challenge by throwing bosses from the story mode as regular enemies into the fray. Even better, Raid mode is also playable with a second player, and is even ,more thrilling with a teammate,.
On a special note, I did not get to play the game with the optional “Circle Pad Pro“ (available only at GameStop for $20), which gives players access to another thumb-stick, and the ability to aim and shoot at the same time.
SOUND AND VIDEO -
The graphics in Revelations are superb. It is easily the finest-looking game in the entire 3DS library. Details exude from the environment, and character models look amazing. There are some drawbacks to having these graphics, though. The frame-rate often lowers when there is too much action on screen, and load times are long and are common when moving from area to area. This wouldn’t be a 3DS game without it being in 3D. Revelations looks great in 3D, but using the 3D decreases the graphical clarity, and has the unfortunate consequence of making it harder to aim. Still, this is one of the best showcases for 3D that the 3DS has to offer.
The game’s sound is just as superb as its graphics too. The ship creaks and moans with unearthly life. Guns, and the tearing of flesh will send shivers down your spine if you’re using headphones; which is highly recommended. The music is also great, and fits the games mood perfectly. The Resident Evil series has a history with bad dialogue, so I was glad to find out that the voice actors did competent jobs throughout. Also one monster in particular sings hauntingly as she chases you around.
This game is an audio and visual delight for every 3DS owner.
FINAL THOUGHTS -
Revelations is simply a great reason to own a 3DS, and proves that the handheld can be home to a great console experience in the palm of your hands, and provides an original gaming experience that will satisfy both horror and action fans. If you have a 3DS, and are looking for a great gaming experience, then Revelations belongs in your gaming library. If you have a 3DS, or simply cannot wait until Resident Evil 6; Revelations is a must-have. I seriously hope this game is released on other platforms, it’s just too good to miss.
RECOMMENDED PURCHASE PRICE -
ESRB - MATURE
Resident Evil: Revelations is rated Mature for intense violence, blood, gore, and language.
Exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS.