Resident Evil: Revelations was originally released on the 3DS back in February 2012 before being ported to the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. This may give the impression that this is a spinoff title that can be ignored or skipped. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This is a pretty solid Resident Evil game that may give fans a feeling they have been missing in some of the more recently released games in the series.
Revelations takes place between the 4th and 5th games in the series. It starts with you in control of Jill Valentine, a character everyone should know by this point. You are searching for Chris Redfield, whose last known coordinates were on board a cruise ship in the Mediterranean. Things are never what they seem, of course. You play as a couple different characters and the story isn’t always linear either. As a whole, the story is good–it isn’t anything spectacular that will blow you away, but you certainly won’t hate it. Maybe not the most flattering description, but it is an honest one.
As one would assume with any port to a console, the graphics are absolutely amazing in the cut-scenes. The characters and enemies look great as well, but the actual environment…not so much. It consists of grays and browns throughout the entire game, with bland-looking textures everywhere you go. The setting is certainly eerie, which is expected in any horror game. There is something about being trapped on a ship in the middle of nowhere with mutant zombies that just sends a chill down your spine. The entire game doesn’t take place on the ship, so at the very least you get a change of scenery now and again. This happens only briefly however, since a majority of the game is on the ship and it does get rather old.
The gameplay resembles the modern Resident Evil games more than the classic ones. It’s still a third-person shooter classified as survival-horror, but we all know that term has become pretty general lately. The controls are slightly cumbersome, but that can always be overlooked in the horror franchise. The aiming is a little stiff, but being able to move while aiming and strafing around corners certainly helps. This makes it is easy to believe the game is heavily focused on action, but that isn’t the case. There is definitely a bigger focus on surviving a horrific situation, but there is practically nothing scary about this game. That being said, the little amount of ammo you receive teases the boundaries just perfectly. After almost every major fight, you will be left with only a few shots, meaning it is imperative you conserve your ammo. The constant worrying about ammo is a good feeling to truly add some extra tension.
Just like many of the other Resident Evil games, there are multiple weapons you can equip and upgrade. It isn’t complex by any means, but it is enough for each player to have their own unique setup. Spending time switching around upgrades and weapon combinations can get addicting, as simple as the system is.
The main extra feature in Revelations is the Genesis scanner. You can scan a room for hidden objects, which makes it sound like an extra, but it really isn’t. The hidden objects are usually ammo or herbs, which are rather important in your survival on the monster-infested ship. You can also scan the creatures themselves, and after scanning enough of them to reach 100% on the Genesis scanner, you will be rewarded with an item. Word to the wise: scan whenever you possibly can.
Throughout most of the game an A.I counterpart is attached to your hip as you progress through each level. The only reason they aren’t unbearably annoying is because you don’t have to worry about their health. That’s it though, because they serve almost no other purpose. Enemies will ignore them about 90% of the time and go straight for you. The worst part is they literally cannot kill an enemy, and it’s sad that I’m not exaggerating at all. Throughout the entire game I tested this, and never once was my partner able to land the finishing blow. They can shoot endlessly into an enemy but it will never die. This makes them completely useless in all regards.
The enemies also aren’t anything special. They aren’t scary and they aren’t really zombies. They are just…weird. Not necessarily bad, but just questionable sometimes. Seeing a mutant zombie with what appears to be a sword and shield makes me wonder exactly what the developers where thinking at this point in the game. Then again, Resident Evil has always been a series with rather strange enemies, so it isn’t that shocking to see them in this game as well. Still, after seeing all the variations you are left wanting more because there wasn’t one that really terrified you in any special way.
The biggest problem in the game is the recycled environments. The fact that the setting is on a cruise ship should instantly set off alarms in your head. I knew heading into this there would be some backtracking and repetitive scenery, but I guess I was being too hopeful because it was far worse than I thought. The game tried hard in the beginning to open unseen areas as you progress, and flashbacks to other areas also helped provide a change of scenery. However, once you go far enough in the game, everything starts to repeat. It’s as if the developers didn’t try to hide it, because it wasn’t even subtle.
On multiple occasions you would run through an entire section of the game, killing monsters as you go. Once you get to the end, you learn you needed something and–shockingly–it was back at the beginning. So, you’d run back through that same section, killing monsters once again. Then, once you got what you needed, you’d run through the same exact section a third time! You may play through a section with Chris, then later in the game, you’d play through that same section with another character. It bcomes repetitive nonsense that really starts to grind on your nerves.
Besides the campaign, there is also the Raid mode to give this game some more replay value. In this mode, characters can level up and collect money to purchase weapons. It’s a rather interesting game style that definitely has some allure. Enemies have visible health bars and each bullet landed will reveal a number for the amount of damage you do. There are more enemies overall for each level compared to the campaign, and there are more special enemies to really keep you on your toes. If you’re looking to just shoot a lot of monsters, this is the mode for you. It is also co-op online enabled, because killing stuff is always more fun with a friend.
This game certainly isn’t the best Resident Evil game so far, but it is considerably better than most of the recent ones being released. Anyone who is a Resident Evil fan might want to check out this HD port and get eight hours of story, plus the Raid mode. It shows what Resident Evil is capable of, and what could have been with the other recent console titles. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, however. There are definitely some flaws that will lower the overall experience, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on an enjoyable experience.
This review is based off a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Resident Evil: Revelations developed by Capcom and distributed by Capcom.
- Raid Mode is Excellent
- The Extra Story Expands the Universe
- Recycled Environments
- The Controls are Stiff