Resident Evil Revelations Review
Author: Jeff McAllister
In recent years, the Resident Evil games have been slowly descending into a festering pit of mediocrity. The once true survival-horror series has practically changed genres over the years, becoming full on action titles and doing away with any tension and suspense the series was known for. It’s not a change that anyone wanted to see and fans were hoping to someday see the series return to its hair-raising, spine-tingling, spook-fests that the original games had been so many years ago.
Resident Evil Revelations was released to high-acclaim last year on the handheld Nintendo 3DS, although the system’s layout prevented decent controls without the add-on circle pad; the game was an actual survival-horror game that brought the series, at least partially, back to its roots. Now a year later and nearly 6 months after the craptacular Resident Evil 6, Revelations is finally getting the full screen treatment with upgraded visuals for its release on the Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
The game takes place between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5 and focuses mainly on the two teams of Jill Valentine and Parker Luciani; and Chris Redfield and his awkwardly hyper-sexualized partner, Jessica Sherawat, as they look for information on the bio-terrorist organization called Veltro, aboard a cruise ship called the Queen Zenobia. The story itself gets a little convoluted with two organizations; the FBC and the BSAA involved in the hunt and just what is actually going on gets twisted and turned right up until the very end of the game.
Throughout the campaign, you will continually be switching back and forth between controlling various characters. While the majority of the time you will be using either Jill or Chris, there are flashback missions where you will control Parker, and side missions that give a little more exposition to just what is happening on the Queen Zenobia where you will play as the two characters, Jackass and Grinder, who are the supposed comic relief of the game, but come off as a brainer version of Beavis and Butthead. The dialogue between the two however is really no worse than what the rest of the game has to offer.
Resident Evil games have always been known for their horrible dialogue, and Revelations does not fail to deliver on that front. Lines, such as when Jill wakes up in a bedroom and says “I’m in a room, I think”, and when Jessica is on her way to help out Chris, she says “Me and my sweet ass are on the way.” are enough to make you tilt your head and stare at the screen.
Each character has a device called the “Genesis” equipped that can be used to scan each and every area that you are in. When you pull up the scanner, a green circle will appear where there is an item to uncover. Sometimes it will be an item that is needed to progress in the game, but for the majority of the time it will be a cache of ammo or a grenade. Once you get over the initial idea of scanning areas, chances are you will only be doing it when you are in dire need of ammo or have gotten stuck needing an item. You are also able to scan enemies and when you have scanned enough of them to reach 100% on a meter, you will receive a health item for your troubles.
Having never played the 3DS version myself, I can’t say how it compares, but folks looking for a Resident Evil game that plays out in the same vein as the older generation of games will be satisfied with what they experience here. For the most part, when you encounter enemies- none of which are “zombies” per se- they will appear by crawling out from vents, cabinets, windows, etc. to give you the creeps as you call the bloated creature that surprised you a string of expletives with exasperated breath.
The game does have its moments of shooter-itis sadly, where enemies will continuously respawn and pour out incessantly by way of the mentioned methods, and bosses can be unrelentingly difficult for no real reason, but thankfully with your limited movement, these moments are few and far between. No matter which character you are using, you only have two movement speeds: slow and slower. The run is a slow jog and trying to get away from enemies that are quickly surrounding you can be more than a little frustrating. You do have a dodge mechanic at your disposal, but it needs to be timed perfectly to be useful, and sometimes even when you do dodge successfully, you are still close enough to the enemy that they will swipe at you again.
Like every Resident Evil game, you will also be subjected to silly puzzles that require specific keys and ornamental crests to get to where you need to go. The most reoccurring puzzle that you will run into is when you need to bypass electrical panels and need to move around fuses within a grid. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the solutions other than to light up the lines between them, so solving them can be an exercise in just randomly moving the objects around until it works out.
Getting around the ship can also be a little arduous at times as the 3D map doesn’t really do much to help show where you are going- only where you are- but thankfully the AI partners you are with will get fed up with you if you continually go the wrong way and will tell you to follow them as they take the lead to the direction you need to go.
Aside from the campaign, which will take you about 7-8 hours to complete, there is also a Raid Mode that can be unlocked. As you progress through the campaign, these Raid Mode levels will become unlocked for you to play through alone or online with a friend. The Raid Mode lets you fight through multiple areas while killing the enemies that appear to earn Experience Points and to find items that you’ll receive each time you drop an enemy. It is fun to play through for a short period of time, but after a while, it can get a little ho-hum.
There are many things that Resident Evil Revelations does right and the atmosphere of being on a B.O.W. infested cruise ship is something I have always wanted since the old Resident Evil Gaiden game for the Game Boy Color. The creatures are varied and spooky enough to make you jump and there is even a creature that will continuously show up throughout the campaign to scare the hell out of you when you least expect it. Although the title belies any real Revelations being made within the Resident Evil universe, and the game is not exactly what Resident Evil used to be, it is certainly a step in the right direction and is easily one of the best RE games released in recent years.
Title: Resident Evil Revelations