Resident Evil Revelations Review
When I used to hear the name Resident Evil, chills would creep down my spine just imagining the mansion from the original or all those abominations created from Umbrella's T-Virus. Hearing Resident Evil now makes me shake my head and laugh at a franchise, which was so great in the early days but a laughing stock today. Out of all the most recent Resident Evil titles to date, only one stands above the rest. Resident Evil Revelations has taken my crushed hopes for the franchise and delivered a fresh coating of hope to my senses. While it may not be the most complex, Revelations grants players the opportunity to enjoy a simpler time before all the convoluted plot twists and massive explosions. This is Resident Evil done in a proper manner.
It's strange when one thinks about how a handheld Resident Evil title outshines the recent console titles, especially when RE games don't do so hot on handheld devices. When Revelations was originally released for the Nintendo 3DS of February last year, many were probably stunned to hear how well it did. The game did so well that Capcom decided to remodel Revelations in HD and port it over to consoles. Having never played the original on 3DS and being scarred from RE6, I was extremely skeptical to review it but slaving away at GGN has its costs. Surprisingly, I grew to enjoy my time on the Queen Zenobia and even had the pleasure (if you can call it that) of being scared stiff; something which hasn't happened since RE4. With my Turtlebeach headphones locked tight, lights shut off and door closed, I was ready to experience why people praised the game so well.
During my first hour of play, my eyes were peeled looking for any excuse to stop playing. As I rolled into the second hour however, I realized how much enjoyment I was having; followed closely by me jumping out my chair thanks to a B.O.W hiding inside a vent. Revelations is a fairly simple game to master even to those who may have never played Resident Evil before. Controls are quite responsive if a bit loose and the survival horror element is back in full force. Go in guns blazing and you may find yourself cornered with little to no ammo. As progress is made, more weapons and customizable parts can be found; equaling stronger guns. Characters can only hold up to 3 weapons and subweapons at a time. Even though it's completely useless, melee attacks are available in case ammo is scarce but 8 times out of 10, it'll do more harm than good. Not to be confused with melee is the Physical Attacks. These moves can only be done when enemies falter. You can tell when it works because they will stand around, dazed. Moving close and holding the "X" button (button is different on other platforms), characters deliver a walloping finish attack. Definitely useful for conserving ammo.
Puzzles have also been thrown in to break up the action but these are just mild brainteasers at best. Sadly, no dash mechanic has been added and the dodge move is ahhh... well let's just say it's there. As far as I can tell, dodging does not work because it just never seems to operate correctly. Even with following the directions given, my character constantly kept getting whacked around. Oddly enough, it seemed to only work when I was holding one button. The best bet for players to avoid damage is to strafe as much as possible. I drove myself mad trying to nail the dodge but ultimately, let it go by the wayside.
The Genesis made its debut here and I'm not talking about SEGA's old console. Use of the Genesis allows players to search for items on the ship; hidden to the naked eye. It can also be used on live or dead B.O.W.'s to scan their DNA and once the counter reaches 100%, a health item is rewarded to the player. Use of the Genesis is extremely important as it helps nab extra ammo and more health in case the character needs it. Since Revelations is a standalone title, players new to Resident Evil's universe won't need to worry about getting lost in the story. Even though the game take places between 4 and 5, Revelations does a good job of sticking to the here and now. Long as you know who Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield is, even the newest of newcomers will remain comfortable. Once the campaign is finished, players can look forward to the cooperative Raid Mode. I didn't get much hands-on time simply because there seems to be some kind of issue going on at the moment. The online access is cut off and apparently, Raid Mode can only be played solo at this time. Hopefully, all that's needed is a patch update.
The amount of time I did get to invest on Raid Mode left me feeling satisfied in a arcade sort of way. Going through multiple stages which are reused locations from the campaign, players can either go in solo or with a buddy to help back them up. Be aware each stage has its own difficulty setting and if you try to jump ahead, you'll most certainly get killed thanks to the level system in place. Enemies can have advantages such as speed or defense boosts. After a stage is complete, higher ranks can be achieved and more items, weapons and attachments become available. There are even post-stage awards given if specific requirements are met like beating a stage while under the recommended level. For those that are impatient and want to unlock stuff at a much quicker rate, use of the store serves the purpose. Of course, you'll need to have enough BP points to purchase items within. If you are looking for a good mindless time by yourself or with a friend, Raid Mode can accommodate once the online problem as been dealt with.
Considering this is a port from a handheld, the visuals for Revelations on the PS3 are a great improvement indeed. Judging from all the screenshots from other consoles, the PS3 version looks to be the best excluding the PC. I also detected no framerate issues worth noting. The transition from 3DS to home consoles worked out very smoothly. With all this being said, a whole lot of praise is being tossed Revelations' way but with the good also comes bad elements.
The biggest complaint thus far involves the dodge move, something which should help gamers prolong their characters' life but instead shortens it. Dodging just doesn't work and all of the deaths I suffered are a result of improper use. A working mechanic would have been great during the final boss, who managed to kill me 7 times. A reliance on health items is the direct result of a faulty dodge mechanic but thankfully, an abundance of herbs can be found aboard The Queen Zenobia.
Moving past the terrible dodge, there are other small matters that tend to occur. Like moments where my character would walk right through another person or even through objects like guard railings. Besides Parker Luciani, the new characters are pretty bland and all too often, it feels as if Capcom tried too hard in creating likeable characters. I specifically disliked Jessica because she was that "sexy" partner, who had no business being in this game. "Hold on, my sweet ass is on the way!" is a direct quote from her and simply stunned me at how unnecessary it was. To go any further would be just nitpicking; even with a crappy dodge mechanic and questionable characters , it's definitely worth taking this cruise.
-Terrible dodge mechanic
-Lackluster new characters
-Raid Mode on the fritz for now
+Improved HD graphics
+Survival Horror element returns
+Raid Mode is fun
Resident Evil Revelations took me by surprised with how much I could enjoy another RE title again. I can only hope from this point on, Capcom might find a decent medium for the franchise to rise up once more. By the end of Revelations, I was left with many questions unanswered, which leaves me to believe we may see a follow-up. If you are afraid or unsure about giving Resident Evil another go, Revelations comes highly recommended; whether it be on the 3DS or one of the consoles.
First, a disclaimer: I've only played the first 75% of this game.
The Wii U version of Resident Evil Revelations faces performance issues occasionally. If there are several enemies in your face, and you fire a shotgun, or if the game is loading a large room, you can expect framerate stutter. That said, this was a rarity that never lasted long enough to hamper my ability to play. I can't speak to reports of loose aiming controls; I haven't played the other versions, but aiming feels fine to me. I should note that while I spent some time using the tablet controller, I used the Pro Controller most of the time. That's because the tablet controller features are negligible. The tablet's touch screen can be used to solve certain puzzles, but those puzzles are handled well with a standard controller anyway. More often than not, the tablet will show a map. This feature is rendered pointless by a mini map on the television screen. You can also play the game solely on the gamepad, and while it works well, I think it defeats the purpose of this release.
I jumped for the Wii U version of Revelations because I didn't
want to play this game on a handheld device. Resident Evil
Revelations swaps between two modes: the first, a slow-paced crawl
through tight, ill-lit corridors, and the second, a tense situation
featuring action. You'll play a slow segment, followed by an action
segment, followed by a slow segment, so on and so forth. You can trace
the progression of the game by watching the time each portion takes;
over the course of the game, the slow-paced sections shrink as the
action-focused sections grow.
While the corridor segments may be more in keeping with horror in terms of presentation, I was bored with their enemy selections. Oftentimes, the best idea in these segments is to slip past lumbering enemies. Action segments highlight the game's enemy variety and draw out survival gameplay. Often, I was locked in a room with streams of enemies, then told to make the best of whatever ammunition I had. Making sure I didn't use it all up was a matter of taking careful shots and choosing the best gun for the situation. Revelations' best moments come when the line between survival and horror blurs. For instance, one slow stretch had me walk through waist-deep water, poking around for the way forward. The segment became tense when fish enemies emerged topside. Survival elements came into play, since I had to ask myself if it was worth shooting at enemies too fast to hit consistently. At the same time, the half-submerged solo section kept an atmosphere of horror.
These reviews are based on retail copies for the PS3 and Wii U obtained by the reviewers.