Resident Evil: Revelations Review
Game: Resident Evil: Revelations
Developer: Capcom & Tose
Available on: Nintendo 3DS only
We’ve all played a Resident Evil game or two, they’re one of gaming’s mainstays, and rightfully so. They’re tense, filled to the brim with story and mystery, and usually sport some of the best graphics that the system that it’s on has to offer, with a few exceptions of course (Gun Survivor). The Nintendo 3DS has almost been out a year now and we’re finally getting to see the first real Resident Evil game for the console, there was the Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D game from about 6 months ago but that was barely more than a tech demo thrown together for the purpose of getting people ready for Resident Evil: Revelations. The main course.
Did that excellent demo that graced the Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D’s game cartridge do the upcoming game justice? Is it as good as all those screenshots that we saw at the Nintendo 3DS launch all that time ago made it look like it is? Are all the lights off? Then we should begin.
STORY: The story takes place in 2005, between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) has just been founded the city of Terragrigia, once named the “most ecological city on the planet”, which has just been destroyed after the terrorist group named Il Veltro released Bio Organic Weapons into the city which started devastating the population. Things have gone from bad to worse since then, there have been pockets of Il Veltro resistance all over the place and the BSAA and FBC have been regularly sent in to investigate.
The game starts as series regular Chris Redfield and his new partner Jessica Sherawat have gone missing. Ever faithful, Jill Valentine (along with Parker Luciani) has been sent to investigate their last know co-ordinates; an abandoned cruise ship called the SS Queen Zenobia. You’re not on the ship long before you start to realise they Chris and Jessica weren’t here for the glorious sea views. Enemies start coming out of the air vents, up through the floor and just about any other place they could have possibly squeezed themselves. Jump scares are the order of the day, so don’t be surprised if your attention is focused on something far off in the distance – a flickering light, a distant sound, or anything similar – when suddenly you’re being attacked from behind. The Resident Evil games are famous for their tense sections and jump scares and Revelations doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.
GRAPHICS: If you thought that the graphics in those screenshots for Resident Evil: Revelations were good then you were wrong. Those images that we all so oh so long ago now only made the game looking amazing. As it stands, this game is downright gorgeous. It is easily the best looking game on Nintendo’s fledgeling system and shows off everything that the console could possibly offer. If you’re looking for a game that you can hold up proudly to your friends to prove that the Nintendo 3DS is a viable console in the current generation of handheld video gaming, then Resident Evil: Revelations is that game.
As good as the game looks in a general sense, there are a couple of areas of the game that could have done with a little work. The touch screen of the 3DS holds the map, as well as your character’s inventory and a few other useful pieces of information. This screen could have done with a little bit more time spent on it as it can be a little hard to find items that you’re looking for in a rush, often resulting in you equipping a weapon that will do nothing against the oncoming tank of a monster that you’re staring right in the face. It’s not bad per se, it’s just that with the stunning beauty of the rest of the game, and the world in which the game’s situated, it will stand out for a lot of people as something that perhaps didn’t get quite as much love during the development stage.
SOUND: The sound design is something I was almost getting ready to criticise before I’d even played that game. The speakers built into the Nintendo 3DS aren’t exactly the greatest pair of speakers in the world, usually degrading anything – no matter how inherently beautiful it is – into a tinny mess once it’s pumped out through them. That wasn’t the case with Resident Evil: Revelations. The sound was crisp and clear, with only the voices sounding slightly tinny when listened to through the console’s speakers. At one point I was even playing the game while walking home, sound on full blast and I could hear every piece of dialogue and every gunshot (or other sound effect) even though I was holding the console at the usual length away from myself. Needless to say I was pretty shocked. Pleasantly so though.
Having said that, the Resident Evil series is one that really should be played with headphones on. You could have the best speakers in the world but when you’re playing a game that’s supposed to be as tense as a Resident Evil game is, you should really be blocking out as much outside noise as possible. Do yourself a favour and put some headphones on.
GAMEPLAY: As you would expect from a game with the Resident Evil name attached to it, a lot of the gameplay revolves around shooting extremely large and foreboding things in the face until they fall over. This has been the main gameplay mechanic since the very first game starring Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. Resident Evil: Revelations is no different, players will have to navigate corridors, open doors before knowing what’s behind them and have other terrible and unsuspecting things happen to them. What’s the pay off? The good old jump scare, we all like a good jump from time to time and over the years Capcom have become the masters with their Resident Evil series of games.
Another aspect of the gameplay which returns is the puzzle solving element. Players will be asked to solve puzzles which range from quick and simple puzzles – such as moving a chest of drawers out of the way of the door in order to get out – to puzzles which take a great deal of thought and memory to work out. They’re not easy, and when you’ve got to try and remember about that one door that you think you passed 10 hours ago, things get even harder.
Weapons are a big deal in the Resident Evil games and as such, you’ll have the ability to upgrade the ones you’re carrying on a fairly regular basis. You’ll be able to find custom parts all over the game world, with the ones that are marked as “illegal” often being the better ones (and are harder to find). In order to upgrade your weapons with the custom parts you’ll have to find a gun cabinet. Certain weapons can only be upgraded using very specific modifications and as you would expect, the modifications can only be used on a single weapon. If you make a mistake though, you can always take the modifications off again.
On top of the fantastic single player campaign there’s also the opportunity (once unlocked) to play Raid Mode. This is kind of like the Horde Mode that started on game such as Gears of War and has slowly made its way through the gaming world, and is now appearing in a Resident Evil game. In this mode you can either play by yourself, or with a partner over local wifi or over the internet, and take on more and more enemies by playing through stages. Once you’ve cleared the enemies on one stage you smash a golden disc that’s spinning somewhere in the level and you’ll be taken to the results screen where you can see how you did; especially fun when compared against your friend. Raid Mode has its own levelling system, which fans of games like Call of Duty will be happy to see, and the higher you raise in rank, the more equipped you’ll become to take on the enemy horde; who are getting stronger and stronger all the time.
LONGEVITY: As with most Resident Evil games, there are plenty of items hidden away in the far corners of the game world for the discerning gamer to get their hands on if they’ve got the right equipment. Players that enjoy fully exploring a world, coming back to those locked doors when they’ve got the correct key and just getting every penny of worth that you can get from your video game purchase won’t be disappointed with Resident Evil: Revelations. There’s plenty to do in the single player aspect of the game, even when you’ve finished the game. Add on top of that the Riot Mode and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous looking game that has all the tropes of the Resident Evil franchise that you love combined with great replay value and an entertainingly addictive multiplayer mode.
VERDICT: If you’ve been waiting for the definitive Resident Evil game for your Nintendo 3DS console, then Resident Evil: Revelations is the game you’ve been wishing for. All of the aspects of the Resident Evil games that you’ve come to know and love are all here, combined with the level of graphics that most people won’t even be aware that the Nintendo 3DS is capable of. If all of the games on the system looked like this then people would have sat up and took notice from the start. Things are let down a little by the controls, which feel a little bit fidgety at times, but those can be improved by using the newly released Circle Pad Pro; you’ve just got to get over fact that you won’t want to be seen in public with it attached to your shiny 3DS; or just play at home.
When it all boils down to it, if you’ve been looking for a new Nintendo 3DS game to buy with that money you’ve got left over from Christmas, you should make it Resident Evil: Revelations.