Does Resident Evil: Revelations live up to the hype? It could very well be the best entry in the series for a very long time…
Originally announced at the 3DS’s original unveiling at E3 2010, Revelations appeared to be the first fully fledged, original Resident Evil hand-held title. After several months had passed, Capcom then announced Resident Evil: The Mercanaries 3D, a spin off title that would land on the 3DS; first filling the gap fans would have to wait for Revelations. That wait has paid off, Capcom has managed to craft a console like experience and possibly the finest Resident Evil in years.
Graphically speaking, this is the finest example, to date, of what the 3DS is capable of. Using the MT framework engine, they’ve managed to nearly replicate the visuals seen in Resident Evil 5 on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It’s only when you get up close to some textures you see some shortcomings. There are also the occasional moments of slowdown when there are three or more enemies on screen. That being said, its impressive to think that the 3DS is outputting the image you see twice, as well as what’s on the lower screen. The 3D effect is put to great use in the game, making scenery and enemies burst out of the screen, and as usual I played the game with 3D on full.
The game is presented in episodes, with Jill Valentine as the main protagonist exploring the Queen Zenobia. As you complete each chapter a plot twist will take place leaving you hanging as to whats happening on the cruise ship. The game will take you on a different tangent and you will explore different parts of the story, both in the past and the present. You’ll control different characters such as Chris Redfield, Parker Luciani and Quint Ketchum. After each episode you are then presented with a “previously on Resident Evil” catch up film, making this ideal for the pick up and play nature of the handheld.
Revelations greatest strength is that it returns to the series to its strengths. The recent entries have been lacking the survival horror game-play that made the series so popular in the first place, and Revelations brings it in spades. I didn’t come across a single enemy in the first twenty minutes, however the game made me jump at least four times. The atmosphere is incredible; the sound plays a huge part, just like in horror films where the soundtrack lowers and not only your footsteps but also those of what is lurking around the corner are heightened.
Revelations also features weapon’s caches where you can upgrade and swap out different weapons. The game features the usual pistol, shotgun, rifle, machine gun with more hidden weapons to discover. You can upgrade the fire rate, hit power and more which really makes a difference in game. One original feature not returning is the type-writers as save points, thankfully.
The game is primarily in third person mode, but with a tap of the L button the camera morphs into first-person making aiming at your enemies a synch. The touch screen acts as your inventory, so you can easily switch between weapons, both main and secondary, as well as viewing your map and other things you’ve collected along the way. It also makes use of Nintendo’s new ‘Circle Pad Pro’ accessory which I used whilst playing. I’ve played the game in its default setting numerous times but found it awkward and tiring, with the Circle Pad Pro, the controls are just the opposite. The peripheral is designed to cradle your hand, and is ergonomically comparable to the Game Cube controller. It also adds extra shoulder buttons with RT becoming your main action button.
Another new addition to the game is a new scanning ability, similar to Metroid Prime. You scan enemies and their remains and each time you reach 100% of a sample you’ll receive an extra health spray. The main use for this item is identifying hidden items such as crucial ammo refills.
Revelations also features ‘Raid Mode’, in which you play as Jill or Chris, to shoot enemies for points to upgrade your character and weapons. The best part, is that this isn’t just a single-player affair, you can play this with a second player cooperatively either locally or online.
While zombies don’t make their triumphant return just yet (that’s to come in Resident Evil 6!), gone are the weird and pointless ‘Las Plagas’ infected denizens. Instead the game presents a new foe in the ‘Ooze’ who are far better designed than their predecessors. Differing enemy types actually affect game-play and appear almost crustacean-like, rather that just being constantly attacked by ravenous phallic limbs. Boss battles are among the series best and are the most varied a Resident Evil title has ever offered.
Revelations is the finest example of the Resident Evil franchise in years. It brings the series back to its roots by including a horror element. Resident Evil should never try to be Call of Duty! Capcom have reminded us why we love them, and especially why we love Resident Evil.
If you wanted a 3DS system seller, this is it!
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