Published on February 11th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Resident Evil: Revelations Review
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
Price: $39.99 USD
In 1996, Capcom unleashed one of the greatest games of all time on the PlayStation. Resident Evil was a terrifying, suspenseful and the most atmopsheric game that the world had seen. Since then, the Resident Evil brand has become a cultural phenomena with countless sequels, movies and spin-off games. Nintendo 3DS owners got a sampling of the franchise with Resident Evil: Mercenaries last summer, but the true gem on the game was the short demo for the full-fledged title, Resident Evil: Revelations. Does Revelations live up to the Resident Evil pedigree, or is it just another spin-off that’s doomed to obscurity?
Resident Evil: Revelations is canon to the storyline of the series, taking place between the events of Resident Evil 4 andResident Evil 5. You assume the role of several characters in the game, but most of your time is spent playing as Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. The game is broken up into episodes with each episode lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour in length. At the end of each episode is a recap of what just transpired. It provides perfect pacing since the game is a handheld title and is meant to play on the go. The story is your standard Resident Evil fare–biological weapons, chemicals, betrayal–but it is tied together nicely with solid voice acting and top-notch cut scenes. Jill and her partner, Parker Luciani, are investing the whereabouts of Chris, who’s last GPS reading says he was on an supposed abandoned cruise ship.
Capcom has really pushed the 3DS with this title, as the graphics are simply breathtaking. The lighting, shadows, character models are all polished and crisp. The infected in this game are very creepy, with mutations and various forms of your basic enemy. There are also some huge bosses that look outstanding and will really make you forget that you are playing a 3DS game. The environments vary from the cruise ship, to a snowy mountain, to a large business office. Each area is detailed to perfection, and feels very different from the last. The 3D effect in the game is nicely used, because it doesn’t overpower the game. There are 3 available depth settings, along the gamer to choose what they like. Revelations is best played while using headphones to experience the sound. An outstanding score, quality voice acting, and some really creepy sound effects make for a frightening time. Overall, the presentation and visuals are easily the best the 3DS has to offer so far.
A game’s beauty is only half the battle though. If the gameplay is weak, then it’s all for nothing. As I stated in my Resident Evil: Revelations article talking about why I was excited for this game, I was not a huge fan of Resident Evil 5. I felt it took away the core of the series and replaced it with an action title. I think Capcom heard me (kidding), because Revelations managed to blend the horror of Resident Evil 0 through Resident Evil 3, and the action of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, and created a masterpiece. You will go from narrow ship corridors with little ammo and a handgun, to full-blown firefights with a seemingly endless wave of hunters in a downtown office building. The fantastic thing is that the pacing blends together so well, that when you think the game will keep on the path of pure horror, it switches to action to give you a break. Another nice addition is that for most of the game you have an A.I. controlled partner. They help with battle, and the best part is you are not responsible for their health or well-being, so it’s not a “escort mission,” rather they give you adequte help. I picked up the Circle Pad Pro because I liked the sound of two analog sticks, and while the game is very enjoyable without it, it thrives with the attachment. It is very responsive and tight, and the only reason you die in the game is because of your error, not faulty controls. The Circle Pad Pro also has two additional shoulder buttons, which makes aiming and shooting an absolute breeze.
The touchscreen is used as a map, a way to select your weapons, and for a few touch sequences in the game. It feels pretty organic, with nothing messing up the flow of the game. Another nice feature is that the ‘A’ button is mapped default to use a green herb on the fly, keeping the action going. Weapon customization has also been added to this game, allowing you to tweak and power up your guns. You want a handgun that shoots two bullets at once? Done. It’s a nice way to customize the game to the player’s preference.
Keeping the action going after the main game is complete are Missions and Raid Mode. Missions are incorporated into both the story mode and Raid Mode, giving you objectives to complete and rewarding you with weapon upgrades and other items to either use in game or in the Raid Mode. While playing through the story, you accumulate ‘BP’ based on your performance, which helps in unlocking things in the Raid Mode. Raid Mode is a rush style game, with emphasis high on action. Either solo, with a friend locally, or online you battle through areas trying to clear the area in the fastest time. Some of the enemies from the story are tweaked to be stronger then normal, or faster. There are unlockable characters, guns and costumes for use in Raid Mode and with over 20 levels, it will keep you busy for a long time.
There’s not much to complain about in Revelations. Two of the secondary characters that you play come off as a bad joke, as they are supposed to be used for comic relief, but it’s nothing that really detracts from the game. The story can also be a little confusing, but the episode recaps help with that. As I stated earlier, this game combines the best elements of all the main Resident Evil titles, and it ends up being a tremendous game. This game has taken over as my favorite Resident Evil title, and is the finest game on the Nintendo 3DS. Don’t let the fact that the game is not a “numbered” entry in the series scare you off, as it very easily could have been, and probably should of been. If you have enjoyed anything Resident Evil related in the past, you will find something to enjoy in this game. If you don’t own a 3DS, Resident Evil: Revelations is yet another reason that you have to pick one up.
+ Amazing presentation
+ Tight and immersive gameplay
+ Raid Mode adds life after the initial game is over
– Circle Pad Pro is an additional accessory that doesn’t come with the game