The Resident Evil series has had its many ups & downs over the years & with it straying further & further away from its roots you can’t blame fans for having a negative view towards this 3DS port.
That’s right, Resident Evil: Revelations first appeared on Nintendo’s handheld console but has since been giving the HD treatment & re-released on the PS3 & X-Box 360. The transition turned out way better than anyone could have hoped…
Considering its original source it looks very good & the HD touch-up gives it enough shine that it can hold its own amongst some of the latest Resident Evil games. There are moments where you can see the game struggling though such as trips in lifts & when moving through large areas of the ship, the frame rate-jumps a bit but it is easy to overlook it thanks to the overall quality.
Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 & Resident Evil 5 the game introduces series regular Jill Valentine & newcomer Parker Luciani as they are arrive at the huge & imposing cruise shop, the Queen Zenobia. They are there to find the BSAA duo of Chris Redfield & Jessica Sherawat who have dropped off the radar while flying over this part of the ocean.
As they begin their search throughout the long-abandoned ship it becomes clear that some sort of outbreak has occurred & soon they will be fighting for their lives.
A year before, the floating city of Terragrigia was attacked by the terrorist group known as Veltro. They unleashed Bio-weapons on the city causing destruction & chaos. The FBC (Federal Bioterrorism Commission) tired to contain the bio-attack but eventually turned its own solar powered satellite on the city resulting in the city being destroyed & every living thing turned to ash.
Players take on the role of Jill & Chris mostly but will also play the parts of minor but important characters in different locations as well as flashbacks to the imminent destruction of Terragrigia.
This mix of characters all playing out over the same story makes for an interesting tale even if the revealed protagonist is a bit too predictable. Jill & Chris relationship is one that has been built over a series of games & it shows here, they clearly care about each other & while they may be a romantic under-current there it’s not something that feels forced. The inclusion of newcomers Parker & Jessica (plus more) was a great move as both are likeable even if Jessica has some strange choices of dialogue (me & my fine ass are on our way) & even more puzzling outfits.
Where Resident Evil: Revelations really excels though is in its throwback to survival horror. Now don’t get me wrong this isn’t survival horror like the original game but rather a modern take on it & it is really good. The opening of Revelations might be one of my favourite Resident Evil openings ever…Jill & Parker arrive on the deserted Queen Zenobia & begin their search. The corridors are linear & the direction clear…they uncover bodies that appear to have mutated, slime drips from vents & Jill thinks she sees something out of the corner of her eye. There is even an excellent jump scare involving rats!
This leads perfectly up to the enemy reveal…the mutation that has affected the ship has turned most of the crew into these pale mindless oozes. Their variations are clear (some of sharp claws for hands, others explode like bombs etc.) & each is creepy looking. They are deceptive as well & are enemies not to be taken lightly. As well as these basic enemies there are a number of tougher enemies that will take a lot more to down & one particular search leads to one of the creepiest scenes in the game.
Weapons are standard fare with pistols, machine guns & shotguns making early appearances before high-powered rifles & magnums make a later appearances. Ammo is limited so you have to plan accordingly, it’s a nice surprise to have to think about what I’m shooting & what weapon I should be saving for tougher battles.
Revelations employs the now standard over the top shoulder view point of all modern Resident Evil games but rather than using the red laser sight opts for a small crosshair. It makes shooting a bit more difficult especially with the lightness of the crosshair but I quite liked the added challenge of having to pick my shots.
The inclusion of the scanning mechanic added a fresh idea to the series that will see you searching every room & area of the ship for hidden ammo & herbs. It’s clear & easy to use as when equipped the indicator flashes when there is something in the nearby area then it’s a matter of looking around until a reticule appears. This scanning can be done on enemies to reach a percentage that rewards you with an herb & during a tense water section is the only way in which you can see the enemy swimming below until they surface to attack.
Now where would Resident Evil be without its bosses? Revelations has its fair share & all offer their own challenge. I don’t think any of them were particularly remarkable except for Rachel. Now this is a funny one…Rachel caused a lot of controversy because of her outfit….
So imagine my surprise when the first time I see her in game she is getting killed & the next time she is infected. For such a lack of development her mournful cries of ‘help me’ & sobbing quietly as she scurries in the vents really struck a chord with me & I felt terrible about putting her down.
Thankfully we do get to play as Rachel in Resident Evil: Revelations other offering, raid mode. Basically missions set throughout areas of the game where you chose a character & make your way through them as quickly as possible. Speed, lack of damage & accuracy will count towards your ranking (the best being the usual S rank) while bonuses are possible for killing all enemies in the mission or avoiding any kind of damage.
Levelling up is present allowing you to purchase new weapons & upgrades as long as you have the BP. This is earned by getting top ranks & in-mission bonuses as well as hidden stars throughout. This mode can be done offline & online with a co-op partner.
It’s a lot more fun than it sounds & with plenty of levels to play through on different difficulties & max level of 50 there is more than enough replay-ability as does the single player story is lengthy enough with 12 chapters split down into several sub-chapters. With several difficulty levels that include a brutal infernal difficulty there is plenty to enjoy.
For those crying out for an ‘old-school’ Resident Evil game then look no further then this as it’s as close as we are going to get. One of the best Resident Evil stories that fits neatly in Resident Evil canon with interesting characters & a revealing ending. It manages to actually frighten/creep you out & has several moments that will leave you feeling suitably unsettled. One of my favourite Resident Evil games to date…
Resident Evil: Revelations