The year is 2004. Terragrigia, an idyllic city built on top of the Mediterranean Sea, is overrun by mutants in a bio terrorist attack! All hope is lost and as a last resort the city is destroyed by a giant sun beam reflecting space satellite laser.
No this is not a prequel to Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, this is Resident Evil: Revelations, a side story released on the 3DS but is now ported to practically every major console.
How is the transition from dual screens to the big one? Find out after the jump.
Resident Evil: Revelations HD
Systems: Wii U,PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360[Reviewed]
Developer: Capcom, Tose
Release: May 21, 2013 (NA) / May 24, 2013 (EU)
One year after the attack on Terragrigia, Chris and the flirty Jessica Sherawat have gone missing while on assignment. Jill and Parker Luciani are then sent to their last known location, a luxury ship called the SS Queen Zenobia. Predictably they get stranded on said ship and (shocker!) it’s flooded with mutants. The only option then is to explore the SS Queen Zenobia as you wait for a rescue, all while digging up the ship’s secrets to reveal a fishy conspiracy of course.
And boy do you explore the fuck outta that ship. Resident Evil: Revelations tries the blend the exploration and puzzle solving of classic Resident Evil with the shooty action of the newer entries in the series, and for the most part it succeeds. The exploration is good, great even with the use of smart tension building and moody atmosphere. However, at times the pace of the game can get bogged down by extended action segments. Yet for all the good in the game accomplishes there’s still that fact that game was designed and ported from a hand held which can diminish some of the enjoyment.
The game is broken up into chapter segments with the bulk being a “Metroidvania” like exploration of the SS Queen Zenobia with straight forward action chapters thrown in to flesh out the story and add variety. While you’re usually pointed in the right direction the game strongly encourages exploration, often rewarding you with new weapons, upgrades, or story snippets. In addition to just looking around, you’re also equipped with a scanner which lets you scan the environment for items or scan enough enemies for healing herbs. Exploration is never really bland either since the game is great at building tension and atmosphere with claustrophobic corridors, awesome sound design, and creepy lighting. Resident Evil: Revelations shines with extended periods of tense exploration punctuated with sporadic encounters with monsters.
So while exploration is all well and good, it’s when you are pushed into extended gun fights with monsters that game gets dragged into a slog. For one, enemy designs are really bland and don’t give much feedback when shot. There’s still some strategy to shooting different enemy parts like in previous Resident Evil games, but often they just soak up bullets and die before you can stagger them or bring them to the floor. This is sort of fixed at higher difficulties and Raid Mode (which I will get into a bit later) but still doesn’t fix the fact that you are shooting in cramped corridors. Instead of maneuvering around maps and using spacial awareness to avoid deadly enemies, most of the time you’ll just be backing up and firing rounds into their heads.
Oh yeah you can move while shooting and dodge enemy attacks if you can get the timing down, features which should make fighting enemies more engaging but it’s still a far cry from the shooting action of Resident Evil 4. It’s not too bad in the beginning but past the half way point more and more enemies are thrown at you with the only way to advanced being to kill them all. Honestly I would have been happier with more exploring and smarter enemy encounters.
That said Raid Mode is very good if you just want a straight forward, more action oriented version of Resident Evil: Revelations. The mode basically lets you play levels from the campaign in co-op (or go solo if you choose) with remixed enemies and a slight RPG twist. You’ll level up, unlock different weapons and weapon upgrades, find money and ammo, and pick up loot from enemy drops. Its simple but effectively executed. Plus there are challenges and a scoring and grading system, which I’m always a huge sucker for. It definitely adds replay value aside from just playing it again on a harder difficulty to find all the hidden stuff.
As much fun as I was having I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was playing a portable game. It wasn’t a bad thing though, I really loved the chapter approach. I could play for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time and still feel like I accomplished something. I liked how the story was much more focused and didn’t get too caught up in Resident Evil lore. Yet it was also a double edge sword. The small environments are great for atmosphere and tension, but don’t give much space for variety in fighting enemies. The whole game seemed like it wanted to be much larger in scope but compromised were made to fit the platform. On a hand-held I can see how this would have been a unique experience but the effect of some segments, like a helicopter turret section obviously designed to show off the 3D, just feels diminished or gimmicky on a console.
Resident Evil: Revelations is a really good game that gets a bit deflated by extended action sequences that don’t hold up because of cramped levels and not so effective monster designs. Being a port from a hand-held system it brings some refreshing designs like chapter progression, but also diminishes the impact of some set pieces. Your mileage may vary, but I recommend Resident Evil: Revelations to anyone seeking a more methodical approach to action horror, especially if you were disappointed with games like Dead Space 3.
Resident Evil: Revelations gives you plenty of extra characters and outfits to use in campaign and Raid Mode. While in campaign you’ll be stuck with the character assigned to that specific chapter but you’ll be able to change their look. In Raid Mode you’re free to pick which ever character and available outfit you want. However, practically all the extra outfits and characters are ones you will have already seen from the campaign, which is kind of a bummer since there won’t be many surprises to look forward too. I have to warn you though, some of the outfits are tedious to unlock.
Rachel has almost no development so outside of her quips in Raid mode there’s not much to her besides the absolute cleavage and permanently obscured eyes she’s got going on. Jessica on the other hand is very flirty and isn’t afraid to let you know it. She tends to have a more saucy spin on her outfits and she looks great in all of them. My personal favorite is the police chick outfit with the short hair, but I can’t say I wasn’t swayed by her scuba outfit that flaunts a leg and has half her ass barley being contained. Impractical? Definitely, but my reptile brain couldn’t care less.
Yet the stand out has to be Jill. Her outfits my not be flashy, but they are classy. Only offering a small hint of cleavage every now and then. Since you’ll be playing mostly as Jill you’ll be seeing a lot of her from behind and I have to say that it’s a really nice view.
– Sullivan O. Bradley