The fifteenth anniversary of Resident evil is in full effect and to celebrate the event, Capcom is releasing a whopping three Resident evil games this year. The first one that hit stores is Resident evil: Revelations. In recent years, critics have panned the series for not being innovative since Resident evil 4. Does this chapter for the Nintendo 3DS hold a candle to Resident evil games of the past or is it another step in the wrong direction?
Resident evil: Revelations is a prequel to Resident evil 5. In it, you follow Jill Valentine and her new partner Parker in their search for Chris Redfield, who has mysteriously disappeared during a mission. Chris’ last known location was on a ship called the Queen Zenobia. Of course in true Resident evil fashion, the ship’s crew is infected with a BOW virus called the T Abyss virus which causes those infected to mutate into sea creature inspired monsters.
Most of the game takes place on the ship and the structure is very similar to Dead Space. The game has a chapter set up which gives you good stopping points especially if you are traveling. This is definitely a god send due to the 3DS’ short battery life. You’ll play as multiple characters (about four) spread out between the 12 chapters. You pretty much play every aspect of the story. If there is a flash back you play it etc.
The graphics of Revelations are very impressive for a handheld. It looks like Capcom managed to squeeze every ounce out of the 3DS. Having such great looking graphics is not without its drawbacks though. The game suffers from some long load times and the game freezes for a second when an event is triggered, like when a monster falls out of an air vent etc. Despite this, I still found myself jumping and looking like an idiot on the subway. I recommend that you play this game with headphones on as the speakers on the 3DS don’t do the sound design justice.
As far as controls go, the game plays like Resident evil 4 and 5 with their kind of stop and shoot mechanics. There are no camera controls here because of the lack of a second analog nub. Despite this, the camera does a fair enough job of keeping things in view. There are some issues with creatures attacking from out of view though. I didn’t have any problems with the normal control scheme but the circle pad pro is definitely the way to go when it comes to ease of control and aiming.
A new ability not seen in any other Resident evil game, swimming has been added. Swimming controls in games usually end up being horrible but in Revelations, it’s handled well. The swim sequences aren’t long and don’t wear out their welcome. In addition to swimming, there is n new item called The Genesis Bio-Scanner. The Genesis device is a biometric scanner that is held like a weapon. When it’s used, the game goes into a first person view and shows you anything that might be contaminated with the virus, hidden items and even creatures that might be cloaked with optic camouflage. In Genesis mode there is a percentage at the top of the screen. When it reaches 100% you’re rewarded with an item.
Something that classic RE fans might really dig is that storage boxes have returned, though there is a small twist to them. They can no longer hold keys and herbs that you find. They are mostly for upgrading and storing weaponry that you have collected.
Revelations also takes advantage of all that the 3DS has to offer without being too intrusive. For the most part the second screen serves as a touch menu and is for weaponry, inventory and puzzles. The touch screen works well when swapping between weapon load outs. There is a secondary menu for weapons and items not in your main inventory which includes a map. This menu is clunky and cumbersome. Not to mention that you aren’t able to select a map from the main menu. You will find yourself checking the map frequently because of the sheer size of the Queen Zenobia. The second screen is also used for puzzle solving although they seem like more of a novelty and aren’t much of a challenge. All you’re asked to do is unscrew panels and hack the panel by playing a mini game to open doors or switches. Classic Resident evil fans might be put off by this.
The Street pass feature in Revelations is really cool. Essentially if you have your 3DS in sleep mode and someone who is also playing Revelations passes by you, you get an item. The items are random so you won’t know what you’ll get but the more people you encounter playing the game, the better that the randomized items will be. This was helpful when ammo was low or I needed to power up a weapon.
Revelations has quite a bit of replay value. There are lots of hidden items and attachments which give you new weapons and parts when completed. There is also a Raid mode where you can play co-op locally and online. Unfortunately the weapons and items you have in the campaign do not cross over. That awesome handgun you had in the main game will not be available to you in Raid mode.
One horrible oversight that should be mentioned about Revelations are the rampant spelling errors found throughout the game. The spelling error on the box art is only the tip of the iceberg. There are misspelled words and bad punctuation in everything from the subtitles, description of items and places and even in the user manual. This is unacceptable in this day and age.
All in all, I feel that Resident evil: Revelations is a step in the right direction for the series. It serves up some nice moments and some solid gameplay despite the spelling errors and and minor design flaws. I had a lot of fun playing this one and I definitely think it deserves to be checked out.
- New characters
- Street pass items
- The 3D
- Spelling errors
- Load times
- Badly designed secondary menus
Resident evil: Revelations was developed and published by Capcom . It was released exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS and is available now for $39.99. The copy played for this review was a new retail copy.