If you’ve read other reviews for this game, you may of seen some say that this game belongs on a home console. Many used this point as a negative but while I agree with this statement, I use it as a compliment. Resident Evil Revelations is worthy of being a console title, and that’s why 3DS owners have the opportunity to get one of the best Resident Evil titles out there, exclusively for themselves.
Many argue that Capcom hasn’t made a proper Resident Evil game since RE4 and even then some argue that number 4 was suited more to a action audience than a horror audience. RE4 is regarded as the pinnacle of the series but I wouldn’t be surprised if Revelations knocked it of its throne. The game balances survival horror with action sequences perfectly with the inclusion of chapters, a nice touch which breaks up gameplay and tells the story at the same time. The story isn’t too complicated. Evil terrorist group are revived, Jill Valentine and Parker Luciani are told to board a floating ship, turns out ship is infested with zombies, the same old really but the story does have some interesting change ups as you progress, making this game a must for Resident Evil fanatics. The chapters usage works brilliantly too as Revelations is a handheld game, and when you finish one chapter, just before the next starts you get a nice little ‘Previously on Resident Evil Revelations’ segment which refreshes your memory of what you have just done. Revelations isn’t the longest game in the world, but it still keeps the same play time as the older Resident Evil games and of course, there are different difficulties for you to choose, Casual, Normal and the appropriately named Hell mode. The game took me roughly ten hours to complete on the easiest difficulty, so the harder ones will most likely add more to the total time.
Now on to the controls of the game. Revelations is the first game in Europe and (that I know of) North America that utilises the Circle Pad Pro, Nintendo’s answer to a dual analog controller complete with three extra buttons, which ultimately make the game much more enjoyable. Is it necessary to buy the Circle Pad Pro to get the best experience out of the game? No it’s not, without it the game still controls very well and uses the four face buttons instead, making aiming a little less accurate but not impossible. If you can find it for a cheap price or bundled with Revelations, my advice is to get it, as it will be used in future games too. Camera control is more fluent and easier with the add-on, and makes shooting and scanning easier for newer players.
Visually this game is phenomenal. Seriously, you want to see what the 3DS can do early in its lifetime? Download the demo from the eShop now and check it out yourself, the demo isn’t even the game at its full potential. The frame rate can drop a little bit when the 3D is turned on and it doesn’t look as good as it does in 2D mode, but the sense of depth in Revelations is greater than in any other game I’ve seen so far, only rivalled by the screen shots of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. Looking through the scope of your rifle impresses too, distinguishing the foreground of the scope and the mid and background honestly makes it seem like you are looking through a sniper rifle. Although there aren’t a variety of locations, what there is, has been done well, colder and bigger terrains with mountains ‘feel’ cold. Capcom definitely went all out designing this game, and it shows graphically and musically too.
Music is important in survival horror games and more so in Resident Evil. In order to create a sense of deadliness and shock, the right music needs to be played at the right time and Revelations does this beautifully. When first entering the ship where the game is set, you immediately get a sense of dread about things, which is hard to pull off in a game, let alone a handheld one. Want to feel like you’re in an action movie? Capcom has got that covered. Want to feel like something is looking at you through the crack in the ventilation shafts? Yes sir, Capcom has got that too. It’s very impressive and one of the things that I remember most about the game.
But with every sandcastle there comes the sea. There’s really not too much to complain about in this game but the main offender is loading times. The game does its best to try and cover them up but severe frame rate drops spoil the flow of the game. The textures of certain objects is not too great either, fine when looking from afar but get shoved into them by a zombie and you won’t know what’s uglier. The game itself is paced nicely and while having flashbacks too previous events is great, at the same time it kills what just happened in the previous chapter. One moment I’m surviving narrow hallways and the next I have to help my partner hobble to a location? It slows everything down, but I give credit for Capcom not using cut scenes majorly and instead telling the story and actions through gameplay and dialog.
If you’re a new trooper to the series don’t worry about not being able to pick up on how to play, as the first few chapters cover the basics of surviving, dodging and using resources carefully. Scanning is a new idea in Revelations which is just like what Metroid Prime did. Equip your scanner of the ‘Genesis’ and point it at an enemy to receive some percentage. Once you tally up to 100% you get a herb which will help you recover damage and this is crucial in the harder modes of the game. You will also need to search for objects using the scanner so you can find ammo and handprints, which are hidden throughout the game. Scan them all, and you might get a reward.
If single player isn’t enough for you, there is another mode that might take your fancy in the form of ‘Raid Mode’ in which you traverse the games locations to kill as many zombies as possible. And I should mention before I carry on that when I refer to zombies, I should be calling them Ooze as that is their proper name. The Ooze and Hunters are the main enemies found in the game and don’t really resemble zombies at all, but at least they’re better than infected humans. Back on topic, in Raid Mode, you can go solo and team up with another whether you want it to be your friend sitting next to you, or connect with someone online around the globe. I haven’t noticed any stability issues with this so far and finding people to play with has been very easy. As you kill enemies you level up, being rewarded with weapons and attachments for them, such as 30% more capacity, or 10% increase in firing rate. The higher you weapon level, the more damage it will likely do (some guns are worse despite being a higher level). Along with weapons you are also given BP, which is the currency used to buy items from the store. Capacity upgrades, attachments, body armour and guns can all be found here along with rare weapons that turn up from time to time which offer tremendous power but alas, I have not found any of these yet. If you complete certain tasks in the mode, you are rewarded with several objects. It can be BP, weapons, characters, outfits and ammo. It is certainly a great way to keep people interested and mixing gameplay up. There are plenty of stages to keep you busy and you are given a grade based on how well you did, obtain a S ranking in all of them, and you might just get something. You can choose to play as any character from the game, so of which you will have to unlock but they all have different attributes and specialities. It’s safe to say Raid Mode will not just be a one hour thing.
In short, Revelations has more to offer than what you might think. For a system to have an exclusive (for now) Resident Evil title to its name so early in its life span is truly a complement and Revelations does nothing to take that back. Impressive visuals along with great 3D make this game the best looking title so far, coupled with solid gameplay and a great online mode, this game is a must buy not just for Resident Evil fans looking to get the fix they’ve be longing for since the older titles, but for any 3DS owner looking for a truly impressive game.
9/10. A game that takes back the brilliance of older Resident Evil titles and still manages to keep everything fresh with some great visuals and audio, only to be let down by unpolished segments. A must have!