Platform: PC//Xbox 360//PlayStation 3 //Wii U
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Survival Horror//Third Person Shooter Platform Played: PlayStation 3
Resident Evil: Revelations was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS in January 2012, receiving critical acclaim for being one of the best Resident Evil games in recent memory. Having somehow avoided the Resident Evil franchise throughout my gaming days, I was excited to finally take my first steps into the franchises universe. Though the game has received minor graphical improvements, the game is genuinely the same experience 3DS owners enjoyed the first time around. While the console rendition of Revelations sacrifices graphical fidelity when placed on our TV’s, this is one of the few noticeable flaws between each version. Being an avid fan of all things horror, Revelations never seemed to provide the horror experience I was expecting. It provides an intense, panic driven adventure, but genuine scares seemed almost non-existent.
During Revelations’ 7 hour campaign, you will take control of a variety of two player teams. These switches occur regularly and give the feeling you are playing out a TV episode, with the story constantly jumping between perspectives. This method works well, allowing my experience to always feel fresh, due to the change of location and team members. Revelations also provides a “Previously On” cut scene before each of the games 12 chapters which always kept me up-to-date on the games events, a feature more games should introduce.
The majority of Revelations will take place onboard a cruise ship called “The Queen Zenobia” and the ship itself is actually a character in its own right. This eerily empty and expansive environment allowed for a great atmosphere, so while genuine horror was lacking, the intense and varied environment provided a memorable journey. The narrative itself is fairly thin, with the main plot twist leaving me scratching my head, but like a B-grade movie, I still found the plot (although questionable) constantly entertaining.
The console version of Revelations does provide an extreme difficulty setting, known as Inferno Mode. Here you will be faced with randomly generated items and enemies, meaning every level will provide a unique experience. Players will also have the ability to carry their weapons to a new playthrough, with Revelations offering a New Game Plus feature.
Exploring The Queen Zenobia is one of Revelations’ most addictive qualities. I wanted to explore every room, see everything inch of the ship and search out every item to help my journey. Revelations is not generous when it comes to ammunition, so searching every room can offer great rewards and the lack of ammunition provides a tactical outlook to almost every battle. The feeling of desperation when you’re suddenly surrounded with enemies with only one clip remaining in your weapon causes a great sense of panic. Pulling off headshots and capitalizing on enemy weak spots will always be a strong game plan and should be performed at every opportunity.
These situations are greatly emphasized throughout the game’s many boss fights. Most of the time I found myself left with the bare minimum during these battles, due to the overwhelming number of enemies leading up to the encounter. I found these became an enthralling battle of tactics, using the environment and what little ammunition you could scrape together and ultimately, providing an extremely satisfying hard-fought victory.
These battles are given an even higher difficulty, due to the games archaic control. Controlling your character feels sluggish; almost like controlling a small truck and I felt like the game itself was restricting how effectively I could compete in combat situations. Playing as elite agents from the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), it felt strange that these agents seemed completely unathletic thanks to how they moved. I have always heard the Resident Evil titles have provided compromising controls, and I can completely understand why. This title also combines those controls with a disappointing dodge mechanic that feels finicky and unresponsive. Sometimes it will work perfectly, other times it will just disregard your inputs without ever justifying why it didn’t work. I even pulled off dodges when I wasn’t trying to dodge anyone. It’s as if when they finally decided to give our characters a hint of athletic mobility, they had no clue how to strongly represent the idea.
Aiming weapons in Revelations is another feature that feels awkward. The loose aiming controls can have you firing all over the place even on the lowest sensitivity. Revelations does allow players to increase their weapon abilities by discovering weapon parts, which can be attached to certain weapons to increase damage, magazine size and more. Though they never seemed to provide much improvement to the base weapon, experimenting inside the creator is a sleek and easy process.
Based in the survival horror genre, I was disappointed in the lack of the actual horror experience. Though the lack of ammunition caused a few panicked situations, it always felt like an action game throughout. We are also given the ability to scan the environment using the Genesis tool, which can seek out hidden items and ammunition. It can also be used to scan enemies which can offer extra healing items along the way.
One of Revelations’ key problems in its jump from handheld screens to the TV is graphics. This doesn’t look like an ugly game, but there are plenty of moments where character models will provide some horrible visuals. Environmental textures are also noticeably worse for wear, with the lack of details apparent. You will also notice some very low-grade liquid effects at certain points. If graphics are a key selling point, then maybe this experience is best kept to the handheld. It doesn’t make the experience any less entertaining, but the differences are there.
I also suffered from some strangely long load times when moving between sections of the ship. Some of these could last over 30 seconds, which is odd when you are staring at the same door handle continuously turning. With a game that doesn’t seem to push the graphics department to any unforseen level, the load times were surprising. I also experienced audio issues during my first few hours with the game, with characters taking jarringly long intervals between answering each other during conversation. Revelations also stuttered frequently during the games many auto-saves. These issues are not game-breaking, but when a game is being released for a second time, you would expect these problems to be rectified.
Revelations also offers Raid Mode, putting 1 or 2 players inside cordoned off maps from the games main campaign. Players aim to earn points by defeating all the enemies in a stage, avoiding damage, and finding bonuses which ultimately level your character and unlock stronger weapons. I found Raid Mode to be quite addicting for the first few hours, until it ultimately became stale. Though killing enemies with Borderlands style damage numbers flying around is quite fun, even with a second player you are essentially replaying the same sections from the main game.
The mode also lacks any kind of online leaderboards, meaning you will have to try and compete with your own scores or against the player you are currently playing against, which feels like a missed opportunity. Joining other players online is easily accomplished, with some quickly navigated menus. While levelling up your character is fun and I enjoyed the mode’s premise, the lack of variety from the main game means these Unit 13 type missions, quickly becomes familiar.
The console edition of Resident Evil: Revelations handles mostly like its portable counterpart, with some questionable marks towards the games graphical department. Though these visual errors and technical issues are apparent, the game’s entertaining narrative and intense atmospheric environments will overshadow the game’s flaws.
Resident Evil fans would most likely be used to the series’ archaic controls by now, but for someone new to the series it feels like a hindrance on the franchise itself. When the only athletic ability included barely works, it feels like a lost cause. However, the tactical mindset players must engage when juggling these controls and lack of ammo, makes for some intense battles and some memorable boss fights which will challenge the best players.
Revelations is a worthy port, but it doesn’t feel like much effort was included to make this version the definitive experience. If you have played the original handheld version, or have a chance to play that iteration of the title, I suggest you do. It is a quality title that Resident Evil fans will love, but I’m not sure if console players will experience the same excellent quality that 3DS owners were delighted with last year.
+ Entertaining narrative
+ Tactical mindset when encountering enemies
+ Intense, yet beautiful setting
+ Boss fights
- Archaic controls
- Graphics are worse for wear
- Lack of map variety in Raid Mode