On the surface Resident Evil: Revelations seems just like a Resident Evil game shrunk down onto the 3DS, which it is, and that’s what so great about it. It’s a return to form after the co-op heavy and lackluster adventure of Resident Evil 5, in a lot of ways this is exactly what Resident Evil 5 should’ve been, yet it takes advantages of the 3DS hardware in some clever ways that make it so it could only work on that particular system. It kind of comes out of nowhere with its story since it’s set between Resident Evil 4 and Resident evil 5, not only that but it jumps between characters making it hard to follow at points. Take it as a whole; the story is relatively forgettable if you’re not that into the Resident Evil fiction. Also, it manages to loosely ties it all together in the end to help set up the next games that come after it.
With the release of this and the recently announced Resident Evil 6, it seems Capcom is finally listening to what its fans have wanted from the series all along. Resident Evil: Revelations is an atmospheric, interesting, engaging and mysterious adventure that is not only a wonderful showcase of what the 3DS is capable of but it’s a great start to the new year of gaming. If you’re looking for something to play on your 3DS or just in general, Resident Evil: Revelations is an experience that shouldn’t be missed out on.
Gameplay is a department where I believe Resident Evil as a franchise has been behind the curve in terms of a lot of other third person shooters on the market. Resident Evil: Revelations doesn’t change much of that for the most part, but what it does do is give you limitless options to ensure you can play it and enjoy it, from Gyro Aiming, first person shooting, to the newly launched add-on for the 3DS, the circle pad pro. This customization in the controls is one of the things that this Resident Evil does right. It makes sure you can find a way to play that’s comfortable for you so that the controls become a second thought.
It can make the experience significantly less clunky and more enjoyable as a result of that. The shooting feels great, the movement, touch screen controls, interface is all incredibly easy to figure out and use quickly in the middle of a heated situation. All of it mixes together the survival horror roots with modern action elements to great effect to fully pull you into the experience. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, nor does it fix all its problems with how it plays but it’s heading the right direction in terms of a more accessible and polished experience as a whole.
I should also mention the Raid Mode, which can be played co-operatively. It pits two players up against waves and waves of enemies, with a relatively deep customization system, it has merit to become and addictive time sink, I myself put quite a number of hours into it, and it’s something you could find yourself coming back to play, but not something I could see myself coming back to all that much after I finished with the campaign.
Resident Evil: Revelations is a damn beautiful game to behold, in all its mutated, decrepit glory. The majority of the game takes place on the Queen Zenobia ship, which also manages to have a mansion built in it. This is where Jill and her new Partner lies. Along with the snowy Alps where Chris ends up, these locales provide a very varied backdrop throughout the entire adventure. The lighting is the best on the system, and music is appropriately haunting for whatever situation you’re in, the sound, look, ambience, and wonderful creature designs all come together to create a surprisingly creepy game which I never thought possible on a handheld console. The presentation isn’t perfect though, however, there are inconsistent loading times, a lot of poor voice acting, frame rate stutters when you go through doors and pixilated shadows. It doesn’t pull you out of the experience; it’s just a shame that a lot of these inconsistencies had to be there in an otherwise wonderful package.
It’s quite a lot of content for the now 40$ price point, you’ll get a fully fledged Resident Evil product that is arguably the best we’ve seen in years. It brings back fan favorites Jill and Chris, a perfectly atmospheric and creepy setting, and fun and engaging gunplay that still manages to be enjoyable after all these years. If you haven’t liked the Resident Evil franchise in the past, you probably won’t like it now, but even without a second analog stick it plays better than any before it, and you can now move and shoot, too.
Resident Evil: Revelations is a great return to form for the Resident Evil franchise and a wonderful start to 2012 in terms of gaming, if you’re looking for something to play on your 3DS or something to play in general, do not hesitate to pick this up. It’s gorgeous, explosive and often times unsettling, and the atmosphere we’ve all wanted is back and it’s better than ever. If it’s not your kind of game, it won’t change your mind. Luckily it is my kind of game and I cannot wait now to see what Capcom will do with this franchise next, Resident Evil 6 I’m looking at you!