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Resident Evil: Revelations Review – Shook Ones

When Resident Evil: Revelations came out for the 3DS last February, it pushed the little handheld’s power to the limits and shined some light on a series many consider to have peaked. In a way, Revelations is a hidden gem in that it’s one of the good Resident Evil games out there, only thing is that you needed a 3DS to enjoy it. Fear not! Capcom has decided to HD-ify Revelations for everyone who lacks a 3DS but has access to a 360, PS3, Wii U and PC.

For those new to Revelations, the game takes place between Resident Evil 4 and 5 right before the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) is formed. You follow veteran and BSAA founders Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as they’re lured onto a mysterious ship known as the Queen Zenobia. From there they realize that the ship is filled with B.O.W’s (Bio Organic Weapon) created from a new virus known as T-Abyss. There’s also Il Veltro, an organization that’s responsible for numerous bioterrorist attacks involving the T-Abyss virus.

I’ll be honest, the story in Revelations follows the same Resident Evil game formula: You go to a creepy place and find that there’s zombies and/or infected creatures to shoot at. As I progressed I quickly found myself caring less and less about what was going on. None of what happens in Revelations is ever revisited or mentioned in sequels after, making it seem like nothing ever happened, so it was a little hard to take serious.

You’re shifted around from Jill and Chris to some of the newer characters which just feel so out of place. There’s a generic sexualized female character, two overly-saturated comic relief “Dumb & Dumber” characters, basically anyone who isn’t Jill or Chris you’ll find yourself not really connecting with. It also doesn’t help that a majority of the voice acting isn’t very good. I’m a person who can appreciate a fair bit of cheese when it’s necessary, but boy, does Revelations have some cheese.

One thing Revelations does right is its mood and setting. As I explored the Queen Zenobia, I found myself in sections of the ship that almost made me feel like I was back in the mansion from the original Resident Evil. There’s plenty of claustrophobic narrow corridors for you to explore as you make your way around the ship, almost giving you the sense that you’ve been left for dead.

It’s pretty evident that this game was made for a handheld, as you’ll find yourself revisiting rooms you were previously in from other chapters numerous times. You’ll also find yourself getting lost pretty frequently as many of rooms look and feel very similar. All that aside, making my way throughout the Queen Zenobia was the highlight of this game for me. Which is why I felt the episodes where you play as the newer characters in a completely different area really detracts from what the real focus should be.

One thing I’ve always found myself not really like in the recent Resident Evil games is the enemies. They’ve been gone from traditional zombies to all sorts of weird infected creatures and even regular infected humans whose heads transform into weird tentacle things. Revelations introduces new enemy types that can only be described as infected humanoid sea creatures. I haven’t had a good jump scare in a Resident Evil game for quite some time now, but the enemies in Revelations are so freaky and creepily animated that you can’t help being a little spooked when you see one right around the corner. Of course being a handheld game, it does recycle a lot of the enemy types, but what little there is to seen is definitely better than what has been presented in the past.

To defend yourself against these new enemies, you have your fair assortment of recognizable guns to choose from. You’re allowed only up to 3 guns at a time, which you you attach weapon kits to that increase damage, clip size and even give critical hit and daze modifiers. In addition to this you’re also equipped with a scanner that’s lets you analyze enemies and even find hidden items and secrets. It’s pretty clear that the scanner made more sense on the 3DS, but somehow translates pretty well onto consoles nonetheless.

Raid Mode has also been enhanced in the console version. In this, you revisit old campaign levels with an arcade/time attack twist. Each level is filled with tougher enemies that you must go through to set high scores and earn medals than you can then use to level up characters, upgrade weapons and purchase silly costumes to wear. You can now play Raid Mode with a friend online or locally. It’s a lot of fun and offers some replayability after you’ve completed the main story. The only downside is that it uses the same levels that you just got through seeing, but at least you’ll be familiar with your surroundings, right…?

Given that this game was ported from a handheld, the game is really nice to look at on a bigger screen. There are times when you’re reminded of the fact that it’s a handheld port, such as character animations; strafing during gunplay can be a little jarring and in game lip-syncing does look a little goofy. However, textures on everything else looks amazing, almost reminiscent of something from Resident 4 or even 5. Capcom did an amazing job making you feel like you’re playing a proper HD Resident Evil game, even if there were cut corners.

Resident Evil: Revelations is a game that every diehard fan should play, and if you didn’t have have the opportunity to play its 3DS version, this is your chance. A pretty forgettable story and some corny voice acting aside, Revelations isn’t the best Resident Evil game you’ll play, but it’s a step in the right direction and for the asking price you could do a lot worse.

This review of Resident Evil: Revelations is based on a review copy for the PlayStation 3 provided by Capcom.

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