Resident Evil: Revelations Review
Peter Donnell / 5 years ago
The Resident Evil franchise has been part of the gaming diet for three full console generations now, seeing iterations that have spanned the PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and PC platforms as well as various mobile editions to name but a few. Some have been great, some are truly classic and others have been a little off tempo, so where does Revelations fit into all this?
Some of you might be thinking “hey wait a minute, Resident Evil: Revelations isn’t new!” And you would be absolutely correct. This game did in fact see an original release over a year ago on the 3DS where it received favourable reviews and user feedback, but likely not that many sales. The developers at Capcom clearly saw an opportunity here and decided to port the game to PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Wii U, bringing the game to a wider audience and no doubt aiming to target some larger retail sales given the larger install base for each of the ported formats.
Of course, you cannot simply port a game from a handheld to the big screen without some serious improvements, especially when it comes to resolution and textures. That isn’t to say that the handheld edition of this game doesn’t look great, because it does, but you can get away with a lot more in terms of lower quality graphics, textures, antialiasing, filtering and resolution on the small screen that would just look dreadful on the big screen. This is an issue easily resolved of course and Capcom have given the game a tasty high definition make over that gives it a new lease of life and makes it a lot easier on the eye than its handheld counterpart.
Capcom released not one, but three Resident Evil games last year and with Operation Raccoon City being somewhat tedious in my opinion, Resident Evil 6 being less thrilling than 5, it was Revelations that really stood out for me, one of the defining titles for the often overlooked 3DS and its immediately clear to me that what made the 3DS edition so great has been buffed to a shine in this console release. They’ve even fixed the typo on the box (yes, there was a typo on many of the original 3DS retail boxes that read “Revelaitons” haha).
The game plays off many of the crazy plot twists that pad out the rest of the Resident Evil series, especially the more recent titles at least, evil corporations still defy logic in their pursuit for killing everything, most often including themselves, monsters that make no logical sense, with ever more insane limb and torso combinations seek to kill you with alarming frequency and yet another variant of the zombie churning virus is doing the rounds, the T-Abyss virus this time, not that I care as every strain makes monsters, nothing new there.
Monster design is top notch as always and while they are ridiculous they do tick all the boxes for kick-ass video game monsters and while the game used to be about Zombies, the Resident Evil franchise has been wise to diversify from the slow waddling brain scoopers. Add to that the tense atmosphere and frantic action and you’ve got everything you need for you modern survival shooter.
It’s not all perfect however and while the game does feature some great content it’s marred by a somewhat shaky presentation. Episode style levels were the format of choice for the 3DS edition and this was mostly because of the technical limitations of the device, but the format remains on the consoles and you’re pestered with recaps of game events even though you’ve just done them. That’s not directly Capcom’s fault however as this is for all intents and purposes a port, so maybe changing this aspect would have meant a lot of dev time, so I’ll let it slide, this time haha.
Next up we have the famous Resident Evil acting, which for the most part has been laughable for longer than I can remember, voice acting and of course the words that are coming out of their mouth, some may refer to this as “the plot” are diabolically bad at the best of times and you’ll find yourself cringing at them more often than not. Yet personally this is something I’ve come to expect from Resident Evil and while a well scripted, well-acted game would be awesome, the ham fisted approach used by Capcom has become part of what makes Resident Evil what it is, entertaining in more ways than one.
Those seeking a challenge may want to bump the game up a notch or two and with the option of both Hard Mode and Infernal Mode you’re sure to work up a sweat on this one. It’s not a scary game by any measure, but things do get more intense on hard mode and you really can feel pushed to survive at the best of times, this is exactly the sort of action I like in my games and it keeps a great balance that is often lost in many of today’s shooters where you typically find you are overpowered. This is pushed further with sparse ammo and it’s often wise to flee than fight everything you see, because there may be something more dangerous around the corner that requires that last clip of ammo.
The game can also be hard for another reason, controls, they’re far from perfect and the aim mechanics leave little to be impressed about, yet with a little practice and patience you can get used to its nuances and things do pick up after a couple of hours of play, but it would have been nice to see the aim controls better balanced to the analogue sticks (in this case the Xbox 360 controller).
The biggest let-down for me though was the lack of true couch co-op, I was really looking forward to ripping thought this title in split screen and you simply cannot do it. This is a blow softened by the rather Awesome Raid Mode, which unlocks after completion, allowing you to co-op your way through some remixed main campaign missions, with better weapon choices etc, more akin to a Mercenaries mode of other recent RE titles.
If you played or you own the 3DS edition, stick with it, there really isn’t much new here for you, but on the other hand if you missed out and you’re looking to complete your Resident Evil collection, then this is the perfect addition to your set.
It’s far from perfect and while Capcom could have done a better job with the port, with better textures and improved controls it’s still clear they’ve made an effort to make it more enjoyable on the big screen to a certain extent. It’s a lot of fun to play and given that you can already pick it up for just under £30 new on the Xbox and PS3, or just £20 on the PC, it’s already good value for money too.