Resident Evil 5 took the series in a bold new direction with a focus more on action, while throwing the survival horror element, that the series was known for, by the way side. This new direction made fans of the series quiet upset. I am happy to say Resident Evil: Revelations brings the survival horror back, but not in the way some may have been hoping for.
Taking place in 2005 between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5. Revelations revolves mostly around ex-STARS members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, as well as Terragrigia; a man made island that was attacked by bio terrorist;. Terragrigia was also the main port for the Queen Zenobia, the main setting for Revelations.
Jill and her partner Parker are sent by the newly formed BSAA’s director to locate Chris and his partner Jessica, who were last heard from on the derelict ship the Queen Zenobia. Meanwhile Chris and Jessica are investigating a Veltro (the group responsible for the terragrigia attack) base of operations in the mountains, when they are informed that Jill and Parker have gone missing in the Mediterranean. The Story is very confusing and hard to follow, and of no consequence. I found myself wanting to skip past the terribly written, and hard to understand cut scenes.
The game brings back the survival horror element by making ammo scarce, as well as trying to keep you guessing when and where the next threat will come. The scares themselves are mainly “cheap” jump in your face scares, that you may see coming. The true terror of Revelations comes from the atmosphere of the Queen Zenoba itself. Dark narrow corridors, the rocking of the ocean, and the isolation of being on a ship where everyone is dead, is what makes the game quite creepy. But this dark brooding atmosphere is down played from what it could have been, by out of place setting jumps, and terrible voice acting that pulls the fear right out of the game.
The visuals are some of the best that I have seen on the 3DS, giving credence that this may be the canceled PSP game. The 3D itself is done nicely, but is not necessary and only adds depth to the already stunning visuals. The music adds much to the atmosphere. Bringing back memories of walking through the Spencer mansion in Resident Evil 1.The 3DS speakers do not do it justice, I highly recommend using a pair of headphones when playing. Again the voice acting hurts the game. Out of place dialogue, and inappropriate voice actors, bring unwanted, and hopefully unintentional humor to the game. The game itself is broken up into chapters, something I hope not to see return to the series again. The setting of the Queen Zenobia brings back the feeling of the original Resident Evils, but when that setting in thrown by the way side for the other settings of the game, it makes the experience jarring and unpleasant. These jumps happen frequently and are usually unwanted. By the end of the game I found myself wanting more Queen Zenobia sections and less of the other stuff.
Revelations introduces a new piece of equipment never before seen in a Resident Evil game. The Bio scanner allows you to scan the environment for hidden ammo, as well as scan enemies for health pick ups. The scanner is a neat device, that is just not executed properly. The device is used only for the two things previously mentioned. It does nothing to enhance the story line, and soon becomes a chore to scan. At least Capcom had the idea to indicate whether there was anything left to uncover in the room. If the scanner was used to uncover some sort of hidden files to enhance the story, I feel that it would have done a lot for the game. The controls are amazing. Even without the circle pad pro the game controls nicely. Holding a button to aim like in previous resident evil games, but the movements feel more fluid and less tank-like. With the addition of the circle pad pro, the game controls wildly better. Controlling more like a modern third-person shooter, the game really shines with the added peripheral. Being able to move and shoot makes the game feel like it was developed for a home console. This ability is a welcome addition to Resident Evil’s repertoire
After the some what short single player, which clocks in at roughly 4 hours, Revelations has a modified horde mod called Raid mode. Raid mode is a 2 player co-op experience that allows the player to team up with a friend either locally or thru wi-fi to take on wave after wave of zombies. This mode was nice, it made me feel like my money was worth it. After a measly 4.5hour single player campaign, it was nice to have something to pull me back to it. Over all I felt that the Raid mode was a nice addition to the game. One of the coolest additions to Revelations was the customizable settings. You could either use a first or third person view while aiming. As well as change the color of your aiming dot. The only problem was that I had no idea they existed until I was complaining about the first person view (which is the default view)
I had really hoped that Revelations would help bring back that spark that had made me love the previous entries in the Resident Evil series. While the Queen Zenobia setting, the music, and the return of the original main characters, help rekindle that spark, there are flaws that I could not over look. Bad voice acting, unnecessary setting jumps, and an over all bland story makes Resident Evil: Revelations a game that was almost there. Revelations shows Capcom still knows how to make games people want, but poor execution sours the experience. But if you are able to tolerate the flaws of Revelations it’s worth a pick up, especially if you’re a fan of the series. My final grade is a B-.