Do you remember Resident Evil 6? No me neither, mainly because I have tried to put it out of my mind and not think about it. Being a Resident Evil fan, which I am sure you are too (you are reading a Resident Evil review after all), then you like me probably disapproved of the attempt made by Capcom of moving the franchise away from survival horror to all out action. Yuck. If I want a zombie action game, I will play Call of Duty thank you very much. So how could they possibly make it up to us? Well the 3DS Revelations title did well, what about that? Great idea! And as such we have a port from 3DS to console and PC, with the aim of reconnecting the franchise with its roots and upset fan base.
Every Resident Evil game cannot be considered complete without those moments of fear, anxiety, suspense, pressure, and relief, and Revelations delivers them all in plenty. There is nothing like being in the middle of the ocean on a tightly confined cruise ship with infected monsters seeking blood. With each turn down or a corridor or opening of a door you always be thinking to yourself about what could be waiting for you there. With all my gaming sessions, I turn down the lights, crank up the surround system and settle down for a few hours of escapism. With Resident Evil games it’s never long before the lights are switched back on again… Revelations was no exception.
Revelations pits the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) against the bio-organic weapons (BOW) terrorist group Veltro, which is destined to release the T-Abyss virus into the world. The BSAA loses contact with its agent Chris Redfield and his partner Jessica while they are on a mission in the Mediterranean Sea aboard the cruise ship Queen Zenobia. It sends Jill Valentine and her partner Parker to investigate, but when they arrive they find that they’ve been set-up … and that the ship has been infected with the T-Abyss virus. When word reached Chris that Jill is stranded, he drops his actual mission and goes off to find her. Each of the game’s episodes transitions between the storylines of the lead and side characters, and uses flashbacks to fill in the back story and toss in some plot twists as well. The game pulls this off beautifully, adding a lot of depth to the story and insight into how the characters got to where they are in the story. If by chance any of this confuses you, the game provides a handy recap at the beginning of each episode to help keep you on point. I really like this feature and other developers should take a hint and model after it.
A sign of a good Resident Evil game is when you find yourself checking every nook and cranny just to make sure you have killed everything, only to find that all of a sudden out from the depths of an elevator shaft or air duct comes a slimy eight foot monster reaching out to lend you a hand. While I was surprised by, and at times felt some of the pressure of, too many enemies, I quickly realized that they tend to be rather dumb and sluggish and that I could just run away. This seems to be a reoccurring theme throughout the game. Maybe it’s because our perception of how an infected bio-organic weapon (or old fashioned zombie) should behave? Anyway… what is consistent throughout all Resident Evil games is the sense of anxiety when blowing through a ton of ammo and feeling like you are on the verge of not having enough, when low and behold the ammo gods bless you with more. One of the new ways the game has you searching for ammo and health outside of the usual opening of lockers and smashing of boxes is by using the Genesis. The Genesis is a scanner that detects items around the environment that wouldn’t normally be seen with the naked eye. The scanner can also be used on the enemy, and with each successful scan you accumulate a percentage number; when the numbers total up to 100% you are rewarded with a health potion.
Another thing that remains the same and adds familiarity to the game is the end of level grading. The grading criteria consists of accuracy, time to complete, and number of deaths. The higher the grade the more BP the player receives, with BP being the in game currency used to purchase weapons, costumes, and weapon customizations for Raid Mode. Raid Mode is a single or co-op mini game which reuses the campaign stages and throws in a variety of enemies. Similar to the campaign you are graded on accuracy, enemies killed, damage done and time the stage was complete to earn BP currency. Raid Mode can be beat by a cheat however, as I unwillingly found out. I started a new game on level 1 and a level 1 character. In jumps a level 56 player, runs through the ship, kills everything in sight with single shots and ends the level before I can catch up. The scores roll in and I achieve a perfect score with bucket loads of BP. Some players may consider this good news. I don’t. I feel cheated.
Resident Evil games have never focused on replay value, not in recent times anytime. Revelations is no different in this respect. The campaign will keep you busy for 12-20 hours and then Raid will keep you going for a few hours after. Don’t expect countless Easter eggs and hidden items to go back and find. Don’t let this stop you from heading out and picking this game up though. Capcom did well with porting this from 3DS. Especially after the disaster that was 6. If you have a 3DS and you’ve played it already, then there isn’t really much new here for you. However for everyone else, Capcom have done you a favour and provided a riveting addition to this multi-million pound franchise.
You all know I live horror games. You know I love zombies. Although there aren’t ‘zombies’ in this as such, put down State of Decay and pick this up for a few hours. You’ll enjoy it.