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Resident Evil Revelations review

Sometimes being a game reviewer isn’t all it seems. Yes, reviewing a game you are looking forward to playing is great (eg.Tacoma), and unearthing a real gem that you had no intention of playing is even better (eg.The Sexy Brutale). But then there are games like Resident Evil Revelations.

The Resident Evil series is well loved and respected, and the most recent game (Resident Evil 7) updated the genre for the current generation consoles and was arguably one of the best in the series. But I was confused, as I knew that Revelations 2 had already been released on Xbox One, so why was I being tasked to review its prequel? A quick Google search later and I found that Resident Evil Revelations is a remastering of a last generation remake of a game originally released on the 3DS in 2012. We are in the era of well-loved games being remade and re-released, which sometimes don’t happen in quite the right order! So, research completed, and my question is: How will this remastering stand up in 2017?

Resident Evil Revelations (now referred to as RER) is developed by Capcom and takes place between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The story of the game follows series protagonists Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as they try to stop a bioterrorist organisation from infecting the Earth’s oceans with a virus. The game mainly involves the player controlling Jill Valentine aboard a ghost ship in the Mediterranean Sea, but there are flashbacks and scenarios where you play as other supporting characters.

RER was originally designed to put emphasis on survival, evasion, and exploration ahead of fast-paced combat by providing the player with limited ammunition, health, and movement speed. It was designed to bring back the content and horror of the series’ roots, while at the same time trying to modernize the gameplay, in which lies my first and most critical complaint of the game. It’s great to put emphasis on evasion, but it doesn’t work when the control of the character is so sluggish. When you factor in the limited ammunition, which you will run out of on most boss encounters, it makes these encounters a hard slog, even when you’re playing on the easiest difficulty level. RER is a third person game which switchs into first person when aiming your weapon, this makes any encounter with more than one enemy extremely frustrating. One section, set as a flashback in a skyscraper, has you defending a foyer as you wait for a lift, against lizards (Hunters) who jump and attack in one movement from multiple directions. This is impossible to defend against or evade when the movement of your character, including weapon aiming, is just so slow! Especially when there are up to five enemies in that small space.

RER has two different gameplay modes: Campaign and Raid. Campaign is your standard singleplayer story, whilst Raid is where one or two players can fight their way through a selection of altered scenarios from Campaign mode. These will reward you with experience and battle points that can be exchanged for various weapons and items at a store. Gaining experience and acquiring new equipment allows progress to higher and more challenging scenarios.

There are twelve chapters in the campaign of RER, and I have to admit by chapter four I had played enough. Even though I was enjoying the story I was hating the controls and how sluggish they were. But it wasn’t all bad. There was a moment early on in RER with a human character who is slowly being overcome by the virus, so she still possessed human characteristics as she taunted and stalked your character. This section did unnerve me with its excellent sound design and feelings of claustrophobia.

But wait, as I mentioned in my opening, being a reviewer isn’t all it seems. I was so close to giving up on RER, but I don’t believe it’s fair to write a review based on such a small amount of game time, so I persevered and I started to enjoy this game. I got used to the clunky controls. I realised that each enemy had a weak point and I began to defeat them quicker. I realised that the Genesis device you are equipped with could be used to find extra hidden ammo as well as scanning enemies. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not a great game, but it does have a good story and it mixes up the gameplay over the course of the twelve chapters to avoid making it a slog.

Graphically, the cutscenes really show the remastering process and are very pretty, and with most games of this ilk a lot of care and attention has been given to the female form, both in the cutscenes and in gameplay. If only the basic enemies had been given the same attention. Some of the base level enemies are just boring, and you don’t face them in combat with any feeling of dread, just annoyance. In fact, I would go as far as to say I am quite easily unnerved by horror games, and apart from the early encounter I previously mentioned, RER didn’t scare me at all.

Occasionally, you will have to defeat an end of level boss, some of which are fun to go up against, particularly where it takes you into different scenarios, such as on a mounted minigun in a helicopter. Others are dull and frustrating, and frequently lead to your character running out of ammo and resorting to melee attacks on huge monsters. RER also has missions which requires swimming and diving and these are also great ways to break up the standard gameplay, and these are designed well enough to make you feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

Story-wise, RER is extremely entertaining, even for someone like me who isn’t familiar with the events leading up to this game. Obviously I was familiar with the likes of Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, but was obliviously unaware of the range of supporting characters and the agencies of which they belong to, such as the FBC and BSAA. It moves along at a good pace and swaps between characters and locations to prevent things from becoming dull and boring.

Overall, Resident Evil Revelations is an OK game. Fans of the series will probably love it, but the clunky, sluggish controls let it down. This is most demonstrated in the final boss fight, where, although the enemy attacks are telegraphed, the strike area is just too large and it’s impossible to get out of the way in time, which is hugely frustrating. Introducing a roll mechanic for these encounters would increase enjoyment (and my score)!

Thanks to Xbox and Capcom for supporting TiX

Resident Evil Revelations 2 gets its first episode today

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Capcom release the first of the four weekly Resident Evil Revelations 2 episodes on the Marketplace for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 globally today, with the physical boxset being released in stores on the 20 March.

The story picks up from where Resident Evil Revelations leaves off, Claire has a new job working for anti-bioterrism group, Terra Save when she and Barry Burton’s daughter Moira get kidknapped and taken to a mysterious island. Barry heads off to the island to rescue his daughter and pals up with a brand new character Natalia. The story will alternate between the two sets of characters.

Each episode comes with 2 raid missions that add to Claire and Moria’s story, as well as Barry and Natatlia’s.

As with everything these days, there’s a season pass available for all the episodes for the price of GBP19.99/EUR24.99/$24.99, with each episode costing GBP4.99/EUR5.99/$5.99 each. It’s actually cheaper to by them separately if you do the math.

Episode 2 will be released on 4 March, with Episode 3 and 4 being released on 11 March and 18 March respectively.

Look out for our review on the latest member of the Resident Evil franchise soon, if you haven’t played the first installment then check out what Kris thought of the game back when it released in this review of Resident Evil Revelations.

Check out the launch trailer for Revelations 2!

Resident Evil: Revelations Review

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Event Coverage: MCM Expo

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So here we are, the part of my MCM Expo coverage that talks about everything gaming – exclusive to ThisisXbox. If you want to read what I thought of the day in general then head over to my personal blog and read all about it here.

So without further ado let’s talk video games.

Firstly I need to apologise to you and to myself…  as I attended MCM on Saturday 25th, I missed ‘Commander Shepard Uncovered with Mark Meer’ on the Games Stage. GUTTED doesn’t begin to tell you how I feel about this, but what I can tell you is he was an absolute gent during the whole weekend. Reports are coming in of him spending longer than planned signing autographs, discussing Dungeons & Dragons and mingling with his fans. Mark Meer is most definitely a fan favourite and didn’t disappoint anyone over the course of the event.

Although not Xbox related I did take an hour out of my morning to make a quick stop and visit the MCM ESports Theatre and watch the first Semi Final of their League of Legends Tournament. Sponsored by Madcatz and in conjunction with Backdrop Gaming (DDR:UK), the arena was packed with ESports and MOBA fans. Never being a massive ESports fan myself but always curious about the ever growing popularity and celebrity status of some of the stars, this was truly an eye opening experience. The fans are passionate and the players unbelievably skilled.  Unfortunately for me, the fans I was sat near were unskilled in the art of personal hygiene and although greatly enjoying the action on screen there was only so much body odour I could endure… so I made a quick exit for fresh air only an hour in to the action.

Let’s talk about the crazy red and black clad anti-superhero also known as Deadpool. Yeah that’s right, MCM Expo attendees got to get hands on with Activision’s soon to be released title and oh boy it was fun and also a WORLD EXCLUSIVE! I won’t give much away now as ThisisXbox will have a review for you closer to release date (28th June), but nothing is done lightly in Deadpool and everything is taken to the extreme including driving rocket powered bicycles which is enormously good fun!

Anyone that knows anything about me will know that Resident Evil is one of the original reasons I am completely Zombie mad. I have fond memories of sitting up all night with my cousin @CasperMcGrew playing Resident Evil 1 and giggling to cover up our own fear. ‘What! What is this?’ – Five points to whoever can tell me who said this and when. Anyway, Capcom were on hand during the event to showcase (along with some other titles) Resident Evil: Revelations. Set between 4 and 5, Revelations focuses on and follows Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield; BSAA Founders. I’m not going to lie to you, I didn’t get much time with Revelations as the queues forming behind were huge and tempers looked to be running short, but it looked polished and detailed. The controls were intuitive and responsive and I felt completely home taking out some T Virus scum. Keep an eye on the site over the following week or two for my full review of Revelations.

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Whilst attempting to send a tweet out to @KittyKat1988_ a car loving, FPS fan and twitter nut, I remembered the biggest title I was looking forward to playing before I review it is GRID 2; the 5 year later sequel to Race Driver: GRID from racing game powerhouse Codemasters. How do I sum up what I played? The AI is actually intelligent, the cars feel much more real than any I’ve ever experienced in a game and it looks and sounds magnificent. If you have been following our GRID 2 coverage in the lead up to its release you will know just how excited I am about this game – multiply that by 10… no 100, and that’s how I felt after getting hands on. I can see some late nights with beer, pizza and my buddy Ben coming up soon when I finally get my hands on this game.

Lost Planet 3 was also on the show floor with many attendees stuck to the controller, frozen in joy. Lost Planet 3 is in fact a series prequel and takes a look at E.D.N III when it was more of a frontier planet. Spark Unlimited (Developer) and Capcom have promised more focus, more approachable gameplay and more chills. I ran out of time to play Lost Planet 3, but did manage to catch the last 5 minutes of live gameplay footage on the Game Stage. Take yourself over to Twitch.tv and catch up for yourself and let me know what you think.

Other games on the show floor included (in no particular order) Dofus (Windows/MAC), Dynasty Warriors 3 (Xbox360, PS3), Luigi’s Mansion (3DS), Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS/WiiU), Utimate Ninja Storm 3 (Xbox360/PS3), the incredible looking Tales of Xillia (PS3), Wakfu (Windows/Mac), One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3), a title we recently reviewed; Persona 4 Arena (Xbox360/PS3), Tekken Card Tournament (PC, iOS, Mobile), Mario Kart 7 (3DS), a game I cannot wait to play when it arrives on the door step; Metro: Last Light (Xbox360/PS3/PC), soon to be released; Remember Me (Xbox360/PS3/PC) and Project X Zone (3DS). A handful of these I managed to get a couple minutes of game time with, but very limited. Remember Me looks fantastic and I wish Tales of Xillia was out for the Xbox360 because it would definitely be on my buy list.

The last thing I have to share with you is Splinter Cell Blacklist. I had almost forgot I had a seat reserved for me on the Games Stage, so at 15:58 I dashed through the crowd to take my place 2 rows from the front to watch a live stealth demo with commentary from Ubisoft Art Director Scott Lee. Instead of talking about it, head here to watch the full demo with commentary – watch it as I did and enjoy!

And there you have it, my games coverage albeit short and sweet of what was on offer at MCM Expo. This was very much just a warm up in preparation for EuroGamer later this year for some people, but I hope I have given you a glimpse of what was on offer and maybe even convinced you to head down (or up (or over the channel)) to London next year for MCM Expo 2014.

 

Resident Evil: Revelations Story Trailer

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So we’re all aware that Resident Evil: Revelations was once a 3DS exclusive. So the story trailer may not come as anything new to anyone. But there are literally millions of us who have never owned a 3DS. Capcom have used that knowledge to release a trailer with some information for us lowly console owners. Continue reading Resident Evil: Revelations Story Trailer

Resident Evil Revelations – New Info Surfaces

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Some new information, maybe even a “Revelation” (couldn’t help it) has come to light about the upcoming release of Resident Evil Revelations for the Xbox 360.

Resident Evil newcomer Rachel, who made her debut in the 3DS release of Resident Evil Revelations, will be joining Hunk as a brand new playable character in Raid Mode. PAX EAST attendees will be able to play as both new characters for the first time this weekend in the Capcom booth #948.

Resident Evil Revelations features two brand new enemies, including the Wall Blister and a surprise new creature that appears in Raid Mode once players have reached a certain level. Resident Evil Revelations supports Residentevil.net with online events and in-game connectivity planned for after launch. Exclusive dioramas of the game’s characters and enemies can be collected through the online service. Earn custom parts and weapons for use in Raid Mode and items for Campaign Mode.

Resident Evil Revelations will be released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii U across North America on May 21st and Europe on May 24th.