Resident Evil: Revelations Review
The 3DS had a rocky start. I don't need to tell you that, it was apparent by the extremely lackluster launch titles. Then the first party titles came and things started picking up. Does Resident Evil: Revelations continue the trend as a must-have game for your 3DS?
Simply said, yes.
Resident Evil: Revelations puts you in control of Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, as well as some other members of BSAA, in an all new adventure that takes place between RE4 and RE5. The story revolves around uncovering yet another strand of weaponized virus called the T-Abyss, released by a terrorist group known as Veltro. If you're expecting some revelations, you're definitely in for a treat. The game plays out a lot like Alan Wake did, with each part of the story separated into its own episode, complete with a story recap after each mission to ensure you remember exactly what happened and what's going on. It's a handy feature for those that like to take frequent breaks between gameplay sessions, as it quickly brings them up to speed.
Revelations plays a lot like RE4 rather than RE5. Though you still have companions at your side, you don't rely on their participation much, aside from a little help with firepower. The control scheme is fairly unchanged from Resident Evil: Mercenaries and still allows you to aim down your sights while moving around as long as you have the left shoulder button pressed down. This was an extremely helpful addition in Mercenaries and really helps out in tight situations when you just need to move further away but you want to keep pumping those virus abominations full of lead. The game also features a Circle Pad Pro control scheme which I'm sure makes the game much easier to play, but sadly since we didn't have the add-on, we couldn't put this to the test.
In true survival horror spirit, the game doesn't necessarily throw a lot your way. Sure it's scattered around levels here and there, but since the monsters take quite a few hits to take down, aiming carefully and precisely is an absolute necessity. Weapons can also be upgraded at various workbenches scattered around each level with upgrade items found through exploration, which makes taking down nasties a much quicker affair.
New to the series is an item called the Genesis Scanner. Much like the scanning done in Metroid Prime, this allows you to survey the surroundings for any hidden useful items, such as healing herbs and ammo clips. Scanning downed enemies also fills up a percentage meter, which when full grants an extra healing item. It definitely adds incentive to use this scanning device about everywhere you go. There in lies a little bit of the problem. Since scanning is so necessary for your survival, you'll find yourself more behind the lens of the scanner, than actually in third person.
If there ever should be a benchmark of what the 3DS is capable of graphically, Revelations should be that benchmark. Whether you're playing with the 3D effect on or off, the game looks absolutely amazing. Mercenaries was no slouch in the graphics department either, but I feel like that was just a taste of what Revelations has to offer. The sound design is equally as impressive with an ambiance that will send shivers up your spine. I highly recommend playing with headphones if you want to feel some fear while you're playing.
There are some things to consider when using the 3D effect, however. The game allows for three separate depth settings for the 3D effect, and what I've found is the strongest one also seems to have a lot of ghosting (when the image is doubled on screen). Turning the depth to the weakest setting proves to work just fine, though the depth perception isn't as impressive when it's turned all the way up.
Revelations also includes its own Achievements system but labels them as Missions. These can be checked throughout your gameplay and tasks players with certain goals such as killing 150 enemies, scanning a number of hidden handprints, dodging enemy attacks 20 times, etc. To further incentivize the completion of missions, each one is associated with a reward, like custom parts for weapons, healing items, and more powerful and potent weapons to take enemies down with.
Resident Evil: Revelations is an absolute must-have for 3DS owners. It's a much needed departure from the usual Mario's and Zelda's that permeate Nintendo's consoles, and it truly delivers on all fronts. If you thought playing a horror game on a 3DS screen isn't scary, you're in for a delightful surprise.