Review: Resident Evil: Revelations proves it is worthy of console love
As someone who’s never owned a handheld console beyond the original Game Boy, certain games came and went that I would have loved the opportunity to play but simply couldn’t. January of last year, Resident Evil: Revelations was released for Nintendo’s 3DS, and, despite my wild desires to solve mysteries and shoot zombies with Capcom’s beloved Jill Valentine, it passed me by. Now 16 months later, a remastered Revelations falls into my lap (available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC), and the port is surprisingly good.
When I first loaded up Revelations, I’ll admit I was concerned. While yes, I’ve been wanting to play this title for over a year, I was worried about the quality of port from handheld to modern console. On top of this, Revelations is a Resident Evil game, which historically means I should be prepared for bad controls. I completely expected a nightmare of derp. But once I actually played it, I was completely taken back how this wasn’t the case at all. The controls were on par with any third-person shooter – smooth. Get this, I could even walk, aim, and fire without issue. Jill also didn’t take up 40% of the screen.
Then the game introduced the Genesis, and I thought, “Aha! This is what I’ll hate.” It’s basically a completely optional tool that aids you. By scanning biomass, you start to fill up a meter. Once full, you get a free green herb – totally worth it. And you can also use it to find hidden items only visible by the Genesis. There is even a puzzle toward the end of the game that requires you to use the Genesis to find your way through a maze. It brings me back to Metroid Prime games and its whole ‘scan all the things’ mentality. I ended up not minding all the scanning; it was often a life saver. When low on ammo or health, you can find that one pickup that will help you survive the next encounter.
For a Resident Evil game, there were actually some tense moments. Without spoiling anything, there were times when I felt like I was being hunted, moments of helplessness, and moments of feeling overwhelmed. Even certain boss fights were exceptionally challenging. I felt like I was constantly scrounging for ammo and hoping each bullet would be the one to finally put down the buzz saw-armed abomination. Aiming matters here, since shooting certain body parts will do more damage. If enemies stagger, you can run up to them and give them the ole one-two for massive damage while saving ammo.
The level design and puzzles remind me very much of the original Resident Evil. The tight corridor feel and the constant need to backtrack, along with finding certain crest keys to open crest doors, filled me with a certain type of nostalgia that other recent Resident Evil games have failed to. Revelations plays more like 1-4 than 5-6, which is something I appreciate.
As you play, you’ll come across weapon customization parts, which allow you to add a bit more flair to your guns. Want to add more damage to your trusty pistol? You can do that. How about a chance to stagger foes after shooting them a whole bunch? That will go nicely with my submachine gun. These parts will allow you to fire faster, hold more ammo, and even grant you double tap. If Zombieland taught us anything, it’s to always double tap. These parts can be swapped out, and nothing is ever final. Mix and match these bad boys to fit your playstyle or whatever you have ammo for.
Raid Mode is another thing I didn’t think I would like, but it's actually a ton of fun. It has a sort of arcade feel to it. You level up, collect items, build loadouts, unlock characters, unlock outfits, and get to shoot a ton of zombie oozes. The levels are cutouts of the single-player game, only modified with a lot more foes. Each zombie has a health bar, and when you hit them you can see your damage. Some enemies can move faster, do more damage, or to take more damage, adding pleasant variety. Harder levels suggest you grind a bit before moving on. A neat feature is that you can level yourself down to complete individual level challenges to try and get the triple-double. You either play solo, with a buddy, or with a stranger on the Internet.
I have to say to say Resident Evil: Revelations is one of the better ports I’ve ever played. Even though the game is technically over a year old, it still feels new. The controls are surprisingly simple and efficient, while the gameplay is enjoyable. There are even moments that made me jump. The story seems like it tries a little too hard, but it should get players involved nonetheless. The tip of the iceberg is the replayability, with a New Game + mode and Raid Mode. I enjoyed this style of Resident Evil game far more than RE 5 and 6. If you’re a longtime Resident Evil fan like me who was never able to play Revelations on the 3DS, definitely do yourself a favor and pick this game up on your console of choice or on Steam.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]