Resident Evil: Revelations Review
Extra Features: online multiplayer (1-2 players)
If you're like me, you enjoyed Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 greatly for their fast pace action, but after playing them, you sort of had this feeling that they didn't have the same elements of a survival horror unlike past Resident Evil games - both games seemed too focused on action while the usual horror and suspense found in past RE titles was give much less emphasis. Both RE4 and RE5 were really great for their intense gameplay, but when compared to the older RE games, they were sort of lacking in a more traditional survival horror feel that a more hardcore RE fan that has been with the series from the beginning would hope to find in them.
Resident Evil: Revelations brings back more of a classic survival horror feel found in the older Resident Evil games - puzzle solving, suspense, horror atmosphere, exploration, ammo conserving among other elements no longer take a backseat to the action gameplay like in RE4 and RE5. It's the perfect blend of the newer style of RE gameplay mixed with the older RE games' survival horror feel!
The majority of Revelations takes place aboard a large boat (Queen Zenobia) in the Mediterranean Sea. Jill Valentine has been dispatched along with her partner Parker to search for Chris Redfield and his partner after they have failed to make contact with the BSAA on there whereabouts aboard the vessel. Jill is the main character of the game and the action will switch focus to other characters such as Chris quite often as the story unfolds. The enemies fought in Revelations are all infected with the T-Abyss virus and they all have aquatic features.
The gameplay for Revelations plays much like RE5, but there is much less emphasis on melee attacks. Melee attacks only serve as more of a finishing blow. The stuns leading to the melee attack can actually be quite hard to activate since it takes several shots to a certain portion of an enemy instead of a single shot. If you've played the Lost in Nightmares mini game in RE5, then you'll find that Revelations carries that same overall focus of a horror atmosphere. Revelations places more of a focus on shooting enemies rather than conserving ammo by setting up constant stuns that lead to a melee attack. You're going to be bullet-killing enemies the majority of the time just like in RE4 and the older RE games.
Revelations once again places all ammo and items in the environments. No longer will enemies drop items once they are defeated! You are given a set amount of ammo and healing items per area so you'll have to conserve at times. Weapons are upgradeable with various upgrade items that can be found throughout the ship. Each weapon has a certain amount of slots that can hold upgrades. A weapon's damage, rate of fire, capacity, among other properties can all be upgraded with upgrade items. Upgrades can be placed on weapons at green weapon crates - they look like item boxes. Only Jill can upgrade since the game mainly follows her story. Side characters are stuck with their default weapons and current weapon stats.
The overall weapon variety for Revelations is mainly composed of weapons from RE4 and RE5 and there are some new weapons added to the mix. Players will have a variety of handguns, shotguns, rifles, machine guns, and magnums to choose from. There is also a rocket launcher weapon (one time use). Each character can only hold three weapons. Jill is the only character that can switch weapons in the main game.
Revelations encourages exploration. A player will have to find items and backtrack to many areas of the ship in order to solve puzzles or unlock doors. RE4 and RE5 placed more of a focus on forward progression through rooms and areas, but Revelations brings back some backtracking. The backtracking never did come across as repetitive to me - it was actually quite good to see it back so I could return to older areas like in previous RE titles once again and explore. Revelations' puzzles are all touch screen puzzles. Many of them have a player using the touch screen to remove screws from a control box then rearrange several plugs on a circuit board. There are some welding touch screen puzzles and actual fingerprint puzzles much later into the game as well.
Revelations' overall gameplay has much variety in it. A player will be busy shooting, puzzle solving, exploring and switching to a new character quite often throughout the main story. The game also allows a player to swim through many of the later areas. The swimming is such a nice break from the constant running and walking throughout the ship. Swimming controls are much like you would expect - one button to dive and one button to swim while maneuvering with the left circle pad.
The game is overall very cinematic and story driven. Cutscenes are quite frequent and the game is constantly switching back and forth between characters. Between episodes, the game will have a recap of previous events much like a movie! Sometimes a player will have to progress through a flashback mission. Boss battles are very epic and enjoyable. Each boss and normal enemy has some sort of weak area or weakness that can be used against them. Enemies in Revelations can be quite tough at times. Just normal enemies seem to carry quite a bit of health and are aggressive at times and bosses take a tremendous amount of firepower to bring down.
Each controlled character will almost always have a CPU controlled partner with them. This can be both good and bad. The CPU partner is invincible and has infinite ammo, so you never have to worry about them. The CPU partner will help in shooting enemies and damaging enemies, but they can also interrupt stun and stagger animations. There were many times where I was shooting the legs of an enemy to make it fall and my CPU partner would start shooting the body of the same enemy and cause the enemy to not fall down because the stun was interrupted by the partner's shooting. The main story mode has no co-op play in it - it's all single player.
The overall graphical look to Revelations is quite amazing. It's literally the best-looking 3DS game I have seen. The character models are all just as detailed as in RE5. Environments are dripping with horror atmosphere. There are many closed in areas with blood and guts stripped all over the walls to get your nerves on edge and many huge rooms much like you would expect on a luxury ship. The only bad aspect I could really find about the graphics are jagged edges on the character models at times.
Enemies will go through certain stun or stagger animations while shooting them, but the animations appear to be delayed with some enemies. There were many times where I would waste ammo from shooting an enemy that was already considered "dead" yet the death animation had not kicked in just yet - basically, my shots would start to go right through the targeted enemy then seconds later, the enemy would begin to crumple and fall. Delayed reaction happens quite often in Revelations. The majority of the time, I stand back and wait for reactions after shooting an enemy a few times just to make sure that I don't overshoot.
The sound can really add to the horror atmosphere in Revelations. While walking through corridors, I would sometimes hear voices whispering from an enemy that was up ahead or hear some type of enemy yell in the distance. The overall soundtrack is quite fitting for the many areas as well. It has several quiet tunes that play during normal gameplay and loud tracks for big boss battles. The character voices are all very well done also, much like in RE5.
Revelations controls exactly like Mercenaries 3D for the most part. If you've played that game, you'll be right at home with Revelations. There is not much difference at all. Revelations has a newly added dodge feature similar to the dodge found in RE3. Like in RE3, the dodge will seem kind of random at times. It is done by pressing the left circle pad up or pressing the left circle pad down along with the B button the second an enemy attack, but sometimes it will not activate when you really need it.
Raid mode is unlocked as a player progresses through the main story of Revelations. Raid mode is a survival mode with several stages where a player must fight through waves of enemies in order to clear a stage. Unlike the unlockable Mercenaries mode in past RE games, there is no time limit. Players will have to fight a set amount of enemies in order to finish a stage. As a player shoots each enemy, damage is displayed based on where the enemy is shot. Raid mode is an excellent way to learn the different weaknesses of each enemy since the damage delivered per shot is actually showed on the screen. Weak areas will be showed in a red color to signify the greater amount of damage delivered per shot.
Raid mode has a slight RPG feel to it. Besides displaying enemy health and weak points, some enemies have upgrades on them that will make them have a higher defense, move faster or attack more aggressively among many other enhances. Some enemies have icons near their life bar that display their current status enhancement. Enemies can be larger than others too. I ran across some huge Hunters and Ooze Mutants in one stage of the game.
Battle Points can be collected by playing the main game and by playing Raid mode. There points can be used to buy extra weapons or customization parts for Raid mode. Weapons and customization parts are also unlocked by finishing stages. All characters from the main game can be unlocked for use in Raid mode. Each character can carry three weapons at a time and all characters have their own unique abilities such as reloading certain weapons faster or taking off more damage with knife attacks. Players gain levels from completing stages, which allows new weapons to be equipped.
Raid mode can be played solo or with a partner in all stages. A partner can join locally or through wireless internet play. In duo games, both players fight a stage's enemies and progress through the stage together. It's much like duo RE5 Mercenaries. Battle Points are awarded to both players just about equally. Raid mode has a total of 21 stages and a bonus stage. The stages rise in difficulty pretty quickly and there are multiple difficulties per stage. Raid mode will last a player quite a while if you want to try to get everything in it.
The main campaign took me a total of 12 hours to complete. The game has several unlockables that can be obtained by completing missions in the mission selection menu. Missions are basically just like Mercenaries 3D's medals - they are a list of objectives that must be performed to gain an unlockable. Both the main game and Raid mode have their own lists of missions.
If you were let down by how much priority the action gameplay of RE4 and RE5 took over many of the more established RE survival horror elements, you should really give Revelations a try. It plays much more like Lost in Nightmares rather than RE5. It truly is the best blend of RE5 gameplay and classical RE gameplay that I have played so far. A fan of both the newer action horror gameplay and the classical survival horror gameplay should find something to enjoy in Revelations.
+ It's a great blend of RE5 gameplay with the more classic RE feel
+ Much gameplay variety
+ Raid mode
- The dodge feature will not always activate
- Enemy reaction and overall stuns seem delayed
Final Rating: 92%. Resident Evil: Revelations is a combination of RE5 gameplay mixed with classical horror elements from past RE games that will please both new and old RE fans.