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Resident Evil: Revelations

Score: 70%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1; 2 (Online)
Genre: Survival Horror/ Action/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

It's a curious thing, how owning a system nearly devoid of killer apps tints the prism through which you view its games. Resident Evil: Revelations for the 3DS is the poster child for this phenomenon. Amidst the laughingstock that was the 3DS library at the time, Capcom's original offshoot of its long-running horror franchise was a breath of fresh air -- but only comparatively. Now that Resident Evil: Revelations has made it to current-generation home consoles, we have a lot more to compare the game to, and the comparison isn't terribly flattering. After last year's double failure (Operation Raccoon City and Resident Evil 6), Resident Evil: Revelations is a show of good faith on Capcom's part. That being said, it doesn't come anywhere near the quality of 4, 5, or even most of its contemporaries.

Being someone who uses his Nintendo 3DS without the 3D effect almost all the time, I don't miss it in this 360 version. Resident Evil: Revelations is a decent looking game overall, but it's a far cry from Resident Evil 5, which is still the best-looking game in the series. I suppose it's the little things that make the difference: while this game lacks the superlative lighting and gore effects of Dead Space, it goes for more subtle scare strategies. Creatures are just there most of the time; while the enemy models are gruesome and creative, there is a lot of copy pasting. Death animations are canned, which is disappointing. While the Queen Zenobia is a unique setting for the series, the style has been done better by other games. My biggest gripe with the visuals comes to light when your character is seriously injured. The color drains from the screen and an annoying bloody border covers much of the screen. So in closing, Resident Evil: Revelations is visually a fairly weak link.

If you judge a Resident Evil game's sound design without taking into account the inherent cheesiness of the subject matter and the approach taken to it, you're doing it wrong. Resident Evil: Revelations is more or less par for the course. Let's face it, fanboys: Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield aren't memorable heroes. This time around, the more memorable heroes are memorable for all the wrong reasons. Jill's British-Italian partner Parker Luciani is perhaps the most endearing of them, while Chris's partner Jessica Sherawat is perhaps the most asinine of all Resident Evil characters. She's a vapid, moronic bimbo whose idea of combat attire is more along the lines of something Lady Gaga would wear to the prom. And when she opens her mouth, she's drawing attention to either the fact that she's a hawt gurl or the supposed sexual tension between Chris and Jill. Groan. Monsters scream and vocalize just like they always have; I particularly like the ones who retain the personality of the doomed crewmembers.


Resident Evil: Revelations is a poorly-named game. Revelations are often ground-shaking events that cast light on the big picture. This game introduces an entirely new story and a new cast of characters, and then provides some revelations about them. Not nearly as interesting. Of course, Resident Evil games don't pride themselves on their stories (if they do, I don't know what to say), but on the atmosphere, tension, and frantic movement and shooting. Resident Evil: Revelations is kind of a midquel that shows the B.S.A.A. in its early days. It deals with a terrorist organization known as Veltro and a special virus that mutates lifeforms into freakishly hostile monsters.

It's not an interesting story, but the structure and environments keep you going. The game is split into chapters and treated like a television serial. The chapter part I get, but the whole "previously on Resident Evil: Revelations" thing is kind of stupid. I would argue that the environments are the star of the show. The main one is a cruise liner called the Queen Zenobia. We've never seen a Resident Evil game set on a derelict cruise ship before, and the opportunities for survival-horror gameplay are explored to the fullest. You'll scour the ship, from the bridge to the bilge, fighting off monsters and searching for resources that might keep you alive.


Resident Evil: Revelations isn't too rough most of the time, but it does feature some particularly nasty difficulty spikes. Most of these occur during the game's boss battles. Bosses have an absurd amount of health and hit incredibly hard. You might walk into one of these encounters completely convinced that you'll put them down without breaking a sweat. Once you're through, though, you'll be convinced that if you had any less ammunition or green herbs, you would not have made it.

When it comes to the standard gameplay, Resident Evil: Revelations is workable, provided you know how to pick your battles and think in terms of survival. Much of the game takes place in cramped corridors, and monsters attack from all angles, which can be trying, particularly if you're trying to sneak in some Genesis scans. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Game Mechanics:

Resident Evil: Revelations plays almost identically to Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, which is a good thing, since those are arguably the best-controlling in the franchise. Twin-stick aiming works really well, and thank goodness you don't need one of those horrifically ugly Circle Pad Pros.

The dodge mechanic hasn't really been fixed. It's still extremely poorly-designed. Since the Xbox 360 has more buttons than a 3DS, Capcom should have implemented a dedicated dodge button, much like the one from Alan Wake. Instead, you still have to wait until a monster is about to strike and move at exactly the right moment for the dodge to work. It's unintuitive and selectively functional, and it's completely okay to blame your deaths on it.

The Genesis device is a neat idea that just isn't implemented very well. It's a scanner that allows your character to identify hidden items in the environment. It can also be used on live or dead enemies. By scanning enemies, you earn a certain percentage. Once you reach 100%, you are rewarded with a green herb. It doesn't make sense at all, though any help is nice. It'd have been better if the Genesis identified enemy weaknesses or something along those lines.

This is a good game, but it's by no means a great one. Taking it out of the handheld space was enough to reveal it as a pretty standard horror shooter. Resident Evil: Revelations isn't a step forward. It's more of a step backwards from the cliff that was Resident Evil 6, hopefully in preparation to put another foot forward in a much better direction.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Metro: Last Light Nintendo Wii U Resident Evil: Revelations

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