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Resident Evil Revelations

Score: 70%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 (1 - 2)
Genre: Survival Horror/ Action/ Third Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

The year is 2005 and this latest foray into the Resident Evil universe falls somewhere between that of RE4 and RE5… and so do the visuals. Caught in the middle of a converted-to-PC version of a 3DS game, Resident Evil Revelations falls pretty short when it comes to the current standard for 2013 eye candy.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say the visuals of the game are overly distracting, they certainly were pretty lackluster even if they have been amped up from the 3DS’s original version of the game. I can only assume that they are, at least, based on items I’ve read like "redefined…HD Visuals" (Steam). From my perspective, lighting effects are one thing, but textural content is another. Some of the bloom and other lighting effects were nice, although the sometimes generic-feeling specular mapping was pretty disappointing. On top of that, many of the general color textures in RE Revelations were also sub-2013 by far.

The audio wasn’t superb by any means either, but it worked out just fine nonetheless. Moments of surprise were often triggered with audio cues as well, making good on RE games of the past and pulling back to its roots a bit. The dialog varied by voice actor and script. Most of the time both were adequate and engaging, but I have to admit, a few times I was either completely torn from the experience due to bad acting or script writing, or shook my head back at the screen in shame.


Resident Evil Revelations follows Jill Valentine with series newcomer and her computer-controlled Parker Luciani. In search of Chris Redfield, they find themselves aboard a cruise ship infested with virus-toting mutants. The character design of these zombie-like creatures actually was pretty good overall and helped keep the engaging feeling of the game. Unfortunately, being stuck aboard a relatively small ship made things a bit repetitive in nature.

In a way to combat this feeling of claustrophobia, the game design had you bouncing back and forth between playable characters in different locations and at different times. I’m sure this may have looked good on paper and tried to mimic interweaving storylines (think of the film Crash). But in reality, the story felt extremely disjointed and hard to follow until well into the game, at least to this gamer. Still, fortunately the gameplay of Resident Evil Revelations was enjoyable enough to want to push forward and solve the mystery behind the mutants.

RE Revelations does play very well in terms of bringing you back to how the original games felt and played out from a combat standpoint, despite being immersed in a 3D world. The camera followed well, and there were chests to store weapons which brought back fond memories of days gone by. Weapon upgrades could also be found throughout the environment which added things like extra stopping power, longer magazines, and faster reloads, among others.

Some of these upgrades and things like ammunition and keys may be out in the open, but more often than not, you would have to search for them with your scanner. The scanner did feel a bit gimmicky as you would have to constantly switch to it in search of items and secret handprints (if you choose to find them all), but after a while, it became second nature. You also use the scanner to get information about live or fallen enemies. If it sounds familiar, it is… think Metroid Prime.

One thing I feel has gone missing in recent RE games is the search and pursuit of how to solve puzzles… that feeling of being completely stumped because you missed one clue and the feeling of complete and utter satisfaction when you problem solve effectively. Instead, Resident Evil Revelations and others may have moments of "get this before you can do that," but all in all the game is pretty linear in nature. At one point, even the characters in one of the cut-scenes acknowledged the back and forth action of searching that takes place in an attempt at humor. Bring back puzzles that require some thought and I’ll be the first to praise the game.


In terms of difficulty, Resident Evil Revelations is relatively straightforward and easy at its default "Normal" setting. There are a few choices to select from, but don’t expect your computer-controlled partner to be a lot of help. He generally will shoot, but not necessarily at the right time. In addition, enemies tend to really only target you anyway.

Sometimes games like RE Revelations may have you clamoring for ammo and gasping to hold onto that last grenade just in case you need it later on, but overall this game felt relatively balanced in that respect. In fact, the ammunition always seemed to come at just the right time, so there may have been a mechanic built in when you get low to allow more ammo to be found when searching because they never actually become visible in the environment (other than a white glowing dot once found).

Unfortunately, at the same time, I only once felt like I needed to conserve resources and that was for a brief, minor moment in time. Generally, even when killing all of the attacking enemies, there was never a moment of withdrawal due to lack of ammunition.

Despite being a Resident Evil game, the puzzle aspects of Resident Evil Revelations really didn’t take any thought and the game felt very linear as a result. Living with graphical deficiencies is one thing, but losing most of the feeling of true exploration in this title is unfortunate.

Game Mechanics:

The control scheme for Resident Evil Revelations was flawless. Switching between keyboard and mouse controls with that of an Xbox controller worked seamlessly. Of course, I highly recommend the controller method due to quick access to buttons if you are used to playing action titles on home consoles. Like all titles that support the Xbox controller for PC, the on-screen indicators represent your control method automatically and auto-switch with the touch of the keyboard or of a button on the controller.

It should also be noted that Resident Evil Revelations has a Raid Mode in addition to its single player Campaign Mode. Here you and a friend can team up (or you can go solo) when dropped into levels from the game against a number of mutated beasts in an attempt at domination. There is some replay value here due to the weapon upgrades (buying and finding). Unfortunately, even though Raid Mode was enjoyable from the standpoint of trying to level up your character so that you can take on the harder level, overall it still felt a bit lackluster.

While as a whole, I enjoyed the gameplay of Resident Evil Revelations, the overall experience left a feeling of wanting more. For a while, each of the episodes would last around an hour, but all of a sudden a couple of quickies left me disappointed again. Combining this with the repetitive searching back and forth through the same ship and disjointed storyline, it feels like the current 50 dollar (US) price tag may be a bit on the steep side, especially considering the now 20 dollar (US) 3DS version.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows® XP; 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better / 2.8 GHz AMD Athlon X2 or better Processor; 2 GB Available System Memory; NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS or better / ATI Radeon HD3850 or better Video Card; DirectX® 9.0c or greater Requires the Steam client to install and play; Standard audio device; DirectX® 9.0c or greater; 8 GB Available Hard Drive Space

Test System:

Mac Book Pro with the following installed as a dual-boot:
Windows 7 64-bit with Service Pack 1 installed; Intel Core i7-3720QM CPU @ 2.60GHz 2.60 GHz; 8GB RAM; NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M; Xbox Wireless Controller with PC Adaptor

Related Links:

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