Resident Evil Revelations has been out for a little over a month now. Taking the past month to experience everything the game has to offer, via subsequent playthroughs and completing objectives. I am rather pleased with the game in all of its entirety. It exceeded my expectations in most departments, while falling short in few. But I can guarantee that you’ll finally be able to sleep with nightmares once again. With it’s fantastic gameplay and unsettling environments, this is surely a game worth playing and experience you wouldn’t want to miss out on!
Like you’d expect from a horror shooter, the game is riddled with dark corridors, horrific enemies, and the less than realistic puzzles. The gameplay is fun and has a bit more depth than you would expect. There are a few restrictions without the Circle Pad. You’ll have to stop periodically to aim and shoot, only to stop, and run away to create distance between you and aim with the thumbstick or face buttons. It does not feel well at times and is just flat out restricting. The Circle Pad opens up a completely new button scheme that works perfectly and is well worth the price tag, even if it’s just for this game alone.
The story starts off in the year 2005. You play as Jill Valentine who has travelled aboard a ship known as the Queen Zenobia with your partner Parker Luciani. You have been sent to find Chris Redfield and Jessica Sherawat who have been reported as missing after they fell out of contact with BSAA Director Clive R. O’Brian, with their last location being the Queen Zenobia. Chris and Jessica had been dispatched to search for any possible evidence confirming the rebirth of Il Veltro. A bio-terrorist organization responsible for attacking Terragrigia and causing an outbreak.
For the first few portions of the game, your equipment is heavily limited, mainly leaving you to rely on nothing but your handgun and knife. You’re also accompanied by a new item called the Genesis. The Genesis is a scanning device that is held like a handgun and used to find hidden items or invisible enemies. Each enemy you scan gives off a percentage that is compiled together in the Genesis. The less distance there is between you and an enemy, the higher of a percentage you get from scanning enemies. Getting a 100% will grant you a green herb, which is quite helpful considering how scarce herbs can be at times.
You soon learn you’re not alone on the ship. An enemy called the Ooze makes itself known early on. The Ooze come in many variations, from average sized enemies, to Ooze that thrive in water, and Ooze that can fire off their limbs at Jill from a considerable distance. The Ooze doesn’t drop ammo, so you’re limited to the ammo you can find throughout the game, via ammo boxes or by scanning areas with the Genesis to find hidden items. However, this isn’t a problem, seeing as you’ll be fully stocked on ammo for most of the duration of the game.
You do soon come across others aboard the Zenobia, all of which are linked by Clive R. O’Brian and Parker. The first living survivor you meet is Raymond, is a former F.B.C. cadet who was rescued by Parker and Jessica during the attack on Terragrigia. Raymond now works as an informant for O’Brian, mainly functioning as a mole within the F.B.C. His partner Rachael dies early in the game after being attacked by the Ooze. She haunts the ship as a seemingly indestructible and unique Ooze, dropping rare items upon her supposed defeat.
The Queen Zenobia truly is haunting and is a perfect setting for the game. Haunting dimly lit and empty rooms filled with vents which the Ooze can crawl through at any given moment. Rooms filled halfway with water and Ooze. And sometimes haunting themes make this a truly unique experience at times. However, there are fair amount of well lit rooms as well. From a dining room with a shining chandelier, to a casino filled with lights, these rooms obviously aren’t meant for horror.
While Jill and the ship are the main focus in this game, the story sometimes skews off and makes you play as other characters to expand upon the plot. While not a big deal, it often comes up when you wouldn’t want it to. These segments usually take place in areas that are not haunting whatsoever. The only problem being that sometimes the areas you visit are places you’ve already been, or at least are too similar to tell the difference from. Luckily, these chapters aren’t too long and at times, provide a nice change of scenery.
The plot however, can be largely confusing at times. Sometimes characters will start detailing things that just go over your head. This happens around the 9th chapter of the game. While the plot in the end makes sense, before then, it can sometimes just be too convoluted to properly comprehend. Especially if you haven’t played the game in a while or just weren’t paying attention to what has happened up until that point in the game.
There are parts though that will have you anticipating what comes next with a great deal of enthusiasm. Pressing forward eagerly to see what happens next, only to have your suspicions confirmed, making you even more eager to see what is happening with the other characters.
As you would expect though, you do have to swim at certain points in the game. These parts leave you defenseless, save for the underwater decoys you can use. The swimming is not a problem in this game and it works relatively well. But you’re just a human. You will need air supplies to survive.
The game does its best at creating horror filled environments and it does so quite well. Often having you separate yourself from your partner, the feeling of horror can become quite high. Despite being AI, your partner creates a feeling of reassurance that makes the more haunting areas incredibly more bearable. The only feeling they can’t remove though is the feeling of horror you get when you’re in an almost pitch black room and the door at the corridor opens on its own, when the ship has supposedly been abandoned for quite a while.
The Ooze are white though and stand out against the dark rooms, not really giving off any feelings of horror, the same goes for the bosses in the game. While bosses are quite entertaining and unique, it’s the environments that unsettled me.
The campaign clocks in at around 9 to 10 hours defending on how you choose to go about your trek through the ship. Split into 12 chapters, the campaign is roughly the exact length you’d expect from a modern shooter.
The main problem with campaign is your partner. Your partner is basically an idiot, opting to prefer the use of a handgun at every given situation. Luckily you won’t have to worry about healing them because they’re basically immortal, but it doesn’t matter because the Ooze seem to have no concern for your partner, always choosing to attack you first.
There may not be a co-op in the campaign, but Capcom offers up a new multiplayer feature called Raid Mode. Raid mode is a great and fun addition to the game, playing out as a mix between a shooter and an RPG. You’re given 21 stages taken from the campaign filled with enemies in places they wouldn’t normally be, and more often than not, in a considerably large amount of quantities.
Raid Mode can be tackled offline by yourself, or with a nearby friend, or online with strangers or friends in other states. It works quite well and even online the game flows smoothly. However, because the game has no voice chat system of any sort, you’ll have to guess what your partner wants. There are voice commands you can use to have your partner help you, they’re rarely and almost never used by anyone. But considering how you can’t swap items and the game is set up to give you both the same amount of assets, there shouldn’t be a problem. Your main focus is to defeat all the enemies and make it to the goal.
Based on your skills such as accuracy and the number of enemies defeated, you’ll be awarded with Exp to level up your character, along with BP to purchase more weapons, ammo, or herbs. Weapons can only be equipped upon reaching a certain level though, so you might be stuck holding onto a weapon you won’t be able to use for a long time.
The custom weapon part upgrades you obtain in both Campaign and Raid Mode aren’t compatible with every weapon, so you’re limited with some of your options. Considering each upgrade comes with different effects and may be a weaker or more powerful variant. You’ll have to be wise about what weapons you choose to give each upgrade to as you will more than likely run out of ammo for your most powerful weapon quite quickly.
Unlike the Ooze in campaign, those found in Raid Mode come in a few more variants. Sometimes you’ll encounter Ooze with a higher defense or attack than normal and are usually bigger than their standard counterparts, along with higher HP. The smaller, quicker variants seem to have an HP boost as well. The Ooze is also given levels like the player in Raid Mode.
You can also choose to play from one of ten playable characters in Raid Mode, along with multiple costumes. Each character comes with two special upgrades in a certain department.
There are a few hiccups with the framerate in both Campaign and Raid Mode though. The framerate does not seem to drop when you play in 3D or online in 3D. The only encounter with a drop in the framerate you’ll experience in either, are the loading screens. Instead of using a standard loading screen, they’re disguised as small squared rooms like elevators. The framerate has an abnormally low framerate at these points. Usually pausing for seconds at a time, in Raid Mode, this simply does not work well as it can make you worry about whether or not you’ve been disconnected from the other player.
Virtually every extra feature, costume, or weapon, is obtained via a mission system. Missions directly correspond to what you do in campaign or Raid Mode. Roughly every few chapters you complete in campaign will complete a mission allowing you to unlock stages for Raid Mode. Reaching levels 5 and 10 in Raid Mode or finding the true finishing emblem in a certain stage will unlock more features you can use, such as new costumes or weapons. Missions can also be obtained online by playing with other players in Raid Mode, or by StreetPass. The items you unlock won’t be available until you accept it from the mission menu however.
Visually, Resident Evil Revelations is the best looking 3DS title I’ve ever played, only matched by Metal Gear Solid 3D. Character models look great except for when you’re zoomed in on a certain part of their body that can make blocky or jagged edges more visible. Textures look amazing, only a few low quality textures are used for certain objects. The 3D in the game is outstanding as well! You can adjust the 3D via the options menu and set it to the max setting possible. This adds quite a bit of depth and makes the characters and environments pop out(or in). Ghost images in 3D are almost nonexistent, only showing up when you’re too close or too far from the screen.
While the game does have its flaws in some spots, they’re relatively small. For the larger part, it is an outstanding game that shows what the 3DS is truly capable of. While I do highly recommend spending the extra money on the Circle Pad to play the game with the best settings possible, you’ll see it is well worth it. I don’t see any reason to not recommend this game to someone.