Review by DarkSymbiote

"Capcom tried but the flaws remain alongside new ones"

Post Resident Evil 6 and its mediocre reception, Capcom's latest attempt at resurging interest in the franchise is porting Revelations to proper home systems from the 3DS. With a new difficulty, better controls and, of course, updated graphics Capcom either wants to squeeze money off Resident Evil one last time or give fans a taste for what is to come in the future. Does Revelations succeed in upholding the brand name with quality or is this the best we can expect from the series?

Story

We need to search this ship for answers. Not that I relish the idea.

The extremely advanced solar city of Terragrigia comes under an attack from the bioterrorist group Veltro. Not wanting to risk any further damages, the Federal Bioterrorism Commission, uses the city's super powered solar satellite to scorch the entire city. The hunt for Veltro goes on and eventually Jill Valentine, who finally comes back as playable protagonist, and Parker Luciani follows a lead to the SS Queen Zenobia, apparently one of the finest luxury cruise ships on the planet. Of course, it's infested with monsters.

You'll be thankfully controlling Jill for the primary portion of the game switching to Chris, Parker and Whatshisname for certain periods. This creates an odd break up in the story, not helped by the fact that it's treated episodically like a television show complete with "Previously on Resident Evil: Revelations". What made them think this was a Telltale game? A straightforward experience with Jill and Parker while the others' experience are told through cutscenes would have been preferable.

The characters are poorly handled. Parker is lovable enough but there is no chemistry between Chris and Jill, friendly or otherwise, O'Brian looks and sounds bored, Keith and Quint are out of place comic reliefs, Raymond looks plain stupid, Lansdale quotes the "Divine Comedy" because the writer couldn't come up with good enough character and Jessica is a Ms. Fanservice. Most of them lack personalities too. There's a plot twist thrown in that everybody will see coming per tradition of the series since Resident Evil 5. The ending doesn't do a good job with the sequels and feels consequence-less and everyone seems to forget that a death ray is still up in space. It should be mentioned that the game takes place after RE4 and before 5.

Design and Gameplay

You didn't bother to read the manual, did you?

Each episode is usually broken into separate chapters and loading screens constantly interrupt the flow of cutscenes, so it's heavily recommended to install the game. There is a 3D map which is more or less useless due to it's horrid design and there are no actual puzzles. Instead all exploration basically leads to find keys and activating switches. It doesn't help that a minimum that the game requires a minimum of six button presses before being able to continue. The game will treat you like a toddler when it comes to saving and loading. At least the game doesn't constantly feed you tips so that's a plus. Your partner is always there with you but not as another person playing the game. They'll usually assist you against foes with their weakest weapon but they're useless when it actually counts. Often during boss fights, it can be infuriating to do all the hard work while your partner just stays in one spot firing his pea shooter. Most enemies don't even acknowledge them. Since most of the game takes place on a ship expect to open doors. Again and again. You can heal instantly with the press of a button at almost anytime and other than collecting green herbs you can get your own healing capsules by scanning adversaries with the Genesis. It uses "special synchrotron radiation" to magically create new capsules. Also, if you scan the same type of enemies in quick succession, it will take you longer to get a capsule for some reason. It can also detect items in the vicinity that should be clearly visible to the naked eye. The transfer rate of the Genesis is carried over characters from different scenarios too. Truly magical indeed. On the bright side, some the cinematics have very good and unique camera shots and cinematography.

As far as combat is concerned, the laser sight from the 3DS version is removed for the sake of traditional cross hairs. Too bad the aiming is awkward. Your character always takes up from the 40% of the screen and occasionally the camera zooms out, but only when you really don't need it to. This can lead to trouble detecting enemies. The dodging is also very dodgy (pun intended) since there is no dedicated dodge move. Whenever an enemy's attack is about to hit you have to press the action button while moving the left analog stick either front or back. What the game doesn't tell you is that you can also use the aim button. Somebody tell Capcom fighting game mechanics shouldn't be implemented in Resident Evil. You can carry up to three customisable guns at a time and the item boxes from the older games return, albeit with a different feature. The monster design is uninspired and Revelations' take on zombies will grate you before long. You know the imagination has dried up when they needed to give the Hunters frog abs and make cloaked enemies. Also, a lot of opposition just keeps on coming at certain points and it seems as you're back to playing Resident Evil 6.

Then there is Raid Mode. It's more or less Mercenaries from prior games and this is the only place where you'll be able to play in co-op. If you were wondering what those BP from the story were for, it's for purchasing new gear in this mode.

The game is a little over 7 hours. Made even shorter considering how much filler there is.

Visulas

We haven't seen hide nor hair from them since that video.

The game looks quite good. As in, it doesn't over-detail every little thing like so many other contemporary titles. The lighting is solid and this can be seen to be done beautifully in a certain part of the Zenobia. The character models are good although there is something odd about Chris and Jill's faces. As a whole, the game has a crispness to it.

Audio

Hear that?

Voice acting is good for most characters but awful for certain ones. As stated, O'Brian sounds bored even though Paul Eiding voices him. Sound mixing is poor. Good luck hearing some of the dialogue even when there aren't any other sounds going on. Music is mostly forgettable but there are a scant great ones such as the main menu track: The violin is beautiful. As far as sound effects go, they are serviceable except for one in particular. There is a powerhouse who carries a chainsaw-like biological blade... which sounds like an actual motorised chainsaw.

Pros:

- Jill's return
- Crisp visuals
- Good cinematography at times

Cons:

- Story is severely lacking
- Boss fights are terrible
- Camera is up too close

Final verdict

They seek the truth about Terragrigia... and vengeance.

Resident Evil: Revelations does not mark the return of survival horror for the series not does it mark a step-up in design for the franchise. It still carries its woes. Combined with the episodic structure and below average game mechanics. Some may forgive it for being originally a handheld game but some of the errors are just not fogivable It's a fairly good experience to enjoy once through a few days however.

Rating: 5.5


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/07/13

Game Release: Resident Evil: Revelations (US, 05/21/13)


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