Resident Evil: Revelations is a game for the 3DS which ties in the story between RE4 and RE5. This is the first game I’ve actually been excited to get for the 3DS since Super Mario. I’d seen a lot of stuff about the game, and for a handheld the screen shots I saw look gorgeous. Honestly, they’re some of the best graphics I’ve seen on a handheld console. The graphics are super smooth and the 3D aspect adds to the creepy, intense environments. The game is super atmospheric. From the creaking rocking cruise liner to its dimly lit hallways, where your torch light is the only lighting a small amount of the hall, not knowing what’s waiting for you in the next room, can sometimes unnerve the strongest willed person. What makes this unique is that it’s a small screen. Now bare with me, but it’s true. A dark room, you’re either laying in bed or maybe sat in the living room, the 3DS is best played while basically plastered to your face. With the 3DS’ ‘3D sweetspot’ you need to hold it rather close anyway to get the full effect of the 3D aspect of the device. It makes the whole experience that more involving and intense. You can be walking down a hallway and suddenly an enemy can jump out at you from no where, causing you to have your fair share of jumps. Your focus is glued to the screen, so when something jumps at you, you jump with it. Yeah it may seem a cheap effect, but it works. It doesn’t happen all too often, but after it happens a couple times, you’ll soon be gingerly strafing around a corner waiting for something to jump out at you only for it not to happen. It plays on the suspense heavily and it works.
The story is dumb, but the Resident Evil type dumb. The story takes place between RE4 and RE5. The Queen Zenobia is the main focus of the game. A mysterious ship that is rumoured to house a rouge group of terrorists called Veltro. Veltro had previously attacked a floating city by the name of Terragrigia. A city floating on water, where their main energy source is solar panels. Being the most environmentally friendly city on Earth. Veltro for some reason attacks Terragrigia for…just because. Imagine a reverse Green Peace, only Veltro has B.O.Ws, Bio Organic Weapons (the main enemies that you face in the game, instead of crazed villagers and zombies) which were used to tear the solar city to pieces. The city was soon destroyed by a large satellite in space that was used to supply Terragrigia with it’s solar power at all times. Lost yet? Yeah that’s where my confusion came from. This has never been mentioned in any RE game ever, and the premise is over the top, even for Resident Evil standards.
The characters are somewhat 2D and the voice acting at times can be really hard to listen to. I know it’s an RE game and dialogue and in game writing has always cheesy. See ‘master of unlocking‘ and ‘itchy tasty‘ The problem with this game is that the voice actors (especially Jill) sound bloody bored. An enemy can be steaming towards you and in a monotone voice Jill will express her feelings with some stupid line in the most unemotional voice ever. Little things like this annoy me. Uncharted has proved that during game play your character doesn’t have to be wooden and silent. He emotes and greatly expresses his feelings. Whether it be through witty one liners, or feeding off of his companions it works and gives great depth to the character. The conversations in this game are just boring and have struggled to keep me engaged. There are 3 teams of 2 characters which get not so equal air time. The main focus of the game is on Jill Valentine of RE1 and 3 fame and her sidekick Parker, someone who hasn’t ever been heard of and I don’t think will be after this game. Chris Redfield of RE1 and 5 fame and his sidekick Jessica. A woman that thinks it’s a tactical advantage to cut off one of her pants leg off of her incredibly form fitting one piece suit because…*shrugs* How else you going to get people to get this game? I know. Mild titillation! There’s also the forgettable comic relief duo of the game, which one of them has the call sign ‘Jackass’. Am I supposed to laugh at this?
The enemies are kind of a let down, which is a pity given that RE has had some pretty cool foes. The enemies of RE have always had a personality. From zombies of the original trilogy of games, to the villagers of RE4 and even the tribesman of RE5. The enemies of RE: Revelations are emotionless. Being bred from test tubes to cause havoc they don’t have faces and are basically just excuses to shoot stuff. The enemies are samey and apart from the occasional mini boss you’ll be trawling through the cruise liner shooting the same stuff constantly. I equated the enemies of this game to an amalgamation of the needle zombies of RE4 and something straight out of Silent Hill.
Now here comes the part about the Nintendo circle pad pro (CPP). The game play is pretty good for a handheld game. The CPP adds a lot of weight to the 3DS and is rather bulky. It does however give a good grip to your 3DS, and obviously adding the extra circle pad makes playing this game a lot easier. I tried playing the game with just the regular controls and found it a bit clumsy. You can’t move and shoot at the same time, which causes problems given that you’re constantly being chased by enemies. Being in a narrow corridor and having 2 enemies advance towards you can be a real bad situation when you can’t move and shoot. You have to shoot and then run away, turn back and shoot, copy and paste aforementioned method. It’s not terribly fun. The CPP allows you to have RE5 style controls that allows you to move and shoot at the same time. The game allows you to shoot in 3rd and 1st person. Movement is always in 3rd person, but being able to have the option to chose which viewing mode is ideal for you is a great bonus. One of the main items in this game, called the Genesis allows you to scan and search out hidden items in the open areas that you wouldn’t previously be able to see. Scanning an enemy adds towards your B.O.W meter that when filled to 100% gives you an extra health spray. Finding hidden hand prints in the game also give you random rewards, so even when there’s no enemies on screen you’re still just randomly hunting out stuff. The story is set up in an episodic way similar to what Alan Wake introduced, even including a ‘Previously on…’ video. I found that to be a neat inclusion as it broke up the story well and allowed me to take a break from the game on a cliff hanger only for me to return on and have a quick refresher before returning to action. It’s meant to be played in bite sized chunks and for a handheld game this makes sense.
If I was to wrap this all up in a very brief review it’d be that the game is extremely impressive for the 3DS both visually and game play wise. Is it worth getting? Yes. The game is fun despite some of the minor gripes. The story is kinda dumb but if you’re a fan of Resident Evil then you know to expect that already. Does it add much to the mythos of RE? Not really, but as a slice of the RE pie Revelations is quite a big delicious piece. The enemies aren’t as engaging as previous enemies but the game play is fun enough. I’ve spent a few hours playing the main game, and with the raid mode and random missions it adds a lot more to the length of the game. The circle pad pro is pretty much essential, and you soon figure out that this game was built in mind for this attachment and doesn’t feel right played without. Is it worth £20 though? I think the price will be more justified later on when more games come out that utilizes the CCP. The main ones being Metal Gear Solid 3DS and Kid Icarus. If you’re eager to play this game then it may be worth getting it, but be warned that it’s not terribly portable. It’s too big to carry around in your pocket, and I had to carry it in my backpack while travelling to work. I did see that, as of writing Zavvi had RE: Revelations at £24.95 and the Nintendo Circle Pad Pro at £14.95 which is the best value deal I’ve seen. A very long campain and very atmospheric. It’s a great action game and one of the best on the 3DS.