There are two reasons why Resident Evil Revelations has been a success story with the Nintendo 3DS. Firstly because it utilises the handheld console to great effect, pushing on the visual output that the 3DS is capable of. And more importantly, because it is a Resident Evil game that is more familiar to the winning formula that the series has become famed for. In other words, it feels like a Resi Evil game of old.
I have played the 3DS version, and it is one of my favourite Resident Evil titles period. The signature claustrophobic gameplay featuring the ability to only shoot while you are standing still was not tinkered with for this one. The formula is like the Resi Evil games that I loved in the past and therefore so is the experience. There’s the need to manage your ammo, again a trademark feature to the survival horror genre. Then there’s the looting by necessary exploration and some puzzle solving. New to the series is the Genesis scanning device, which is used to find objects and collect. data
This new version follows the same narrative as the 3DS versions, Capcom did not tinker with the narrative and with the first few chapters I played it was identical. This is a good thing, as the narrative is also particularly strong compared to more recent Resident Evil titles.
The narrative ties into the Resident Evil story, sitting somewhere between Resident Evil 4 and 5. Series stalwart Chris Redfield stars with new partner, Jessica Sherawat who go missing at sea on the T-Virus infected SS Queen Zenobia. Jill Valentine and a few other FBC agents are sent to find the missing pair, but players’ focus with the narrative and gameplay revolves around Chris and Jessica, each who are playable in set chapters. The agents are tasked with keeping the situation under control after the bio-terrorist organization poses an imminent threat to the agents and the “floating city” of Terragrigia, the city that ties into the narrative which is under attack by ways of bio-terrorism.
You know what to expect with HD remakes, they are never completely crisp, but from what I saw, the port’s visuals are of an apt quality. What instantly felt like an improvement, and especially since I played the 3DS version without the Circle-Pad Pro, was the second (camera) thumb-stick. Movement is greatly improved with the second stick. The side-stepping is absolutely crisp as is the ability to flick the stick to turn 180 degrees. These movements are necessary with the “survival” gameplay and familiar to Resi Evil games of old. It works hand-in-hand with the claustrophobic atmosphere the series is known for, with creatures creeping in from all directions.
So having played the 3DS version the game and narrative felt familiar for the chapters I had played. The swaying factors therefore for someone like me are the cheaper price point, and more importantly the extremely satisfying ‘Raid Mode’.
Raid Mode, unique to the new version, adds a solo or online-co-op offering where players face hordes of enemies to earn XP, weapons and new characters. Players can choose the levels which are sectioned off for the waves, all levels from the game. Finally, a Resi Evil game that I can play for time to come.
For those who have not played the 3DS version, you are in for a treat when it comes to the campaign, especially if you’re an old-school Resi fan. For those that have played the 3DS version, in my opinion the Raid Mode alone makes this one an attractive package, especially considering the cheaper price point.
Resident Evil Revelations is due to release for the Playstation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 on May 23, and is expected at around R450.00. The PC version is expected on the same date at around R260.00.