A lot of people have commented on how the Resident Evil series has shifted towards a more action orientated approach in recent years, some long time fans were quite disappointed that Resident Evil 5 was more of a linear shooter, than a survival horror game and that Resident Evil 6 was trying to be too Hollywood and had to many QTEs. Well it looks like Capcom have listened to its faithful fans and returned to the old ways. The question is though, how well did it go?
Allow me to offer my take on this, I have played all of the main entries in the series and I have shared some of the feelings of my fellow Resident Evil fans, I enjoyed Resident Evil 5 & 6, but felt they lacked the oppressive environment which made the earlier games so successful, They are great linear action titles but not quite the Resident Evil that I grew to love in the past. No longer were we given a huge map to explore and lots of puzzles to solve along the way, also the inclusion of a partner dulled the edge a bit.
Thankfully I am glad to see that Revelations combines the old elements with the new successfully, the game has combined the beautifully smooth RE4/RE5 control system and mixed it in with what made the older games so atmospheric.
The game takes place in 2005, between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5. The roots of everything go back to an incident known as the "Terragrigia Panic" which occurred in 2004. Stalwarts of the series Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine have returned to take centre stage, now as founding members of the BSAA - The Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance - a specialist organisation dedicated to the investigation and destruction of B.O.W's.
You will play primarily as Jill who is accompanied by her new partner Parker, they have been dispatched to an abandoned cruise liner in the Mediterrean after the BSAA lost contact with Chris, who was on an investigation trying to track down a once defeated terrorist group known as Il Veltro, who were rumoured to have reformed. You will spend your time investigating the bowels of the ship as you try to locate Chris and discover the secrets the ship holds.
The controls are very similar to those of Resident Evil 4 with a few adaptions made to smoothen gameplay. The camera is placed behind the shoulder with your character offset to the left giving you a clear view of the action, this works well, but can be a nuisance if you get too close to any walls. As usual holding down the R1 button readies your weapon and a reticule allows you to place your shots carefully. Also when enemies are weakened, you can close in to deliver a melee attack. Switching between your weapons is handled through the D-pad, pressing right, cycles through them. However you can only carry 3 weapons at a time, so choose your loadout carefully.
Also of note are the secondary weapons that you can use, by simply pressing the triangle button you can use one of these at any time depending on which is equipped, these range from a knife, to various forms of grenades. Health is managed through the use of herbs which can fully heal you, as you get hurt, blood spatters will form on screen and your character will begin to limp, at any time you can use a herb to heal yourself with one press of the circle button.
Finally the genesis scanner, this device allows you to scan the environment and enemies, this is something that will prove important as the game progresses as scanning areas will allow you to find extra ammo, scanning enemies however is different, once you collect a certain amount of data through scanning enemies the game will reward you with a herb to use to heal yourself.
One thing that is of note is that the game slows down quite a bit during transitional periods as you move from one part of the ship to the other, but thankfully, these are a safe haven, so you needn't worry about sluggish reactions while being attacked at these times.
Raid mode is a time attack type mode, where you play through story levels, aiming to acheive the best time, while not worrying about cutscenes and the such like. This mode has varying levels of difficulty and if you can complete all levels, you unlock a special bonus stage, where you can experience many unique battles as you work through the level, be warned however, these bonus levels are incredibly tough and reward ambitious players.
Graphics and Sound
It is worth bearing in mind that this game started out on the 3DS, so it does not feature the high levels of graphical fidelity seen in Resident Evil 6. That being said the games many environments all have a high level of detail and are greatly varied, some parts of the ship will remind players of the Mansion from the original Resident Evil with their layout and decoration, Capcom have done a wonderful job of optimising a game which has been ported from a much less powerful platform. Also the models for enemies and player characters are highly detailed and animate smoothly, The enemies in particular inspiring terror and dread due to their warped and deformed bodies. Some of these enemies are made even more haunting by the fact that some appear to retain small traces of their human personality, for instance one enemy seems confused about who he is and is greatly alarmed by your desire to kill him. Visually they bear a distinct resemblance to the Regenerador enemies from Resident Evil 4.
Also as a bonus new enemy types have been added to this version of the game adding some new challenges.
The game is also broken down into episodes much like a TV drama series, this helps greatly, as it can be frustrating, if you do not play the game for a few days and you find yourself wondering where you left off. The helpful recaps allow you to get back into the action without wandering aimlessly until you remember what to do next.
The 3D effect is put to good use unlike some games which throw things at you, the game employs it in a subtle way that adds to the overall feel.
Sound is also good, weapons have a good meaty sound and the voice actors are of a good quality, sound effects and music are also to great effect in particular intense moments to ratchet up the pressure.
I would give this game a 9/10 - as it is a highly enjoyable piece throughout and the few issues it has are minor at best and do no detract from the overall experience. In my opinion this game can proudly sit alongside the other entries in the series and is just as good as any of them.