Resident Evil: Revelations Returns to Its Horror Roots

by on December 28th, 2010
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The Resident Evil series started as a testament to what survival horror should be. With its few guns and fewer bullets approach, gamers just couldn’t shoot through each enemy encounter. It might have been frustrating at times, but it provided a powerful and creepy experience. The franchise has become more user friendly in recent years, but Capcom tries to bring it back to its roots with Resident Evil: Revelations for the 3DS.

Story
The story takes place between Resident Evil 4 and 5. It revolves around the newly formed Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance that was introduced in RE 5. The group’s founders are Chris and Jill. While the iconic characters have their own partners, the game starts off with Jill trying to find Chris, who went missing during an investigation on an ocean liner. The story is pretty standard for the series, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The only minor problem is the supporting characters range from boring to outright annoying.

Graphics
Resident Evil: Revelations is gorgeous. You never feel that the graphics are dumbed down because the game is on a portable device. In fact, it looks like PS3 and 360 titles. The 3D subtly compliments and enhances the game. If you were unsure about how well 3D technology would work, this is the game that will make you a believer. Of course, you can always turn off the 3D, but there is no reason to.

Gameplay
While there is some debate about the 3DS needing an extra pad, I don’t think it’s necessary for Revelations. The tank like controls work well, as does using the stylus to switch weapons and look around. The gameplay feels like a hybrid between older RE titles and newer ones. There are plenty of lonely hallways and darkened rooms to slowly explore. It’s in these environments where the biggest scares are had, with creatures suddenly appearing. There are some puzzles, although not as many or as challenging as in older titles. Weapons are able to be customized. Besides carrying three weapons at a time, you have a scanner. This handy device lets you find extra herbs, bullets, and other important items. It also gathers details and information about the enemies.

A problem with Revelation’s gameplay is the AI. While they can’t die, take from your inventory, or slow your character down, they don’t seem to do much damage to the enemies. Not only does this get annoying, it also takes away from the creepy atmosphere. It would be better if your character was left to go it alone.

Replay Value
After completing the main campaign, you have the option to play through again with all your equipment. There is also a much harder difficulty level to tackle. The biggest reason to replay is the Raid mode. This faster paced challenge includes clearing rooms full of enemies from the main campaign. You get experience points, level up, and get loot drops that help customize weapons. Besides being single player, Raid mode can be played co-op locally or through the Internet.

Resident Evil: Revelation shows just how powerful the 3DS is. The graphics rival home consoles and the 3D is done amazingly well. The game itself is a nice mix of old RE and new. While some of the characters can get on your nerves, it really doesn’t impact the game that much. As gamers wait for the November release of Resident Evil 6, one can only hope it also brings back elements that made the franchise great. Until then, Revelations will satisfy gamers’ survival horror craving.


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