Tech News on G4
Revelations goes big and goes home
Jun 20, 2013
By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada
Something awful happened to Resident Evil: Revelations from the time it was ported from the Nintendo 3DS to home consoles. This is still essentially the same game that first appeared on Nintendo's handheld - and it certainly has some superb moments - but bringing it to a larger screen has only exacerbated the issues it does have.
Like Resident Evil 4 before it, Revelations does a solid job of melding quiet, atmospheric gameplay that the series was originally known for, with some high octane action sequences. It seemed to work well when the game was first released in 2012, but upon a second playthrough, several problems become abundantly clear.
The story begins strongly enough, with the opening set on a massive cruise ship that has long been out of use. It's very reminiscent of the mansions many Resident Evil fans have come to know in love in previous games in the series.
Players will take control of several characters at different points throughout the campaign, including series favourites Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. The plot is slightly less convoluted than those told in other Resident Evil games, but that isn't saying much. The story involves a terrorist organization called Veltro doing what terrorist organizations do best, and the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) trying to stop it.
Although you virtually always have a partner shooting alongside you in Revelations, he or she is strictly an AI-controlled character, so don't expect the co-operative gameplay with a friend that was featured in Resident Evil 5 and 6.
Sadly, both friendly and enemy AI leave something to be desired. Many enemies are bullet sponges that move slowly and simply aren't particularly fearsome, and while certain baddies provide some decent scares, the experience of encountering them is ruined by the cheap one-hit kills they can pull off a little too easily.
And don't expect a lot of help from your partner, whoever it may be at any given point in the game. You really can't do much interacting with them (such as exchanging items), and the most they typically do to help out is shoot a few bullets here and there. Even then, they aren't always reliable. There was one encounter in particular where a miniboss was bearing down on me in an enclosed area, and my partner simply refused to shoot his shotgun.
The best moments in Revelations really are the quiet ones. The sound and camera angles really add to the atmosphere, and Capcom wasn't shy about taking advantage of blind corners and distant sound effects to give off a creepier vibe.
As expected, the boss fights are much louder and in-your-face, and while there's typically nothing wrong with that, most bosses in Revelations really aren't that inspired. There's one early on in the campaign who appears in a truly terrifying fashion (I still get goosebumps whenever I hear "mayday"), and the battle itself is spectacular, but it's the exception to the rule it seems. It's a shame, because the series can boast some legitimately memorable moments against end-level enemies.
While the monotony of being stuck in one environment (the cruise ship) is broken up through playable flashback levels set in different places, the game still tends to drag on in the later hours of the campaign. There's a tad too much backtracking, and that gets compounded if you want to acquire all the special items in the game. Add in a terrible map, and it's easy to get frustrated. And don't even get me started on swimming levels.
The game is slick enough in the graphics department, but again, it's almost as if having Revelations displayed on a smaller handheld screen made it more pleasing to the eye. This is far from the system-pushing graphics that were on display in Resident Evil 5.
Even the addition of a full controller with two analog sticks does little to make a case for choosing the home console version of Revelations. Although the 3DS version could take advantage of the system's circle pad pro add-on, the controls were perfectly fine with the one analog stick.
A saving grace for the game is the co-operative multiplayer Raid Mode. It was included in the 3DS version, and while it was perfectly serviceable, it left something to be desired. Revelations takes advantage of all the power and speed of the PSN (or Xbox Live) service to make for a more compelling multiplayer component.
Raid Mode has two players (you can also play solo) teaming up to take on waves of enemies in environments that are taken straight from the campaign, in bite-sized chunks.
It's similar to, though not nearly as strategic or enjoyable as the series' more well-known, Mercenaries Mode. In Raid Mode, there is no time limit. You simply outfit yourself with weapons and powerups, and attempt to survive to the end of the level.
There really isn't much to the Raid Mode, although it has a certain addictiveness to it. A lot can change depending on what level you choose and who you're teamed up with (it can be extremely easy or deliciously difficult depending on both these factors), but it's reassuring to know that with a mode that only requires you to be teamed up with one other player, it never takes more than about a minute (usually much less) to get a new game going.
One downside is that for the player who has no interest in the campaign, they'll be out of luck, because in order to open levels, you're required to complete campaign chapters. There are three campaign difficulties, and subsequently, three multiplayer difficulties.
Even with the sometimes glaring issues in Revelations, it's still head-and-shoulders above Resident Evil 6, which, we admit, really isn't saying much.
It may not be quite the near-masterpiece it was on the Nintendo 3DS, but series fans are all but certain to have a good time here. Those gamers who simply appreciate a creepy campaign will find a lot to like here as well.
Resident Evil: Revelations
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