Ten years ago, most would have never believed that a major home console release could start life on a handheld.
But in 2013, because technology is so powerful, that’s not so hard to come to terms with.
Is that necessarily a good thing?
Release: May 24th
Version Tested: Xbox 360
Revelations is absolutely suited for the handheld market. It’s structured episodically, much as you’ve previously seen with Alan Wake, but the chapters are a lot more snappy and the story is easier to ‘pick-up-and-play’.
By far, Revelations was the best Resident Evil game to release last year. The story takes place between 4 and 5 and focuses on Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. However, we’re also introduced to new sub-characters, Parker and Jessica. With them the story jumps around a fair bit, and regularly jumps into the shoes of the new characters, as well as the familiar favorites.
The game is the same as the handheld release but buffed out with an extra difficulty, enhanced co-op through Raid Mode and integration with ResidentEvil.net. All of that along with updated visuals and sound effects re-engineer the game for a whole new audience. This actually works. It feels like the release has been worked on extensively in order to get to this state. That said, many of the textures seem stretched beyond their measure. Some doors really look ugly and blocky, and the same can be said for room environments. Same goes for the sound effects. They’re quite muffled and crackly where they should be crystal clear and wholly embracing the technology that accompanies the hardware. It’s very clear Revelations wasn’t initially designed with these systems in mind and that’s more of a barrier to overcome than you might imagine.
It’s not the depth and substance of the title. The Infernal difficulty really gives further replayability. Enemy and item placement is altered and replaced so players can’t just simply learn the routes and identify with comfort spots they’ve previously become familiar with.
Also the Raid Mode works well within Revelations, but unfortunately doesn’t allow players to go through the campaign together. Raid Mode is just a series of levels from the campaign, but it requires players to work together to fight through random waves of enemies of increasing difficulty. The Raid Mode offers new weapons to try, as well as new playable characters, such as Rachel and Hunk, as well as brand new enemies. The ResidentEvil.net connectivity also allows for new weapons as well as custom parts to upgrade current weapons to improve their overall efficiency.
So, yes, Revelations is a solid title with a good story. The controller offers a good handle on the action with responsive aiming and improved accuracy. Unfortunately,I don’t feel the game really benefits long or multiple playthroughs (especially when every episode forces you to sit through a ‘Previously…’ whether or not you take a break from the action or not)
Is this better than Resident Evil 6 and Racoon City? Absolutely. The story is sound. The action doesn’t rely on cringe-worthy QTE sequences and this Resident Evil stays true to the series roots of a good old haunted mansion with vile abominations. Sadly, it’s hard to see past the fact that this is a handheld game, through and through. It’s good on Xbox 360, but not as great as it could be.
3DS owners don’t really have any reason to upgrade, and others may feel a tad underwhelmed.
On the whole, though, Revelations is a competent, solid release that should hopefully tide you over until Resident Evil 7 hits the market.