Residential Evil Revelations – Review

A review of Residential Evil Revelations I wrote for the website www.square-go.com

Resident Evil Revelations feels like a throwback. No wholly surprising as the franchise has been moving away from its Survival Horror roots and, with Resident Evil 6, become more action orientated. Depending on your point of view this maybe a good or a bad thing but Revelations is a game reaching out to the audience that remembers and enjoyed that claustrophobia that the first few games of the series made their trademark. But does it succeed with this?

The story is as daft as ever and involves, amongst other things: terrorists equipped with bio-weapons; a previously destroyed solar power city; Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, stars of previous games in the series investigating stuff; mutated monsters; convoluted schemes and a boat. For those that care it sits between Resident Evil 4 and 5 and aims to fill in some details in the overall story. Does it make much sense? Not really, but that’s never really been the point; it’s a fun ride which is all it needs to be.

Revelations was originally released on the 3DS so this re-release has been given a fresh lick of paint. This isn’t to say that it looks perfect, this is still a slightly bigger version of a handheld game yet sometimes these roots do show themselves; like if you shoot several dogs with a shotgun and they all go through the exact same death animation. The game also sadly has one of the worst ingame maps ever. Seriously, it’s really properly bad. Outside of this the design of the game still entertains, with the boat being one of the best locations. It may feel a bit too guided in places but the dark corridors and great sound design makes it feel properly creepy at times.

Creepiness is an important factor as the game is trying to get back to the Resident Evil roots and be a proper Survival Horror game. The ammo and health packs are limited, every encounter feels like a battle, the environment presses down at you. And to an extent it succeeds, the only gripe being around the scanning device introduced in this game. This gun shaped device lets you scan your surrounding and find items and what not but it feels like its from a different game.

Basically, it’s trying to be Resident Evil 4 and that is where the game falls down. This is mainly because Resident Evil 4 is arguably one of the very best games ever made and Revelations isn’t. It’s not to say its a bad game; despite not quite being able to overcome its origins as a handheld experience, this home version looks and plays very well. The online mode is also decent enough to pass the time if you get a good teammate to partner up with.

But it’s not Resident Evil 4. It feels like filler, a game made between the proper games to appeal to what is now a niche audience of the franchise. It’s worth picking up if you don’t like the direction Resident Evil is going but for old school fans, all Revelations will ultimately do is remind you how good it once was.

Three stars out of five

Originally published June 29th 2013

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