Review: Resident Evil: Revelations (PS3)

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Title: Resident Evil: Revelations
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (11.3 GB)
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Price: $49.99
ESRB Rating: M
Resident Evil: Revelations is also available on PC, Xbox 360, and Wii U. The original version of this game was released on the Nintendo 3DS in early 2012.
The PlayStation 3 version was used for this review.

Gameplay:
The first thing that I noticed about Resident Evil: Revelations was the fluidity of the control scheme. Capcom really nailed the gunplay and character movement this time around with controls so intuitive that they lend a hand to the overall immersion of the experience. A huge plus for the DS version of this game was the use of the handheld’s D-pad and that near-perfect control setup has been beautifully mapped to the analog sticks on the home console.

Another feature that may grab Resident Evil fans right off the bat is the similarity to the early, classic iterations of this franchise. Although Resident Evil has always been a zombie/horror game at its core, puzzle elements were heavily incorporated into the gameplay until Capcom began experimenting with action-oriented progression and run-and-gun style. Resident Evil 6 was one such experiment and although it was a great game, it didn’t stay in touch with its roots the way Resident Evil: Revelations does.

RER 2

Although the story/plot of Resident Evil: Revelations may employ the same old rehashed malarkey that we’re used to, the settings are a masterful breath of fresh air. Players will jump between the stories of different characters and explore everything from a creepy cruise ship to eerie outdoor environments. The transition between characters is automatic and will usually happen just as a suspenseful, cliffhanger type of situation is introduced.

The game is broken up into many 10 to 15 minute chapters, probably originally designed that way with a handheld in mind. Much like a TV show, you will get a recap of the story events you last played through before the beginning of each episode. Games that experiment with this sort of storytelling are becoming more common: maybe it’s a motion to capture the TV audience and integrate video games as a more “acceptable” form of entertainment. In any case, it works very well.

The scarcity of different enemy types was surprising as Resident Evil has always incorporated several creative enemies and introduced them with goosebump-inducing cutscenes. Your bad guy supply is very limited here and it may get tiresome defeating the same ugly things over and over again. Inventory and ammunition is light as always and AI partners usually cannot be relied upon. They are not exactly a hindrance, but the enemies they are shooting, if they are hit, seem to become bullet sponges.

Visuals:
It is worth noting that main character models are much more detailed that the environments and NPCs they interact with. There is some lazy texture-work in areas that are meant to be run through and some great detail on walls/hallways involving puzzle interaction. Some sort of visual priority system that I also noticed in Resident Evil 6 becomes much more obvious and noticeable than with other games that employ the same tactic.

RER 1

Players that are familiar with the DS version of Resident Evil: Revelations may expect that this series-favorite must look fantastic in HD but unfortunately, that is not the case here. Of course many parts of this game are going to be up-rezzed versions of their former selves, but in this day and age of HD remakes, Resident Evil: Revelations does not match some of the competition.

Audio:
Audio has always been a part of Resident Evil’s mystique and this title is no exception.  As is the case with the best horror films, sharp tones and crashing instrumentals are used to accentuate the surprising parts of the game while slow and eerie melodies fill out the downtime.

Sound effects from enemies, weapons, and character-environment interaction equal a sum greater than its parts as they blend together with a harmony that fully supports a goal of immersion.  Headphones or surround sound can definitely quantify the experience but are not necessary to appreciate the effort put into this game’s sound.

Online/Multiplayer:
Resident Evil: Revelations has a Raid Mode that you can play either solo or online. It is broken up into levels of increasing difficulty. Players will find Battle Points that are used to upgrade/buy new weapons and skills. A leveling system much like an online FPS is included. There isn’t anything groundbreaking about it but it can provide entertainment for hours on end. It is a nice aside to the campaign and a valiant effort to add longevity and keep consumers from trading this title in.

Unfortunately, there is no co-op support in campaign mode.

RER 4

Conclusion:
Resident Evil: Revelations became a fan-favorite in the series when released on the DS and it is fantastic that fans without the platform will finally get to play it. Although the latest Resident Evil games have been sufficient as a different approach to the IP, this game offers the slow-paced, survival horror experience that fans have been clamoring for. If you’re like me, your earliest memories of this franchise are from the PS1, and you were waiting to get your hands on the latest GamePro magazine to get you through some tough puzzles (the internet was trash back then kids). Resident Evil: Revelations brought me back to those days and it stays true to the formula that made it famous while incorporating creative environments and thought-provoking challenges. The difference was that this time, I had a little help from YouTube.

Score:
8.0

 

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