Jill’s quest through the infested Queen Zenobia cruise ship is shaping up to be a real treat, but Resident Evil: Revelations also has a gripping co-op mode you can look forward to. Whether via the Internet or local play, you and a friend can blast your way through sections of the campaign together, earning new weapons and upgrades. Kyle and I recently played through a good chunk of Raid Mode and survived to tell the tale.

Tim’s Scenario:

Since it was revealed at Gamer's Day 2011, I've been curious what Raid Mode could provide to the co-op Resident Evil experience that RE 5's already airtight Mercenaries mode couldn't. My answer is a co-op mode built for Resident Evil fans with a knack for thoroughness and weapon customization rather than racking up kills in a race against time.

Choosing to play as Jill, I launched into a series of missions set in sections of the single-player campaign like the cruise ship, a snowy mountain pass, and infested beach shore. Having acquired a fair amount of BP, Revelation's currency, I was able to unlock several weapons and upgrades from the get go. Being able to use points earned in single-player to unlock goodies in Raid Mode is an awesome way to encourage fans to check out both modes. After equipping a handgun, machine gun, and shotgun, I checked out the available upgrades.

Identical to the single-player mode, you can outfit customizable weapon slots with perk-like upgrades. For example, you can upgrade a pistol's strength, clip size, fire rate, and even reduce enemy aggression towards you. It's all about finding what works with your play style. Finding the right mix of weapons and upgrades is just the beginning of the addiction.

Teaming up with Kyle, we trekked through the zombie-infested corridors of the Queen Zenobia, easily taking down anything that moves. Sitting next to one another made barking orders and providing backup a snap. My favorite moment involved laying waste to droves of hunters while waiting for an elevator to arrive. This segment was thrilling in the single-player campaign, but sharing the excitement with a friend makes clearing the level even more rewarding. Once you finish up a mission, you can check out the weapons or upgrades you unlocked, purchase new items in the shop, alter your loadout, and start the cycle all over again.

So far I've enjoyed the intoxicating formula formula of Raid Mode as much as the game's single-player, something that comes as a surprise to myself. You can also plow through Raid Mode's missions solo, meaning you and your friends can beef up your characters independently then team up and show off your new arsenal. If you've only been excited to get your hands of Revelations for its promising campaign, you should add Raid Mode to your list of reasons to be excited for the game's February 7 release date.

Kyle’s Scenario:

After Resident Evil 5 successfully implemented co-op, I was surprised to see that Revelations did not feature the same options, especially considering it appears you'll be playing with an AI partner throughout the single-player game. After checking out Raid mode, however, it seems we may have something that's even better than campaign co-op.

Revelations is very much aware of the console it is being played on, and breaks the co-op apart from the main game into easily digestible segments. You get to experience almost all the exciting beats of the single player game with a partner, but you don’t have to play for hours at a time, which makes perfect sense for the 3DS.

During my playtime with Raid Mode, I took on the roles of three different characters, playing in three very distinct locations, and that was only for a few hours of play. Elements like cutscenes and puzzles are not present – just action. Leveling your character and finding weapon enhancements give you reasons to return and replay levels over and over. Taking out the game’s first boss solo was intense enough, but fighting the same foe with Tim at my side was even more fun.

Despite my initial concern, I think separating the co-op mode from single-player is a smart move. This allows lone wolves to play by themselves, while those interested in multiplayer can play through settings from the campaign with a partner. It’s there is you want it, and ignorable if you don’t. But I would definitely recommend it.