The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Resident Evil: Gaiden, released for the Game Boy Color back in 2002,
featured characters from the series fighting zombies on a cruise ship as
they searched for the origins of a new viral threat. It was terrible.
Considering that the setting for Resident Evil: Revelations is nearly
identical and it’s also on a handheld device, any hesitation on your
part is understandable. I’m here to ensure you that Resident Evil:
Revelations is one of the finest entries in the franchise to date. The
game packs improvements to the series’ reliable gameplay, impressive
visuals, and a story that puts the last two main series entries to
shame. Revelations is enough to please both diehard fans and 3DS owners
looking for the next system-defining title.
The story picks up between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5. Jill, Chris, and their new
partners seek to uncover the truth about the destruction of a city
called Terrorgrigia and combat a brand new virus. We also learn more
about the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), the
previously enigmatic organization Chris and Sheva work for in Resident
Evil 5. Shedding light on this organization, the FBC (Federal Biohazard
Commission), and the leaders behind them brings new weight to the
series’ sagging story. The narrative is delivered in digestible, TV
episode-like chunks, complete with helpful recaps between chapters. This
structure allows Revelations to incorporate intriguing flashbacks,
parallel storylines, and some unexpected twists and turns.
episodic structure isn’t just great for storytelling; it also makes for
perfect pacing. Your time is divided between methodically exploring the
cruise ship as Jill and playing through action-packed flashbacks or
diversions as other characters. You spend most of your time tackling
Jill’s harrowing mission on the ship, and it’s a fantastic shift back
towards the series’ traditional survival horror roots. Unlike RE 4 and
5, ammo is scarce, reviving the satisfaction of each recovered bullet.
Resourceful survivors can use the nifty Genesis scanner to search the
environment for hidden items, adding to the thrilling feeling that
you’re a scavenger trying to make it out alive. While I would’ve have
been happy just playing through Jill’s ordeal, Revelations has the habit
of leaving her quest at a cliffhanger while putting you in the boots of
another character. Whether you’re playing as Chris in a snowy mountain
pass or reliving the Terrorgrigia incident as a FBC member, these higher
tempo sections are almost always focused on action instead of survival.
Blasting through hordes of hunters, infected wolves, and other monsters
is as fun as ever.
Resident Evil fans have already had the chance
to experience the series’ satisfying gunplay on the 3DS with
Mercenaries 3D, but Revelations boasts multiple improvements while
retaining the first-person aiming. The choppy enemy animations from
Mercenaries are gone, replaced with appropriately creepy enemy
movements. The d-pad is used to switch between all your items, a simple
but useful function when cornered by a pack of zombies. My favorite
addition is the dodge ability. One well-timed flick of the circle pad
lets you evade enemy attacks. Out-maneuvering monsters is priceless in a
game where choosing your battles is both crucial and fun. Revelations
also incorporates deep weapon customization in the vein of Call of Duty.
Want a shotgun with augmented power, a wider spread, and gigantic clip
size? No problem. Considering how precious ammo can be, tailoring
weapons to your specific playstyle is a dream come true for survival
horror fans. You can customize weapons in both single-player and co-op.
While the cooperative Raid Mode doesn’t allow you to play through the
entire campaign with a pal, you’ll get addicted to earning new weapons
and upgrades by playing through a host of bite-sized missions.
is a savior for the 3DS, but it comes with a few flaws. BSAA agents
Quint and Keith (codenamed Jackass and Grinder) are easily the worst
characters in the series’ history. Between their grating voices, Quint’s
eye roll-inducing, stereotypical computer geekery, and Keith always
saying something “blows,” you’ll be tempted to puncture your eardrums
with the stylus. Many of their jokes land flat due to a larger problem
of inconsistent translation. Several lines of dialogue, upgrade
descriptions, and story-expanding files read poorly due to rough
localization. Additionally, enemy variety is a bit lacking compared to
previous entries. Thankfully, the sour tastes these missteps leave in
your mouth are washed away rather quickly thanks to the game’s overall
Resident Evil: Revelations is just what fans of the
series and bored 3DS owners needed. The story is interesting with the
added bonus of actually being coherent for once, the gameplay feels
perfect on the 3DS, and it’s one of the greatest-looking portable games
I’ve ever seen, especially with the 3D cranked up. The campaign sports
the heft and depth of one of the main series entries, a deal made even
sweeter by an empowering New Game Plus and worthwhile co-op experience. Stop
twiddling your thumbs waiting for Resident Evil 6 and get them on a 3DS.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.