The lights are on
"An enjoyable, slower paced journey that harkens back to the Resident Evil 4 days."
"It’s still a return to the classic formula from the first several games in the series.."
Seeing this kind of talk, while reading reviews and gamer opinions, had me pretty pumped to play the 360 release of Revelations. No more than half an hour in, and most definitely after completing the campaign, I'm wondering to myself --- Did we play this same game?
Besides the title and a few characters, there's nothing here that is like the first several Resident Evil games. Dark corridors and weapons aside, the gameplay here is more akin to a fast-paced Dead Space knock-off than it is a harken back to Resident Evil 4. Aiming for weak spots and body parts doesn't have the same appeal here, especially when creatures appear in (seemingly) never-ending waves. Actually, one boss fight DID have a never-ending wave of enemies. I didn't realize this until I ran out of ammo. Attempts 2-5 ended in frustrating instant-kills, the only way the games inhabitants ever managed to best me. Infuriating enemies in the distance shoot at the player and partner, while stronger mobs approach from all sides (and occasionally drop from above). As many hits as I took, I wondered what my, invincible and never-out-of-ammo, partner was doing. Just chilling. The worst part about all of this, is that the player often replays the same monster-filled areas multiple times from different character perspectives. This means up to 3 repeats of the same waves of "ooze." I shook my head sadly on more than one occasion.
Luckily, the gunplay is pretty on point and the monster design is mostly good. One persistent boss in particular is truly terrifying. Her appearance. Her noises. Everything about her is scary. The last boss is also definitely a bad looking dude. If only the few bosses before that one didn't exist. The gun-play stays entertaining (until monster waves or mini-guns are involved), and the feeling that the player can die is pretty much always lingering. Besides the previously mentioned encounter, I never had any issues at all with munitions. Sometimes however, I felt that the weapon I was handed during certain chapters was under-powered for the enemy types, but it made things interesting. The exploration aspect is pretty lame, as it's mostly about looking for more ammo than it is about discovering a story. Speaking of which, this game makes no sense, and fits no where in the Resident Evil lore. That said, it's entertaining in its own cheesy little way. Kind of like it's trying extremely hard to achieve the B-movie status that the original unintentionally nailed.
Just a quick note on "the scanning" mechanic. This was a great idea, and I actually enjoyed using this in the heat of battle. It really made the butt hole pucker! I do, however, feel it was both overused, and underutilized. The potential is far greater than what was tapped in to. Scanning enemies for points toward an herb is incredibly goofy, but I used it often. Searching for, or stumbling upon, hand prints was intriguing. Making the player use it for standard items is regrettable and unfortunate. It slowed the pacing down, and made me actually resent exploration.
While disappointed that I didn't play another great survival-horror experience, I do feel that I played a fun game. Revelations had moments that reminded me of my love for this genre, and it had some truly scary and challenging battles, but it just didn't scratch the itch that I had for Resident Evil. I regret knowing that Resident Evil 5 likely won't scratch that itch either.
+Tight Queen corridors+Creature design+Bio-scanning+None of the awful quick-time sequences-Attempts at "epic" boss fights-Story is a bit too weird-Item scanning-Fast paced firefights feel awkward and it breaks the atmosphere completely
**Intended to say Resident Evil 6 at the end of the review, but 5 also didn't do much for me, so it works regardless.