Resident Evil: Revelations
Despite the undeniable quality of Resident Evil 4 and 5, longtime fans of the series fondly remember the days spent hording bullets and scrounging for medical herbs. One my might think the action-focused gameplay introduced in RE 4 wouldn’t work well with the traditional solve a puzzle/kill a monster/find an item formula, but RE: Revelations is the proof that the two blend perfectly.
The E3 2011 demo begins with Jill Valentine waking up on a dusty old bed in a dark, creepy room reminiscent of the Spencer estate. Disoriented and unaware of her current location, she searches for an exit. Moving around the decrepit old room using the circle pad and RE 4’s control scheme feels natural. Eventually Jill realizes she needs a screwdriver to access the locked door’s control panel. She drains some filthy water from a bathtub and discover the tool. Before she can reach the panel a monster similar-looking to RE 4’s terrifying iron maidens bursts from the dresser. Readying the handgun switches to first person aiming, complete with lasersight. The decreased peripheral vision increases tension, while the circle pad allows for fast, accurate aiming. As the creature collapses into a pool of its own blood, Jill uses the screwdriver on the panel. The player uses the touch screen to move around different power nodes in a puzzle and unlock the door.
Speaking of the touch screen, players can view and manage their inventory via the bottom screen. In the next room Jill finds a shotgun, and you can glance down to the bottom screen to see it available and check ammo. The trusty boomstick incapacitates the beasts in two hits instead of the copious bullets and precious time the handgun eats up. We move on after switching to the beefier weapon. Several of the iron maiden creatures emerge to give us a scare, their unnatural movements creepily augmented by the 3DS’s impressive 3D. The shotgun makes short work of them.
In the next room we uncover a device used to scan the environment. Finding every trinket, key, and round of ammo in the classic Resident Evil was difficult, and it gets even more challenging when not view the game through a revealing security cam-style camera. The new scanning device allows you to survey the entire environment in first-person to reveal items hidden out of view. I really enjoyed taking in Jill’s surroundings and exploring every nook. It really took me back to the older Resident Evils without the frustration.
I also explored a big dining hall with half-eaten fare littered about, a main hall with branching paths, and rooms made of still which offered hints that Jill may not be in a strange house. Eventually Jill meets up with her BSAA partner, Parker (Revelations takes place between RE 4 & 5), and they enter what appears to be the bridge of a ship. The ocean churns as Jill and Parker watch a tugboat detach from the huge vessel. Suddenly Jill is apprehended by a strange man with red hair. Parker takes aim as Ms. Valentine struggles. She eventually breaks free of the man’s grasp. The man with the fire red hair appears to know Parker, and the demo ends with the antagonist taking a shot at the duo.
I may not know exactly what’s happening in RE: Revelations’ story, but I know a great Resident Evil game when I see one. Capcom is returning to form with this one while delivering the same action everyone has grown accustomed to. I've been yearning for the days of counting every last bullet and cautiously peeking around corners. Revelations is the first original 3DS game that has caught my attention, and I hope the new platform doesn’t hold back diehard RE fans from looking forward to it. The smaller device isn’t holding back Capcom a bit, as they aim to release a game longer than the old games but more content.