Resident Evil Revelations was a solid effort by Capcom to attempt to marry the old and new philosophies of the Resident Evil franchise. Although it wasn’t really their top work in either regard, Revelations look incredible on the 3DS, and pushed the system to its limits.
Now, we’re back to that fateful cruise ship once again as we relive the terror with Jill and Chris, but this time, in HD.
Revelations HD is still the same solid, yet flawed game it was on 3DS, more or less. Alongside of the obvious HD visuals, it provides a dual stick control system without the use of a Circle Pad Pro, and a new Inferno difficulty mode as well as some new Raid Mode content.
It’s not like the game needed an HD makeover, but Revelations looks great on consoles regardless. While it lacks a major attention to detail in terms of basic textures (it isn’t a complete overhaul), the world still looks as haunting as ever, and the enemy animations still make their own unique mark on the franchise. You can still move and shoot just like the 3DS version, and honestly, barring a dodge move, that’s about it as far as gameplay mechanics go.
Unlike Resident Evil 6 that offered up new tactical options like the Quick Shot and shooting while prone, Revelations is a very simple third person shooter affair. You can scan the environment with your Genesis scanner, shoot, melee, and that’s really it. Not that the simplicity is really a bad thing, but it feels a bit odd to have the game translate directly to a console and not have a little more depth to it.
But with all of the positives come the negatives, including the incredibly throwaway story that adds nothing to the Resident Evil franchise as a whole, the horrid characters of Jackass and Grinder, and the over-emphasis on action in many, many portions of the game when it feels wholly unnecessary. My issue with most of the pacing is that the game will throw you into a particularly scary, small environment, only to toss you into an open tundra shotgunning wolves a moment later. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if the plentiful new characters were memorable in any way, but I can honestly say after experiencing the game a second time I have no desire to ever see them again.
But that isn’t to say the game is bad, really. Revelations still offers up a serviceable romp through multiple locations, and at the end of the day, blasting creatures in Capcom’s creation is still incredibly fun. The new Inferno difficulty helps create an incentive for pros to replay the story again though should be you burnt out on it, as it offers up a decent challenge as well as a new enemy and new foe layouts — it also has the added benefit of actually encouraging multiple New Game+ playthroughs.
But most of those issues are completely destroyed when playing the game’s Raid Mode, which is really the meat and potatoes of the package. This time around, Raid Mode is a bit more fleshed out, with new characters, ResidentEvil.net support, and new content. For those who haven’t experienced it yet, it’s basically a level-based minigame similar to Mercenaries, except each stage has a beginning and an end, instead of taking place in an open-arena.
Although I’m a die-hard Mercs fan, I’m still able to enjoy Raid Mode for what it is due to the well crafted XP and RPG style systems, which let you earn cash for your efforts to spend on equipment, refills, and new weapons/items. Leveling up all your favorite characters is still the main draw, as you embark upon a ton of missions of varying difficulty. You can compete against your own times and score for endless replay value, and online support is the cherry on top (though sadly, there’s no split-screen play like other games in the franchise).
Resident Evil Revelations is an interesting game, to say the least. It offers up a decent amount of missed opportunities, but still manages to capture some of the magic that Resident Evil was known for. If you’ve been waiting for a game in the franchise to return to its horror roots, this isn’t quite it, but it should leave you somewhat satisfied.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 game Resident Evil Revelations.