“Revelations” doesn’t try to reinvent the typical “Resident Evil” experience. You take turns controlling Chris, or Jill, or newcomers Parker and Jessica, who are investigating an incident on a giant cruise ship. This investigation leads to the uncovering of some plot by some corporation that plans on releasing a deadly virus that turns people into monsters. That’s been the gist of virtually every “Resident Evil” game in the past 20 years. For some reason, I’m okay with that and had just as much fun with this game the second time around.
This is a stripped-down “RE” game, which surprisingly works in its favor. The game pairs you with a NPC partner, but doesn’t offer co-op (a good thing!). Your partner usually just stands idly by while you take out the threat, and throws in some poorly voice-acted banter here and there. Mixing different color herbs has been replaced with only green herbs, which refill your health completely.
The 3DS controls were a nuisance due to the handheld only having one analog stick. It was compatible with the Circle Pad Pro, but I refuse to buy that peripheral out of principle. The new console release takes advantage of modern third-person shooter controls, which feel natural.
I found the tone of “Revelations” to be an oddity due to its inconsistency. The game’s first impression made me think that it was going to be a survival horror game, thanks to some jump scares and sparse ammo. Then it slowly shifted to large action-focused sequences, like a chain gun battle from a helicopter. Making matters stranger, tongue-in-cheek chapters are sprinkled in, especially the ones featuring the character “Jackass.” These missions are clearly supposed to be comic relief.
Even as I’m writing this, I can’t tell if “Revelations” is meant to be taken seriously, or if it’s a work of pulp. The fact that each chapter begins with a “Previously on Resident Evil: Revelations” soap opera-esque recap just confuses me more. The best approach is just not to think about these odd style choices. It’s a fun game either way.
Raid Mode returns, which I thought was an understated mode when it was on the 3DS. Raid Mode opens co-op missions, which have you and your partner progress from point A to B, taking out variously powered enemies on your way. The mode mixes RPG elements with the classic “RE” gameplay. Missions are timed, and you’re scored based on your completion time and performance. Enemies have a health meter, and have different abilities than the ones seen in the campaign. They are the same enemy models, but they may be larger and stronger, or smaller and faster. Completing missions earns BP, which can be spent on new weapons or perks. Playing Raid Mode with a close friend could turn into a serious timesink.
“Revelations” takes a streamlined approach to “RE” that has tried to do too much with every release in the past five years. Fortunately, that mix of horror and action still holds up well. At $50, it’s a tad too much for a game that’s over a year old. I’d wait until it’s on sale for $40 to pick it up.
8.25 out of 10
Improved control and graphics
Simplified "RE" experience
Jarring shift in tone
|Platform||Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, Wii U|
|Rating||M for Mature|