Thursday, 23 February 2012

Review: Resident Evil: Revelations

Resident Evil: Revelations is the latest game in the franchise but is chronologically set before the fifth game in the early years of the BSAA. Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine return to the forefront as they and their new partners investigate a zombie infested cruise-ship a year after a devastating terrorist attack. This game plays more like Resident Evil 4 or 5 rather than the purer survival horror roots the series comes from.
There are no cross-hairs, only a laser sight helps you aim.
The story is told through a mixture of cut-scenes, playable flashbacks and through the eyes of other playable characters in other locations; you are provided with a good overview of everyone involved in the story. It all adds up to Revelations having the best presented story of any game in the franchise; it’s just a shame the story itself isn't at all interesting. Shady organisations with questionable motivations return, and many of the twists in the story can be seen long before they happen. It’s the same tired old stuff of the previous games carried into this one only slightly re-branded .
Jill and Chris team up again, though other new characters are introduced too.
The campaign is split into twelve chapters, though each chapter can have multiple sections, and at the beginning of each chapter is a recap of what has happened so far. The main setting may be a luxury cruise-ship but that doesn't limit it at all. The ship has multiple distinct locations and you are taken to yet more location along the story with other characters. The engine manages to keep up with everything that the developers threw at it including a ridiculous boss battle where the player is flying around in a helicopter.
Characters's motivations are often suspect.
Revelations has a cooperative mode that allows you to play through tweaked sections of the campaign with a friend. In this mode there are no cut-scenes and no explanations of what you are doing, though as you have to play through the campaign to unlock these levels you should know the motivations. It’s not really obvious why the developers didn’t include a full cooperative experience, like Resident Evil 5 had, but it’s still a welcome addition and a lot of fun to play through with a friend.
Random weapon drops with stats help to keep raid mode interesting.
Awkward controls have long been a hallmark of the series, and the 3DS does not relieve this, but once you get used to them they will feel comfortable and don’t limit you too much. I found the Circle Pad Pro, which came out at about the same time as this game, helped but was not necessary. The 3D is done particularly well, the best I’ve seen, though if you weren’t a believer in it before you probably still won’t be after playing this.
The sections where you play as other characters are normally more action orientated.
Overall Resident Evil: Revelations is a great game that looks and runs beautifully, has a lot of character and has brilliant game-play. It is only held back by a few things; the boss fights are unimaginative, there is little variation in enemy types and some of the characters are very two dimensional.

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