The Average Gamer

Resident Evil Revelations Review (PS3)

Resident Evil is back. Again. Already. Less than 18 months after its 3DS ‘exclusive’ release, Capcom decided the big boys shouldn’t be left out. So, in a move that somewhat diminishes the 3DS and Nintendo (an all too familiar occurrence of late), Revelations get the HD treatment.

I didn’t include ‘HD’ in the title, like others have. It isn’t on the box; it isn’t included on any shopping websites either. It’s interesting then, that Resident Evil Revelations has been released on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, and is exactly that – an HD remake. Could it be down to lacklustre sales, not helped by the US box designers’ inability to spell when it mattered most? Whatever the reason, one thing is clear; Revelations now has a wider audience to target. The problem is, unlike the 3DS version, it’s like a fish out of water.

Visually, the characters look pretty good, even shiny in some moments. There is no mistaking, of course, the beloved series mainstays Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, and along with the supporting cast are fine, but it’s the surroundings that suffer a little on the big screen. What was once almost claustrophobic on the smaller sized screen becomes blocky and bland on today’s big screen HD televisions. That sounds worse than it actually is compared to other HD remakes out there, and isn’t a bad looking game, but this is only an 18 month old title, and hasn’t had much more than a smoothing brush waved over it.

Aside from the minor graphic issues, this version has the same plus/minus points the 3DS version had. Taking place on the SS Queen Zenobia, the ship serves as a great setting for the series, with cramped corridors, tight rooms, more reminiscent of first Dead Space, with every corner being checked cautiously, in anticipation for any of the games’ frequent Ooze monsters.

resevilrevelations2The monsters themselves don’t offer much variety; there are punchy ones, bitey ones, bladey ones, and shooty ones. But they do offer a challenge, especially in some sections where they are all grouped together, and each one looks more ridiculous than the last.

There is the return of the infamous hunters from the original game, which are still pretty tough, for those wondering. They are all a good test of your aim and ammo reservation skills, and don’t expect much help from the (unfortunately) returning buddy system, from Resident Evil 5. Aside from spurts of horrifically scripted dialogue, mostly stating the obvious, the buddy system in Revelations is next to useless. Buddies actually can’t even kill anything. I tested this method. after losing all ammo early in the game; I was trapped, with my buddy pumping ten rounds into the weakest ooze monster the game offers, with no effect. There is no requirement to heal them, as in Res Evil 5, nor do they heal you. Redundant.

The neat addition of the Genesis scanner device adds a different exploration element; a quick scan of many areas unveils hidden items and ammo to assist throughout, and scanning enemies provides rewards in the form of health to survive those tougher areas. This brings Revelations nicely to its best element: the action.

There is a lot of it, easing you in at first, but soon you’ll be frantically reloading in tight spots, overcome with panic, reloading with milliseconds to spare and so on. This transfers on to the big screen pretty well, but it was clearly designed for the handheld experience. The tight corridors-to-character ratio made for a very claustrophobic experience, not so much here when ‘blown up’ in size. Either way, the action doesn’t let up, and just like Res Evil 5, the monsters get more and more ridiculous as the game goes on.

resevilrevelations3‘Ridiculous’ also describes the over-arched story-telling, and is almost set up Alan Wake style, split into chapters, with a ‘previously…’ section before each chapter. As mentioned before, it brings back Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield and is set before the events of Resident Evil 5, but set after Leon Kennedy’s Resident Evil 4 nightmare. Each chapter tends to flip to different characters, sometimes even playing through flashbacks to bring the plot together. It helps keeps the plot fresh and offers different angles and enemies.

There is an alternative to the campaign with Raid Mode, which allows you to revisit previously visited levels, with a co-op player if you so wish, to take on waves of enemies for EXP towards upgrades, etc. Raid mode is certainly the biggest success of the console ports, utilising the massive online communities around the world, or if you prefer, locally with mates/family. It’s simple, fun, and brings out the action elements even more, and for longer.

Resident Evil Revelations is the best and worst of the series to date. At its best the action is superb, the Genesis element offers a new dimension to the series, and of course every Resident Evil fan loves Jill and Chris. At its worst, the plot is as ridiculous as ever, the dialogue and voice acting is so bad it isn’t even funny anymore, and this release just doesn’t quite fit like the original 3DS version, the platform it was originally designed for. However, for fans of the series, they will, as I did, treat it as a return to form, from the much-maligned Resident Evil 6.

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