Resident Evil: Revelations – survival-horror on a luxury boat

Gare – Saturday, November 2, 2013 12:45 PM
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After launching on 3DS last year, Resident Evil: Revelations finally got the HD makeover it truly deserves, appearing a year later on home consoles and PC alike. Let us see what this new version brings to the table, especially after the controversial sixth installment.

Chronologically, the story of Revelations take place somewhere between the fourth and fifth episodes and sees the return of old franchise veterans Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as the main stars, their investigation taking them aboard the mysterious luxury liner, Queen Zenobia. Although the franchise was never famous for its brilliant plotlines, and this changes little in Revelations, it does have to be mentioned that the whole ordeal this time feels a touch less exciting than usual, making the game's plot feel like a mere afterthought within the Resident Evil canon. Sadly, not even a few unexpected twists save the Zenobia's tale from being painfully forgettable.

Dark, suffocating atmosphere

In terms of gameplay and overall atmosphere, Revelations paints a far more appealing picture. Although this installment, too, uses the same camera angle and shooting mechanics introduced in RE4, it is nonetheless a noticeable return to the survival horror roots of the Playstation 1 days. Ammo is in short supply, enemies crawl about at every corner, and the occasional bossfights will no doubt serve as a very pleasant disappointment to those expecting easy victories through gung-ho gunplay. The ship itself, and its many environments, also serve as a clear throwback to the classics: while RE6 was more akin to a Hollywood blockbuster through and through, Revelations is instead reminiscent -with its dark and suffocating atmosphere as well as visual style- of the Resident Evil titles of old. Albeit a small success, it is most definitely a success in that regard.

Forgettable enemies and puzzles

Another change is the complete lack of the classic inventory system. No longer do we need to waste time to make space in our backpacks for one more item; furthermore, healing items are usable mid-battle with the quick press of a button. Some will no doubt be disappointed to find out that item combinations are similarly gone from RE:R, along with red herbs, first aid sprays and so on; neither do we find genuinely clever additions that made appearances in previous titles, such as the RE1 Gamecube remake's inclusion of having to burn defeated corpses in order to prevent them from coming back to life. Enemies in Resident Evil: Revelations ended up being a mild disappointment. Although certain bossfights are very much enjoyable -a select few outright terrifying-, regular enemies are lacking in both appearance and variety; similarly, the game's puzzles, albeit showing signs of the old classics, are, unfortunately, rather dull, in addition to being few and far between. Yet another weaker point of the campaign appears in the form of side-chapters that take control away from you as Jill and force you into the role of various other, less interesting side characters. Although these chapters are short enough to not become a massive hindrance to the game's enjoyment, they are nonetheless noticeably less fun than Jill's episodes.

Mutant-hunt in Raid Mode

As far as multiplayer is concerned, Mercenaries mode is replaced by Raid Mode, a game mode that has players re-visit every single location seen in the single player campaign along with their co-op partners. The goal is simply to get from point A to point B while surviving the hordes of mutated monsters that block our path. The points earned through completing each stage can then be used to purchase new equipment, including weapons, upgrades and ammo (which is not replenished between missions). A simple formula, but a welcome change for those wishing to break out of the closed arenas of the old Mercenaries modes and indulge in a co-op experience with a bit more exploration.

Despite by numerous grumbles, I have to say that I very much enjoyed Revelations, and would recommend it to players dissatisfied with the current state of the Resident Evil franchise; fans who would prefer a game that takes a few steps -albeit very small ones- in a different, potentially better direction.

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