Resident Evil: Revelations was a fantastic experience when it launched on the 3DS last year. A lot of fans would agree that it was actually more “Resident Evil” than the series’ numbered sequels. Capcom obviously took note of that, and has brought the title to both consoles and PC, with HD enhancements, and some included extras. The only problem is it is still hard to recommend shelling out $50 if you already own the original.
Revelations is, in fact, a 3DS game that has been ported to consoles and PC, with enhanced HD visuals, and traditional third-person controls. While it sounds simple enough, bringing the handheld experience to the big screen isn’t so simple. Sometimes we take for granted how games are designed, and Revelations is a proper example of that practice.
Missions are broken up into short bursts for consuming them on the go. On console, this means playtime is constantly interrupted for a brief recap, and stats screen. None of this really ever bothered me because I am a father as well as a gamer, so being able to play shorter sessions was great for me, but I can see where it might annoy others.
The core game remains largely the same as its 3DS inspiration outside of a few minor changes. The most obvious is that all versions now have standard third-person shooter controls. On 3DS Capcom had to create a way to play without a second analog stick for those without the circle pad pro. Revelations switches between characters consistently, telling multiple sides of the story. Chris and Jill play the main role, but I also took control of side characters as I jumped around the timeline. Variety is nice, but I also felt like the story was all over the place at times, and despite the name, there is no “revelation” about the series to be found here.
Capcom has also added a new difficulty setting for this release called Infernal. This changes the placement of items, and adds more enemies, as well as one new exclusive foe called the Wall Blister. Yeah it sounds gross, and really pretty much is.
Raid mode returns as well with a slew of new options, and the ability to play online with a buddy. This mode sends players through short levels based on the campaign missions, mowing down foes and earning new and rare weapons. It is actually quite addictive, and with the inclusion of new characters like Hunk, it becomes a large selling point for the package.
Control-wise the aiming and movement take some getting used to. I had to crank up the sensitivity heavily for aiming and camera speed and it still felt a little off. The dodge mechanic is also finicky as it required me to push a direction and the A button at the time an enemy attacks, but the timing always felt off. There are a lot of mechanics clearly designed with a handheld in mind that do not work on a traditional third-person control scheme. Enemies also feel like trees when taking fire. The bullets just don’t have impact, and that is disappointing.
I was impressed at first with how the game looked. Bringing a portable experience into the HD world is no small feat, but the visuals in Revelations look great on the surface. It is a testament to just how good this game looked on the 3DS, but it isn’t without issues. The animations are absolutely terrible at times as I saw Hunters seemingly back flip from gunfire in the span of six frames of animation. This is something that isn’t as noticeable on handhelds, but is truly jarring on an HD console.
I spent most of my time with the PC version, and while it has a vast array of options, I really didn’t notice a graphical difference between it and the console outings. We didn’t get a chance to test out the Wii U offering, so I only know about the features (and they sound pretty cool) but from playing all four demos and two final versions I can safely say that they are all equal in graphical fidelity. There is no inferior version, though if you do own a Wii U, which might be the one to snatch up due to the added touch screen features and off-TV play.
Resident Evil: Revelations is a hard game to pin down. On one hand, you have one of the best RE experiences in years, while on the other; you have a game that most fans have already played through. In that case, there isn’t enough here to draw anyone back in for a second helping. However, if you have not played the 3DS version I cannot recommend it enough. Revelations is definitely reminiscent of the old school days of the series, and those craving that particular experience should not miss out.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on PC.
- Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77I Deluxe
- Liquid Cooling: Origin Frostbyte 120 Liquid Cooling
- Processor: Intel i7 3770K with Professional Origin PC Overclocking
- Memory: Corsair 8GB 1600 Mghz Vengeance
- Graphics Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670