Monday, February 27, 2012

Resident Evil: Revelations Review

In this review, Humor Tumor gives his definitive word on Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS.

I should have seen it coming, but somehow I never expected it. The monster leaped out at me, I narrowly dodged the beast. I immediately ran like a little bitch.

White knuckling my 3DS, labored and erratic breathing, wide eyed and panicked. I made my way as fast as I could to my partner, Parker. I let out a sigh of relief as I made it to safety.....and then my heart rose into my throat. I never grabbed the key. Heart pounding, I made my way slowly back to the medical room. Side stepping corners, looking for her. I swallowed my nervousness and with palms sweating, made the final confrontation.

Hunters make a triumphant return
I hadn't felt that nerve wracked in ages. It seems ever since the new generation of consoles came out, fear was not in any games. Hell, FEAR, a game with that word for it's title was little more than cheap attempts at horror. It's a monument that Revelations is the first game to make me nervous to the point of nearly shutting off the system, the last one being the 2002 remake of the original Resident Evil.

Resident Evil: Revelations is the perfect antithesis of the last few games in the franchise. Proving Capcom knows how to pace a game, and soak that experience in so much atmosphere its dripping (and I've almost always given the atmospheric advantage to older Silent Hill titles, this game trumps that). The main portion of the game is set on a cruise ship, overrun by infected passengers. It's these sections that make the game so tense. Slower paced, dark and cramped, fighting enemies who give you a good run for your ammo (which isn't plentiful). It's this main section of the Revelations storyline that really brings the house down. But that's not to say the brief asides into various other locales aren't good, in fact they serve as expert ways to break up the pace, and give you some very action oriented experiences. It's these multiple stories, all interlocked that make the game a true joy to play through. You're kept on your toes as to where the story is going, and you're never bored. Because once you feel on section should be over, you've already switched gears, it really breaks up the potential monotony nicely.

The main enemies are creepy and slow

And my god, this game controls like a dream. Resident Evil 5 almost made a good point at removing the age old franchise mechanic of locking in place to fire your weapon. And sure, Revelations gives you the ability to move and shoot, but I never had to use it. The game is designed well enough to give you the edge no matter what. Defense items give you tactical options; like a BOW decoy, which attracts monsters towards it, then explodes; or a knife, which is a handy way to save ammo. And a well implemented dodge mechanic keeps mandatory damage (a series staple) from ever occurring. The dodge does take some getting used to, but once you nail the timing, it's a huge help. Herbs are a button press away, and the touch screen functions are nicely integrated. Never does the game get in your way with obtuse controls, it's a smooth ride in all aspects.

The world design is just superb
And speaking of smooth, Jill's ass is these graphics are amazing. For a handheld I was simply in awe at how good the game looks, with or without 3D. From the interiors of the ship, to the high details in the characters themselves, the game is gorgeous. The only detractor I can see, is character faces don't actually do anything in-game. I was taken aback when Jill was speaking lines, while her mouth was unmoving, like some Spec-ops ventriloquist. They have animated faces in cut scenes, but any other time just a static expression. It takes you out of the game a tiny bit, but it's so minor I could never be bothered by it. Sound design also stands out for the most part. The only issues there are some weak weapon sounds, and some dialog that's less than ideal.

And the game isn't short, it took me about 8 hours to play through it. This is pretty considerable, as most games these days seem to have a hard time trouncing 5-7 (and these are console games mind you). But once you beat it, you unlock Raid Mode. Which is the best thing for Resident Evil since Operation Mad Jackal (a precursor to the modern Mercs mode). With the campaign as it's template, and a ton of weapons, modifications and items it's a dream come true. As you play rounds you lever up and are given weapons and mods for said weapons. The more you play, the better gear you get to fight progressively stronger enemies. It's a bit grindy, so if you dislike that kind of mechanic, this mode won't float your boat (ha ha....get it? Float your boat? Oh I'm so clever). But it also has the benefit of co-op. I played about 3 hours straight with a friend online. And it worked perfect for the most part, aside from a little bit of lag of his side of the connection. It was a blast working together to fight through the ship. Although it does seem to bring to light the fact there isn't much in terms of communication, the 3DS really needs some kind of chat system.

I never got the option to try out the Circle Pad Pro with the game. Further down the line I'll possibly get one and give it a try. But for those out there with the worries of being without duel analog controls, you won't need the peripheral. The game plays wonderfully without it, although I'm sure the added versatility is a great help for upper levels of difficulty.

These things are a bitch underwater....
The games strikes a balance between the play styles of the classic style of Resident Evil, and of the newer style (more akin to RE4 than RE5). With a very entertaining story, and some added game modes after completing it. This title has a lot to offer not only longtime fans of the series, but newcomers as well. To say it's one of the strongest titles for the 3DS is no understatement, it's one of the best and brightest offerings out there. And to say its the best game in the Resident Evil series since 2002 is no small statement either (or 2004, whether you align with REmake or RE4 is up to you).

Final Verdict: 5/5


Humor Tumor is wondering what implications this game has towards Resident Evil 6.


  1. Wow. Didn't expect a 5/5, glad to see you're pumped again for RE after being let down by RE5.

    1. It's truly a step in the right direction for the series. After 5, and seeing what Operation Raccoon City is doing, I was worried the series was going to keep on a spiral until it's barely recognizable.

      Hopefully this bodes well for Resi 6. But only time will tell