By Steve Wright
There's no way around it: I bought a Nintendo 3DS – and a Circle Pad Pro – for Resident Evil: Revelations. Since finishing the game, my 3DS has relegated to StreetPass collection, and I literally have no idea where I put that bloody peripheral. Oops.
Fast forward to today, and Capcom has ported the handheld horror title to Wii U, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Perhaps in response to the… well, lacklustre reception… Resident Evil 6 received, Revelations is a great way to steer the franchise back to its traditional horror roots on consoles.
Set between Resident Evil 4 and 5, Revelations stars Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine – although split up this time around, and with different partners – as they work for the newly formed BSAA. Twists, turns and horror all make frequent appearances as you investigate a spooky cruise ship in an attempt to take down the evil Il Veltro organisation.
Surprisingly, the game looks fairly decent on your TV screen or PC monitor, even though the game started out on a handheld unit. Backgrounds, lighting effects and the like are comparable to titles developed specifically for consoles, but unfortunately, characters and enemies look a little underdone and plastic when you stop to take a good look at them.
You can easily forgive the game's textures when you get to its gameplay. Revelations reminds you that Capcom got it right after Resident Evil 5, oh so wrong when they made Resident Evil 6. Instead of an action-fest, Revelations is tense, stressful and relies on atmosphere to really give you the creeps. It's what a Resident Evil game should be. Enemies shamble towards you as you stand and take aim, trying desperately to hit their weak spots before they reach you. Even better, the game also features tons of different boss battles which really mix up the game's combat. And yes, before you ask: you can walk and shoot at the same time.
That's not to say the game is perfect. My gripes with the original game are obviously still around in its port. Revelations' plot is messy, with far too many playable characters bouncing off in random directions. Dodging is near-impossible to pull off in a consistent manner, and even though you've got a map, it's far too hard to read considering how much backtracking you'll have to do in the game.
The transition from handheld to consoles also makes certain aspects of the game a bit strange. Revelations features an electrical mini-game that made great use of the 3DS touchscreen, but is a bit flat in this console port. Similarly, one sequence in the game makes you register your own fingerprint on the 3DS touchpad to use it again later in-game. It was a neat little throwback to Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 on the 3DS, but it just a bit of a time-waster in this iteration.
Raid Mode was brought along in the port as well, and essentially is Revelations' answer to past iterations' Extreme Battle Mode. In Raid Mode, you'll work solo or in a team (using system link or the internet) to get through a map as fast as you can. Points are awarded for speed and the amount of damage you perform on enemies. It's not a bad little mode, but it's hard not to consider it repetitious as it recycles maps and characters from the main game.
On the whole, Resident Evil: Revelations is perfect for fans of the franchise who don't own a 3DS, or die-hard fans who want the chance to experience the game again, and this time with Trophy and Achievement support. Otherwise, just cross your fingers and hope the inevitable Resident Evil 7 is more like this than 6.