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Monday, June 10, 2013

All Shall be Revealed – ZT’s review of Resident Evil: Revelations

Developer:         Capcom
Publisher:           Capcom
Platform:            Nintendo 3DS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360
Release date:     May 21, 2013

Abandoned mansions.  Damned cities.  European towns and African shanty towns.  These are just some of the ill-fated locations touched by the horror that is Resident Evil.  Now, gamers can add derelict ghost ships and floating cities to that list as survival horror moves from land to see in Resident Evil: Revelations.  As Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield and several other BSAA members, players can battle mutations and monsters in Capcom’s latest game port.  But, despite herbs and ammo does this latest entry into survival horror show a chance at escaping death? 

Resident Evil: Revelations (RE:R) has a typical storyline – some form of government agency out to stop biological terror has lost contact with its members.  Send in Valentine and her new partner, Parker and the investigation (and terror) begins.  The game bounces back and forth between flashbacks and present time so that all characters can be utilized by players.  Ultimately, the tale that has led to this monstrous outbreak is inconsequential, it does hit the sought after tones of desperation, isolation and terror.

The graphics are good.  Not as crisp and realistic as the look of Resident Evil’s 5 and 6 but still good.  RE: REV is a port from its origins on the Nintendo DS and it looks like a port that’s been polished up.   Lighting effects are emphasized for a stronger gaming experience.  The Ooze monsters look monstrous and unstable as they hunt on unsteady limbs.  The Queen Zenobia, a massive ship and character all on its own, looks very authentic from port holes to crew chambers.  Character rendering is well done.  Jill is beautiful (stop staring at her swimsuit) and Chris is broad and heroic.  The other characters, Parker and Jessica, are fairly forgettable (except for their terrible dialogue.)

Gameplay is familiar and that’s good and bad.   Aiming is as good as it has been in the recent games.  You can walk, aim and shoot at the same time.  Running is a bit clumsy but there is a new dodging feature that proves handy when you are low on ammo and the enemies are high in number.  With gameplay that is familiar, things don’t feel new.  The game ends up feeling like a missing chapter of one of its predecessors.  At times, healing herbs run few and far in-between.  The low resources and the numerous creatures out to kill you (with an odd phallic like attack!) return the series back to its more basic origins of fear.

Zombie factor?
Surprisingly – Resident Evil: Revelations has a LOW zombie factor!  Why?  Wasn’t this series based on the undead of Raccoon City’s science gone amok? Yes, there are shambling mutants.  Yes, there are Hunters – the vicious reptilian killers series fans have come to love and hate.  But the zombie factor and presence is not there.   This fact is a tragic one because Resident Evil belongs with the undead, the lumbering and the flesh-eating monsters that have endeared fans for years.  Without that element in the game, it just doesn’t feel like RE.  A game like Dead Space 3 hits the revenant mark with a bull’s-eye.

In the end, Resident Evil: Revelations is worth playing.  Is it worth buying?  At full price, no.  But at a lower price, fans of the series will enjoy the experience.  It’s not the game that will be life changing.  It’s not the game that will be revealing.  However, Revelations is worth a shot. 


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