I never played the original release of Revelations on the 3DS. Playing the demo was enough to make me realise that it really required a Circle Pad Pro and that seemed like an investment too far to me. Nowadays the CPP is essential and I made sure I had one right away when I upgraded to an XL. Perhaps Revelations would have been more popular if it wasn’t one of the first titles to use the ridiculous add-on.
This release is a little more than a straight port. The visuals have been polished up and some additional content has been added here and there. Despite the 3DS release reviewing well I wasn’t expecting great things. I expected the gameplay and environmental limitations of the platform to remain in this port and they have. As it turns out those limitations were just what the Resident Evil series needed.
For the entire game Revelations feels more like a Resident Evil game than the last two numbered releases managed in their best moments. Where Resident Evil 5 pushed the shooting too far and 6 tried to be all things to every player Revelations keeps things simple. There are no pointless mechanics, very few quick time events and a huge, sparse, genuinely creepy environment to explore. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the simplicity would lead to a bland experience but in practice that is just not in the case.
For the most part you will be controlling Jill and exploring an abandoned cruise ship that is more than a little reminiscent of the classic mansion. The story feels a little disconnected from the overall series and ties up into it’s own neat little package that explains why it’s never referenced but that’s to be expected in what is essentially a spin off. Albeit a spin off that perfectly captures the essence of the series.
I found myself bulletless and near death on several occasions
The game is full amusing of loading screen tips about avoiding things that will hurt you and conserving ammo, remember when you had to do things like that? Well you better because the concessions to the modern games are few and far between. You will run out of ammo and you will die if you’re not careful about when and where you fight. I found myself bulletless and near death on several occasions that left me backtracking through the ship scavenging for items while a particularly persistent recurring boss waited in a room for me to return. It was waiting right behind the door as well so I actually needed to work my way round the ship in a huge loop to get a better approach. Sure, I could have let myself die and drop back to a checkpoint but that just didn’t seem like the right thing to do, even the concessions that have been made, such as checkpoints, seem like cheating.
Scavenging for items is actually a huge part of the game. You are equipped with a scanning device that locates hidden objects in the environment and analyses enemies for bonus healing items. It sounds like an awful idea but actually works really well, given that you can scan the area while moving and that minimal accuracy is required so it never really becomes a chore. The gamble of getting more data from a living enemy over a dead body can lead to some excessive risk taking when you’re out of herbs.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQYVc9kGscU[/youtube]
Alongside the 10+ hour campaign is the cooperative Raid Mode in which two players work their way through the campaign environments but without the context of the story. Points are earned along the way that unlock content and allow you to purchase upgrades from the store. It’s a little mindless but a great way to play and chat with a friend. Just make sure you enter doors at the same time or they’ll slam shit in your face.
While the game is not without it’s issues they do all seem to be focused on one element of play, oddly enough that element, as mentioned above, is doors. Loading times at doors can take a while when moving between major sections of the ship and passing through any door seems to cause a slight visual stutter. Keeping with that theme the slight shake of moving lifts is dis-joined as it seem like the doors are about to fall off.