Resident Evil: Revelations. Capcom (2013) Xbox 360

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Originally released on portable devices in 2012, Revelations got a proper full release on home consoles in 2013.

In a weird way, I quite enjoy being proven wrong about games. Capcom are responsible for over half of my personal top 50 games of all time, and this includes most Resident Evil games. However, none of Capcom’s games released after 2005 feature in my list. That isn’t to say EVERYTHING Capcom released since 2005 is crap, but a lot of it is. With specific regards to the Resident Evil series I won’t mince my words, Resident Evil 5 was crap, and Resident Evil 6 was an incoherent bag of wank, so jumping into a semi spin-off set between 5 and 6 I was not exactly expecting much.

Gameplay

Revelations is a welcome return to Survival Horror, you have limited ammo and limited health supplies, and the emphasis is on surviving rather than full on murder.

To achieve this Revelations limits the amount of ammo and health you can carry at one time. For instance, you can find 100 bullets for your pistol fairly easily, but you can only carry 30. It means Revelations treads the action/survival horror tightrope that all the 3rd person over-the-shoulder Resident Evils failed at. Don’t get me wrong Resident Evil 4 was fantastic for 75% of the game and was a good all round experience. But 5 and 6 were simply generic shooty bang bang games with no real threat except quick time events. In Revelations, monsters take 8 good shots on normal and you’ll probably come across 2-3 enemies in most rooms. So those 30 bullets won’t last you long and you’ll either have to backtrack, or scour the new rooms to replenish your ammo. Again, it means there is action, but the emphasis is on surviving and avoiding enemies where possible.

Bosses are terrifying, and they manage it without it being a generic 50ft Lava Spider

Anyhow… Jill leads up a B.S.A.A team looking into the usual twist of Bio-Terrorism/generic bad dude, but on the ‘unique’ setting of a cruise ship. Ok, we may have to ignore Resident Evil: Dead Aim for this is to be a unique setting but you know what? It works.

The boat is basically the Spencer Mansion on wheels water, rooms are tight, with blind spots a plenty and you need to collect the classic keys types like anchor and helmet keys to progress. You then backtrack and open previously locked doors which will allow you to explore further parts of the boat. With the unsurprising twist of their being a secret lab hidden on-board.

This slow, methodical exploration harks back to the earlier games in the series, in that everything is connected, and you’re not just running down a series of corridors to the next setpeice.

On top of this, almost all the weapons are missable, so exploring isn’t just a checkboxing exercise and it is actively encouraged. I explored loads and somehow missed both the shotgun and rifle which meant killing first boss was next to impossible and thus I died 6 or so times before realising I was missing those guns. The boss wasn’t especially hard, I was just an incompetent oaf, but again, it meant that exploring was something you’re properly rewarded for. Exploration wasn’t just something to find shitty emblems or achievements it was something that actively makes your life easier.

Raid mode is a more interesting version of Mercenaries

Story

Now the story is difficult to explain and jumps all over the place, but you take on the role of our favourite ex-boob-tube wearing badass as she leads a mission on the Queen Zenobia to rescue the as yet steroid abusing Chris Redfield. Somewhere you’re introduced to a random terrorist organisation called Veltro, a floating island called Terragregia and then the usual Crapcom twist too far.

Sometime between Revelations and Resident Evil 5 Chris takes a hell of a lot of steroids.

But the plot feels more natural, the Raymond twist is actually good for Capcom and doesn’t feel forced and thank fucking lord he doesn’t become a fucking demon god.

All the characters have development, they are all flawed, seek redemption, or have a rounded character that feels consistent. It means nobody feels like a comic book villain and while there is character development it never feels forced. Though, the prologue added in a pointless twist and the final chapter felt like a chapter and twist too far.

Difficulty

With the emphasis on survival, Revelations can get difficult. Enemies are faster than zombies, and take more bullets. It means you’ll need to avoid enemies, but fighting is made possible if you backtrack, or use the Genesis to search rooms for secret items.

Further difficulty comes from a lack of exploration. As mentioned, the Comms Officer is difficult if you don’t find the rifle and shotgun. So if you don’t fully explore an area you’ll come a cropper.

However, the final boss throws in the dodge mechanic gimmick that you could have completely missed. I still don’t know how to dodge, and you’ll be fucked if you don’t know how to. I died 10 or so times on entire run, then 32 times on boss as I simply don’t know how to dodge. The only other way to beat this boss is to develop twitch reflexes and be able to shoot the bosses weak spot in 5/10ths of a second.

Lord help you if you haven’t figured out the dodge mechanic by this point…

Conclusion

Revelations is my favourite “new” Resident Evil. It takes the 3rd person perspective that Resi 4 introduced, but it has a sane, coherent plot. It somehow perfectly marries Survival Horror and Action shooter into what a Resident Evil should be to such an extent I am slightly puzzled they rebooted the series with VII, having played Revelations I feel more strongly that VII should have been an entirely different game without the Resident Evil franchise name attached.

Basically, I love this game. It is only 4-5 hours long, meaning a second playthrough isn’t a chore like in 5 and 6, and the Raid modes adds a more interesting dynamic than the mercenary mode that was introduces with Nemesis and flogged to death by the time 6 came out.

Pros: exploration, best “new” Resident Evil

Cons: last fucking boss, the two douchefags that follow Chris in the ice levels. Whatever the fuck Jessica is wearing for a wetsuit

91%

Back in the Day:

Resident Evil: Revelations scored fairly well acheiving mostly 8 or 9s out of 10, though Edge Magazine gave it 6/10.

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