Game Title: Resident Evil Revelations
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Retail (North America), Digital
Battery Life: 2.25 – 3 hours
Download: 12 GB
Resident Evil is a series that is known for having games on Nintendo systems now, though it used to be rather surprising to see Nintendo systems hosting survival horror and horror shooting games, but the GameCube was known for its remake of the first game, the DS had an enhanced port of the PS1 version of the original game, and Resident Evil Revelations was originally an exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS, before its success led it to be ported over to 7 other consoles.
The Revelations series has been a big topic of debate for handhelds because Revelations came out for the 3DS, with no PlayStation handheld version in sight. Then, later on, Sony Third Party Productions got a Mobile Developer to make a PS Vita version of Revelations 2, with no 3DS version in sight. It’s been a topic for debate and a lot of fighting over the net. In fact, it got so heated in my video review of Revelations 2 for the PS Vita that I had to disable comments to keep things under control.
Now, however, handheld gamers can be happy by having both on one system. Since the games released separately, let’s review them separately. To start us off, here is my review of Resident Evil Revelations for the Nintendo Switch!
Revelations is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. As part of the newly-founded BSAA organization, Jill Valentine and her new partner find themselves lured into a BOW-infested cruise ship, left behind by a bio-terrorism group known as Veltro, responsible for unleashing a legion of Hunters and a new virus on the solar-powered city Terragrigia.
As Jill tries to find a way off the ship and send for help, Chris Redfield and his new partner are sent in to find her and the one responsible for the trap she was baited into.
The plot of Revelations is mostly here to show more of the BSAA than we found out in Resident Evil 5 and how the world of Resident Evil continues on without the Umbrella Corporation causing all of the B.O.W. Fear across the series. It’s not the best the series has to offer, but it’s far from the worst.
Mimicking the gameplay of RE5, Revelations is a third-person horror-themed shooting game. While we do have a lot of survival and puzzle elements in play here, it mostly sticks with the gameplay set in stone by Resident Evil 4 and 5. You’ll be exploring the cruise ship with an over-the-shoulder perpsective, solving puzzles to find new areas and shooting down lots of B.O.W.s.
If you’ve played Revelations on the 3DS, you will be disappointed to find that Capcom made very few changes between the handheld game and the console remaster. Revelations on the Switch is just like Revelations on the 3DS, with minor changes, like the control scheme, the graphics, and the new mini-game they added for Raid Mode Points.
If you are solely talking about the Switch version, it has a couple exclusive features that other systems do not have. In Raid Mode, you can scan Amiibo Figures to get free items to use in your Raids, and you’ve got the top-down shooting mini-game you can use to get BP outside of playing the Raid Mode Stages. Outside of that are the Joy-Con Motion Controls.
Progression through the game is what made Revelations stand out so much. The game is comprised of chapters, where half of them are more focused on shooting down enemies, and others are more focused on solving puzzles. The puzzle-solving chapters have you fighting enemies here and there, but place you in small, confined areas with emblem-themed doors that require keys to open. This brought back the retro sense of exploration and search from the original two Resident Evil games as you have to search for keys to unlock doors to the next area.
To go along with this exploration feature is the Scan Gun the game gives you. Much like Moira’s Flashlight in Revelations 2, you can use the Scan Gun to focus on points of interest in each room to reveal hidden items like extra ammunition or side-weapons like grenades. It is also used for Green Herbs that are used for healing. There are very few herbs for you to find, so by scanning each enemy you come across, you’ll eventually be rewarded with more herbs. This puts an even higher focus on exploration in the higher difficulties, where healing items are few and far between.
The combat in the game is pretty much the same as it has always been from RE4 to RE6. Aim and shoot at enemies with your fire-arms, while your partner supports you. The game also has Weapon Customization like Revelations 2 does, where you can pick up Custom Parts as you explore and equip those parts to your weapons for enhancements, like bigger clips, more damage, or Burst Shots.
The only thing I don’t like is that it is designed too much like RE5, especially for a game that released less than a year before RE6 came out. You only have a single walking speed so you cannot dash, turning movement is relatively limited, maintaining the more tank-like RE4 controls, and ladders are all automatic. When this game came to the 3DS, it wasn’t as much of an issue, considering the 3DS’ limited processing power compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360 and limited controls. However, on the Switch, it will feel very strange and very stiff compared to other games in the series.
Now, on time and length, things are relatively decent. The Story Campaign spans 12 episodes and should take you between 7 and 10 hours to clear, depending on what difficulty setting you choose to play on. After that, you can do New Game Plus to replay with your unlocked gear or dive into Raid Mode to play through 20 stages taken from the game as you level up your characters and weapons, and unlock characters and costumes you can also use in campaign.
If you want a more “do everything” time frame, I would put Campaign + Clearing the 20 stages in Raid Mode at around 15 hours or more, assuming you don’t do a lot of stage repeating for level grinding. In other words, you’ve got a good amount of content to go through in the game.
The control scheme of this game isn’t too confusing, but I’ll go further into detail of this as a package deal when I review the Switch version of Revelations 2. First of all, the Clicking of the Analog Sticks are not used in this game.
Moving around is done with the Left Analog Stick and moving the camera is done with the Right Analog Stick. The Arrow Buttons / D-Pad are used for cycling your weapons and subweapons. The L and R triggers are used for the Scan Gun and Throwing Sub-Weapons, while the ZL button is used for aiming your currently-equipped weapon and ZR for firing that weapon. Alternatively, you can hit ZR by itself to use your knife/melee attack.
Finally, the face buttons. A is used for interacting with objects and doors, while B can be used for quick 180 degree turns. X is used for healing with Green Herbs and Y is used for manually reloading your equipped weapon.
I do have a nitpick, though. Capcom has included Motion Controls for aiming, reloading, and using melee attacks. However, the motion aiming is only available when you use the Joy-Cons. Unlike Skyrim and Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you cannot use Motion Controls when you are in Handheld Mode or when using the Pro Controller.
All in all, it’s a pretty simple moveset, but as I said above, I’ll go into more detail of this when I review Revelations 2’s Switch version.
While the 3DS version of Revelations looked really good for a handheld game, the Switch version looks even better. All of the renders are smoothed out to look absolutely flawless. From the lighting and shadows to the level of detail of Jill’s BSAA Suit, it looks very refined and smooth.
As far as performance goes, it is done well, for the most part. The Frame-Rate is an impressive 60 fps in Docked and Handheld Modes, with it dipping very few times and never under 30 fps. The Loading Sequences are a topic for debate. Once you get into your Save File, load times are nice and quick. When you first boot the game, though, you’ll be at a single Loading Screen for over a minute.
To help this out, you can play the Raid Mode’s new Top-Down Minigame on this loading screen so you have something to do while the game loads. But, it still takes that long to load.
I’ll be honest with you. I was expecting more Battery Life out of Revelations than what we got, especially considering the fact that it was made originally to be a handheld game. But, here are my times, from 100% to 0%:
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 2 hours, 18 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 2 hours, 30 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 2 hours, 51 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 03 minutes
To put that into perspective, Zelda: Breath of the Wild on maximum settings gets 2 hours, 36 minutes, so Revelations uses up more power than Breath of the Wild, which is, to be honest, shocking. 2-3 hours isn’t awful, and is clearly there because they went for 60 fps, but I expected more.
In conclusion, Resident Evil Revelations on the Nintendo Switch is still a fun way for series fans to dive into Chris and Jill's second timeline outing together. Although the gameplay mechanics feel stiff and restricting and a lengthy loading sequence when you launch the game, it's still worth biting if you love Resident Evil.