Title: Resident Evil Revelations
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Game Type: 3DS
NA Availability: Digital Download | Retail
EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail
Resident Evil is a game series that I absolutely love. Ever since I played the original game on the PlayStation, I’ve fallen in love with the series. I’ve replayed the first game dozens of times and nearly every other main series game aside from 6 half a dozen times to unlock extra stuff. I even played through the campaign of Resident Evil Revelations 2 on my Vita half a dozen times in order to get unlimited ammo and the unlimited rocket launcher unlocked for use whenever I go back to it.
Across the handheld world, Resident Evil has a pretty wide scope. Thanks to PlayStation Now, Sony’s portable console can play the majority of the series. On Nintendo, though, this expands even further. If you recall, the Nintendo DS got a remake of the first game, called Resident Evil: Deadly Silence. In this generation, there have been two RE games on the Nintendo 3DS. To begin marking off more Resident Evil titles for this site, here is my official review of Resident Evil: Revelations!
Revelations is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, similar to how Revelations 2 is set between the events of 5 and 6. Shortly before the game takes place, a bio-terror group attacks the floating city of Terragrigia, a city run completely by solar energy. After the supposed takedown of the group responsible, the BSAA, founded by Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, are working to contain the situation regarding the group.
Amidst rumors of the group’s resurrection, Chris and hid partner are sent into the mountains to investigate. At the same time, Jill and her partner are sent onto a cruise ship in search of the missing Chris, falling right into a trap that confines them to the cruise ship along with several biological weapons known as B.O.W.s. The pair must then try to find a way off of the ship and figure out what is going on with the plot that is unfolding around them.
The story of Revelations is there mostly to give a little bit of background into the forming of the BSAA, which was first mentioned in Resident Evil 5 and has been mentioned in every game since. It also delves into the events of Terragrigia, which is mentioned and references to many times in Revelations 2. So, if players of the second game want some background info on those references,, here is where you’d get them.
Much like Revelations 2, this game is a third person shooter with horror and survival elements thrown into the mix. What many people liked to call a return to true survival horror to the series, Revelations mixed the action-based shooting gameplay Resident Evils 4 and 5 with more survival and strategic situations, making you not run and gun every room. It may be more to a tactical shooter in a horror environment, like a horror-themed SOCOM game.
The story plays out in chapters, where you will switch between groups as the story progresses. Similar to how Revelations 2 switches between Claire and Barry, Revelations switches between what Jill and Chris are doing. Like RE5, your partner can help you fight by shooting off firearms. In 4 and Revelations 2, your AI partner did support or, in 4’s case, didn’t do much other than follow you. But Parker and Jessica both have firearms that are used to help you fight enemies you encounter. That is certainly a nice touch, as you can count on dodging to help you save ammunition with your partner firing off shots.
As I said earlier, there are survival elements thrown into the mix to try to get the survival horror feeling back to the series. They do this by throwing you in situations that encourage you to dodge enemies rather than fight them. Ammo is also in very limited quantity. It’s not enough to really call this game a survival horror game as opposed to a third person shooter, but it adds a lot more strategy and survival sections than games like RE4 and 5.
The unique element that Revelations added was the scanning device. You have a device you can equip to scan areas, meant to be able to detect viruses in corpses. It is used in the game to identify hidden items as well as enemies. As you scan enemies, you will slowly gain percentages. Once you reach 100%, the game gives you a free green herb to use for healing. Since you take a lot more damage in Revelations than Revelations 2, you will want all the herbs you can get. It is also used for story elements.
Across a dozen chapters and the unlockable multiplayer Raid Mode, you should expect to spend about 9 hours with the game, which is the same amount of time it takes to play Revelations 2. Raid Mode isn’t as expansive as it is in 2, but it’s a nice multiplayer addition to the game. Even though this game was made for the handheld world, it still has the length of a console game.
This is where things get a little tricky on the 3DS. This is a game meant for a dual analog system and the 3DS was not made for dual analog controls. There are good and bad things about this, and I’ll explain why here in a moment. First, let’s go over the two control schemes.
On the original 3DS models, you move your character with the Circle Pad and can switch weapons with the D-Pad. With the R button, you can start aiming your weapon. While doing this, you can tap Y to shoot or B to reload. The unfortunate thing is that when you’re aiming, you can’t walk. You have to aim and shoot while standing still. As far as the rest of the controls, you use A to use a green herb, B to reload or quickly turn around, X to attack with your melee weapon, and Y to interact with objects and doors.
Also, you could use the Circle Pad Pro to move the camera with the right circle pad.
On the New 3DS, it’s a lot easier. With that, the D-Pad and Circle Pad are the same. You still use the A button for herbs but use Y for reloading. The Knife is now redirected to the R button. But the best part is that it uses all three new buttons on the new system. You can hold ZL to start aiming and ZR to fire off shots. The nice thing? This lets you move and aim at the same time. The C Stick is used to move the camera, whether you’re walking or aiming.
The nice thing is the New 3DS really helps the control scheme a lot. The bad thing is that it still feels a little clunky. Using the C Stick for the camera helps, but it requires a lot of force to move properly. The camera moves very slow and doesn’t feel quite as comfortable as other dual analog Resident Evil games. It works, for sure, but it still feels sluggish and clunky.
The visual presentation of the game is one of the best looking presentations you’re ever going to see on the Nintendo 3DS. There is a lot of detail in the character models and they applied slight fading effects to make almost all of the jagged edges blend into the game. It certainly is a step or two up from the visual presentation of Revelations 2 on the Vita and looks really nice, even on the larger screen of the XL model.
The 3D effect is in play throughout the entire game and it works nicely. Adds a little bit of extra spice to the visuals and isn’t required for any part of the game. If anything, it even further filters out the jagged edges on the character models.
Performance is mostly good, but there is a hiccup to mention. If you recall, Revelations 2 on the Vita had some substantial frame-rate and lag issues. That game wasn’t unplayable, but it was noticeable. Revelations on the 3DS also suffers from this, but not as badly. Whenever you save or go into a room, expect the frames to drop for a couple seconds. There are some other areas where it drops. It’s not terrible, but you’ll notice it when it happens.
Resident Evil: Revelations was a pretty big feat for the Nintendo 3DS. On the downside, the controls are very clunky and difficult to adjust to, even with the improved controls on the New 3DS. If you can cope with some awkward controls and a few frame drops here and there, you’ll find a fun and challenging Resident Evil game to take on the go.