RE-review: Resident Evil Revelations
Let me get this out of the way first: My original score for Resident Evil Revelations still remains the same (check out my original review here). So if you’re only into scrolling to the bottom of a review and admiring, or hating, a big number, then feel free to do just that. However, you’ll be missing out on why I think this console version of the game is the definitive edition, making an already sure-to-be-classic entry in the series even better.
Again, you can refer to my original review for an in-depth look at the game’s story. This RE-review will only focus on the improvements and additions this version brings. So, back to the Queen Zenobia we go!
It’s funny how I was beyond excited for a game that I’ve already beat a good dozen times over the last year when it originally debuted on the Nintendo 3DS. When playing it on the handheld I always imagined how amazing it would be to have it on home consoles. Not that I found anything wrong with the 3DS version, but I think this could’ve been a major home console release in and of itself. So you can imagine the happiness I was soaked in when Capcom revealed an HD version of the game.
One thing I have to admit right off the bat: I didn’t really play the entire game with the 3D on originally. Yeah, I did turn it on from time to time, which made me feel even more immersed, but I’m just not really a sucker for that visual trickery. So the lack of 3D (even in the capable PlayStation 3 version) doesn’t bother me at all. I can no longer feel like I can actually reach into the screen and touch Jill, but that’s okay…I’ll live…
The visuals in this updated edition look really good, and at times I actually felt like the game looked better than Resident Evil 6. Those are just my eyes, though, and I might be alone in that. Some of the textures aren’t as great, though, but overall, the new HD gloss of paint does wonders for the game’s presentation. Character models are more detailed and the enemies now look even more grotesque than ever before.
Many felt there was a lack of variety amongst the game’s roster of creatures, so it was really pleasing to see how different some of the “normal” Ooze look thanks to the enhanced graphics. You can tell that some are missing chunks of flesh from different parts of their body. Yeah, nothing major, but it still helps in making our wet gooey friends a little distinct. And it gets better: this version of the game actually has a new BOW, too.
Enter: the Wall Blister. I love this new enemy, but my one big complaint associated with them is how easy they go down. Even on the new Infernal difficulty setting (which I’ll talk more in-depth about in a bit), these big beasts only take around 2 shotgun blasts to the face and they go down. It’s funny because they look really intimidating. You walk into a room and see these big blobs resting on the ceiling or on the walls. Then after backtracking to those same areas, they show themselves in all their glory. They look like a bigger variant of the classic Hunters, mixed with a little bit of Steve in his monster form. I dig the design, and I also love the death animation when you fail to down them. Someone at Capcom has been watching a lot of The Dark Knight Rises, that’s all I’ll say.
For me, the best addition to the game here is Infernal Mode. This mode is true to its name and proves to be quite brutal. Right from the beginning of the game you’ll see how things will be changed up, with an increase in enemies you fight, and a rearrangement and a decrease in the amount of items you can collect and scan for. I was extremely surprised to see a group of Ooze come at me before triggering what would’ve been the first proper encounter with the BOWs in the normal setting. Infernal mode succeeds in adding another layer of intensity to the game’s survival horror feel, and you will be truly cautious of what may be around the next corner. One of the first standout moments in this mode comes right at the end of episode 1 (the end of the demo) where you descend a staircase filled with a big horde of Ooze. I was frightened at seeing this for the first time. You’ll want to conserve ammo and health as much as you can here, and you’ll also have to get used to dodging attacks as well. Trust me, the dodge mechanic will definitely come in handy. And it’s one that’s always extremely satisfying to pull off.
All the gameplay mechanics feel right at home here, further cementing my claim that this should’ve been on home consoles right from the beginning. The only feature that doesn’t make the jump is the optional first-person mode for aiming. I sort of wished they would’ve included that, but it’s not really a biggie nonetheless. Aiming feels natural, and this version retains the ability to move and shoot at the same time. The lack of the aiming laser came as surprise to me, but I guess we’ll just have to settle for the Operation Raccoon City crosshair reticule. Another issue some may have is the dead zones present in the Wii U version. I’m sure this can be patched, and hopefully Capcom decides to do so soon.
Despite the dead zone issue with aiming, the Wii U version of the game can be seen as the most faithful of the bunch. It keeps the touch mechanics and dual screen nature of the original 3DS version, while adding some neat little extras not found on the other consoles. Players can make their own Game Over messages to taunt others, as well as making little captions for the enemies in Raid Mode. I’m sure players will come up with hilarious ones in the months to come. Miiverse is also fully supported and can be used to help other players that may be having trouble getting through the game. However, the best exclusive feature the Wii U version houses is the off-TV play. This means I can play the game on just the GamePad and still be able to play Resident Evil 2 on my TV at the same time!
As if it wasn’t addicting enough already, Raid Mode has also received some new additions here in the form of new weapons, skill sets and characters. The new characters are noteworthy here, coming in the form of Rachel and Mr. Death himself, HUNK. Rachel’s absence in the original 3DS version’s Raid Mode was bizarr, so it’s nice to see that rectified here (and for all of you that are into this sort of thing, Ooze Rachel is coming!). HUNK’s addition comes as a nice surprise, too, and also as a nice little nod at the game’s original debut trailer. Hopefully we got more characters joining the mode’s roster as DLC in the future. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, Raid Mode truly feels like it could be its own game, and it’s a mode I would love to see return in future installments. While I love me some Mercs, I believe Raid is the way to go for the future of the series.
One thing I would’ve loved to see with this HD release of the game is the inclusion of a new scenario. It would’ve been pretty neat for a prologue to be included where players take on the role of Rachel up until her demise. Regardless, this new HD version proves to be the best edition to purchase. It has everything that made the game so amazing when it made its debut on the 3DS last year, and it adds a good amount of new features.
The main campaign is just as memorable, and Raid Mode will keep you coming back for more. Then you have Infernal Mode which will add that old-school challenge to the entire experience. Many fans were upset after beating Resident Evil 6, well, Capcom’s apology for those that disliked the latest numbered entry comes in the form of this gem. It’s not the scariest game in the series, but it is one of the best, and it does a lot to bring back the series’ adored survival horror elements.
Like I said back in my original review, Revelations is right up there with Resident Evil 2, REmake and 4 for me. And it’s hands-down the best game in the series released this generation.