If you’re a huge fan of all things horror, or more specifically Resident Evil, then you’ve probably spent the best part of the last year gazing at the upcoming releases in amazement. With Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 all getting upgraded HD releases on Xbox One, and an all new incredibly intense and horrifically satisfying adventure with Resident Evil 7 all releasing in the last twelve months, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’d be sometime before another Resi title would roll onto our screens.
That’s not the case though, and we now see another fresh addition with Resident Evil Revelations joining the other entries now available in an upgraded fashion. Does it have enough draw to bring back the old school fans of the genre though?
For those who missed out on the story first time round, Resident Evil Revelations takes players on an interconnecting tale set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5. The story depicts the events shortly after the establishment of the Bioterrorist Security Assessment Alliance, also known as the BSAA and follows several of the BSAA’s counter terrorism agents as they look to track down Veltro, the assumed disbanded bio-terrorist group that played part in the bio-terrorist attack on the “floating city” of Terragrigia one year prior to the game’s events. This time however the T-Abyss virus that was used in the previous attack is once more a cause for concern and has been found onboard the previously missing cruise ship Queen Zenobia in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. It’s up to the BSAA Agents to stop the virus being released into the world’s sea.
The main series has incorporated chapters for a few years now, but Resident Evil Revelations, as well as its successor, changes these slightly by introducing episodic segments to the game. Each of these can be between ten minutes to an hour long – depending on the difficulty level chosen – and these make for a great way to playthrough the game if you don’t intend to do an entire playthrough in one go. With it holding station at 12 episodes long, you probably aren’t going to be doing that unless you have a fair bit of free time available. Starting a new episode also shows players the previous events, allowing for a nice catch-up.
The story within Resident Evil Revelations is a very linear experience, with players and their A.I. partner progressing through different areas, each of which are usually filled with monstrosities infected with the T-Abyss virus. As is a natural occurrence within the Resident Evil franchise, puzzles make a return to different parts of the game, and whilst they may not be as difficult as they once were in the early titles in the series, the puzzles included do make for a great build up to what is usually an exciting cutscene at the end.
As with all Resident Evil titles, puzzles and enemies are an important and expected part of the experience and their showing within Resident Evil Revelations is once more consistent with the typical Resident Evil fashion. However, with that said, it is worth noting that it doesn’t take long before the game starts to feel like much of the same when compared to Resident Evil 4, 5 or 6. Of course, with each of the previous titles all receiving a warm welcome by most players, that doesn’t necessarily sound like a bad thing, but it would have been nice to see something a little different from the usual tropes such as mutations, bio-weapons, double-crossers and explosions at every corner.
That may sound a lot like criticism, but Resident Evil Revelations is nowhere near a bad game. In fact, had I not been so blown away by the change we saw with this year’s Resident Evil 7, then I’d probably be sat here telling you how this is one of the best games in the entire series. But after playing something so different, it’s easier to see the flaws of what has been an exceptionally similar series thus far, and for Resident Evil Revelations as a whole, it would have been nice to see something slightly different.
Even with the repetition however, the story does have its suspense filled moments, as well as some exciting set pieces and the arrival of some new faces that begin to mingle with the more popular faces in the series.
Let’s not forget of course that this isn’t an entirely new entry, but a remaster, and whilst I could sit here all day and write about what we’d like to see now that we’ve had the joys of Resident Evil 7, there is never going to be much in the way of changes. With that in mind it’s worth mentioning the biggest difference on show – the graphical improvement. From the very first moments in the game this is something that is instantly noticeable; from the characters to the lighting and even the improved shadows and textures, the visuals are much improved and make for a seemingly fresh experience this time round.
The story isn’t the only way to play Resident Evil Revelations of course, and if you’re after something a little different then Raid Mode might be the exciting venture you’re looking for. This is essentially an arcade style mode that allows players to play through and unlock different areas of the game. These are filled with levelled enemies, and it challenges you to progress through them whilst levelling up and searching for rare and new unlockable weapons along the way.
Whilst there are often extra modes available within the Resident Evil games, Raid Mode is certainly one of the most revered. And for good reason. The exciting and enticing gameplay is great for replay value and the chance to play something that offers a different experience to the main portion of the game is certainly one you’ll want to get stuck into. Mix in the the option to play through online in a co-op setting, and there is plenty to shout about.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much else in the way of new additions to Revelations, and even though there wasn’t really expected to be, it would have been nice to have seen a co-op option brought into play for the main campaign. That said, the A.I. counterparts are more than sufficient and offer a vastly improved level of intelligence to that of Ashley and Sheva in Resident Evil 4 and 5.
One gripe I do have with the game though is with the over the top sexual charged referencing. Intimacies between characters has been noticeable in many of the past entries, but the constant comments throughout this one don’t help to set a realistic horror environment, with the characters seemingly more concerned about their feelings rather than the overall situation.
At the end of the day though, unless your first experience of Resident Evil Revelations was the original outing on the Nintendo 3DS, there hasn’t been much in the way of changes and improvements. The graphical difference is the only real notable difference this time round, and it would have been great to see something different, but Resident Evil Revelations is still the same great game many will remember from the Xbox 360 and PS3 days.
Is it something you should be buying into? The answer to that of course is personal preference. If you know nothing but Resident Evil 7, then you may well find this as a step back, but if you’re looking for a solid Resident Evil game or simply a horror title in general, then Resident Evil Revelations isn’t a bad way to go – just maybe ignore things when Jessica starts her Chris Redfield daydreaming.