This is the latest remaster of Resident Evil Revelations, a game first released in January 2012 for the 3DS handheld system. Since then it has been updated and brought to newer consoles with added support through DLC and updated graphics. Finally, 5 years later, it releases on the Xbox One with updated resolution and with all the DLC packaged inside. The game was praised for its return to the survival horror roots in a way that people wanted, and probably expected, since RE4 and it shows that the action heavy narrative of RE5 and RE6 could have been avoided.
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Price: $19.99 ($39.99 bundled with Revelations 2)
Approximate Size: 11.96 GB
Genre: Survival Horror
Reviewed on Xbox One; also available on Playstation 4 and PC.
Resident Evil Revelations takes the series back to its roots, back to where the core fans that have supported this series since the beginning have always wanted it to go. This is a story that brings back the intrigue and mystery that once defined the series while still bringing back elements that the series has now been known for but caused a split in the fan base. What results is a perfect medium that should be what the series retains going forward.
In mixing the old with the new, you have series icon and veteran Jill Valentine teaming with series new comer Parker Luciani. These two are sent together to locate the missing Chris Redfield and Jessica Sherawat at their last known location, the Queen Zenobia that is drifting amiss the Mediterranean Sea. The bulk of the game will take place on this ship, which is a throwback to the original’s mansion, and its instantly apparent that something has gone terribly, terribly, wrong aboard this ship.
From the start of the game you can see how much Chris means to Jill and you can see the change in atmosphere and direction from Resident Evil 5 and 6. The color pallet is dark and the storm rages as our protagonists board the ominously abandoned ship. From here you proceed the ship in search of Chris and early on you’ll think you’ve found him, only to be rendered unconscious and awake with all your items missing.
A terrorist group known as Veltro plan on spreading the new T-Abyss virus into one fifth of the worlds water after being double crossed and it’s up to Jill and the others to stop them before they can do so. The plot is a little wonky with its floating city and various plot twists but it is an enjoyable experience and adds more lore to the series.
The game is broken up like a television show with episodes and with recaps before starting each episode. Some games can make this work wonderfully and you would never expect a survival horror game to be able to implement it correctly without ruining the experience or disengaging the player from the experience but, surprisingly, Revelations nails it. this is also their way to allow you to play with other characters, such as Quint and Keith, and expand on the story. It’s nice and well done.
Revelations is a third person survival horror game like the original games but it takes the over the shoulder perspective pioneered by Resident Evil 4 and it shows that the games did not need to take the action heavy approach Resident Evils 5 and 6 took. What we may have is the best Resident Evil in years.
When it comes to weapons, this game has plenty. You have your handguns, shotguns, and sniper rifles with different variants for different situations. it’s a healthy variety and you have the ability to upgrade these guns with weapon parts scattered throughout the map. There is everything from faster reloading, to increased damage, and to increasing the amount of ammo. They do have some upgrades that are unique, like the ability to increase critical damage and/or increase the ability to make an enemy dizzy from a shot. The game could have gotten away with just its weapons but the fact that it adds this player freedom is a welcomed addition and adds to your decision making when you encounter an enemy.
You also have your grenades and variants, like pulse and shock, and you come equipped with your trust knife. You also have your quick turn and run button which has all become standard to the series. What’s new to the core experience is the dodge button and the Genesis. The dodge button is great in theory but I found myself having difficulty pulling it off in critical moments and the times I do pull it off, well, it’s more due to luck than my skill. The Genesis is the main gimmick of the Revelations gameplay. It’s essentially a scanner used to scan items and enemies and scanning said things gives you a percentage. Every time you get a one hundred percent scanning rate, you are reward with a healing item. This really adds to the game when you have no healing items and have a ton of enemies headed your way. It forced you to make strategic decisions when in battle. At first I thought it would be an unused gimmick in the game but I found myself using it more and more and eventually I came dependent on it, especially in the latter half of the game when the difficulty rises.
The boss battles in this game deserve special mention because they are a thrill to play. One in particular comes in mind. There is a time where you have to kill a boss that has an item you need and as you fight him, and more enemies fill the screen, you can hear the desperate screams and cries of the enemy as he mutates. It’s sad, disturbing, and grotesque as what starts off as a fight to retrieve an item turns into a humanitarian act as you put the poor man out of his misery. I must admit that the lack of enemy variety is a disappointment but the enemies that are present are nice.
Unfortunately, this game does not support co-op of any kind in the single player campaign. It’s a weird omission as other games in the franchise have had it and you are constantly accompanied by another character but it does make sense when you remember where this game came from. I just wish Capcom would have added it in this new remaster.
The multiplayer aspect of this game is a mode called Raid Mode. In Raid Mode you traverse through a small map, pulled from the main game, while killing enemies. Once you’ve killed all the enemies, a golden coin will spawn and you are to melee the coin to finish the level. You are then given a rank and experience points to level up. Leveling your character up gives you access to new weapons, characters, and weapon parts. Each map raises the difficulty of the enemies, making the it harder and making the need to upgrade stronger weapons a must. This is the foundation of RPG like elements in the Resident Evil franchise and it helps in making the player feel rewarded and accomplished as he or she proceeds in the Raid Mode.
Should you find yourself stuck on a particular map or unable to get the highest rank, well, you can tackle each map online with a co-op mode. This makes an already enjoyable experience even better. When this mode was first announced I was unsure of how I would feel about it, I originally thought they should have added Mercenaries Mode. However, after playing through this new mode I prefer it over Mercenaries astronomically. It’s a very fun experience and I found myself playing for hours trying to get the highest rank on each map. Even playing online, something I rarely ever enjoy, was smooth and fun to play through with random online players. I recommend it wholeheartedly and believe you will enjoy it as it adds more replay value to your game.
This isn’t the best looking Resident Evil but I found that in many ways it looks better than it’s sequel. Yes, this is surprising to admit. Lets not forget that this was originally a 3DS game that has been updated and remastered many times. That being said, it holds up well. The atmosphere is great and the foreboding feeling is still at its best, when compared to its sequel and to other entries in the series. Compared to its other releases (from 3DS to Xbox 360), the Xbox One version is at 1080p and I don’t think anything higher would do anything other than hurt the visuals. You can only stretch and push a texture so far.
This is the definitive version. The Queen Zenobia, and other locations, are detailed a beautifully rendered. I put this remaster side by side with its sequel and I find it odd how much better it looks to me. it could be one of two things, I imagine, is the reason behind this. One, the effort put in this remaster was thorough and the time was given to push the game as far as possible or, two, Revelations 2 didn’t have as much time as the first in terms of polish. I’m sure if Revelations 2 for an update or a remaster this section might be written differently but that isn’t the case currently.
Character models are rendered nicely and animations are well done. Scanning enemies switches to a first person perspective and adds a green filter over the screen. This is a nice addition and it changes how go about the game when in this perspective and sometimes shows some hidden aspects of the world. Enemies are nicely created with their disgusting design and the way they melt into slug when you kill them is animated wonderfully. Guns are detailed and distinguishable and explosions and effects are superb. The lighting is great, not as good as the sequel, but its overall a better package.
As great as it looks, Resident Evil Revelations is starting to show its age. I don’t recommend Capcom remaster it anymore in the future unless they have some high res textures and models they haven’t used for some reason. Nonetheless, the game looks and plays wonderfully with not graphical or performance issues.
The sound in this game is pretty amazing. There is this stress inducing tone as you maneuver through the game. It’s nothing and at the same time its everything. I don’t remember the sequel having it to this extent nor do I remember the sound being so prevalent as it is in this remaster. It has you playing the game feeling completely uneasy and adds to the vulnerability in the games atmosphere. A nice play on this low, ambient, sound are the creaking doors and floors as well as the low gargling cries from enemies as they make their presence known.
All of this goes up several levels as you engage enemies. The tone increases, music becomes hectic, and stress rises as your overwhelmed and attacked by various enemies at once. The guns all make satisfying sounds as you fire and there is a nice pop when bullets hit an enemy. I didn’t find the same satisfying crunch from a head shot like was available in the sequel but that could simply be because of the different enemy types. Explosions from grenades lack the a fullness when they explode and melee attacks lack the same impact found in other games. Every bullet impact on enemy sounds the same regardless of location but the sound effect from when they melt after being defeated is disgustingly fulfilling.
The scanner has its own sound when you use it and the scanning sound when decoding an item or enemy is nicely done with its completion giving you a nice tone of accomplishment. Knife attacks also lack the same punch one might expect none of these negatives affect the enjoyment of the game.
When this game first launched on the 3DS it was praised for its return to the series roots and many fans desperately wished Capcom would bring it to home consoles. Eventually they did and several years later we have the definitive remaster on Xbox One. The game looks better than it has before and runs better as well. There were no performance issues or graphical disabilities. The atmosphere is still intact as is the great gameplay. The story has one too many plot twists and some guns lack the punch that other games have but this is the best version of Revelations to date. This is the perfect example from Capcom that proves that Capcom was wrong in thinking they needed to add more action heavy gameplay when they transitioned to the over the shoulder perspective. This more than make up for RE6 and RE5 and this is coming from someone who enjoyed those entries.