Resident Evil, has been a series that in recent years has been criticised for abandoning it’s survival horror roots and becoming more of a shooter/Call of Duty clone, is Revelations a step in the right direction?
While I’ve always been aware of the Resident Evil series, I’ve never actually played many of the games, except some odd bits of Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, but more on that later. Before this, may favourite zombie based game was Left 4 Dead 2 by a long way, but playing Revelations made me realise that L4D2 is rather shallow. Back to my original question, is it a step in the right direction? Simply, yes, they went back to the style of the early games by setting the game in a small area, in the case of Revelations the majority of the game is set on one boat. I really enjoyed that restricted environment, you might think that would make the game repetitive, but it doesn’t, you might be going down the same corridor 10 times, but every time I was thinking ‘what is going to be around this next corner?’. The restrictive environment also pays off when it comes to back-tracking, which is something you’ll do quite a bit in the game. This is because when you do have to back-track you don’t waste 30 minutes going back where you’ve already been, it’s closer to 5 or 10 minutes. Having to back-track in a game when the environment is large is just simply not fun, and gets very confusing, an example is ‘The Great Maze’ in Super Smash Bros Brawl, where it was very easy to get lost as you needed to remember which doors you went through. Anyway back to the L4D2 point, that game is a lot of fun, but in the easier difficulty levels, you basically have infinite ammo due to the frequency of guns and ammo available in each level, so there’s not that much skill involved you just gun down all the zombies. Revelations is the exact opposite and it’s frankly so much better, in this game you will basically never have enough bullets if you don’t go looking for them. Often I’ve been thinking, ‘I’ve only got 20 bullets left, that will only kill 4 or so enemies, I need to go looking for some ammo’ But I prefer that, as you get you get a sense of achievement, when you’ve got a stockpile of ammo, allowing you to progress through the game. An in game device called the ‘Genesis’ supplements this system of play as well that I enjoyed, if you scan around rooms with the Genesis you can find hidden items, and if you take the time to scan the corpses of enemies you’ll earn extra items. This is not a game that you should not try and finish as fast as you can, as you’ll miss out on a lot of the game’s charm. These are minor things but this game should also be commended such as the map and difficulty curve. The map is very simple to understand, aided by the fact that doors are colour coded, so you know where you have and haven’t been, this meant I very rarely thought, ‘where do I need to go?’ as the map would tell me that. I very much enjoyed the progression of the difficulty curve, it was nice and gentle, for example the first few enemies you’ll encounter will be singular enemies in a long corridor giving you plenty of time to dispatch them quickly, and there was never a point where I was dropped in a room and thought, ‘this is a lot more difficult then anything I’ve done before’ But also don’t get the idea that it’s an easy game, at times it’s fiendish for example there’s one level that contains underwater enemies that can’t been seen till they attack, so you have to creep forward to get them to move, and then attack them before they reach you. I know this will be a slightly controversial statement, but I think this is one of the best looking games on 3DS, it’s insane it looks like a console game, and whenever you then go to play something else of 3DS, you’re thinking, ‘why doesn’t this look as good as Revelations?’
Before you start saying I’m being overly positive about this game, I do have trouble with one aspect, the signposting.
If anyone doesn’t know what that is, signposting is basically how a game tells you how to progress. For example in a Zelda game an NPC may say ‘There’s trouble at Death Mountain’ which is a not so subtle way of saying, ‘Next you need to go to Death Mountain’ I’ll explain where the signposting was a problem in Revelations. The first was getting the Shotgun, in one of the rooms you’ll find a shotgun on a wall, if you go over to it, it will say something like, ‘The Shotgun is attached to the wall, you need to put something in it’s place’ The way to get it is later on you’ll find an item called ‘Crest’ which if you put where the shotgun is, you unlock the shotgun. But the description of the Crest doesn’t even hint an it’s use.
Here’s 3 theoretically options for what the description could be:
A: Here’s a crest, from the ship (no reference to it’s use)
B: Here’s a crest, perhaps it’ll fit somewhere (Hinting at it’s purpose)
C: Here’s a crest, place it in the room with the shotgun (giving you the answer)
Obviously B is the best answer, but it can depend. If you’re just an outsider considering the concept, they’d say well C would be a terrible idea, as the game would be no fun. However when you’re planning the game and everything is in the style of A, it’s frustrating as it would be very easy to get stuck. Resident Evil has done this in the past, I remember watching my sister play Resident Evil 4 on Wii, she’d defeated a boss, and collected it’s eye and had no clue what it was for. By chance I’d remembered that earlier on there was a door locked with an iris scanner, but if I hadn’t remembered that she would have got stuck.
In summary, this a fantastic game, even if you don’t think it’s going to be for you, give it a go, you’ll get a lot from it, and you get to experience a ‘proper’ survival horror game.
I’m happy to say, that my next review will be the long-awaited Smash Bros 3DS, I can’t wait!