Resident Evil Revelations sucked me back into a franchise I had fallen out of love with a long time ago. It's a fantastic game that offers a shining example of what is possible on the 3DS.
Resident Evil Revelations is set in 2005, and the story takes place between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5. Over the course of the game you play multiple characters, but you spend the majority of time in the shoes of Jill Valentine, agent and co-founder of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA). Jill and her partner Parker are investigating the resurgence of a terrorist group called Veltro, who a year earlier unleashed a biological weapon that resulted in the destruction of an entire city. The investigation takes them aboard a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, which they quickly discover has been exposed to a biological weapon (a version of the T-Virus), killing most of those on the ship and mutating others into walking abominations. As they make their way through the ship, they try to find out the truth about Veltro and figure out what they have planned for this new strain of the T-Virus. The story plays out in a series of twelve chapters, most of which are broken into two smaller episodes. The campaign switches to different places and points in time, and you get to play as Jill’s original partner Chris Redfield, her current partner Parker, and a host of other characters, all of whom are trying to figure out what’s going on with Veltro. While the story is ridiculous at times, I found it to be very entertaining, and I was able to follow it despite not having played the more recent games in the series.
I haven’t talked about the controls yet, which is the factor that usually divides people who love these games from people who hate them. I have never like the mechanics of the Resident Evil games, which is why I am happy to report that I actually didn’t mind them at all in this game. I originally played the demo with the standard 3DS controls, and it was a little rough, having both movement and aiming on the same analog stick. However, I picked up the 3DS Circle Pad Pro for $20 when I bought the game, and for me it made the experience so much better. Moving with one stick and aiming with the other is just so much more comfortable for me, so once I used the Circle Pad Pro, I forgot all about the controls and just focused on the game. One place where I did think the control scheme stood out though, was the use of the 3DS touch screen. You can switch and reload weapons, check your map and manage your inventory on the fly with the touch screen, which meant I never had to pull myself out of the experience to do any of those things. This is an area where the 3DS offers a more immersive experience from most console games, and it’s especially important for a horror game.
For me, Resident Evil Revelations provided the most complete experience I’ve had on a handheld console in years. I would also put it up against any of the console games coming out this year. It’s an early “Game of the Year” contender for me, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
5 out of 5 Watery Graves