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Resident Evil: Revelations (Video Game)

Published

on

Developed and Produced by Capcom

Available on Everything (Reviewed for PS4)

Rated M for Mature


At this point, I don’t even have jokes to make about the constant Capcom conveyor belt of re-whatevers. In an equally sad and impressive manner, capcom have actually changed the game of putting out the same shit all over again. It all started with the GameCube, when the original Resident Evil got a fresh new remake. Now this is the best example of how to redo a game. New bosses, layout, puzzles, visuals… it was practically a whole new game. This is the upper echelon of the “remake” bracket. Then we have the “remasterings,” like we had with with the exact same Resident Evil remake two years ago. This time on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, this remastering of the GameCube remake of a Playstation title came with updated costumes, graphics, and jiggle physics. Then we have the plain old re-releases, with maybe a resolution update and chugging on a new engine. Oh hello there, Resident Evil: Revelations. Were your ears burning?

Yes, Revelations is one of those re-releases with little to add on the original. Aside from a new Raid Mode map, this is the same game we saw on the 3DS. Well, minus some of the 3DS gimmicks. This is actually fantastic, as I realized halfway through Resident Evil: Revelations that I had never beaten it. I know I owned it on the 3DS (and I think the PS3?), but either I was incredibly drunk or simply didn’t finish it. I’ve also been meaning to start a series of retro reviews, so what perfect timing to both finish a game I never beat and review it in a modern context. So, does Resident Evil: Revelations hold up?

Resident Evil: Revelations

“Guys it’s not survival horror unless you have someone running down a hallway being chased by monsters.”

I’ll skip forward a bit by saying that Revelations holds up okay. But not for the reasons you might think. There’s a good deal of context with Revelations you have to shuck off before looking at it with fresh eyes. Back before Resident Evil 7 came about and legitimately changed what we expect from a Resident Evil game, Resident Evil: Revelations was heralded as the, “return to survival horror for the Resident Evil franchise.” As I sat on a minigun, firing streams of bullets and rockets into a multi-tendrilled parasite monster the size of a boat, I wondered just what kind of crack the reviewers of yesteryear were smoking. I mean hell, the series hadn’t even been brought to its action zenith with RE6. I guess after RE4 and 5, fans couldn’t fathom what was still in store for them.

Resident Evil: Revelations

It simply would not be a Resident Evil game without a helicopter and a ridiculous giant bossfight.

On the other hand, I too remember the days where RE4 clones ruled the marketplace. Dead Space 2 had come out the year before, Gears of War was still in full swing, and only indie games like Amnesia cared to be hardcore horror. Outlast wouldn’t drop for another year. Hell, even Slender hadn’t come out yet. So it’s understandable that any game that actually limited your ammo and threw some spooks in would be considered a return to old-school survival horror.

When compared to Resident Evil 7, calling Resident Evil: Revelations even creepy is laughable. Even without RE7, the trend of horror games being more horror-ey is now well established. I mean hell, Narcosis managed to be a far scarier nautical horror story than Revelations, and it didn’t even have shambling abominations. So in a modern context, Resident Evil: Revelations is hardly frightening.

Resident Evil: Revelations

Yeah sure, the slug monsters are scary. But they’re not redneck with a shovel scary!

As a shooter, the game is okay. It’s Resident Evil post-4 and pre-7, so you know how it plays. You move with pseudo-tank controls, hold one trigger to aim, the other to fire, and kick when prompted. It’s a remarkably simple formula that hinges on a balance between the control limitations and the combat difficulty. To Revelation’s credit they hit a sweet spot in enemy toughness. It takes a good chunk of bullets to take down even the basic dudes, and there’s a healthy roster of beefier dudes to soak up several buckets of ammo. I’ve played so many games at this point that I rarely die, so I’ll give Revelations some props for leading me to at least half a dozen game over screens. With the limited ammo carrying capacity and five healing item cap I felt that my decisions and combat skills were well rewarded.

Resident Evil: Revelations

Remember, people were saying that THIS was the return to survival horror.

That being said, why the hell has Capcom just gone further and further away from the Resident Evil 4 merchant? It worked perfectly fine. You got gold for killing enemies and doing cool stuff, and exchanged that gold in for guns and goodies. Similar to RE6, Revelations uses this bizarre gun perk system. Rather than good ol’ upgrades, you get parts that can be installed in slots on the various firearms for increased effectiveness. So if you want your assault rifle to hit harder, you throw in a Damage 2 part and hit for 30% more damage. There are only so many slots for each gun, so theoretically you can mix and match to create your favorite specialized arsenal. In practice, you just switch out your highest level parts. You can only carry three guns, and there’s no restriction on swapping out upgrades. So rather than saving up my hard earned credits for that special shotgun capacity upgrade, there’s just another step of menu item management.

Aside from the narrative neutron bomb that was Resident Evil 6, this is also the most plot dense Resident Evil I can remember. Resident Evil plots have always been known for being incredibly dense and absolutely garbage, but mostly have had the decency to stay out of the way. To recap, I have played every single Resident Evil game, and I can tell you 0% of what is actually going on.

Resident Evil: Revelations

At least they never make it hard to figure out who the bad guy is going to wind up being…

Revelations is supposed to bridge that crucial gap between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, where we went from saving the president’s daughter from bug-monsters in spain to annihilating slug-monster blobs in Africa. So of course that means killing leach monsters on a boat. Seriously, don’t even try to figure out what is going on in Revelations without several notepads handy. Acronyms like the FBC and the BSAA are thrown at you willy nilly, and don’t expect them to explain to you what each group actually does. The crown jewel of terrible storytelling was when they throw in a surprise sister ship as a mid-game red herring, only to one up themselves with a THIRD sister ship plot twist in the final act.

That’s not even mentioning that it takes them four different character perspectives to explain the whole hot mess. You’ll spend the main game playing as series sweetheart Jill Valentine. Investigating the Queen Zenobia with your fellow BSAA agent Parker Luciani, you’re on the hunt for series muscle-monster Chris Redfield. Turns out that the ship is a trap and Chris is actually with his partner Jessica in a snowy mountain range in Eastern Europe. How the fuck they got the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and a Soviet mountain base mixed up is beyond me.

Resident Evil: Revelations

That feeling when you’re trying to make a serious horror game, but the things just so thicc…

You’ll switch between Chris and Jill as they both tell their side of an ever expanding conspiracy plot. You’ll also switch to Parker for a few flashbacks, just in case you wanted to run around some hallways shooting hunters for a minute. And if that didn’t break the flow enough for you, you also play through a number of chapters as the racially harmonious Keith and Quint. One of them is a computer guy who sounds like a bad Bill Burr impression, and the other has soft rap music playing in the background when he walks on screen. Go ahead and guess their ethnicities.

Resident Evil: Revelations

Never fear, agents DBZ Scouter and Snoop Dogg are on the case!

So the plot is a dumpster fire, the combat is decent, and it’s not scary. Why did I say Resident Evil: Revelations holds up? Despite some of the more questionable elements, there’s just something undeniably charming about it. The plot is so aggressively bad, and so unabashedly in your face about it, that I really want to bring it to an ironic movie night. There are also glimpses of old school brilliance that remind us of what this classic formula is capable of. There are some rewarding puzzles, and enough backtracking to scratch that key-collecting itch. Taking into account this was originally a 3DS game, you have to respect how much they packed into so little space.

I haven’t even talked about the scanning mechanic, but I don’t think I really have to. It’s a vestigial relic of the game’s origins in another era. From the episodic structure to the bearded super-villain quoting Dante while blowing up cities with a space laser, there is so much that just doesn’t make sense. Still, it’s overall a good deal of fun. If you go into it wanting some classic Resident Evil action with even more classic Resident Evil cheese, Resident Evil: Revelations delivers. It’s clearly not the best in the series, but worth experiencing if you’re already a fan.

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3.0
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User Rating 3.22 (9 votes)

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