Horror On The High Seas
Capcom has been having a field day bringing updated versions of classic Resident Evil games to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in recent years. Whether it’s the sublime Resident Evil HD Remaster, or the polished ports of the fifth and sixth entries in the series, fans of the long-running survival horror franchise have had no shortage of B.O.W.s to blast this console generation. Resident Evil Revelations is the latest game to get the HD remaster treatment. Originally released for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2012 and later ported to the Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, the game puts players aboard a doomed ocean liner as they battle a new bio-weapon called the Ooze. But does this definitive version of Resident Evil Revelations do enough to warrant a purchase, or does it deserve a burial at sea?
Don’t Rock The Boat
Resident Evil Revelations puts players in the shoes of BSAA agent Jill Valentine as she explores the Queen Zenobia after her brother and fellow BSAA operative Chris goes missing on a mission to investigate the terrorist organization Veltro. Jill isn’t alone in her mission, however. At her side is her partner, Parker Luciani, a capable soldier with a weirdly round head and a proficiency at dispatching viral monsters. The main story is made up of 12 chapters which unfold like episodes in a television series. Over the course of the story you’ll take control of not only Jill, but also Chris and Parker to explore the mysteries of the doomed ocean liner and the terrorist group responsible for the Ooze.
The story is ridiculous, even when compared to that of the over-the-top Resident Evil 4. It’s full of grand conspiracies, shadowy organizations, and global calamities that are impossible to take seriously. I know, Resident Evil’s stories have never been the most believable. But Revelations’ nightmarish soap opera takes things to a whole new, cringe-inducing level. This is thanks in no small part to a script that includes such classic lines as “Me and my sweet ass are on the way!” that make “Jill Sandwich” and “Master of Unlocking” seem Shakespearean in comparison.
It’s Like Titanic, But With More Monsters And Less Celine Dion
Despite the game’s lackluster story, Resident Evil Revelations gets a lot right when it comes to gameplay. Like earlier entries in the series, resource management is the name of the game. Ammo is almost always at a premium, so you’ll want to make each shot count. Or better yet, avoid combat whenever you can to conserve ammo for the game’s challenging boss fights. This fight or flight feeling will eat at you constantly throughout the campaign, making each encounter with the Ooze a tense experience.
Another thing I really like is the addition of the Genesis. This tool allows you to scan your surroundings, much like Samus’ visor in Metroid Prime, to discover ammo and healing items hidden in the environment. Additionally, as you scan the Ooze a meter gradually fills. And once this meter is maxed out, you’ll be awarded a healing item. Entering each new room and scanning each area thoroughly makes the game flow at a rather methodical pace. However, this is hardly a bad thing. If anything, it’s an excuse to appreciate the Queen Zenobia’s spooky atmosphere.
Playing as Jill is a real treat, but things begin to fall apart a bit when playing as Chris or Parker. This is mainly because these segments trade the tension of the Queen Zenobia for more action-packed settings. These almost always end with choke points where you’re forced to kill ridiculously long waves of monsters, and they wear out their welcome long before each chapter reaches its conclusion.
A Dubious Port Of Call
As you’d expect, Resident Evil Revelations looks sharper than ever on the current crop of consoles. The jump to 1080p definitely brings things into focus much better than the previously released versions. However, this isn’t always a good thing. The new, ultra-sharp textures give the character models an unnatural, almost plastic look to them. And while it’s easier to spot some impressive graphical touches, less detailed objects now stick out like a sore thumb. When all is said and done, I prefer the grittier look of the previous releases, as the added grit does a good job of masking the uneven visuals. Still, the game does perform at a constant 60 frames per second, which is nice.
Old issues that haunted the game before still exist as well. Character movement feels awkward and weightless. This can make it all too easy to accidentally traipse into the arms of an eager monster. Aiming your weapon also feels floaty and imprecise, which can make landing head shots feel like an exercise in futility. When you consider just how scarce ammo can be, this becomes a real problem. I often found myself relying on my knife to a maddening degree because I didn’t feel like wasting ammo as it whiffed around the noggin of an enemy standing just feet away. Funny enough, I don’t remember the 3DS version of the game suffering from this issue – at least not to anywhere near this extent.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea
Resident Evil Revelations on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One isn’t a bad game. But five years since its debut on the 3DS, the flaws are more pronounced than ever. The overhauled visuals are nice, but occasionally betray the game’s handheld roots. There’s also precious little added to the core game. Resident Evil Revelations only offers one new Raid Mode stage. And to make matters worse, it’s not even available from the outset. That said, there really isn’t any reason for those who’ve played the game before to pick up the controller again. Still, if you’ve never experienced the game before, the budget-friendly $20 price tag is hard to argue with. Apart from newcomers, it’s hard to recommend this port to anyone but the most die-hard Resident Evil fans.
Final Verdict: 3/5
Available on: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One ; Publisher: Capcom ; Developer: Capcom ; Players: 1-2 ; Released: August 29, 2017 ; ESRB: M for Mature ; MSRP: $19.99
Full disclosure: This review is based on a PlayStation 4 retail copy of Resident Evil Revelations purchased by HeyPoorPlayer.