Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D packs a short – let me emphasize that – taste of Resident Evil: Revelations. It’s unlocked right from the get go and can be accessed by selecting "special" on the main menu. In the Japanese version it’s called Biohazard Revelations Pilot Version and opens with a similar title screen to the image on the right with "pilot version" underneath the Biohazard logo.
The demo begins inside a ship and you take control of Jill Valentine. The circle pad makes Jill walk; hold B to run. Press B and move the circle pad to do a quick turn. Jill aims her pistol, which has a red laser sight, when you hold R. The Y button makes her shoot. There’s also a camera pad, an analog stick tacked on the touch screen. Slide your finger on it and you can temporarily change the camera. It locks back in place as soon as you let go. Most of the controls are on the bottom screen, but Resident Evil: Revelations’ pilot version doesn’t mention you can manually reload by holding R and pressing B or that you can walk and shoot at the same time. Capcom introduced this feature in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and carried it over into Resident Evil: Revelations.
The game shifts into first person view when Jill pulls the gun out of her holster. Probably for demo or pilot version purposes, Jill has unlimited ammunition. There isn’t anything to pick up, not even healing herbs. As you walk through the narrow corridors, there’s a rusty metal door that beckons players to examine it. Jill can’t open it, but you can lift a slot to peek inside. A contextual command (a circle with a Y inside) hovers above, which lets players know there’s something to inspect. Hold Y and a meter fills up around the circle on the top right. At the same time, the slot lifts open from the bottom of the screen and flips up to the top, but doesn’t jet out of the screen. You can see a man inside tied to a chair who looks like Chris Redfield.
After Capcom built up a bit of tension, I turned a corner and three rats bolted out of an electric panel, past Jill, and towards the screen. Shock scares are back in Resident Evil: Revelations. I moved Jill into a staircase where the bottom half is broken. With nowhere else to go I ran up and when I exited a puddle of blood was waiting at the top. The next room was dimly lit. Jill’s flashlight attached to her chest was the main source of light. If you scan around you can see bunk beds and green blankets. Something is growling up ahead and the next area is a dingy bathroom. Step forward and a monster suddenly leaps out of the stalls! The music changes and it’s Jill’s first fight.
The human-like creature slowly limped towards Jill. Shooting stuns the monster, but it takes a couple of body shots to knock it back. If it gets too close, the monster grabs Jill and bites into her shoulder with a toothed tube that extends from its mouth. Hit the commands that pop up to make Jill side kick the creature off of her. A haze of blood covers the screen if Jill gets bitten and gets darker if Jill continues to take damage, four bites and Jill becomes dinner. Jill’s health regenerates gradually so if you stand still Jill will recover.
With the creature defeated, I moved into another sleeping quarter, this time with a desk and some books on top. There are lockers too, but I found nothing inside after I inspected them by pushing Y. I exited right into a group of screeching bats that flew out of a window. I should mention here that the bats and rats never leaped out of the screen. Resident Evil: Revelations did not have any gimmicky effects like you would see in a 3D movie. In fact, the 3D effect is rather subtle. It adds a sense of depth to the corridors, but even on the maximum setting the only thing that pops out is text.
I crept through winding corridors and dashed down another flight of stairs. Up ahead I saw a glass window and one of those creatures holding a man up by his neck. I took one step forward and the creature flung the body leaving a bloody mess on the glass. Knowing a fight was coming up, I reloaded Jill’s gun and turned a corner into the room.
Two creatures were feasting on the body. They didn’t notice my presence right away so I looked at the blinking TV screen and unused computer. When I got close the music changed and the creatures slowly rose from their meal. Right in front of me was a steel table. You can’t use it for cover or anything like that. It’s actually a nuisance because the creatures can trap Jill by approaching both sides. That’s their default strategy of attack. Run backwards and the creatures will lock you into a corner while wailing their spiked arms at Jill. Even though you’re in a tight space, the key is to keep moving. Moving while shooting is handy here. I kept my distance and fired a few rounds at the first creature. Quick turned and assaulted the second. After both creatures drop on the ground the controls lock up and the demo ends with a screen that says "to be continued…".
A whole run takes about five minutes if you experiment and look around, three or less if you run straight to the monsters. Resident Evil: Revelations Pilot Version gives players a feel of the atmosphere, which is more like the classic Resident Evil games. Instead of open areas from Resident Evil 5, players are in claustrophobic spaces literally trapped with monsters to shoot. While Jill had unlimited bullets in the demo, Capcom said ammunition would be scarce. All of the areas are foreboding and the few scares add a bit of Hollywood horror into Resident Evil: Revelations.
Check back soon for impressions of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D.