Resident Evil: Revelations is a supplemental side story that takes place between Resident Evil 4 and 5. Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are working for the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance and have been investigating the aftermath of a Veltro terrorist attack on Terragrigia, an Italian, artificial island that ran entirely on solar power. Due to the number of Bio Organic Weapons and level of destruction, the solar energy directed at the island via satellite and used to completely destroy the island. Veltro was supposedly wiped out in the process.
Of course, any gamer knows, an evil organization isn’t going to be stopped by something as insignificant as a massive, solar powered weapon! And so, Jill and her new partner, Parker, have been summoned by their BSAA boss to the area surrounding Terragrigia. BOWs have started washing ashore and Chris and his new partner, Jessica, disappeared while investigating BOWs and Veltro sightings in the Mediterranean. The two head out and find a dilapidated and deserted cruise ship called the Zenobia and board. Right when they find what appears to be Chris, they’re gassed by a masked man. Veltro’s back.
Resident Evil: Revelations is split up into episodes. Each one usually has one or two scenarios to experience, though occasionally you’ll find one with only one or as many as three. Automatic save checkpoints are placed at certain segments or before important events. It also isn’t purely linear, as you’ll experience flashbacks and see what’s going on with different characters at different times. While that may sound confusing, it’s handled in a way where the flashbacks and cutaways aren’t terribly intrusive and the only possible conflicting accounts are explained by plot twists.
Most of Resident Evil: Revelations is spent on the Zenobia with Jill and Parker. You have to explore every inch of the cruise ship, sometimes backtracking, to reach objectives or occasionally find weapons in the hunt for first the missing Chris and Jessica, and then for Veltro. This means keeping an eye open for shiny objects, occasionally solving a puzzle on the touch screen to open the door and making ample use of the Genesis Scanner.
The Genesis Scanner is possibly the coolest addition to Resident Evil: Revelations. It’s used in a manner similar to a gun, except aiming it allows you to search for hidden items, enemy information or hidden handprints. It’s an invaluable resource since ammunition can be scarce even in the easiest difficulty level and since scanning enemies and handprints can unlock extra items. I also liked to equip it and use it to help get a better view of new areas once I knew they were safe. Even if an area was slightly hazardous, it could still be brought out to scan living BOWs so I wouldn’t have to waste ammo putting them down.
You have to be incredibly cautious because Resident Evil: Revelations is absolutely a survival game, although I would classify it as a “survival adventure”. There’s really no horror aspect, though I will admit jumping once or twice when a BOW appeared seemingly out of nowhere. The game provides just enough ammo to defeat bosses and a handful of other enemies. You also only get enough green herbs to occasionally heal if you get sloppy and caught by an infected. Ideally, you want to avoid fighting as much as possible and the game tries to encourage that by offering some larger areas to maneuver around or obstacles to keep between your character and the infected. I appreciated it, because it made me think about my decisions and added a sense of realism to the mission. I mean, if you’re on an abandoned, infected cruise ship, you aren’t going to find stockpiles of ammo and weapon mods in every room!
Now that I think about it, I really only have one complaint. In the story missions, your character — usually Jill and Chris, but sometimes someone like Parker or Keith — will be accompanied by an AI controlled character. You’d think this would be a good thing, as it’d mean someone else to help attack enemies or act as a meat shield while you plan evasive maneuvers. I don’t know if it’s different on the other difficulty levels, but on the casual level, Parker, Quint and Jessica do nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. They’ll try and shoot, but it seems like their bullets do nothing. This happened most often on the cruise ship with Jill and Parker. He’d be chilling behind Jill, shooting at an enemy I was trying to avoid. If I decided to start joining in, I still needed to shoot at least five bullets at the enemy to put it down. It didn’t seem right, since most BOWs that I’d have Jill defeat alone would take between five and seven bullets to beat.
There is also multiplayer, but you have to power through the campaign to unlock Raid mode. (Make sure you visit the Missions section in the main menu to check off things you’ve unlocked while playing!) Beating the first three episodes unlock the first seven Raid mode stages, and completing additional episodes unlock more Raid missions. While this may seem inconvenient, it actually makes sense. The Raid mode missions are based on single player episodes. Plus, the first three episodes are teaching you how to play the game, handle monsters and let you earn some base BP for Raid mode weapons, mods and items.
I only was able to play Raid mode online and not locally, but I have to say every experience I had was pretty positive. You’re able to choose which character you control and each is proficient with a certain kind of weapon. You can also use BP to upgrade your weapons before a match. The game then automatically pairs you up with one friend or stranger and you go through a brief mission set in the same location as one of the story scenarios. Basically, you go in and get from point A to point B without dying. Plenty of ammo is provided, so survival isn’t an issue. It’s more about getting through quickly without losing too much help. Matches aren’t terribly long — only a few minutes — and I didn’t have any connection issues. In fact, I had less trouble finding random, online matches in Resident Evil: Revelations than I’ve had sometimes with Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition.
Resident Evil: Revelations is a game that Capcom clearly worked hard on and the result is a fantastic story mode and addicting Raid mode. Everything works well together to provide a well organized and detailed experience.
Food for Thought
1. 3D isn’t required, but it does look nice and lends some ambiance if you turn it on.
2. Aside from the Circle Pad Pro control scheme, there are three regular control schemes.
3. The main storyline should take you around 8 or 9 hours to complete. You can earn extra rewards in Mission for replays.
4. I still can’t get over the fact that Rukia (Michelle Ruff) is voicing Jill Valentine.
5. There is some jerkiness and lag in elevators. You’ll be fine if you just stay still while you’re in one until the doors open again.
6. There’s no quick save option, which would have been a handy inclusion.
7. The 3D map isn’t terribly useful.