The PS4 port of the PS3 version of the Nintendo 3DS game is finally upon us.
You don't have to look very hard to notice that Resident Evil: Revelations is a previous generation game that's been ported multiple times. While it was probably quite technically impressive on the Nintendo 3DS five years ago, it's pretty rough-looking for a modern day game. This is especially true when focusing on the blocky character designs and unusual animations for both characters and enemies. Fortunately, Resident Evil: Revelations plays a lot better than it looks. It hasn't gone down in history as the most cherished game in the series but it's certainly a competent action-based one. Taking place mostly on a luxury cruise liner stranded out on sea, the spooky vibes and intense action one would expect from the series are found in Revelations. The massive, abandoned ship is a great setting that provides exploration opportunities and creates a creepy atmosphere.
You'll alternate between playing as Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield while investigating the mysterious surroundings of the boat as well as the bioterrorist group Veltro who had destroyed a floating island the previous year using their biological weaponry. The boat is filled with Veltro's gruesome creatures that were created and released as bio-organic weapons.
While intense, the action maintains Resident Evil's trademark controls. Intentionally sluggish and slow-moving at times, you need to put a bit more thought into where you're standing and aiming when compared to more traditional third-person shooters. Ammo preservation is another huge factor in Revelations, especially in the early going. You'll want to look for ways to avoid enemies or take them out using methods that don't involve repeatedly pumping bullets into them. This style of gameplay has always had its critics and understandably so. I fall on the side that really enjoys Resident Evil's slower-paced action and rarely get frustrated when I take damage or die simply because I was too slow to get out of the way or wasn't paying attention to my surroundings. I'm glad every game doesn't play like Resident Evil: Revelations but I do enjoy the more contemplative aspect of the series.
That's not to say Resident Evil: Revelations is insanely challenging or unfair. You'll quickly start to learn enemy patterns, typical spawning locations, each monster's weak spot, and to perfect the dodge ability when in peril. As you progress, you can also upgrade your weapons as well as find stronger guns and an increased amount of ammo boxes. While I enjoy the slower pace of the action, the movement speed when outside of combat is unnecessarily slow. It makes sense that you're not jumping and dodging like Bayonetta while in combat but when exploring the ship or backtracking for collectibles, you'll be rolling your eyes at how miserably slow the characters move.
Revelations also incorporates a scanner item called the Genesis. Once in a while, you'll need to use it to uncover a key item but it can also be used to scan enemies. While I like the concept, I felt it was poorly utilized. Instead of slowly amassing a knowledgebase of information on different enemy types (that maybe would reward you with increased damage), the scanner just counts up to 100% as you scan enemies and then resets back to zero and rewards you with a green herb. After realizing there wasn't much to the scanner besides that, I stopped bothering with it except when it was required to progress through the campaign.
Alongside the core campaign is Raid Mode for one or two players which allows you to replay sections from the campaign with increased enemy counts and new enemy variations. The best part of Raid Mode is the co-op which is available both locally and online. It's always more fun playing games with a pal and Revelations suits itself well to cooperative play. Raid Mode also has several leveling and upgrade systems. You're awarded experience and BP after completing each level which allows you to improve your character and purchase new weapons, upgrades, etc. With three unlockable difficulties, if you want to complete everything, you'll have to play through four times. The only real drawback to Raid Mode is that it features all the same content as the main campaign besides enemy layout.
Visually, Resident Evil: Revelations is a bit rough around the edges but that doesn't hold it back from being an intense and enjoyable action-based entry in the series, either by playing solo or teaming up with a friend in Raid Mode.
- + Exciting Resident Evil action
- + Secluded setting with a creepy atmosphere
- + Cooperative Raid Mode is great to play through with a friend
- - Super-slow movement speed
- - Visually unimpressive
- - If you don't like Resident Evil's shooting mechanics, this won't change your mind