Resident Evil Revelations Review

Resident Evil Revelations

Jill Valentine remembers the original Spencer mansion: serpentine corridors, dark rooms, locked doors, and lurking terrors. Minimal ammunition. Disempowerment. Enter the world of survival horror… and hope to find a way out.

Resident Evil Revelations

Resident Evil Revelations remembers, too, and walks Ms. Valentine (and her partner Parker) between the franchise’s classic survival horror milieu and the action-oriented play that followed its well-documented paradigm shift over the course of the past decade. The derelict SS Queen Zenobia cruise ship is a thematic revisitation of that old mansion: a claustrophobic and haunting setting that makes for fearful steps and slow progress.

The sights and sounds lay thick and heavy on the player: eerie stillness, tense crescendo, and then cacophonous emergence of some bio-beast, in grotesque detail, unrivaled on the 3DS. Isolation is enveloping, and conflict distressing. Then there is the Ooze.

Horror lives in the unknown. The original Resident Evil was crafted around that simple conceit, and hid its dangers quietly beyond the bounds of its carefully restricted viewing angles. The zombie-surrogate Ooze can emerge from any corner of the dead shell of a ship at any time, whether the player can see it or not. Insecurity in surroundings profoundly affects paranoia.

Resident Evil Revelations

Then there is balance… or perhaps disruption.

Some chapters of Revelations escape the Zenobia and emphasize high-energy gunplay over drip-fed fright. The franchise’s full scope of play exists within one entry, in an attempt to appeal to all styles and sensibilities. Raid Mode is the finishing touch: a collection of timed treks through various in-game locales, fighting waves of enemies and earning points for efficient slaughter. The evolution is complete.

It’s difficult not to question whether a one-stop, serve-all solution is right for Resident Evil, though. Having experienced  Resident Evil Revelations, which attempts to deliver on both its survival horror past and its high-action future, the argument can be made for separating the play styles into distinct, focused entities, fully catering to their respective audiences, and diluting neither side. In Revelations, fans of the classics will find the action segments distracting, and action fans will only endure the creepy ship decks for a chance to shotgun groups of Hunters and Cerberus Dogs or compete with friends in Raid Mode. The combination is good, but commitment one way or the other would be exemplary.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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