I've always been a huge Resident Evil fan boy. But even the biggest of Resident Evil fan boys can admit that the series has been slowly trending downward. I enjoyed Resident Evil 5 (see my review here), but in many ways- that was the final straw leading to the absolutely atrocious Resident Evil 6 just a few years later. I realize that Resident Evil: Revelations was released prior to Resident Evil 6... But I sincerely hope that Capcom takes note of this modern Resident Evil gem, and continues forward beyond this series offshoot with better plans for the inevitable Resident Evil 7.
Resident Evil: Revelations still takes many of the same elements of Resident Evil 4 and 5, but leaving out the crudeness of 6. In Resident Evil: Revelations, you take on the role of both Jill Valentine & Chris Redfield (among others) as they try to stop a mysterious bioterrorist organization from infecting the ocean with a horrible virus. Along the way you will encounter many peaks and valleys that will keep your attention from Episode 1 all the way through Episode 12.
The main setting of Resident Evil: Revelations is on a claustrophobic, somewhat run down, cruise ship called the Queen Zenobia. This particular setting harkens back to the days of early Resident Evil and makes you feel like you are back in the Spencer Mansion, the Raccoon City Police Department, etc. Even throughout the game there are a couple of nods back to Resident Evil’s past, which for a fan of the series is pretty damn cool.
As mentioned earlier, the game play is somewhere between Resident Evil 4 and 5. The action is still faster paced than the original Resident Evil installments, but there is still a good amount of emphasis on evading your enemy, searching for items/clues, and conserving ammo- rather than the all-out Gears of War rip-off that was Resident Evil 6 (Sounds like I need to review this one). Since Resident Evil 4, this is easily the best Resident Evil game when it comes to replicating the series' early survival horror roots.
The graphics in Resident Evil: Revelations are kind of dull- but that's to be totally expected from a port of a Nintendo 3DS game. The controls are pretty tight, though at times the evasion system can be a bit difficult to master. The sound and music lends itself rather well to the moody nature of the environments. Yadda, yadda. But most importantly: the gameplay and story are on point. My deaths throughout my play through were all because of my playing mistakes, and the episodic nature of the game leaves you wanting more. A nifty feature is never having to remember what happened in your previous play throughs, thanks to a handy recap before the beginning of a new episode. This is great for the sporadic gamer, or even if you put it down for only a few days.
Most mechanics that you will encounter in Resident Evil: Revelations are similar or slightly modified from previous releases. However, the new Genesis Scanner proves to be an interesting mechanic that at times can be both useful and tedious. By using your scanner you can find hidden items throughout various areas, scan bodies of enemies to eventually be rewarded with a healing item, or even scan hidden handprints that are scattered throughout the game. It's an interesting change of pace- but at times tiresome just constantly whippin' out the ole Genny.
I had a blast while playing Resident Evil: Revelations, besting the story mode in less than 8 hours (There is also a Raid Mode that I did not play). This is a game that has restored my somewhat waning faith in the Resident Evil franchise. It has a great balance of survival horror and action, all the while keeping you entertained by a story with more twists and turns than a twisty-turny thing! I will say that the best way to experience Resident Evil: Revelations is most likely through its original source, the Nintendo 3DS. I say this because you can clearly tell at times that the console port is just that... an upscaled port of a handheld game. But don't let this deter you! Resident Evil: Revelations is a worthy play through on any platform.