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EGM Review:
Resident Evil: Revelations

By
Posted on May 20, 2013 AT 12:01am

High-definition zombie termination

Porting games from one platform to another makes sense. With the production costs that today’s developers face, why only get one chance to make money off of all the hard work and asset creation that went into a particular project? Give the first release a chance to hit the market, see what other platforms would make sense for the game, and port that puppy over!

The thing is, if you’re asking me which sorts of ports would make the most sense, going from the 3DS to HD-focused consoles is potentially one of the lowest possibilities that could be on my list. Putting aside the extra horizontal pixels it needs to produce its 3D effect, Nintendo’s current handheld is basically running games at a resolution of 400 x 240. Not only is that a far cry from what your HDTVs are having fed to them, but it’s even far lower than most smartphones these days.

And yet, that’s exactly what Capcom did when they decided to resurrect their early 3DS title Resident Evil: Revelations. Looking only at the game itself, I can’t blame them. Revelations was hailed as a fantastic release for the portable both in terms of gameplay and visuals, and as much as I love the 3DS, it didn’t seem logical for Capcom to keep the game exclusive to the system at this point.

In order to have Revelations make the jump, however, Capcom would need to give its visuals a serious makeover—and that’s exactly what they’ve done. While its graphics might not be up to par with the previously released Resident Evil 6, playing this version of Revelations gives few hints that it was once on a platform that was pushing one-fourth the resolution. The game’s stages and monsters dutifully set up that trademark Resident Evil atmosphere, but it’s the character models that really shine, with all of the playable protagonists—such as the beautiful-yet-tenacious Jill Valentine—looking simply fantastic. (I’ve seen some who say that Jill looks “off” in Revelations. Those people are wrong.)

One aspect Capcom didn’t muck around too much with was the game itself, and this was an area where I wasn’t sure how Revelations would turn out on consoles. Given the natural difference in how portables are played, Revelations was designed for shorter, more compartmentalized play sessions. Each chapter starts out with a recap of what happened previously, the next mission is mostly self-contained, characters and locations are mixed up to keep things fresh and interesting, and the whole experience ends on a cliffhanger.

How does all of this turn out when, instead, you’re sitting back on your comfy couch, ready for some more involved gaming? Far better than I would have imagined—to a point where I might actually prefer the game as it is now, instead of what it was originally intended to be. With how things are set up and the length of each episode, at times, I swore the game could instead have been called Resident Evil: The TV Drama. (I say that in a good way.)

That feeling—like I was delving into something different than everything that’s come before in the franchise—was what helped me look past those few aspects where I thought Revelations could have been better. This is far from a bad game; playing on a controller, using the “Shooter” control scheme, I had great fun taking down the various monstrosities that the game constantly threw my way. Still, the reality is that—given the limitations that were in place hardware-wise at the time of Revelation’s original development—gameplay and control options aren’t as deep or refined as other recent Resident Evil projects. The biggest example of this is the lack of any sort of proper run/dodge option, and without it, some enemy encounters end up being more frustrating than they should be.

At the end of the day, Revelations can’t escape its past—and Capcom didn’t go as far as they could have in making the transition as smooth as it should have been. However, the negatives that came along with the game don’t come close to overshadowing its positives. The core of Revelations is not only still as fun as it ever was, but maybe even more so now that it can be played with a proper controller and on a bigger display. As well, Raid mode—the included side missions where players see if they can survive an increasingly difficult set of challenges while upgrading their characters—is as engrossing as ever, especially with the new additional weapons, characters, and co-op options this revision brings.

If you didn’t get around to playing Resident Evil: Revelations the first time around, then this is the chance to finally see what you missed. While what Capcom produced here is, at times, very different from previous Resident Evil games, it also has a number of elements that should make old-school fans of the series happy—including those of you who hated Resident Evil 6. (While I still don’t understand your side of that argument, this time, I’ll at least respectfully agree to disagree.)

If, on the other hand, you’ve never once enjoyed a Resident Evil game before, who knows—this might finally be the one to change your mind.

Developer: Capcom • Publisher: Capcom • ESRB: M – Mature • Release Date: 05.21.2013
8.5

While it doesn’t completely escape the shortcomings of its original outing, Capcom’s HD-ified version of Resident Evil: Revelations is still as fun and enthralling as it was on the 3DS—while now also benefitting from the improvements in controls, visuals, and audio that other gaming platforms can offer. If you previously missed this chapter of the legendary Resident Evil saga, this is the best way to rectify that.

The Good An exciting sense of gameplay and storytelling that always keep you wanting to see more.
The Bad Revelations has a gigantic, inexcusable flaw: At times, it makes you play as that big doofus Chris Redfield.
The Ugly Jessica’s utterly ridiculous wetsuit—especially when compared to the perfection that is her F.B.C. uniform.
Resident Evil: Revelations is available on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for PS3.
Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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