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2012 – The Year of Zombie Games Part 3

Posted on December 30, 2012 AT 07:07pm

It was a pretty dark year for a particular zombie-based survival horror series.  With three releases, at least one of them was bound to be pretty decent.  In the end, Capcom did release one good game in the Resident Evil franchise this year, but it wasn’t the one I was expecting.

The concept of a Resident Evil game aboard a cruise ship has been explored in the past with underwhelming results.  Resident Evil: Gaiden suffered from hardware restrictions that created a less than desirable experience on the Gameboy Color.  In an eerily similar situation, Resident Evil: Revelations came out this year for Nintendo’s newest portable console, the 3DS.  To my surprise, aside from them desperately needing a better box-art spellchecker, this game turned out to be one of my favorites this year.

This game takes you aboard the S.S. Queen Zenobia, where Jill Valentine and friends have to contend with yet another permutation of the undead-creating T-virus.  The monsters created by the T-Abyss virus have make for some interesting designs and a surprising amount of difficulty.  The erratic movements of the squid-like zombies make them a much more difficult target to bullseye and add quite a bit of tension to each encounter.  The cramped environments and limited ammo ramp up that tension to create an overall experience that Resident Evil fans have been wanting since the release of Resident Evil 4.

It’s been a while since a game in this series has gotten me to truly fear each enemy encounter.  Part of it lies with how few bullets the game gives you to get by, but they did a fantastic job designing really scary enemies and environments.  This game is easily one of the best-looking games that currently exist for the 3DS.  While there are some huge set-piece moments in the game, most of my favorite parts involve moving through the narrow hallways and creepy corridors of the Queen Zenobia.  In a particular sequence, you have the task of chasing down a recently reanimated character who’s holding an item you need.  That part always reminds me of a dog chasing a bigger dog.  You seem all tough, right up until they turn around and start attacking you back.

The game also includes a surprisingly fun extra co-op mode that has you hunting down enemies in various locations from the game.  Interestingly, in this mode, the enemies have life bars and you you can see a number value to the damage you’re dealing as you shoot your foes.  This gives you a whole lot more ability to gauge your ammo usage and make sure you’re surviving effectively.

If you only play one Resident Evil game from this year, and unfortunately I recommend that you do, this is the one that you need to be playing.  Not only is it the best game the series has put out in a while, it’s one of my favorites for this year.

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