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June 18, 2013
Resident Evil: Revelations - PS3 Review
Release Distributer Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
Media HDD Install Resolution Move Controls Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Resident Evil: Revelations is on PS3.
The Resident Evil series has been around since 1996, which is a lifetime in the world of video games. Itís been wildly successful for most of that time, but has endured some rough times of late, starting with the decidedly average Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, followed by Resident Evil 6, which flopped critically (despite Dave giving it 84% here at Futuregamez). Resident Evil Revelations was first released on the Nintendo 3DS eighteen months ago, and now with a high definition upgrade itís on its way to the PS3. Released at a budget price of $59, is Revelations a game you should invest in, and one that can turn the franchiseís fortunes around? Read on...

Revelations is set in the time period between Resident Evil 4 and 5 and expands on the role of the recently formed BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), first introduced in RE5. For those who missed RE5, the BSAA is an organization co-founded by the original Resident Evil protagonists Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. The purpose of the BSAA is to locate bio-terrorism threats and eliminate them with whatever force is necessary.

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The game supports co-op gameplay.
The hunt for such a threat has led Chris and his partner to the luxury cruiser Queen Zenobia, seemingly abandoned out in the Mediterranean Sea. Unfortunately the BSAA lose contact with them almost as soon as they board the ship, and are forced to send Jill and her partner to the ship to investigate. This is where the Revelations story begins.

The opening scene does a great job of creating atmosphere. Jill and Parker board the Queen Zenobia as the rain comes bucketing down, and of course all the lights are out. Jill has her flashlight with her, but it provides only enough light to make every shadow look like it hides an enemy. Once inside the ship you catch the odd glimpse of an enemy as it disappears around a corner, or see some gelatinous goo pouting out of an air-conditioning duct.

Unfortunately the dramatic atmosphere evaporates as soon as you see your first enemy - a lumbering, clumsy, human-shaped figure that shuffles along waiting for you to pump it full of lead. Itís a jarring moment, and one the game never truly recovers from. It speaks of the clichťs yet to come and a series rooted in its distant past.

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Probably the best, ermm, "assets" in the game.
The luxury ship Queen Zenobia has interiors reminiscent of the mansion in the original Resident Evil. As you wander around trying to find Chris youíll come across locked doorways marked with specific insignia. To progress youíll have to track down the key with that same insignia. Sound familiar?

The shooting controls in Revelations have been jazzed up a little so you can now move while shooting (welcome to the year 2000 Capcom!), and the rest of the controls play like a standard shooter making it easy to pick up and play. There are a lot of weapons in the game including handguns, shotguns, rifles, a rocket launcher and a wide array of grenades. You can find modifications for your weapons laying about the place, but you can only equip them at work-benches.

For most of the game youíll have your partner by your side. They shoot at enemies but do little damage, and the enemies themselves will focus on you. Ammunition and healing items are scarce but you can find more by scanning environments with your all-new Genesis tool. You use the Genesis tool by holding down L2, and then scan any objects with R1.

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An in-game screenshot with HUD.
Chapters are broken into stages, most of which are quite short, probably because of the gamesí handheld origins. Few stages last thirty minutes, and most come in around the ten to fifteen-minute range (some are as short as five minutes). Every time you load your game or complete a chapter youíll see a ĎPreviously on Resident Evil Revelations' clip detailing recent events. At first these clips are interesting, but given how often they pop up youíll start skipping them with barely a second thought.

At the end of the chapter youíre given an overall grade based on your shooting accuracy and number of deaths. Along with the rating youíre given some BP which is used in the multiplayer mode, Raid. Raid is like a fast-paced version of campaign, giving you small areas (lifted from the campaign) to explore, and filling it with enemies for you to kill. You earn XP for completing missions and killing enemies (you get to keep this XP even if you die in the level) and will gradually level up.

Leveling up is important because it gives you access to stronger weapons. There are a ton of weapons to find and customize in Raid mode, much more than in the campaign. In between levels you can use your BP to buy weapons, ammunition and other supplies.

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Sadly Revelations feels dated on PS3.
Raid is designed to co-op with another player, and thatís definitely when itís at its best. The problem here is that partners arenít easy to find, and trying to find one around your level is harder still. When you play Raid alone it quickly becomes a grind because youíre under-powered, and often youíll run out of ammunition mid-level. This forces you to play easier chapters over and over to level up before you can equip a better weapon and progress.

Resident Evil Revelations has a few other problems too. Exploring the Queen Zenobia is relatively straightforward, but the similar-looking interiors make it hard to remember the exact layout. This is further hampered by a three-dimensional map that doesnít accurately show how to get from one location to another. Another issue is that scanning with the Genesis tool is as tedious as it is necessary. Also, the dodge controls (done by pressing up or down on the left-analog at the same time as pressing Ďxí) are iffy at best. All too often the controls failed me and my character stood still instead of dodging. It would have been better if they mapped dodge to a single-button.

Revelations also has the problem where fast-moving enemies (there are a few) move too fast for you to track them (i.e. the camera doesnít pan as fast as enemies move), while slow moving enemies can be picked off at will. As a result combat moves from annoying to dull depending on which enemy youíre facing.

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RE: Revelations is out on PS3 now.
The visuals which must have looked amazing on the small 3DS screen, look only ok on the PS3. The thing youíll notice is the distinct lack of detail in just about every object in the game once you get moderately close to it. Textures are fuzzy and grainy by turns, taking away much of the visual panache. On the brighter side characters look alright, but even they arenít up to current PS3 standards. Enemies are probably the biggest let down Ė thereís very little thatís scary-looking in the game, and a few of the enemies actually diminish the atmosphere with their blandness.

The music, which features a surprising amount of piano and synthesizer, does a fair job of building atmosphere. The voice-acting isnít too bad, but the script does them no favours. The story is slow to develop, mainly because there are so many cut-scenes in the game, but despite the title, few Ďrevelationsí. A lot of the characters lack any real personality, and the actors donít really inject any.

Resident Evil Revelations is not a bad game, but neither is it particularly good. It fails to build any atmosphere outside of the first few minutes, and the shooting sections arenít strong enough to carry the game. Scanning gets boring quickly, and the Raid lobbies arenít populated enough to keep you coming back for long. Basically Revelations is a game that wouldnít feel out of place back in 1996, but in 2013 it feels quite dated. Itís not the game to rebuild the franchiseís name then, and itís hard to recommend this to anyone outside of hardcore Resident Evil fans.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSItís been ported from the 3DS, and while it probably looked great there itís only so-so here. The lack of textures is very noticeable.
SOUNDNot as atmospheric as other survival horror games, but it does an ok job.
GAMEPLAYNothing new or exciting here, with run of the mill shooting, boring scanning and a multiplayer mode that lacks enough people to make you stick with it.
VALUECampaign last around ten hours and thereís new game+ to bring you back, and thereís Raid mode too.
OVERALLResident Evil Revelations didnít grab me in any way. The shooting aspects are so-so and the story is dull. For fans only.

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