Resident Evil: Revelations HD Review
What do you do in the midst of zombie outbreaks and the release of dangerous Bio Organic Weapons to cull the human race? Stop the people responsible, and find a cure! In the case of Terragrigia’s destruction, we need to find out who was behind Il Veltro’s attack on the aquapolis, their hidden motives, and if there are any of their remnants to deal with.
Resident Evil: Revelations, the seventh major installment by Capcom to the franchise. It was originally released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, and has since been remastered for PC, PS3, XBox360 and the Wii U in 2013, and has now been re-remastered for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It would seem to me that Capcom is trying to get as much of their Resident Evil games to play on the current generation consoles, doing the faithful fans a service by making it possible for them to keep all of the games on one type of gaming platform. A good marketing strategy, to be honest, but what does this game offer that the previous versions didn’t? Let’s have a look.
Lost At Sea
First off, let’s deal with the story, because there are still people out there who haven’t played the game, and I was one of them, up until a while ago! The game starts with Jill Valentine and Parker Luciani, now part of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), boarding the Queen Zenobia, a derelict cruise ship in the middle of the ocean’s nowhere, on a mission from Clive O’Brian to find Chris Redfield and Jessica Sherawat, who had been reported missing since their mission to this ship. I was largely unfamiliar with Parker and Jessica, because they only get introduced in this game. Their origin story gets told in a later chapter of the game. In the pursuit of finding Chris and Jessica, Jill and Parker find disgustingly mutated organisms, known as the Ooze, who were victims of the t-Abyss virus. They later get ambushed by an unknown assailant in a gas mask, after finding a dummy Chris, who knocks them out and strips them of their weapons.
Meanwhile, the real Chris and Jessica are searching snowy mountains for evidence of the return of Il Veltro, a bio-terrorist group responsible for the attack and outbreak in Terragrigia, a floating city on the Mediterranean Sea. This is where my alarm bells went off, because this tells me O’Brian had falsified information and gave this to Jill and Parker. I was unsure of his intentions, so I staved off my suspicions for a while. O’Brian seemed nice enough, so I staved off my suspicions of him, for now. Chris and Jessica find a small base of operations for Il Veltro, and then get told by O’Brian that they have lost contact with Jill and Parker out somewhere on the Mediterranean Sea. There are more complicated details such as sister ships being involved, but the majority of the game takes place on the Queen Zenobia ship, and many secrets within the FBC and Veltro gets revealed as the game goes on, which is why the game is given the title “Revelations”.
There aren’t many improvements that have been made to this game in comparison to the previous remasters, except for the graphics having been improved even more so, controls being tweaked, and some extra material. The graphics are indeed quite impressive, whether it be on the character models of our protagonists, the monsters, or the environments. I enjoyed the graphics a fair bit, however the only things that weren’t given a graphic overhaul are the Weapon Mods. When you reach a Weapon Box to customise your weapons, the sprites for each weapon is quite pixelated and feels a little out of place since everything else has been improved upon. It’s not a deal breaker, of course, though a bit of a let down. The monsters and mutants are more unnerving with their HD-textures, which even shows in their movements. Later on, you find these fleshy blobs stuck to walls. I often tried to stay as far away from them as possible, mainly because of how they looked. When I later learnt what was hiding in those bulbous blobs, I was glad that I adopted to the approach of keeping my distance. I enjoy the structure and progression of the game, having episodic chapters telling the story, which allows for short, yet effective, segments of gameplay, giving us intense cliffhanger moments on a regular basis to keep us going and wanting more.
A derelict cruise ship as the setting for the game was also a good choice. The tight corners of a cruise ship’s hallways can be unnerving, especially when you can hear an enemy is closeby, taking advantage of your anticipation by making sure you don’t get what you expect, or even surprising you when you do. Even the sway of the ship added to the atmosphere. A really fun little bit is being scored for how we do during the chapters, by adding together how fast you finished the mission, your shot accuracy, and the amount of times you died. I managed to stay in the A-range, and even scored a few S-ranks too! Harder difficulties make this a bigger challenge, but Normal is fairly decent, though you really do need to manage your ammunition properly, because the boss fights are intense! At first when I saw the amount of Pistol Ammo boxes that were strewn about the ship, I thought the tip about “Ammo Management” was a joke, until the first boss fight. Poor Jill ran out of ammo, and eventually succumbed to the horde that followed the Big Bad Saw-wielding Boss. You don’t have to worry about your teammate dying, funny enough, though he kept shooting the wrong enemies, and I didn’t want to waste time ducking and dodging in order to keep my “Zero deaths” streak. Speaking about dodging, what a nightmare that is! When I intend on dodging, nothing happens and I end up receiving damage, and then at random intervals, when I’m not even thinking about dodging the enemy’s attack, Jill dodges a melee swing. The dodge mechanic is so flawed, I couldn’t even find proper tips online. Many fans have complained about this, which means, despite there having been made tweaks to the controls, dodging still leaves much to be desired.
When damage gets received, you need to heal up using Green Herbs, as per the series’ formula. However, you can be near death, and a single herb will be enough to heal you completely. As an added mechanic to receive more “vaccines”, you make use of a new item called the Genesis Bio-Scanner, which allows you to scan enemies and find hidden items and objects. When scanning enemies, a meter goes up in percentage, and when you reach 100%, the Scanner somehow “spits out” another Herb. You’re only able to carry around 5 herbs, so if you’ve reached 100% and are full on Herbs, it will only go back down to 0% and give you a Herb once you’ve needed to heal yourself. I enjoyed this though, because I was able to manage my Herbs to such a point where I could have a full inventory of Herbs, and have an extra one handy if the case needed, and believe me, there are a lot of situations when this happens. The more you scan a single type of enemy, the longer it takes for the bar to fill up too. The Scanner will also find hidden objects such as Ammo, Herbs, and Weapon Mods. Make a mental note of these, because if you aren’t able to pick them up yet, you will need to later on.
Raid Some Hordes
The game also has a Raid Mode makes a welcome return. Here you need to fight off different types of hordes of enemies of varying difficulty with a friend. In this mode, you get given a much more powerful armory of weapons and you’re rarely without ammo, though that doesn’t mean you should waste what gets given. This mode has an end in mind, which is a nicer twist instead of having to outlast a ticking clock. You can pick your character and each character gets given a level to determine their experience and how tough the enemies will be. You can unlock different outfits for each of the characters. Some outfits have me questioning the sanity of the female characters, specifically. Monsters scale to the difficulty and get tougher as you go, so you will need to be able to adapt and have tactics ready for the trickier developments. Fortunately, any mods you make to your weapons during this mode is permanent, and can be upgraded the further you get with better mods.
This HD Remake sees very few new additions and improvements, but the game itself is still pretty solid. What’s really nice is that you don’t have to pay for the DLC, but instead unlock all existing DLC through in-game accomplishments! This reminds me of the good ol’ days when unlocking extra features was the “in-thing”. For my first-time playing this game, and after having played Resident Evil 7, I can’t say that I disliked the game. I found myself wanting to play another chapter every time I finished another. Some parts can feel a bit tedious in the beginning, but as the game progresses, and the story unfolds, you get more and more hooked. The graphics are really well done, and the music fits the theme. If you didn’t get the 2013 Remaster, then I’d encourage you to get this, but this game offers little new features or changes aside from a mode in Raid called “Chaos Mode”. You can currently get this remaster, at the time of review, from BTGames for R385.00 each on PlayStation 4 and XBox One. The Switch version will be released on the 28th of November!