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Review: Resident Evil: Revelations (PS4)

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A second resurrection for decaying title

Despite Resident Evil 7's critical and commercial success earlier this year, some fans took exception to its all-new stylistic approach to Capcom's juggernaut series, which they considered to be a betrayal of the survival horror's legendary roots. Simply put, they claimed the Southern Gothic, first-person horror title was "not a Resident Evil game".

Drastic changes to long-running series almost always meet opposition. It's easy to forget today that some people didn't like Resident Evil 4's metamorphosis from the mechanics of even earlier entries, even though today it's considered one of the best games in the series. My (woefully drawn out) point is that sometimes, a series must adapt to survive, and, given my time with Resident Evil: Revelations, Capcom's recent overhaul of the franchise is a godsend.



Resident Evil: Revelations
(PS4 [reviewed] Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: August 29, 2017 (PS4, Xbox One) TBA (Switch)
MSRP: $19.99

Resident Evil: Revelations is the second rerelease of the successful Nintendo 3DS game, which launched back in 2012. It weaves an interconnecting tale of several BSAA agents as they investigate a (supposedly-disbanded) bio-terrorist cell, uncovering evidence of yet another monster creating virus, responsible for the destruction of the utopian paradise; Terragrigia.

Broken down into TV style "episodes", the player character and their A.I partner make their way through a series of linear areas, taking down monsters and solving the most rudimentary of puzzles, in order to progress a story of international intrigue, bio-weapons, double-crosses and other tropes that had long become an anchor to the franchise. Point characters include poster kids Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, with backup provided by human chunk of beef Parker Luciani and the awful Jessica Sherawat, who wears high heels on snow missions and flirts with all her partners.

Whilst Revelations was a sight to behold on the humble 3DS hardware, its transition to Playstation 4 five years later has been less than kind. The textures are flat, faded and muddy, though the enemy models fare a little better. The sound holds up nicely, with creepy ambient noise, disgusting squelches and gurgles, and the moody, lonely piano themes that are a series trademark.

Little effort has been made to boost the port so that it stands shoulders with modern third-person shooters. As such, every aspect of the game's mechanics feels dated and clunky. The control system is one of the worst offenders. Characters are sluggish in movement, while precision aiming can be an insensitive chore. Chaotic battles in tight areas are little more an exercise in camera-swinging tedium. Characters can strafe, hallelujah, but fights are a mechanical process, rather than pulse-pounding battle to the death. It simply isn't exciting to play.



In fact, the overall issue with Revelations' re-release is that it's a stark reminder of how long in the tooth the second wave (starting with 4) of mainline Resi games had become. The combat is stale. The puzzles never rise above the basic levels of sliding tiles or matching keys. Most noticeably, the story is a crushing bore, peppered with trite, dryly performed dialogue and exposition-heavy drama. Resident Evil went from being a gut-churning horror yarn to a repetitive, monster-themed photocopy of 24.

Speaking of hours, there are a solid 10+ awaiting players in the campaign, as well as the return of the Raid mode. One or two players can unlock a cast of characters and weapons with which to re-run previously completed stages, completing time/score-attack challenges against reshuffled monster layouts.

Whilst it may seem I'm being hostile toward the release, I will note that the game hasn't strictly attained any new flaws in its port transition. It plays pretty much identically to its original incarnation. But that was five years ago, and since then the realm of third-person adventure games has been through, not just changes, but an entire revolution. Today, Revelations doesn't just feel outdated, it's archaic.



The title won high praise back in 2012, and it was much deserved. Cramming the game into a handheld device was a mammoth task, one that was skillfully handled, resulting in a very impressive looking release. Today the very same game, copy-pasted onto a modern day console, shows its age in every aspect, mechanically, visually and dramatically. It is also worth noting the upcoming Switch release will come bundled with sequel Revelations 2, which is arguably a far better title.

I can only recommend Resident Evil: Revelations to die-hard fans who missed the game on its initial release, or those who just want to experience every chapter of Resident Evil lore. Whilst the game commits no specific new crime, it is a lazily-handeld port of a title that doesn't hold up well to big-screen modern scrutiny, with the ultimate revelation being, how right Capcom were to steer the course of the series in an entirely new direction.

[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.]


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Resident Evil: Revelations reviewed by Chris Moyse

5

MEDIOCRE

An exercise in apathy, neither solid nor liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.
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Chris Moyse
Chris MoyseAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Chris (Orochileona) has been playing video games since video games began.. still terrible at them though. Former Saturday Night Slam Master, rambles nostalgically like Abe Simpson. Mind like an ... more + disclosures


 



Also on destructoid: Resident Evil: Revelations   (36)   From our database:

  • Capcom's Resident Evil Revelations Collection isn't getting a Switch physical release in Europe because 'it's not viable' - Chris Carter
  • Both Resident Evil: Revelations have a new mini-game on Switch - Brett Makedonski
  • Resident Evil: Revelations Collection on Switch takes up a lot of space, regardless of where you buy it - Peter Glagowski
  • Review: Resident Evil: Revelations (PS4) - Chris Moyse
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 1 and 2 upgraded for Switch this year - Cory Arnold
  • The latest Resident Evil: Revelations ports are out in August - Jordan Devore
  • Resident Evil: Revelations looks smooth on PS4, but I don't think I need it again - Chris Carter
  • Capcom cuts prices on Resident Evil games for Wii U, 3DS - Kyle MacGregor Burleson
  • Look for the Resident Evil: Revelations demo next week - Jordan Devore
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    Filed under... #Capcom #demos #PC #PS3 #Resident Evil #Steam #Survival Horror #Wii U #Xbox 360

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