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Resident Evil: Revelations

Score: 70%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1; 2 (Online)
Genre: Survival Horror/ Action/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

Resident Evil: Revelations is going to split the gaming community. Some will hail it as a true return to form for the recently-struggling horror series, while others will see it as an earnest but failed attempt at marrying the styles of Resident Evils both old and new. There are great ideas at work in this game, but ultimately, I'm in the latter camp.

Visually, Resident Evil: Revelations looks fine on the Wii U. It isn't up there with Resident Evil 5 (though I'm sure Nintendo's new console is more than capable of handling it), but it takes the work established in the original 3DS version and ably expands it to fit a better aspect ratio. The game also looks great on the Wii U GamePad; while I don't at all see this as a substitute for a HDTV with an HDMI input, it's viable for those who allow themselves to be kicked off the television. If you're not one of those people, the GamePad condenses your map and inventory into a single touchscreen interface. I don't like having to glance down while I'm playing, so I'm not a huge fan of this feature. But hey, it looks nice, which is good for something, I suppose.

Sound-wise, Resident Evil: Revelations for Wii U is an obvious improvement over the 3DS original. One of these days, Nintendo will be able to outfit their handheld devices with some acceptable speakers, but as of this writing, the day seems kind of far off. This game doesn't waste too much of its time communicating through the GamePad, so you're free to listen to all the horrible dialogue and explosive gunplay through your own hardware.


Gameplay:

Resident Evil: Revelations is the story of badass anti-bioterrorism squads, bioterrorism fanatics, and the poor souls that get caught up in the crossfire. You know, like every other Resident Evil game. So this one takes place between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The BSAA is in its infancy, and its necessity is frequently being highlighted by a terrorist organization known as Veltro. Their unleashing of Bio Organic Weapons on the Mediterranean aquapolis of Terragrigia resulted in its self-destruction by precision solar strike. But they're back with another intense campaign of bioterror, and the BSAA sends its finest to shut them down. This brings to light a conspiracy that involves a cruise ship and another bioterrorism agency. It's mainly the same schlocky nonsense that has pervaded the entire series since its inception, so if you see it as faithful, good on you. The rest of us can simply not care.

So you progress through a series of chapters, pausing time and again to switch between duos who are in different parts of the world. Most chapters have you playing as Jill Valentine and Parker Luciani, but others have you playing as Chris Redfield and his idiot companion Jessica or the annoying Quint and Keith. These strands are interwoven around something that somewhat resembles a normal plot structure, but it's really just an excuse to explore dilapidated structures and kill monsters.


Difficulty:

Resident Evil: Revelations is not a power fantasy. You're not a commando with a limitless supply of bullets and explosives. Rather, you're a modestly-armed (if that) meal on two legs walking through a maze populated by ravenous carnivores with incredibly thick skin. The odds are against you, and you must do what you can to survive. Running is not just an option: it's straight up recommended in several circumstances.

It's fine that Resident Evil: Revelations is a game that forces you to play defensively. What's not fine is that it doesn't give you enough functional defensive options. There's no dedicated dodge button, and you'll have to identify the tiny window of opportunity during each creature's attack pattern. This, however, is far easier said than done. For starters, most enemies are faster than you are. But what makes it really difficult is the incredibly limited room you have to maneuver around.


Game Mechanics:

I don't think that the Wii U GamePad is a particularly adequate substitute for a traditional controller, but it's leaps and bounds beyond the dreadful Wii Remote. Twin-stick aiming doesn't quite feel as natural on the GamePad as it does on the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. I won't consider that as a serious detriment to the game, as it does feature Pro Controller support. For all I know, it could be the ultimate way to play; I just think it's lame that it's not included with every Wii U.

Controller qualms aside, all of the perfections and imperfections of the Resident Evil: Revelations control scheme return. Moving and firing is the same, and the dodge mechanic is still as iffy as it ever was. The Genesis scanner is still the same missed opportunity that you'll use at the risk of being attacked -- you can never have enough green herbs.

As a whole, the Miiverse integration features in Resident Evil: Revelations are a much, much stupider version of the Dark Souls communication system. It is extremely entertaining, but ultimately immersion-breaking. As monsters lumber towards you, you may be shocked to see text bubbles appear over their heads. These can contain anything, from taunts to jokes to advice. If you die, you can leave messages (or drawings) behind, which can be seen by others who meet the same grisly end. I recommend you turn Miiverse functionality on only after you've completed the game; it's a refreshingly gonzo take on metagaming.

All told, Resident Evil: Revelations on Wii U is better than its other counterparts in one way but not as good in another. So it's ultimately a wash between the three. What I can say is that this is a fun survival horror game that represents neither the best nor the worst that this long-running series has to offer.


-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:



Microsoft Xbox 360 Resident Evil: Revelations Nintendo Wii U Call of Duty: Black Ops II

 
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