Resident Evil: Revelations for the 3DS was hailed by many as a great throwback to the days of creeping round Spencer Mansion in the original Resident Evil. The Queen Zenobia was a vast expanse of tiny corridors and dead-ends, with zombies waiting to slither out of air vents and scary the living daylights out of you. Because of this major success on the 4.88 inch screen of the 3DS, Capcom decided to cash-in and release Resident Evil: Revelations HD onto home consoles and PC. Unfortunately, this transition has failed to capture what made the 3DS version so special.
The storyline is absolutely ridiculous and nonsensical, but it manages to explain itself by the finale and does a good job in doing so. Revelations employs the use of flashbacks in order to flesh out the game and vary the experience for players, but these portions of the game are rather dull and do not reflect the intense fear and desperation felt when you are on the Queen Zenobia, especially with the limited amount of ammunition on the ship that means you have to make every shot count. This is rather difficult however, not because of the jolting of the ship but because of the jerkiness of the aiming with a controller. Where the Circle Pad Pro worked really well on the 3DS, somehow the aiming system has been butchered by Capcom for the console. This is very surprising as games like Resident Evil 5 had great targeting systems and it is a real shame that Revelations seriously falls down here.
What is perhaps most disappointing about Revelations is the fact that Capcom have had the audacity to call it ‘HD’. On the console it looks downright shoddy and uninspiring. There are frequent frame-rate issues and the screen literally chugs when moving from one section to the next or during a boss fight. In games like Resident Evil 4, shooting a zombie got a satisfying response from them, but in Revelations there is no actual indication that you have hit an enemy apart from some poorly rendered blood oozing from their wound. There is no real feeling of impact with weapons and that alone severely dampens the gaming experience. Whilst character models do look good, there is no synchronisation for speech and everything else looks just average, textures frequently pop out and the scenery is just not good enough for a HD title. Revelations HD looks like it was made for the 360’s release, not at a time when next-gen consoles are on our doorstep.
“The port of the 3DS game onto the major consoles is an underwhelming one with many flaws and fails to perform where necessary.”
There are moments when you enter huge rooms that look rather grand, but they don’t stand out as beautiful pieces of art like they would have done on the 3DS. It is plainly apparent that these large rooms were made to show off the graphical capabilities of the 3DS, but they do nothing for the Xbox 360. Apart from the ever-present sound of death rattles and groaning undead, the game sounds quite lifeless and not well suited to the big screen. Of course there are crescendos of string instruments at all the tense moments but this doesn’t add anything special to the HD port. Resident Evil: Revelations HD does manage to amplify the ‘fear factor’ experience, even more so than the 3DS version, with the dim lighting and tight corridors of the Queen Zenobia as your character attempts to search and backtrack to find the next piece of the puzzle in order to get off the zombie infested ship. There were countless moments of building tension that ended with me screaming as I was mauled by huge zombie that had appeared from nowhere.
There aren’t many new additions for HD remake apart from a few extra storyline features and Infernal mode which increases the difficulty and rearranges the position of zombies and items to make the play-through more unpredictable. The port of the 3DS game onto the major consoles is an underwhelming one with many flaws and fails to perform where necessary. It is by no means a terrible game, it still kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole play-through, but it just isn’t as good as the original and doesn’t live up to the standards of the Resident Evil games it was trying to replicate.