GS 2011: Resident Evil Revelations Hands-On

Photobucket Resident Evil Revelations is a return to the pace and style of earlier entries in Capcom’s successful, survival horror series, and it feels just right running on the 3DS. The visuals are sharp, the lighting impressive and the 3D subtle, making for a surprisingly atmospheric, portable experience.

The TGS demo followed series stalwart Jill Valentine – the master of unlocking – through the dimly lit corridors of an antiquated cruise ship that looks to be an intriguing place to explore. The game is seen from an over-the-shoulder perspective, much like in RE 4 and 5, allowing you to take in most of your surroundings whilst retaining some vital blind spots to keep you guessing. The impressive visuals and eerie sound effects create a chilling atmosphere, as fog hugs the floor of an abandoned dining hall and unseen creatures scratch away behind locked doors. The more social of these monstrosities were humanoid in nature, yet a far cry from your standard zombie, and could take a pounding before crumpling to the floor in a bloody heap. Fortunately, they were rather slow footed, but once within striking distance they became quite a handful.

Ammunition and health pick-ups were at a premium throughout. On more than one occasion I resorted to fleeing confrontation as I found myself out of ammo, forced to drag my ailing body in the other direction in search of a precious herb. I could barely contain my excitement when I stumbled upon a shotgun, though predictably it came with only a precious few shells. If the stage in question is anything to go by, then Revelations will demand sensible rationing and the ability to wield a knife as effectively as a firearm.

The controls are familiar, despite being on a portable, and although the demo did not require it, the final version will support the additional, circle pad peripheral. Revelations retains some of the stiffness of movement from previous games, which serves to make every enemy encounter that much more intense, whilst not being too clunky or reliant on sharp, right angled movement. However, I did struggle to get accustomed to the switch to a first person view point when aiming a weapon – a shift that did not appear to be optional during the demo. It felt slightly disjointed from the rest of the game, and did not offer the accuracy or responsiveness that you would usually equate with first person shooting.

Resident Evil Revelations is shaping-up to be the survival horror experience that Mercenaries had no intention of being, with exploration and puzzle solving front and centre. This return to vintage was apparent from the opening moments, when I had to drain a bath full of sludge to reveal a missing key and tackle a fuse-box puzzle. Expect plenty of creaky floorboards, crank puzzles and grotesque creatures when Revelations drops in 2012, exclusively for the 3DS.

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Written by Matt M

Matt has been a gamer ever since Father Christmas left him a Master System II in the early 90's. Santa was clearly a Sega fan, as a Mega Drive and Saturn would follow in later years. Matt has long since broken free from the shackles of console monotheism and enjoys playing a wide range of games, almost as much as he enjoys meticulously ordering them on his living room shelves.

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