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Review

Resident Evil: Revelations Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed: May 22, 2013
  • X360

Resident Evil: Revelations plays a lot like the best games in the series, but lacks the scariness and intensity that made those games special.

It has been a dark time for the Resident Evil series. The abominably disappointing Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and Resident Evil 6 utterly lacked the nail-biting action the series was once known for, making it impossible to see in them any glimmer of the franchise's former greatness. So in a sense, the release of Resident Evil: Revelations on consoles and PC is cause for celebration. First released on the 3DS last year, Revelations is both the best Resident Evil game of the past few years and the one that's the most true to the series' roots. There's something to be said for that. But taken on its own terms, it's not a great game. It's not remotely scary, and the enemy design is uninspired. Still, Revelations is competent enough to remind you of what Resident Evil can be, even if it doesn't get under your skin the way the best games in the series do.

Set between Resident Evil 4 and 5, Revelations' tale is more concerned with organizations--the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, the Federal Bioterrorism Commission, and the terror group Veltro--than with individuals. Series mainstays Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are on hand, but they don't get any opportunities for character development here; they're just familiar pawns in the series' latest sinister, overly complicated conspiracy.

They're joined by one likable new character, and one awful one. Jill's partner, Parker, bears an unmistakable resemblance to actor Russell Crowe; looks aside, he's a good-humored companion, someone you'd like to have by your side in a crisis. Chris' partner, Jessica, on the other hand, is so obnoxious and absurd as to strain credulity, even in a story about ooze monsters. When Chris has been injured and she responds, "Me and my sweet ass are on the way!" it's so goofy that it takes you out of the moment, and a one-legged outfit she wears later in the game makes her look like a member of an avant-garde dance troupe, not a counterterrorism task force.

The bulk of Revelations takes place on the Queen Zenobia, a luxury ocean liner with plenty of cramped corridors that make for claustrophobic combat. The ship's elegant cabins, casinos, and promenades contrast with its bilges, freight lifts, and other metallic environments, which makes your initial explorations of the ship rewarding. The Queen Zenobia's layout is convincing, making it easy to buy into the idea that it's a real ship with a long and grisly history. But before you've advanced too far through the campaign, you've seen most of what the Zenobia has to offer, and you spend much of your time trekking back through areas you've already covered.

Things may have changed somewhat--you might be able to access rooms you couldn't before, or you may encounter new enemy types--but the sense of discovery that helps make the early sections intriguing wears off too soon. Still, the way the story is broken up into short, episodic sections, jumping back and forth frequently between characters and locations, keeps the pacing brisk; you never get tired of one situation before you're whisked off to another.

These aren't the scariest or most imaginative enemies to be featured in a Resident Evil game.

Of course, you're not on the Queen Zenobia for a pleasure cruise; terrible things have happened aboard that ship, and as a result, you're constantly attacked by bio-organic weapons, some of which look like people covered head to toe in gray ooze and others of which resemble human-size lizard creatures from a low-budget monster movie. Confrontations are sometimes more campy than chilling, and the fact that you can perform cartoonish melee attacks, complete with goofy windups, on stunned enemies, only adds to the silliness.

If you've played Resident Evil 4 or 5, the controls and combat here will feel familiar. The camera's closeness to your character limits your peripheral vision, fostering a feeling that you never know what's just around the next corner. The problem is that Revelations never does much of anything with this; you're never startled to discover an enemy you didn't know was there or given a reason to dread what might be lurking in the shadows ahead. There's a halfhearted creepiness to the atmosphere of Revelations, but never anything that might generate actual fear or dread.

Instead, the combat is typically straightforward rather than scary. Your weapons feel powerful, and only become more powerful as you augment them with parts you find, but they never feel overpowered; your enemies' resilience makes you grateful for every ounce of firepower you can wring out of those weapons. You rarely feel truly threatened or desperate, but enemies can still corner you in tight spaces, generating some tension as you fill them with bullets and hope they go down before they get close enough to grab you. (You don't want that to happen, both because you get injured and because you're prompted to do some unpleasant stick-wiggling to struggle free.)

Maybe if the organization issued its female agents more practical protective gear, this wouldn't have happened.

Some environments give you a bit more freedom to move around, with opportunities to leap to lower levels to temporarily flee from encroaching attackers. These areas might fill with monsters that close in on you before you blow up an explosive tank at the last second, incinerating your enemies and making your escape. You've probably experienced moments like this in games many times before, but they're still satisfying.

Unfortunately, though the best games in the series feature confrontations with memorable, horrifying bosses, the boss battles here, like everything else about Revelations, are standard. Bosses can dish out and withstand plenty of damage, but their designs and their attack patterns are all par for the course. Outside of the campaign, there's Raid mode, an opportunity to fight off enemies solo or with another player, and though the process of leveling up and earning points with which you can purchase more and better gear is predictably compelling, the combat still lacks the spark of scariness that infused the action of earlier Resident Evil entries. Revelations is a decent adventure, but it doesn't come close to reaching the heights the series has in the past.

The Good
Both your weapons and your enemies feel powerful
The Queen Zenobia is an intriguing location
Episodic structure keeps the pace brisk
The Bad
Not scary
Most enemies are uninteresting
Too much backtracking
6.5
Fair
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Discussion

184 comments
shadowydark
shadowydark

Nope this game sucks, umad fanboys? Can't hold a candle to RE2 or REmake.

aiyobro
aiyobro

I don't know what this lady is smoking my friend loved the game just as he loved the others, there were maybe two scary games in the whole franchise and they were remakes, RE is know for tension not mind numbingly boring gameplay and cutscenes

ex5000
ex5000

Graphics 7/10

control 8/10

gameplay 9/10

baszzer
baszzer

To those who are having issues regarding the review, please leave the reviewer alone. He has his own perspective regarding the definition of horror. Some say horror comes with fear, while for others, simply from tension. Just express yourselves in an ethical and polite manner. Cheers for revelations.

baszzer
baszzer

Those campy, cringe-worthy voice overs are reminiscent of the pre-resi 4 games. Totally dissonant to whatever the circumstance is, that was one of the defining characteristics of the series. Having played the PC port, I would definitely say that this has miraculously saved the series from the Resi 6 tragedy. 

el_mariarchi_01
el_mariarchi_01

Official X Box 360 mag gave this a 9/10 saying its the best Resi in years since part 4. Interesting.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

The graphictards on here need to leave. Graphics do not purely make a game and this game was pretty damn good for not even having zombies, and being an upscale of a 3DS game.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Whoever wrote this review is full of shit, as usual, and as they did not give this game the respect it deserves, I do not give them the respect of finding their name.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

I just can't understand. 3DS version gets 8.5 while the console version gets 6.5. It doesn't make sense at all. If gamespot reduced the score for its graphics, then this is silly.

oOhedzOo
oOhedzOo

I'm surprised to see a Resident Evil without ZOMBIES?!! seriously! are they trying to be silent hill or something?! 

Putting that aside, that game is so great. I think it is a lot better than RE6 and that's enough for now. It was designed for the Wii U after all so we shouldn't expect an open world and too much content.

Graphics are so simple and polished so if you have a decent Graphic card, be sure to maximize all the settings with the anti-aliasing on.

IceVagabond
IceVagabond

I'm not defending Revelations, because it really is mediocre...but Jesus Christ Carolyn, we get the damn point- you're a feminist. You don't need to call attention to your viewpoints in every review you write (in fact, they don't belong on this site at all). Also, for every woman playing the victim and calling virtual cleavage "sexist", there's another calling bulky power armor on female characters in another game "sexist" for covering a female's figure. Just saying.

StealthHimself
StealthHimself

WHY does this sh1t keep coming out every year? It's no wonder the series is dying off.. it takes longer than one year to make an outstanding game, instead of this yearly mediocre TRASH.

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

THE FINAL POINT - Just go buy the 3DS version if you have a 3DS. This just simply isn't meant to be ported onto the consoles.

_Perfectionist
_Perfectionist

Nice gameplay. But cheap and very straightforward game. A VERY cheap port. And WAY too pricey. $50 for this piece of cr*p? seriously? don't buy unless it goes below 30 or 25. Capcom is being very greedy these days.

POMEGRENADE451
POMEGRENADE451

I was going to ask about the two point score difference. Then, I looked at the previous comments, and realized I would be roasted for doing so. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.

Reclaimer1992
Reclaimer1992

its ok 6.5  its good maybe , but that 4.5 for RE 6 was extremely ridiculous that day I lost my respect for gamespot... RE 6 was  6.0 nothing more nothing less. Some reviews in gamespot damage the games industry

suplax
suplax

Carolyn Petit , what a f*cking joke , go play some Barbie sh*t games if you can't handle to review a franchise like RE.

  • Too much backtracking.

OMG . really ?!? 

Have you ever played RE1 for PS ? God GameSpot is becoming a f*cking joke.

They are hiring clowns to do the reviews. 

Mr8ball
Mr8ball

i played this on 3ds and didn't really care for it. i want them to dig even deeper to the roots. this isn't resident evil no matter what anybody says. are there really that many people out there who hate the idea of a true resident evil game to come out? I would surely like one but i guess i'm all by myself.

bmart970
bmart970

What? How did this get a better score than RE6?

XxTheEvilxX
XxTheEvilxX

On the 3DS, this is a decent game, but it looks like shit on the big screen. Not because it is a bad game, but it is hard to port a 3DS game and make it look like the traditional releases. After a run through the demo, I decided to pass. It is better than RE 6. It does go back to series roots to an extent. But it is definitely not scary. I will still take it any day over the crap that was RE 5 and worse... RE 6. Not sure why her review score is so different than the 3DS version. It is the same game?!?! I just don't care for it on consoles because it looks like a 3DS game.

angryfodder
angryfodder

This is alarmingly inconsistent with the 3DS review in area's that are not platform related.

el_mariarchi_01
el_mariarchi_01

What a suprise..... another shitty Resident Evil. I will not be getting this game. This series died on its arse after the 4th installment. So lame Capcom.The only way to redeem the series is to make it an adult game M for mature or 18 rating and make it fucking scary again! But they never will becuase they're money grabbing whores and they want to sell resident evil to 12 year olds. I hate Capcom they really really suck!!

Maanis369
Maanis369

@baszzer The reviewer is a woman.... Also, I won't accept someone's openly spoken opinion if they don't even try to justify it. Honestly, I think she just phoned in this review without even attempting to put in time trying to actually play the game she tried to summarize and rate.

Stebsis
Stebsis

@Virtual_Erkan It's not "gamespot" and no one reduced the score, this is different version with different standards and most of all, a different reviewer with different opinion than the one who reviewed the 3DS version. I enjoyed this game and 8.5 is a score I'd give, but if horror elements in horror game don't click etc. then of course the score is lower.

_Perfectionist
_Perfectionist

@Virtual_Erkan And clumsy controls, bad voice overs, a brain dead plot and some technical flaws. Even Joystiq gave this a 6. Get over it. This game was bad/cheap and even Capcom didn't expect big sales. 

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@IceVagabond 

You do realize "Carolyn" is a dude right?

oOhedzOo
oOhedzOo

@StealthHimself This game was to be a Wii U/3DS exclusive. I'm glad they brought it to the other platforms to cover the hypes of RE6.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@_Perfectionist Don't buy it then, or stfu. It was a good game and a full length title as far as RE is concerned. Greed is the last thing you should worry about with Capcom, I'd focus on their absolute inability to make games first.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Reclaimer1992 Resident Evil 6 was barely a 5. 5 is being generous. The storyline was pure shit and ignored all previous lore not to mention getting some of it blatantly wrong in-game. The gameplay was boring and nothing new or exciting. They lose a point easily just for the pointless car chase level. The only functional part of the game was Chris's campaign, making this a third person shooter - other than Ada's original unpatched campaign. That game completely didn't deserve higher than a 4.5

Samslayer
Samslayer

@suplax I don't know if I'd be as harsh as you, but I totally agree! Backtracking is an element that made the earlier RE games frackin' scary.  That feeling that you explored an area then BAM another baddie out of nowhere! Back tracking is not a bad thing...

VanOrdSucks
VanOrdSucks

@Mr8ball Stop whinging. I would love a new 'true' RE game, but you don't see me hating on all the other entries into the series. Bitch.

_Perfectionist
_Perfectionist

@el_mariarchi_01 Agreed. RE is only still selling because of its name. Take RE6 for example. That game was pure crap and people still blindly bought it. It is only time when this series vanishes. 

POMEGRENADE451
POMEGRENADE451

@el_mariarchi_01 I wouldn't say 6.5 is "shity" per se, but I WOULD say that I'll probably pass on it, too. 59.99 before tax is quite a toll on a poor gamer's wallet for something I'll likely play through once and then put away or trade in for less value.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Stebsis @Virtual_Erkan They did click. If they didn't, your sound and TV weren't on and weren't tuned properly, or you're blind and deaf.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@_Perfectionist @Virtual_Erkan The controls were not clumsy. The plot was not brain dead, it made perfect sense and was a good story if not entirely predictable. This was the best RE game since RE4. The dodging sucked, a la RE3, but that was the point.

oOhedzOo
oOhedzOo

let's not point that out. Its clear enough.

pitosga
pitosga

- What is it? What do you smell?
- Fan(boy) flesh!

Resident Evil: Revelations More Info

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  • First Released
    • 3DS
    • PC
    • + 3 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    Resident Evil: Revelations tells the story of what happens between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.
    8
    Average User RatingOut of 1047 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Resident Evil: Revelations
    Developed by:
    Capcom
    Published by:
    Nintendo, Capcom
    Genres:
    Action, 3D, Open-World, Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language