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Review

Resident Evil: Revelations Review

  • Game release: February 7, 2012
  • Reviewed: May 22, 2013
  • PS3

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.

Gonna go to the casino, hit the slots, have some drinks, kill some horrifying creatures. Should be fun.

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.)

Sometimes, your AI companions make a convincing show of trying to help you. Other times, not so much.

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
About GameSpot's Reviews
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Discussion

75 comments
b0sse
b0sse

The original Resident Evil Revelations on the 3DS got a 8.5 score and this HD remake for the consoles which is the EXACT same game gets a 6.5 score... How does that make any sense?

firedrakes
firedrakes

back tracking is awful. also for ps3 with patch(latest) the evade works when it wants to

AzelKosMos
AzelKosMos

I really liked it except for the back tracking, it was the best Resi since 4 imo.

andrelias
andrelias

Considering this was supposed to be the game that would bring RE franchise back to the track, I'm very disappointed to it. Who told Capcom co-op is good for an allegedly survivor horror game, specially when you have an a.i. controlled partner? The awful dialogues between the characters make you wish to kill your partner instead the b.o.w.'s and they totally kill any chance for the game to be scary. Enemies are not very scary either and lack more diversity. Graphics are less than impressive, considering another recent games, or even older ones. Characters still move "like a tank" (to use the same expression from another RE game review), and the story is even more absurd than usual. One of the few good things is the location, that remembers the mansion and other places in original RE.

ZOMBIEpocalypse
ZOMBIEpocalypse

This game totally sucked, though it felt smoother than resident evil 4 and 5 it still made you feel frustrated at times cause the controls have changed causing awkwardness and frustration during gunfights and battles. Resident evil 6 is not the best but they could have used the controlling system for this game would have really made a difference.

Gaara17
Gaara17

>not scary


>this fucking bitch

slikjohnson
slikjohnson

I was about to comment on how 3ds version got an 8.5 and how this got a 6. Then i realized of it's two different reviewers.... come back jane

JesseJay101
JesseJay101

This person doesn't even sound like she played the game. Did she even try to play the game before she started bashing it left and right. Her review did not describe the experience I and many other people had. She was way off the mark, completely. She must be one of those people jumping on the hate Resident Evil bandwagon. Well congratulations because of this lousy review you lost a reader. I will be going to other sites for gaming reviews now.

SGTbilk0
SGTbilk0

kill this fucking franchise already!

Devil_78
Devil_78

I just finished the game . There is no way in hell this game is 6.5 !!!. People trust too much the scores given by gamespot . Although its not great as resident evil 2,3, code veronica , remake or 4 but its better than 6 . it has great story . Great bosses fight especially the last boss. More than 12 stages. Its good to see jill and chris again.

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

I wished that game companies went back to doing pre-rendered backgrounds. Like the RE Remake and Zero. They were top notch, I also really miss the FF7-9 games. There is an appeal about rendering high res graphics and lighting that is much harder to obtain with real time game assets and lighting. I wonder if game companies will eventually one day come back to that.

louie_cloud
louie_cloud

ill give it 9 coz i  can get to see jill's ass in a bigscreen

Karjah
Karjah

Oh good Carolyn is still with gamespot.  Nice to see there are still some honest reviewers out there.  :) 

Nice to see professional journalists willing and able to give popular games a thrashing when they fail to live up to their own standards. 

Truth is I never played resident evil 3 until a few months back after playing almost all the other games in the series and the game held up remarkably well and was still a ton of fun.  This stinker however is destined for the flusher in the long term.

pity-the-sadnes
pity-the-sadnes

Last good Resi game was RE 3 Nemesis and the remake from RE 1 for the game cube.

Since than they just sucked

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

I like the RE franchise but in the words of the Angry Videogame Nerd..."This game is ass"....

Too much back tracking, stupid stop and scan feature, back character designs, bulletsponge enemies.. this games is a 4 at best.. and only worth $10 dollars, not the $40 that it costs. Seems Capcom is continuing the train of shitty RE games.. why can't they be good like RE4?.. hopefully someday they will be.

ErickPS4
ErickPS4

Like in re6 review, a legion of blinded fans defending this piece of crap.

CTU_007
CTU_007

Too much backtracking? Really? Must every game be a linear corridor fest?

Being able to explore a large location at your own pace was something I loved about the classic Resident Evil games. I hated when RE5 took that away, so its nice to see Revelations giving a bit more freedom to the player.

strawhat1987
strawhat1987

how come the 3DS version gets a 8.5 and this one a 6.5?

depman1972
depman1972

Ignore reviewer, this is a good game. better than re6 and the other raccoon city one

bd_devil
bd_devil

other CRAPCOM frailer you all ways like that and you shall be forever losers  

Devil_78
Devil_78

With all due respect CAROLYN who should we believe you or JANE DOUGLAS who reviewed this game for 3ds ? Jane said its CREEPY you said NOT SCARY !!! .and i believe its a same game only in hd . i think we must find out the truth .

carloscanalesv
carloscanalesv

I just dont find these mutants scary at all.There's something to be said for regular zombies and their scary factor.Besides, the ammo should be scarce and variety of guns next to 0.These games shouldnt be a third person shooter.Bring back true survival horror, Capcom!

jackyccm
jackyccm

LOL. Great review as always, Carolyn. Your opening statements alone made this the best review I have watched in a long while.

I agree with your scoring. Though I haven't played the entire game yet, the demo gave me the exact feeling that you mentioned in your review. It certainly is better than ORC and RE6, and at the beginning of the demo I did feel a little fear and dread about turning corners and opening doors, but once I started shooting a few... ugh... mutants (?), the game starts to get a bit uninspired.


By the way, whatever happened to good old zombies from Raccoon City? Those were scary. Ever since RE4, zombies were just... stale. And monsters, mutants, BOWs are just trying too hard to make themselves relevant. I remember constantly being cornered by groups of zombies in Raccoon City and all I could do was say my prayers and hit the restart button.

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

she talk about how are there to much back tracking well all the old games were famous for that.which made re so fun to play. she says it not scary and yet i had a few scary moments.as for the enemies i found them unique and different and very interesting. oh well. this games a 9 to me thats all that matters

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

So wait, this is better than RE6? I have had RE6 for over a year now and still have yet to beat it cause it sucks so bad.

Coldpain
Coldpain

While I don't always agree with her scoring, I do often agree with her remarks concerning the overall game experience. I think Carolyn just wants to see the full potential realized in the games she reviews. If the next RE game turns out to be much better, and she gave this an 8, would she really be able to give the new one a 10? Food for thought. I've come to realize that Carolyn's scores are more in line with what they ought to be.

It's the other journalists that are padding other games' scores, which is in turn throwing everyone and the entire scoring system off. When I see 6.5 I say dear god, not buying, but realistically 6.5 isn't a terrible score, we've just become accustomed to seeing 6.5 paired with horrible games.

So in Carolyn's defense, despite the fact that I am still irked by Luigi Mansion's score, 6.5 doesn't always mean the game is bad...it just depends on who is reviewing the game.

nabitybuch
nabitybuch

There is no more RESIDENT EVIL... its not anymore the same... 1.2.3 part was the best resident evil parts ever! those 3d shit stay much much behind... here we cannot see those atmophere or gamplay or fun ... its not the same... nat all games have to be in 3d...

pauten
pauten

Another poor review from Gamespot. It's the same game as the 3ds release with much better controls and it gets a considerably lower score? Total lack of logic.

Goofy Dialog? That's one of the reasons why we fell in love with Resident Evil to begin with! Silly stylized millitary outfits? This is Resident Evil not Flashpoint. It's supposed to be a bit campy.

This is a good game people around an 8/10 I'd say. I am totally convinced now after the RE6 fiasco and now this that there is a conspiracy against Resident Evil with you so called journalists.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@2w-sephiroth The controls in the early Resident Evil games sucked mainly because of those pre-rendered backgrounds you love.

lewispetty
lewispetty

@Qassim986 ive never agreed to one of her reviews ever she ether overrates or underrates and the cons for this review are stupid   

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

@pity-the-sadnes 

Don't you hate it when those new aged Resident Evil fanboys tell you na uh resi 4 is the best duh(lol)!  I gotta say resident evil 3 was pretty awesome back in the day I fondly remember playing that game for the first time right after I completed Survivor I think for like the third time and pretty much realizing how terrible it was/  Awww those were the days to be a gamer...

ErickPS4
ErickPS4

@pity-the-sadnes For you. RE4 was the best RE. After RE5 (good), crapcom launched only crap games. This last one is a joke. RE6 has better graphics than this garbage despite having bad gameplay.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@ErickPS4 Except RE 6 is good. While this is average.

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

@Kryptonbornson @2w-sephiroth A price for the other, you want immerse and a scary game? or you want action? We live in a world with many double edge swords. And yes, I love them specially because I make game graphics and I appreciate what is not done any more. No biggie.

Qassim986
Qassim986

so shoot yourself fool ... this a big game ... guys don't listen 2 dat emo from gamespot who gave it a 6.5 such a fool reviewers !!!

Stellux
Stellux

@2w-sephiroth @Kryptonbornson 

He's saying:

You want games to go back to pre-rendered backgrounds because it's what you enjoy.

He's saying he loves (enjoys^) his kids; however he wouldn't want them being babies again.

 In other words he wouldn't want to go back to the old pre-rendered backgrounds that were prevalent on FF8/9. Personally graphics are not too much of a big deal for me but can make some really emotional scenes when properly knitted.

Resident Evil: Revelations More Info

  • 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 1041 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Resident Evil: Revelations
    Developed by:
    Capcom
    Published by:
    Capcom, Nintendo
    Genres:
    Adventure, Action, 3D, Open-World
    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