A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Resident Evil Revelations
Version – Wii U
ESRB Rating: ‘E’ – Everyone
Release Date: 5/21/2013
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Capcom
The epic 3DS action/horror game has now been ported to home consoles. It receive a major graphical overhaul from the original version. But is that enough to justify purchasing it on the home console?
For those of you that are new to this game and did not play the 3DS version, read on for a little story information. Already familiar with the story of the game? Skip to the next section.
I didn’t really cover this in my 3DS review (link above), but basically the player alternates between different team members searching for this T virus that has been causing a plaguing problem in other games in the series. The primary focus is aboard a cruise ship controlling Jill as she and Parker search for this reappearance of Veltro. Aboard the ship they run across Raymond (an operative for a different organization) who is also investigating the ship. They work together to try to restore power to the ship to prevent it from sinking as fellow teammates Parker, Jessica try to track down the ship’s coordinates in order to help them since they had not radioed back to HQ for a while. The entire mess turns into a huge conspiracy as everyone tries to figure out how the T virus has turned up again and if Veltro is still alive. Will they be able to prevent the spread of the virus and make it off the cruise ship alive?
Gameplay & Controls
For those of you new to this game, the gameplay is divided into episodes containing three parts. There’s two shorter missions involving other team characters and one advancing the main part of the ship with Jill and Chris. Some of the segments are flashbacks or parts that took place before the game started, others are just other investigations that are ongoing. Basically in each part you control a character and you walk around looking for clues or hints to advance the story. Along the way you kill zombies that can pop out of anywhere and you can also find ammo, new weapons, custom parts and secondary weapons such as grenades. The gameplay overall is pretty fun as you explore the ship or locale and you only have an end goal or clue what you should be doing. You have the option of exploring wherever instead, like if you wanted to revisit an area to get into a room that was previously locked and you had found the proper key for it.
The game does a great job for completionists by forcing you to go back to these areas so that you can collect additional weapons and custom parts. Basically the controls mirror those of 3DS, however you get two extra shoulder buttons and the second control stick. This makes aiming and moving around much simpler, and also easier to use physical attacks and scanning the area/enemies for hidden items or scan percents. The gameplay is identical to the 3DS one, but the controls definitely make the game play much smoother with the joysticks and additional shoulder buttons. If using the TV, some weapon customization along with the map are displayed on the GamePad. The player can also opt to play the entire game on the GamePad which is also a great option to have for those of us with family that like to use the television.
Overall, I was a big fan of the gameplay as I thought it was pretty solid. I love having open exploration and facing some challenges and puzzles in completing the objectives. With zombies popping out of anywhere really adds that element of horror into the game and will make you jump back as you are taken by surprise. This game also offers a third difficulty level that the 3DS version did not have called infernal. This changes up the weapon and item locations along with pumping out the AI at a difficult level. The game also offers a casual (easy) mode along with normal. With plenty of enemies, the game still offers a good challenge and replay value. There is also an online Raid mode where you can play with friends to defeat swarms of zombies as well. It also allows you to play raid mode by yourself if you wish to level up your character before playing with friends.
Visuals & Sound
As I mentioned at the beginning, between the 3DS original and this one, the graphics got a major overhaul to HD. Everything looks very detailed, the backgrounds come in crisp and clear and easy to see individual items on the shelves and in the junk piles. Also the zombies look more terrifying as well. The boost from the small screen to the big screen made me appreciate the environment a lot more and I had an easier time seeing the emblems on the doors to know if I had the proper key as well. The one thing that I can say against the pretty graphics was that the voices did not match the animations of the characters mouths. I think this adds more to the realism of the game to see characters speak when we hear/read what they are saying.
In terms of the soundtrack, I didn’t notice anything new in this regard, but I felt the voices fit the characters well. Also, the sound effects of opening a door, and firing the weapons seemed very appropriate for this genre. I absolutely loved the way all the sounds work together as you explore the ship as you can hear Jill walking on the metal floors, or traveling through knee deep water, or whether you are scanning a room for clues and you hear a grate pop open with a zombie rolling out. It’s these little things that make this genre enjoyable to play with the sound on, and perhaps a dark room for an additional effect.
Resident Evil Revelations is a great game to get, even if you played the 3DS original. It looks and plays much better on the home console than the handheld. Those familiar with the series also get an option to start on a hard difficulty for those looking for a challenge. I’d recommend everyone to upgrade to this version of the game that enjoyed it on the 3DS, and also recommend to those that have never played a Resident Evil game. The 3DS version was my first experience with Resident Evil, and this version definitely solidified to me that the series is pretty solid, but more so on the home console. All of the main Wii U features are present with off-TV play and Miiverse, so if you are looking for a quality third party game, put this one at the top (or at least near the top) of your list.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
+ HD graphics
+ intriguing story
+ online raid mode / Miiverse integration
+ 3 difficulty levels
+ off TV play
+ great control scheme
– not a lot of new content added
– voices don’t match up with video