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Resident Evil Revelations Review: Two Analog Sticks Greater Than One

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Quick Take: Resident Evil Revelations makes a successful leap from 3DS and 3D gaming to higher fidelity console platforms.

In February of 2012, I played and reviewed Resident Evil: Revelations for Nintendo 3DS. At the time, I called it a “return to form” and “revelation.” The year 2012 also saw the releases of a co-op shooter set in the Resident Evil universe with Resident Evil: Operations Raccoon City, high definition re-releases of two older Wii games for the PS3’s PlayStation Network in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, and a full-on numbered entry in the long running series with Resident Evil 6. Who would have known that after all of that – including the highly anticipated Resident Evil 6Resident Evil: Revelations would stand as the best Resident Evil game of 2012.

Now, a year later, Capcom has wisely decided to take this wonderful game and port it to the PS3, the Xbox 360, the Wii U, and the PC.

Taking a game created for a handheld system featuring stereoscopic 3D and porting it in HD to a more powerful system seems arbitrary. It shouldn’t work. But luckily, Capcom is an old hand at this seeing as how they spectacularly handled the recent Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate 3DS/Wii U conversion. The same magic is at work here as Revelations looks astounding. Sure the in-depth detail is missing in areas – especially on the character models, but the textures are intact and enhanced by HD and the monster effects are amped higher thanks to the power in the bigger systems. For a game that looked great on a handheld, it looks fantastic on my big screen TV.

Resident Evil Revelations Review: Two Analog Sticks Greater Than One

The story is the same and the voice acting (and script) are classic Resident Evil (re: it’s terrible!), but that is part of the allure. Exploring the SS Queen Zenobia is still a fright fest, and the way the game is broken down into short chapters, which added to the “pick up and go” aspect of a handheld, actually makes it feel more cinematic. My favorite part is still the “Previously in Resident Evil: Revelations” segues before you start a new chapter or upon returning after taking a break.

To recap, story takes place between RE4 and RE5, and focuses on a resort city called Terragrigia that is attacked with BOWs (Biological Weapons… or monsters) by a terrorist group known as Veltro. In Revelations, the player takes control of Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield to play out this story.

Resident Evil Revelations Review: Two Analog Sticks Greater Than One

The bulk of the game takes place on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea with Jill and her partner, Parker, trying to find and rescue Chris. In off-ship levels, the player plays as Chris and his partner, Jessica, detailing the events that got them on the ship in the first place.

The classic zombies have pretty much been excluded this time around, replaced with the warped BOWs that are usually saved for boss battles in other RE games. The change is welcome and it works here.

Resident Evil Revelations Review: Two Analog Sticks Greater Than One

The addition of the second control stick is extremely important. True, the 3DS had the Circle Pad Pro attachment, but buying a $20 peripheral to play a $40 game seemed a bit steep. Here, all of that is washed away and having total control of the camera is wonderful, especially during combat. It’s a wonder that I went through hell with the game on the 3DS trying to play with only the one circle pad.

Resident Evil: Revelations brings back the online and local multiplayer gameplay mode, Raid. These are timed level missions in which the player is tasked with completing as quickly as possible. The more kills and better times earns XP and new items and costume unlocks. It’s a very capable online feature that actually plays better than the full-length Operation Raccoon City that was released last spring.

There are also 50 or so in-game achievements to unlock in both campaign and Raid mode, giving players incentive to complete tasks. The Wii U version of the game also features a Miiverse component where players can share thoughts, pictures and drawings; offering tips or warnings in some cases. The “spoiler” filter can be turned on, which blocks any Miiverse message that may ruin a play through. Regardless, Capcom has once again embraced the Wii U’s unique skillset and made it user friendly.

Resident Evil Revelations Review: Two Analog Sticks Greater Than One

Resident Evil: Revelations still stands as one of the better recent RE games it the series’ long history. Porting it to the bigger, more-powerful systems gives a larger audience the opportunity to experience this throwback to scary Resident Evil games, and hopefully will make people forget about the action-packed popcorn movie that was Resident Evil 6.

With a decent online multiplayer element and an incredible campaign mode, Revelations is still the best Resident Evil game in a very long time.

Click here to purchase Resident Evil Revelations for Wii U at a discounted price from Amazon.com (May 21, 2013 release date).

Resident Evil Revelations was reviewed on Wii U and was provided by Capcom for this review. It was previously available for 3DS and is now available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii U.

Resident Evil Revelations Review: Two Analog Sticks Greater Than One

SCORE: 4.6 out of 5

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