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[Review] Resident Evil: Revelations for PC

Posted under Featured, and News, and Reviews by Justin Oung on Monday, May 27th, 2013 -

Ratings System: 6 out of 10 Hand Sanitizer Dispensers

Hey everyone!  I haven’t been back to this franchise in awhile, but when did Resident Evil turn into a metaphoric mutant circle jerk with NO zombies?  I appreciate Capcom’s attempt in consistently trying to bring the fun back into fundamentals, but I was promised gameplay reminiscent of the original Resident Evil.  I wasn’t expecting a bunch of tuckered out sailors on the floor and their puddles of mudd re-animating C.H.U.D. babies on a lonely boat!

But, you know, I get it.  This game is transcending both art and video games: the boat is a womb and the invaders who have left their messes on the floor are creating monsters.  I completely understand because I’ve listened to Tori Amos.  The developers for Resident Evil: Revelations have been silent all these years, but they now have a message.  They’re like, “Hey, terrorism!  Stop poisoning my womb with your lies!”  The boat is a metaphor for your brain and the invaders are the ones who came inside, spreading the seeds of hate and greed all over your mounds of knowledge.

If you’re reading this and going, “I have no idea what he’s talking about,” then this game wasn’t meant for you.  You’re not supposed to be playing games where you shoot things with a gun.  Why are your parents neglecting you?

Anywho… I’m supposed to review this thing, right?  Let’s get this started, then.

 

The Good:

The controls are decent, and you can switch between two modes: “Classic” Resident Evil style and “Shooter” (Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6 styled), depending on your style of play.  It’s kind of nice to see that Capcom are at least attempting to listen to their core audience.  It’s a little easier to play in “Shooter” mode, as the old controls force you into situations that makes maneuvering in tight spaces difficult.  I don’t really know.  Maybe you like your control schemes ancient.  Sure, we have amazing games now with high-definition graphics and greatly improved intuitive controls, but it makes me feel a little more hardcore if I can play games with my feet…and blindfolded like Zatoichi, the blind samurai.

There are visuals that play a little bit of fan service to those loyal to the original games.  A hallway in the third act, for example, has the same architecture as the safe room in the first Resident Evil.

The graphics are upgraded from the original 3DS game to HD, but that’s kind of expected with a port.  With the amount of press this game has been getting, it would be odd if they didn’t upgrade the graphics at all.  With the processing power of modern systems, not upgrading the graphics would be like starting a marathon run as a fat kid with a pizza.  We all know this kids’ parents had high expectations, and his fans can cheer all they want, but you know the kid’s going to take frequent breaks as he walks half a mile down to pick up a Mountain Dew Code Red.  It just makes the world a little more apathetic when faced with reality.

 

The Bad:

Environmental interaction in the game is completely non-existent, making it feel a lot less realistic.  Also, it feels like Resident Evil: Revelations is using the same physics engine from the Nintendo 3DS, which is pretty sad.  Though it performs well with stock Intel HD graphics cards on outdated PC’s, it is still a bit of a let-down.

The monster designs are the exact same ones used for the 3DS, which does very little to differentiate the PC version from the handheld version.  For the most part, they all look like deformed versions of the albino kid from the movie Powder.  It doesn’t make it scarier if he starts out as a puddle on the floor.  It just makes him resemble sea men more so than anyone developing the game would like to admit.  I suppose that games development is like rolling the dice in your hand before letting it stream down the craps table.  Sometimes, it hits an observer in the face and irritates their ocular cavities.  It happens to the best of us.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve done this once or twice.

Resident Evil: Revelations forces its players to use a scanner, much like the Metroid Prime series, which feels like a last minute addition that really adds nothing to the game.  At 100%, you gain a random health power-up, which can be useful at times.  However, taking the time to scan every monster and every corner of the game for hidden items turns this “feature” into busy work.  It wasn’t particularly useful in Metroid Prime, and it always drew you away from the game even then.  It was tedious and made that game boring.  Though, I suppose if you’re going to copy and paste code from one game to another, you might as well use a best-selling Gamecube title.  In all honesty, it sucked… terribly.

Level design is pretty solid, with monsters sparsely scattered between rooms.  However, the game does get pretty predictable after a certain point.  The music notifies you when a fight is coming, which completely ruins any chance of this game being scary. How am I supposed to be genuinely afraid if I know when the boogeyman is coming, and I have enough weapons in my arsenal to completely obliterate any boogeymen in my path?

 

The Ugly:

This absolutely does *not* feel like a Resident Evil game.  Gone are the sounds and music that originally made the original experiences truly terrifying, replaced by whining, oddly-shaped, alien-looking mutants on a tugboat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  There is no real tension anymore.  The push and pull is gone.  It plays like a David Guetta remix of a Lupe Fiasco album.  Sure, there are words, but the song has completely lost all meaning now because of the stupid World Europop hooks underneath layers of obscure samples from Black Eyed Peas B-sides.  It almost makes you want to do something constructive with your time.

I’ve been following this franchise since I played the first game in high school, and this “new generation” of Resident Evil titles has been a terrible let-down.  With the original titles, you had a solid, truly horrifying experience.  The terrible acting made the first Resident Evil incredibly cheesy, but the puzzles, albeit annoying at times, made you feel as if you’re actually interacting with the environment.  There’s a part of you that feels like taking the time to solve these stupid puzzles is kind of a chore, and nothing is going to happen to you while you’re in the safety of this room; however, another part of you is constantly guarded, with a general feeling that your safety is a trap.  Winning made you feel as if you were smart enough to outwit the developers, and that’s how they wanted you to feel.  They provided the tension and the experience.  The story didn’t matter.

The focus on storytelling has made this title a bit stale.  Ending each chapter of Resident Evil: Revelations, then introducing a “Previously on Resident Evil: Revelations…” before beginning the next chapter is the dumbest idea for a game that I’ve ever experienced.  What’s the point of recapping everything that I just did to get to the end of that chapter?   I just played it!  Was this game developed for kids with brain damage and/or Alzheimer’s patients in mind?  Am I out of the target demographic?

/Rant

Or, perhaps, this title wasn’t created for the franchise’s hardcore core audience in mind.  Maybe it’s for the casual gamer who wants a small helping of the game every now and then, able to return to it with a recap of previous events, only playing the game one chapter at a time.

But, you know what else does the trick?  Eliminating “save points” and enabling the person playing the game with the ability to save anywhere.  Make it a menu option and treat your save points as auto-saves, which the game itself is already programmed to do.  Wow!  I just solved the problem and eliminated the need to create unnecessary cut-scenes that draw Resident Evil: Revelations players out of the game!  I’m a genius!  How did I ever come up with this idea?!

Oh yeah, every other game post 2005 uses the same mechanic!  *facepalm*

/End_Rant

*breathes*

To be honest, with all its problems, I do still find myself returning to the game every once in awhile.  The game does have some solid level design and there is *some* tension every now and then.  The fight mechanics aren’t terrible, but they are predictable.  All in all, this is a pretty solid title.  I’d recommend it to casual fans of the franchise, and even fans of the movies, but any hardcore gamers who enjoy survival horror really do need to stay away from this one.

It’s not a total stinker, but it is a disappointment.  The game is playable and not completely boring, and that can be worse at times.  Curiosity makes you want to put enough hours into it to see it through to the end.  Regret makes you wish you had those hours back.

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