Resident Evil: Revelations Updated Impressions -- Console-Caliber Ambitions on a Pocket-Sized ScaleBy Russ Frushtick - Posted Oct 31, 2011
Early adopters of the Nintendo 3DS have not exactly had a robust selection of titles to choose from. The sad fact is that the number of must-play games could easily be counted on one hand, even after a wood shop accident. While Nintendo has been trying to turn the tide with games like Super Mario 3D Land, third party publishers don't seem to be putting in the same leg work. This is a Nintendo console, what else is new?
But there's one third party publisher that is putting a ton of effort into an original 3DS game: Capcom. Resident Evil: Revelations is nothing short of a monumental undertaking. And now that work is starting to really show. Capcom recently presented the game to the press, showing off some pretty interesting new features.
Resident Evil: Revelations features a hefty single-player story, detailing an outbreak on a massive cruise ship. In additions, Revelations will ship with something called Raid Mode. For all intents and purposes, it's co-op. But it exists separate from the main game, unlike Resident Evil 5's co-op.
In Raid Mode, two players can play together over local wireless or over WiFi and take on missions from the campaign together. Pretty standard stuff, but Capcom has layered in depth. For one thing, Raid Mode has its own form of currency. Killing monsters and completing maps will earn you cash to buy ammo (which carries over from mission to mission), guns, upgrades, and even new characters.
There's also the ability to loot killed enemies for rare weapons and gear. For example, killing a manic, brain-sucking worm might net you a level 11 SMG. You can also find parts to further enhance that weapon, increasing reload times or damage. These parts can be placed into weapons with slots, Diablo-style, giving you further control over your loadout. It seems like Capcom is trying to translate their success with the Monster Hunter games over to Resident Evil, which is fine by me.
Resident Evil: Revelations supports the Circle Pad Pro, a name that hasn't even been officially confirmed, but it's looking extremely likely. Nintendo may not have announced it for sale in the US yet, but Capcom is certainly planning on it. The Circle Pad Pro snaps onto the back of the 3DS, thus adding an extra trigger and an extra analog stick on the right side of the device. In Resident Evil: Revelations, it allows you to control movement with the left analog stick while the right analog handles aiming for a more traditional console FPS layout.
It's great that Capcom is supporting the attachment, and functionally it does make Revelations much more playable...but that comes at a cost. The Circle Pad Pro attachment is enormous, practically double the size of the 3DS. For couch play this isn't really a problem, but if you're looking to lug your 3DS around for a commute, the Circle Pad Pro is a tough sell. Thankfully, Revelations controls fine with just one analog stick...so long as you can accept the fact that you're back to walking around like a tank.
One last small feature that Capcom revealed was the ability to change the color of the laser sight. Since Resident Evil 4, the laser sight on every gun has been red, a color that can be tricky to see for members of the color blind community, so Capcom now lets you change it to green or blue or white. A small improvement, but it's clear that the developers are listening to their audience for Revelations, which is hugely appreciated.
Despite the handheld platform, everything about Revelations seems to imply that this is a full-featured product. The Raid Mode alone has the amount of content that was in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, and when you add in the full single-player campaign it's suddenly a pretty tremendous deal. With RE6 nowhere to be seen, I'm pleased to report that Resident Evil: Revelations fits the bill as a true RE sequel nicely.