Biohazard Revelations
Does this 3D survival horror adventure at sea have enough depth to keep it afloat?
Mar 23, 2012 | No Comments | 1,882 views

Game: Biohazard Revelations (Resident Evil: Revelations – US title)
System: Nintendo 3DS
Circle Pad Pro compatible
(This review was done without the CPP)

“Lock and load.”

Overview:
Those who know me know that I have never been a big Biohazard fan. I’m much more of a strategic stealth action kind of guy. To date I have only played through a few of the games in the  series. I’ve never actually finished any of them. This is nothing against the series but it was just never my cup-o-tea.
The whole genre, pacing, and awkward controls just never seemed to resonate with my way of thinking. That being said. I enjoyed the heck out of this game. Let’s get into it.

“I look so good it hurts my eyes.”

Review:
Biohazard Revelations marks the second game in the series for the 3DS. The highly convoluted world of the Biohazard series continues yet with some new spins on the structure of game play and story presentation give the series a welcome upgrade. The story this time around brings us to an abandoned cruise ship floating amidst the ocean. Of course it wouldn’t be Biohazard if the ship weren’t crawling with all sorts of nasty disfigured humanoid creatures.

“Position the target in the center and pull the switch.”

Game play:
Revelations introduces a new structure to the game play for this handheld iteration on the 3DS with chapters. The game is broken down into a series of chapters which average out to about an hour long each. The main story chapters of the game follow Jill Valentine and her new partner Parker as they make their way through the maze of a cruise ship. Other chapters in the game allow you to see what is happening at different locations and play as different characters at the same time or even in the past. It’s a great way to give you a broader view of the story and take a break form the sometimes confining hallways of the ship. Either way this gives the game a very fun pick-up and play feeling. It’s  a very episodic, and TV style presentation. In fact every chapter begins with a recap of the previous one. It’s very well done.

“Everything seems normal with this plane. Moving on.”

The game pits you against a handful of new enemies and bosses. Just enough to mix things up, but not so many that you panic about not knowing the trick to defeat them. There is one boss fight in particular where the build up to the fight as you get closer and closer is so well done it literally had me scared to see what was behind the door where he was. Luckily, the game gives you plenty of guns to deal with these scary foes including handguns, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, grenades, shock grenades (for water) and plenty more. Each weapon is upgradable via storage boxes where you can use different abilities obtained through upgrade parts you find around the ship or gained through in game achievements. One way to find them is using a new device called the Genesis scanner. It’s similar to the scanning visor in Metroid Prime: Hunters where you can scan various objects or spots around the room to find extra ammo or upgrades. It’s a great feature that really makes backtracking through previous areas a lot of fun as you scan everything in sight.

As you progress far enough through the game you will eventually unlock Raid mode. Raid mode can be played alone or with friends via wi-fi. In raid mode you can play through different areas of the game with new tasks against a time-clock. This adds more game play and fun once you finish the main campaign mode. In fact it allows you to play co-op with another player and clear your way through maps which in turn unlocks rewards points you can use to unlock better weapons and upgrades.

“Good thing I packed my gun on this cruise.”

Controls:
Here is where my lack of love for the series initially began. I never liked the slow moving and hard to control awkwardness that the series was known for. Biohazard 4 was the first game that I thought was a step in the right direction. Revelations brings in the best of the new control upgrades that have been introduced  from 4 and 5. The new control scheme they have made is surprisingly fun and well done. Although the game plays pretty well on the 3DS as is, you also have the option to us the new Circle Pad Pro attachment to add a 2nd analog nub. Despite the new upgrades to the controls it can still feel a little slow moving. But the game is designed in a way where speed isn’t a necessity. In fact moving fast is the last thing you want to do while moving through a room for the first time.

“If only I could have turned around faster…”

3DS features:
First off it’s always nice to have the ability to play a game in 3D. This game is one of the best looking on the system so far. Although I think they rely to heavily on pre-rendered cut scenes. I am a big proponent of games using real time cut scenes. I feel it keeps you more in sync with the game play. Another feature is of course Street Pass. Although not an amazing feature, it can be useful. When you SP a fellow Revelations gamer you will unlock an achievement in your missions menu. From the mission menu you can unlock ammo and items which can use in the story mode of the game.

“You’ve got some new medals.”

The Good and the Bad:
The game looks great. I wasn’t lying when I said it was one of the best out there on the 3DS. But there are times when they really cut corners. The characters often talk when they are walking around. The problem is their mouths don’t move. They have full on conversations but when you look at your character they just stare blankly into the distance. In fact there is never any real-time facial animation. All the conversations and story scenes are pre-rendered. This bothered me. The system is capable of it. Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3DS did the entire game with real-time cut scenes and that is a remake of a game that is 8 years old. It just comes across as a little lazy to me. Now keep in mind this doesn’t effect the game play. This is just a personal gripe.

“I’m not bad, I’m just pre-rendered that way.”

Final Opinion:
Overall Biohazard Revelations is an amazing game. It’s a full length Biohazard game on a 3D handheld device. It’s designed to play perfectly for that medium. It’s also a great game to get you started in the series. For somebody who had never truly finished a Biohazard game, I had no problem getting into it. The campaign mode is great and unlocking raid mode furthers the enjoyment of the game even more. Despite what felt like a few cut corners on the visual side it still looks great. I highly recommend it.

Score:
8.5/10

A video trailer:

Thanks for reading!

-William Greenawalt
my web page
follow me on twitter: @iceblockwill

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