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Resident Evil: Revelations Preview

Nick_Tan By:
GENRE Survival Horror 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language

What do these ratings mean?

Come on, you test tube freak!

Resident Evil: Revelations is Capcom's attempt to retain the action of Resident Evil 5 while keeping the thrills and sci-fi story of past Resident Evils. That this is on Nintendo 3DS makes the attempt only the more daring. As a return to its survival horror origins, ammunition is more limited, exploration and puzzle-solving are key, and monsters unexpectedly jump out from corridors, ceilings, and whatever holes they like to crawl out of.

Revelations explores one of the first missions that Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield accepts after co-founding the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), though they are not partnered together. Chris and former SOA-agent Jessica Sherawat have gone missing and their last coordinates point Jill Valentine and fellow BSAA operative Parker Luciani to a tempestuous spot in the middle of the Mediterrean Sea that wouldn't be out of place in Deadliest Catch. This leads both duos to shuffle about a steel-bound, semi-flooded cruise ship with hazardous mutants, probably infected with the T-virus—which is all well and good if you're fond of tiptoeing down rusty hallways with heavy, echoing footsteps.

Apart from the newly revealed Keith Lumley and Quint Cetcham, two tech-oriented agents (and otakus) who were shown in a presentation investigating a snowy mountainous area, not much was revealed in terms of the story. The brief thirty-second off-hands demo with these new characters showed off the previously revealed BioScanner “Genesis”, which lets you see invisible enemies by tracking their body heat signatures. Switching between a weapon and the BioScanner is quick and not as cumbersome as switching held items in usual Resident Evil titles, so it's recommended to flip out the BioScanner by using the touch-screen before firing away with the main weapon.

Though Capcom rightfully decided not to show much of the plot, curiously written by Dai Sat… of popular Japanese animations Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop, the demo on offer allowed access to the single-player or cooperative multiplayer Raid mode, available ad-hoc or online, that is largely reminiscent of the earlier Resident Evil: Mercenaries on 3DS. The point is to clear short stages that reward you with higher-level weapons and custom parts that increase their damage, ammo capacity, and firing rate. Capcom admits that Raid mode is essentially based on loot lust, but it's an addictive mode that should give the game a lot of replay value.

In an interesting departure from the main series, damage to enemies is indicated by numbers that pop out of enemies like a traditional RPG. Yellow numbers mean standard hits whereas red numbers stand for critical hits usually inflicted by well-placed headshots. Also, some monsters will have special icons next to their health over their heads, such as a fist to signify tremendous physical strength or a shield to denote physical resilience.

Turning around with the camera is a tad finicky at the moment, though the game will support the upcoming circle pad accessory announced by Nintendo. It also features multiple control setups, different colors for laser sights for the color-blind, subtitles and dialogue for five languages, and an enhancer for 3D depth to complement the 3D slider. Most importantly—and I quote from Capcom—you can clear your save data.

Resident Evil: Revelations slips its way onto the Nintendo 3DS on February 7, 2012 in North America.
More GR previews for this game:
Resident Evil: Revelations preview posted on 01/25/12.

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