Resident Evil: Revelations - Preview

Capcom brings Resident Evil back to its horror roots with a 3DS exclusive that's so frightening you'll only want to play it when comfortably surrounded by other, less terrified, commuters.

It€™s Bringing Scary Back

Since Resident Evil 4 took a u-turn from the George A. Romero influenced zombie horror to a more action orientated story of possessed villagers wielding pitchforks, many fans have been clambering for a return to the suspenseful and terrifying gameplay which once defined the series. Resident Evil 5 represented even more of a jarring change, and while it was still a great game, it just wasn't particularly scary. Resident Evil: Revelations is set to change all of this, with a brand new experience which takes elements from later entries of the series and melds them with the tough-as-nails survival horror of the early games. You only need to look at the plot and setting of Resident Evil Revelations to see the return to an emphasis on horror, with the game taking place in creepy European locales, and on a terrifying abandoned ship full of grotesque creatures and intricate puzzles. Also expect to find plenty of flickering lights, terrifying corridors and nasty things jumping out of crevices - all in gloriously immersive 3D.

A New Foe

With the return to the horror based gameplay of the franchise, many predicted that Resident Evil: Revelations would probably bring back the shambling zombies of the original games. Sadly, classic zombies aren€™t making a return to the series, but a brand new enemy, and something all together more nightmarish is making its debut. The main enemies of the game are the Ooze - a series of hideously deformed and genetically altered humans, created by bio-terrorist organisation Il Veltro. Make no mistake, these lurching creatures are horrific enemies to face, with some reminiscent of the Regenerador from Resident Evil 4, and others seemingly having got lost on the way to Dead Space 3. Throughout the game you€™ll find yourself up against different variants of the Ooze, all ranging in strength and size, but all united by the ability to make you jump out of your skin.

Something Old, Something New

While Resident Evil Revelations is most definitely taking the series back to its survival horror roots, there€™s certainly elements of Resident Evil 5€™s survival-action gameplay. Most notably, the control scheme is very much a continuation of the changes made to the series since Resident Evil 4. Moving the camera as well as controlling your character and action is near identical to Resident Evil 5, but there€™s also some new additions to the formula. One new feature is the option to have the camera switch into a first person view when aiming and shooting, allowing for more precise targeting as well as giving you a closer look at your fiendish enemies. Elsewhere, the game features a fancy new set of scanning goggles, which allow you to inspect every detail of each room for hidden items and pick-ups. Also new to the series is Raid Mode - a co-op multiplayer mode which can be played online and offline with another player or solo. More than a simple bonus feature, Raid Mode has the potential to become an addictive distraction to the campaign, with the new mode forcing players to kill as many enemies as possible, competing for high score and to unlock play coins and bonus content. Really though, while Resident Evil: Revelations brings forth plenty of exciting new features and changed to the series, it€™s the potential of returning back to survival horror that has us most excited. Capcom have promised that much of the game will be spent exploring as well as solving complex and intuitive puzzles - many of which will make use of the 3DS touch screen and gyroscope.

Bridging The Gap

Resident Evil: Revelations is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, bridging the two games with a look into the foundation of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) which has been co-formed by series veterans Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. While much of the game will take place on an eerie cruise ship, the game also features the floating city of Terragrigia - a setting which is likely to play a big part of the storyline. Despite the fact that Chris Redfield is a playable character, the beginning of the game sees Jill Valentine sent to rescue Chris, after he is reported as going missing with his partner Jessica Sherawat on a previous operation. With Resident Evil: Revelations taking place between two other games of the series, expect many references and allusions to important plot points, as well as some appearances from other classic characters and enemies.

Aggressive Expansion

Much like the forthcoming Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, Resident Evil: Revelations is so huge for a portable title that it makes use of a brand new 4GB cartridge rather than the usual 2GB. This can only be seen as good news, with the game promising to offer some of the best visuals on the 3DS as well as a hefty storyline which will hopefully rival anything we€™ve seen from the franchise on home consoles.

3DS Added Gubbins

As per usual with nearly all upcoming 3DS titles, Capcom have thrown in a few added bonuses which make use of the handheld€™s unique Streetpass system. Details are scarce about what exactly we can expect from the game regarding Streetpass functionality, but it€™s likely to tie in to Raid Mode, with such features as leaderboards and swappable items. More interestingly however, Resident Evil: Revelations brings forth the debut of the Circle Pad Pro - Nintendo€™s much derided peripheral which adds a second analogue stick to the 3DS console. While bulky and somewhat ugly, until we get our hands on Resident Evil: Revelations with the add on, it€™s impossible to say just how worthwhile the Circle Pad Pro actually is. What does seem clear however is that while Resident Evil Revelations is designed to play perfectly fine without the peripheral, the use of a second analogue stick will allow for more focused and refined control. Resident Evil Revelations is released on January 27th, with a demo also set to hit the eShop in the coming weeks.

Cult horror enthusiast and obsessive videogame fanatic. Stephen considers Jaws to be the single greatest film of all-time and is still pining over the demise of Sega's Dreamcast. As well regularly writing articles for WhatCulture, Stephen also contributes reviews and features to Ginx TV.