Resident Evil: Revelations hands-on preview

resident-evil-revelations

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is the first game released in the classic survival horror series for Nintendo‘s 3DS handheld, but it’s not actually a survival horror experience. You’re going to have to wait until next year if that’s what you’re looking for, as the upcoming Resident Evil: Revelations is supposed to have been cut from a more traditional genre cloth. A small slice of the game is included as a bonus demo with The Mercenaries, but we got to play a little more than what you see there at a Capcom demo in New York City last week.

Revelations is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance has just been formed, founded by two of the series’ key characters, Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. The story opens on Jill, who has been sent to investigate a cruise ship in Europe, which a GPS signal from the missing Chris and his partner Jessica has been tracked to. Jill is joined by a partner of her own, Parker Luciani, but she’s running solo when the hands-on demo that we played opens.

Control-wise, this is Resident Evil. It’s not quite tank controls, but nowhere near the freedom of movement you have in RE5. Jill can be made to strafe with the right button combination, but moving and shooting simultaneously is, as ever, a no-no. The pace is slower–at least in this initial demo–than RE5‘s was, and the enemies are fewer in number. They take more bullets though, and there are fewer resources to work with. At one point toward the end of the demo, we literally had to run past an enemy and through a nearby door because there were literally no bullets left to fire.

Really, the demo seems to exist for the express purpose of showing off how the game controls. There’s no hint of the weapon upgrade mechanics that have been popular in the series’ more recent games, and only a minimal amount of puzzle-solving and a linear series of corridors that cut down on the potential for exploration. That’s not to say these features won’t manifest in the final game, they’re just not the focus of the demo.

Instead, you guide Jill through the cruise ship’s cramped hallways and guest rooms, with one notable (but largely uneventful) rest stop in a cavernous, mist-shrouded dining hall. The demo serves up a pistol and a shotgun, both of which quickly run out of ammo as a few too many enemies pop up along the way. Nothing new for a Resident Evil game, really.

What is new is the ability taken from The Mercenaries 3D to seamlessly switch between items using the lower screen on your 3DS. Basic actions are easily and instantly accessible, and weapons can be swapped with the tap of a finger. It’s quick, painless and doesn’t interrupt play in the slightest.

While the game’s 3D elements look fine, even great at times, a large portion of fans are likely to play with it turned off. The core games in the Resident Evil series are tense affairs, the sort of games where you huddle over your controller while staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the screen, on the edge of your seat anticipating the next scare. Those kinds of emotions do not mix well with a platform that must be held absolutely steady and level in order to make its unique 3D features work. Turning off the 3D solves that problem immediately.

Visually, the brief slice of Revelations that Capcom’s shown is one of the most impressive we’ve yet seen for the 3DS. We’re certainly not on the level of Resident Evil 5, but the game still looks like a big step up from the Wii remake of RE4.

The demo continues to follow Jill until she meets up with Parker. After a brief exchange, they set off for the ship’s bridge, where they’ll be able to broadcast a message out to their superiors and get back home. That’s not how things go down though. The tugboat that would have been their way out explodes and, making matters worse, a mysterious man with a gun appears and threatens them. A tense stand-off ensues, one which we don’t see the end of due to the demo ending.

Overall, Capcom appears to be on the right track with this second Resident Evil release for Nintendo DS. Fans that have been worried over the increasing departures from the genre as seen in cases like The Mercenaries and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles can look to Revelations as the big hope for the preservation of the franchise’s ideals. We’re still a long ways out from release and there’s a lot more to see, of course, but for now at least this ship appears to be right on course.

Gaming

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Gaming

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Gaming

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.
Gaming

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.
Gaming

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.
Gaming

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.
Gaming

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.