Initial Release: 28 November 2017
For the most part, Revelations takes on much of the best of past and modern entries to the franchise. Retaining the over the shoulder mechanic initially introduced and popularised by RE:4, while also returning some of the crucial survival-horror elements of the original series, sees Revelations as a strong and viable title despite being touted as a spin-off.
Resident Evil Revelations has had quite a long journey for a game that started out on a handheld system. Originally released for the Nintendo 3DS, the game was often praised for its utilisation of the console, and for bringing back some of the magic the franchise had long since lost after Resident Evil 5. This inevitably led to multiple ports being released across various platforms and generations, a feat that almost rivals the likes of Resident Evil 4. Now that the game has finally returned to its handheld roots, does it still have the same impact after years of moving forward?
For the most part, Revelations takes on much of the best of past and modern entries to the franchise. Retaining the over the shoulder mechanic initially introduced and popularised by RE:4, while also returning some of the crucial survival-horror elements of the original series, sees Revelations as a strong and viable title despite being touted as a spin-off. The story heralds the return of veteran protagonists Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, as they face a new story of mystery, suspense and terror.
The plot takes on an episodic format to convey its narrative, a significant shift from the linearity of the main series. Even so, it still retains many aspects of the original formula, albeit in a far more simplified approach to reduce complexity. This includes the puzzles that appear throughout the game, which serves a purpose closer to a mini-game than an actual brain teaser. Although this overall portrayal provides a larger scope and length to the story, the narrative and its conclusion are still just as predictable as any other title in the main timeline. Gameplay mechanics have also remained quite consistent with other iterations of Revelations, with minor features added to utilise the Switch’s key capabilities. One such example is the use of motion controls, which isn’t really the best in terms of functionality or practicality. You’re more or less better off using the traditional way to aim, as it’s far more accurate and instigates less stress and grovelling frustration.
We are also happy to report that the Switch port runs at an unlocked fps. Although this isn’t always consistent, with a few drops present in some of the more demanding scenes, it hardly affects the overall experience. Graphics and texture quality also look quite stunning in handheld mode, showing some evidence that this is indeed a recently remastered version of the game. Sadly, this does not really translate well when playing in docked mode, as the resolution scale ends up making the game look dull and washed out. But honestly, it’s far more enjoyable to play it on the go, which adds major points to the Switch’s portability.
Perhaps the only major issue behind the game is its replayability value. While the campaign provides a respectable length, and unlocks the ever-frustrating Infernal difficulty upon completion, the same could not be said about its Raid mode. While previous titles carried Mercenaries mode as its end-game surprise for fans who completed the game at a particular level, Raid is made available for players from the very beginning. Unlike its predecessor, the game mode is far more condensed and focuses on quick missions across different maps. Here, players are encouraged to tackle the various objectives either alone or with a friend online, earning credit depending on their overall performance after each scenario.
While this idea appears far more complex and intriguing than its parent game mode, it simply doesn’t have the same level of fun factor. When endured alone, it feels slightly unsatisfactory with each completion, as it just doesn’t have the same level of ‘one more game’ mentality compared to Mercenaries. However, multiplayer does add some level of enjoyment to the experience at least, as you and your friend can take on a large number of missions that continually increase in difficulty.
Resident Evil: Revelations has continued to age well considering its humble beginnings. It also continues to grow with whatever iteration it currently possesses, evolving to ensure that utilises the console to its fullest potential. Its presence is a welcome addition to the Switch’s library, and with a price point that is easily and reasonably affordable, it’s something you definitely need to have on your system.
Verdict: 8 out of 10