PAX East 2013: Resident Evil: Revelations HD Hands On
March 28, 2013
Tucked in a corner of Capcom's PAX East booth last weekend was the upcoming console port of Resident Evil: Revelations, originally a 3DS exclusive. And hardly anyone was touching the thing. Why? One reason: Resident Evil 6.
Last year’s release was such a bomb that it singlehandedly destroyed much of the interest in the franchise among players, even among its mostly loyal contingency. Those who have attended Penny Arcade Expos past know already that Resident Evil is always one of the more popular attractions at the publisher's booth, without fail.
Hell, even Operation Raccoon City, the spin-off in which you play as the bad guys and was more "Gears of Wars" than "Resident Evil," and which everyone knew was a stinker a mile away, still managed to have a healthy line-up.
But not "Revelations HD." Which is a shame, because the original "Revelations" was damn fine on the 3DS and it's just as good, if not better, on the bigger screen. Hardcore fans of the franchise know already that it was originally supposed to be part 6 proper, until certain folk at Capcom felt that a numbered sequel was best reserved on a console, not a handheld.
Obviously, what they came up with instead was a fairly poor choice. But if there's anything that can help salvage the reputation of the series, it might be the legit sixth chapter. It's so good that even those who were not too fond of part 5 might dig; "Revelations" marks the return to the franchise's roots; to the classic survival horror gameplay that Resident Evil 6 tried so hard to forget.
For those who aren't familiar, the game stars series staples Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, from part 1, and takes place between 4 and 5. Each has new partners, and both pairs must traverse snowcapped mountains, desolate cities, and tanker in the midst of very choppy waters, to deal with the usual assortment of infested individuals and genetically-enhanced creatures.
Again, the game plays like the "Resident Evil" games of old, which means you constantly have to deal with limited ammo and medicine, plus there's more puzzle solving than running around with guns a-blazing. Something that part 6 tried to do, and screwed up big time.
The upcoming ports for the Xbox 360 (which is what I played), PS3, and Wii U, more than anything, are more of less the same exact game that was on the 3DS. Capcom didn't touch anything, they didn't even fiddle with the graphics. It's everything from before, just on a larger display. More than anything, the ports serve as a testament to how amazingly the original 3DS game looked and played in the first place.
The superior version is indeed the HD revamp, since it's definitely easier to control with a traditional controller. Especially thanks to a second analogue stick (which was only possible with the Circle Pad Pro add on for the 3DS; its very existence is a point of contention and embarrassment for fans of Nintendo).
If you're pretty much done with "Resident Evil," or think you are, again due to the crap fest that was Resident Evil 6, it is strongly recommended that you nab Resident Evil: Revelations HD when it arrives in mid-May. Even if you've played the original to death (like myself), it'll be worth re-visiting, if only for the new content that is promised (like new game modes and new playable characters), as well as the proper controls.