News Article

First Impressions: Resident Evil Revelations

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

A return to survival horror

Although Capcom originally coined the term "survival horror" to describe the first Resident Evil, one can't say that the franchise has been very much about that as of late. Resident Evil 4 and its sequel were far more heavily focused on action rather than suspense, with almost no scares to be found.

Of course, many would argue that Resident Evil 4 was one of, if not the best game in the series, but die-hard RE fans who had been there from the beginning were simply missing what used to be the most important element of Resident Evil. We had a chance to play a demo of the game at Nintendo Benelux's headquarters in the Netherlands today, and we can gladly confirm that horror finally seems to be coming back to the series.

The demo starts with Jill waking up in a dusty old bedroom, not unlike those found in the Spencer Mansion from the original game, something she even mentions in a radio conversation with new character Parker Luciani shortly after. We're quickly confronted with two classic RE moments right after this: heading into a bathroom and draining the bathtub to find a key item, before a monster bursts out of the closet next to the bed we woke up in.

The monsters seem to bear the most resemblance to the Regenerator enemies from the fourth game, with a somewhat human-like figure but a completely ridiculous, jittery walk. They attack similarly too, producing some sort of tube-like appendage from their mouth and sucking the blood right out of your neck. Thankfully, they're quite easy to take out, dissolving into a pile of liquid on the floor after a few bullets

After getting rid of the creature we were confronted with a locked door, which in classic RE fashion must be opened by solving a puzzle. Using the screwdriver found in the bathtub to unscrew a panel next to the door, the door is unlocked by moving some fuses around in the fuse box.

Walking down the next hallway we quickly stumbled upon our old friend the shotgun, though it only comes loaded with two shells, barely enough to take out one of the new creatures, if you're lucky. After some forlorn libraries and hallways with some more enemies we found ourselves in a big banquet hall with multiple circular tables and chairs spread around, as well as a large, classy staircase. It's also eerily foggy, with a layer of mist floating around the floor. Clearly it's got atmosphere in spades.

In a room connected to the banquet hall we find an interesting new item: a scanner, which when equipped allows you to go into a first person mode and scan your surroundings. Scanning specific, marked spots may cause items to appear — they could be key items, but they could also be handy supplies of ammo, so keep your eyes peeled.

In the next few rooms, we encountered some different mutations of the creatures seen before, including one with a big, bloated head and one with spiky arms, and although they attack slightly differently they seem to mostly act the same. Luckily, we just found some grenades beforehand using the scanner, making short work of the beasts.

After entering an elevator after these monstrosities, we met up with Parker, who says we should head to the bridge of the ship up ahead. The bridge triggers a cutscene in which Jill is suddenly grabbed by an unknown assailant. She wrestles free and asks who this person is; the guy grabs a gun, the screen goes black with a gunshot and the demo comes to an end.

What impressed us throughout the demo was that Capcom still seems to have a sense of how to do a horror game right: we felt all alone throughout the few rooms as opposed to constantly being surrounded by non-scary enemies, and although most of the monster appearances here were quite expected, we can imagine there'll be some nice jump scares in the full game.

There's not much ammo in plain sight, much like the first game, meaning you'll have to scan frequently to find more, and you'll need it, because by the end of the demo we were just about to run out. Miss a few shots and you could be in big trouble.

The game's music was also quiet and eery, unlike recent action-packed beats, adding nicely to the atmosphere, and every room was very nicely detailed. It's quite possibly the best looking 3DS game yet, definitely better than the just-released Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D.

At the end of the demo, we felt that Revelations seems like a perfect return to the classic RE horror style. It removes some of the disliked elements of the first games like the fixed camera angles in favour of innovations from RE4 and 5, including the third-person over the shoulder view and some of their other conveniences, like grenades, as well as adding in completely new stuff like the scanner for more interactivity with the environments.

We've been waiting for something like this for a long, long time - 2012 can't come soon enough.

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User Comments (35)

Hokori

#1

Hokori said:

I hope its a mix of 4 and 1

4 style GamePlay and 1 style scaryness

Chrono_Cross

#2

Chrono_Cross said:

Man. Now this is what I'm talking about. A scary RE game thats going to have me on the edge of my seat. The graphics look amazing by the way and couldn't agree more with "It's quite possibly the best looking 3DS game".

But I'll be the first to say: RE4 scared the crap out of me.

Rawk_Hawk

#3

Rawk_Hawk said:

After hearing these impressions this will be a day 1 purchase. I'm glad they are getting back to the scary horror roots and even though I like RE 4 and 5 it just felt as if something was off. I'd love it if Capcom included Jill's S.T.A.R.S. outift as an unlockable.

komicturtle

#5

komicturtle said:

A taste of what later 3DS will look like :)

Anyways, can't wait to play the full game. Maybe I won't chicken out like I did with RE4 when I was 12 :P

daznsaz

#6

daznsaz said:

its good to read an article written by someone who is a fan of resi as opposed to someone nit picking little things looking forward to this one the demos short but looks good think its off to be a bit of an epic with good story twists

Ryno

#7

Ryno said:

Question for you guys (and gals), how was RE4 scary? 1, 2, 3 and CV were all more scary then the even cheezier (but still very enjoyable) 4.

Knowing Capcom's RE history, I hope they port this sometime to something other than the 3DS because as of right now I am a no-go on a 3DS. However, between this and Kid Icarus I am little more tempted!

Lordy

#9

Lordy said:

"Resident Evil 4 and its sequel were far more heavily focused on action rather than suspense, with almost no scares to be found."

I dunno about 5, but 4 sure used to scare me. Especially when I played at night.

shinobi88

#10

shinobi88 said:

Most games, I look for action and replay value. This one gets special treatment. B/c of the idea how something in 3D popping could scare me so much. I am SUPER hyped about this. There's no point in playing it unless you're in a dark room w/ headphones to max out its ability to draw you in. I waited until night to watch a trailer for this, I wasn't gonna watch much b/c I don't want to spoil the scares. Within 20 seconds I jumped out of my chair. I'm a grown man jumping out of my chair. This game should come w/ a warning about heart attacks

Tate24

#11

Tate24 said:

I was little disappointed with demo that came with mercenaires.

While it was great to see top notch graphics and few monsters shoot at it was way to short.

One you guys played sounds way better.

but question is why was that one not on mercenaires it sounds whole lot better than short one that we got?

But as fan of R Evil i am planning on buying it when comes out:-)

thanos316

#12

thanos316 said:

hmm i might have to look into getting a 3ds. business is begginning to pickup. just a few more solid titles and netflix or movie support and im in this winter. i just hope that when i finally do pick one up that nintendo don't announce a redesign one. but this re title sounds great.

Zach

#13

Zach said:

@Ryno Those chainsaw guys in 4, the invisible sewer monster, and fighting off villagers as they squeeze through the windows in a tiny shack all scared the boogers right out of my nose. Never has my nose been drier.

Wisconsin1

#14

Wisconsin1 said:

Waiting for this game is the only reason I still have a 3DS. I'm having fun with RE:Mec, but after a week the fun is starting to wear down. I hope and pray its dark and creepy, the GC remake of RE1 is the best game ever. I need this to get me on the edge of my seat like that one did.

SilverBaretta

#15

SilverBaretta said:

@Ryno: RE4 wasn't really scary as the other ones were, but the atmosphere was most definitely creepy. They didn't try to have individual moments where you were scared out of your pants, instead opting for a sense of uneasyness all throughout the game. (Although the dude bursting out of the oven and the Regenerators popping out of nowhere were pretty good spooks)

Great impressions, Marcel, definitely seems like one to look forward to for the classic fans.

WhiteTrashGuy

#16

WhiteTrashGuy said:

Resident Evil 5 was garbage. I bought it, beat it, and sold it. As for RE4 I preordered it on both GCN and the Wii (it came out on my birthday!) and I still own both. RE4 is one of the greatest games ever made and there are definitley moments of strained terror such as the hedge maze and running through the village at night in the rain. Many of the standard enemies were much more imposing as well. RE4 is what I would have wanted out of a Resident Evil movie and that is what it is to me. RE5 was ALL action, it was the game equivalent to the craptastic RE movies they try to shove down our throats.

WhiteTrashGuy

#17

WhiteTrashGuy said:

@ Wisconsin1

Yes RE1 on the GCN is the best Resident Evil game. Having to burn the corpses so they would not further mutate was genius. And the graphics still hold up today!

potomas

#18

potomas said:

Just how scary can a hand held game be.Playing this on the bus or in car just isn't going to work.Although i will buy this i just don't think it is suitable for a hand held.Silent hill on psp springs to mind.

danschemen

#19

danschemen said:

@WhiteTrashGuy i agree RE5 was nowhere near as good as RE4 i have the ps2, wii, and gamecube versions of it. i'm going to buy the HD version coming out for the ps3 next and beat that as well :)

OrdonianLink

#20

OrdonianLink said:

I think this will be the story about chris and jill from that lost in nightmares dlc for re5 but it will be what actually happened, because it takes place before 5 and after 4

Ryno

#21

Ryno said:

@ZachKaplan
Invisible sewer monster? Don't remember that. I need to run through that game again I guess!

@SilverBaretta
Alright, I agree with about the Regenerators. Ever since they first appeared in 4, I was always looking over my shoulder.

@danschemen
Does the RE4 HD version have Move support? Because after playing it with the Wiimote it would be hard to go back to a standard controller.

Raptor78

#22

Raptor78 said:

Resident Evil Remake on the gamecube had the perfect atmosphere, the original on the Playstation/ Saturn was a bit cheesy but in a good way. A great tribute to B-Movies.
Playing the demo on the Mercs game showed me it had potential to reproduce the atmosphere of Resident Evil REmake and although it was way too short and wasnt as fully functioning as it will be when finished, basically it just used the mercs control system with unlimited ammo and no inventory system, it did get me excited on how the full game will be when its released.
Why we never got this demo instead of the "PILOT" version I dont know, im sure it would have only made people want the game more rather than be dissapointed in a 2-5minuite rough demo.

CerealKiller062

#23

CerealKiller062 said:

I was kind of scared with the 4th game. Especially with the chainsaw people running around and cutting your head off. The first time I saw that I nearly wet myself. (Yes, I'm exagerating) Those were some truly horrifying moments when I first got my head sawed clean off. Now I can't help but jump when I hear a chainsaw start up!

Kirk

#24

Kirk said:

While the graphics look good I'm not convinced by what I've seen of the controls and the monsters need to react more to each shot too.

Supremeist

#26

Supremeist said:

@Kirk: Before you play the demo on Mercenaries 3D, it says "This is just a demo. Expect bugs", or something like that.

What they were saying is the title isn't near completely finished.
They didn't want to spoil alot of the game, thats why the demo was short too.

But I agree, after playing through RE 5 on Xbox, I've been a huge fan. Super intense and awesome game.

I hope Revelations is super scary, though. I'm real excited.

Tare

#27

Tare said:

The statement "Jump scares" to me implies that the majority of the game will be creepy, but not pulse increasing.
I think a handheld games can be scary (Dementium full volume with headphones was done nicely) but after a while, you just kind of get used to it and the shock just...vanishes.

Maybe that's just because I stomached through the Penumbra's and Amnesia's though. Those game are scary. Mainly because you're gunless. It's not that scary if you can just turn the monstrosity in front of you into swiss cheese.

moosa

#28

moosa said:

RE4 not scary? Really? There are so many reasons why I disagree with this. RE4 has a few good jump moments like the other games, but those are very much "cheap scares" and I have to say it's not nearly as interesting as the other kinds of fear RE4 was working with. Those psycho freaks with the huge claws that are blind but can hear every move you make? Yeah, being in the same room with one of those is one of the more frightening experiences I've had in a videogame.

TheUnknownGame

#29

TheUnknownGame said:

What I'm looking forward to the most is getting the crap scared out of me... in 3D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope more RE characters make an appearence.

NassaDane

#30

NassaDane said:

One of the bad things about Revelations is the use of the terrible camera angles. I would much prefer the static unique camera angles of the Classic games.

SuperSonic

#31

SuperSonic said:

Me in a long, dirty, and ripped coat, sitting against a corner with a gun in my hand, looking down with a lifeless expression
"...Resident Evil 4...as mah furst Resident Evil game, could not play it a' night...never seen nuffin like it... The envahornments, the monsturs, the horrors...have readied me for some new Revelations..."

DrakeStaff

#32

Drake said:

Resident Evil 4 did have it's share of creepy moments like the sewers and the hedge maze, but those were few and far between. Resident Evil 5, I'm sure anybody else who's played it can agree that it doesn't have a single scary moment throughout the entire game :p

Also, we played this with headphones, which is clearly going to be the way to go for maximum immersion.

LeasTwanteD

#33

LeasTwanteD said:

I hope this game will live up to our high expectations and become the best original 3DS title so far.
The scan mode is something i've got high hopes for since i highly enjoy looking around in "Ocarina" already. It could even add more depth and replay value to the title if done right .


SilverBaretta wrote:

@Ryno: RE4 wasn't really scary as the other ones were, but the atmosphere was most definitely creepy.

It put a high pressure on me too. I could barely stand playing a "level" straight. The atmosphere, bear-traps and the likes of it were very hard to handle for me. So i quit playing it quite early. Like i did with Killer 7 back then.
Maybe i should play it again since i'm a bit more experienced in 3D gaming now. And maybe i should better try the Wii version. :)
But in RE2 the only RE i've played until the end yet the atmosphere sure was more claustrophobic and with more shocking effects.

cheapogamer4life

#34

cheapogamer4life said:

Wonder if they could update everyones Resident Evil: 3d game with this demo version NintendoLiife got to play! Maybe with an over the air E-shop update. That would be epic.

TheGreenSpiny

#35

TheGreenSpiny said:

RE4 is by far one of the most intense games I've ever played. Most action games I've play in the last decade or so have been pretty boring. That game had me sweating bullets throught most of it. While the actual jump scares were few and far between, the tension at times was almost unbearable during the heavy action sequences when you get overwhelmed by ganados.

What people seem to forget is that all RE games are ment to test your fight or flight response. They push your panic buttons in different ways. This is also one of main reasons why I think giving people the ability to run and shoot is a bad idea. If you can run and shoot, you no longer have to choose between fight or flight. RE has always been a game about desicion making. Do I take this item/key or do stock up on ammo and herbs? Do I stand my ground and fight or to try to run around the enemy to conserve ammo and avoid damage? It's these desicions that are part of what causes the tension and panic moments.

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