A Resident Evil: Revelations demo was released on Xbox 360 and PS3 yesterday! I’ve been waiting for this demo with much anticipation since they announced we would be getting it before the full game hits shelves on May 21st. My expectations were high, but Revelations somehow managed to meet them. However, there are some issues that I have with it that will all be discussed here, along with everything I think Capcom got right. Also, I should point out that I’ve never played the original 3DS version of Revelations, so I’m not familiar with it’s game-specific features.
The demo puts you in the shoes of Jill Valentine on a ship floating somewhere in a large body of water. Your goal is to find Chris Redfield. You have a partner, but he’s too busy examining a dead infected to help you in your quest to find your comrade. What’s his name? Who cares. He’s useless.
The game starts off with a cut-scene, followed by an on-screen tutorial via manual with pages to flip through. It was adequate enough for me, having played RE4-6 which have similar control schemes, albeit slightly different from game to game. After making sure I was familiar with the controls, I tried out the Genesis locator, aka the scanner from Metroid Prime. You can use it to find “hidden” items and examine points of interest, which includes things from bloody hand-prints to enemies and the pools of goopy bloody they leave behind after you’ve destroyed them. As you scan your current environment, a percentage meter fills up and you’re rewarded with a health item once you reach 100%.
I hate this kind of crap. More and more games nowadays are adopting this kind of feature because it’s a cheap way to extend player’s time with a game. Don’t get me wrong, scanners can be a good thing. They can flesh out a story, especially if it fits in perfectly with the game’s universe (see Metroid Prime). But it just feels out of place in Revelations, at least the way it was implemented. The fact that it doesn’t really feel like it belongs in the universe isn’t the real problem for me though. It’s the fact you have to use it that to find a majority of the items in the game. And you need these items unless you’re planning to run past half the enemies. I don’t want to have to walk through a whole game in scanner mode just to make sure I find everything… it’s not that big of a deal because the Genesis has a good amount of range so you don’t have to have it out 24/7, but it’s annoying nonetheless, especially when you think about how earlier games had everything visible and obtainable without the “aid” of a scanner.
The Genesis revealed a couple pistol ammo boxes, but I couldn’t grab all of them because this game has a specific limit for each gun regarding how much ammo you can carry. While I find this to be a little ridiculous considering how much room I can see in my inventory, I still like it because it caters to the survival aspect of the game that I enjoy so much. By the way, this is an example of lazy game design- it’s easier to regulate how much ammo a player has with a lock against stockpiling than to design ammo box placement that takes into account a player’s innate ability to stockpile.
There are 2 doors available to you in the room you start in. Of course, only one way is the right way, but one of the doors takes you down a side path where you can find extra items (through scanning… always through scanning…) and help get the 100% scan completion reward (you don’t actually have to scan everything to reach 100% though). I happened to pick the door that leads to the extra ammo first. Too bad I couldn’t pick up any of it. Oh yeah, that reminds me- I have no idea if there’s treasure in this game because there isn’t any in the demo, but I’m guessing there is in the full game.
The ship sways back and forth as you carefully make your way through the claustrophobic halls. The music is subtly effective at keeping you in suspense as you carefully make your way down the ship’s blood stained hallways. At the end of the side-path, you wind up outside the ship to witness the intensity of the storm in all it’s electric glory… and one box of ammo to leave behind as you backtrack to the other door.
I had yet to see an infected at this point, but I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d have to test my pistol’s stopping power.
The other door lead to another door in front of me and a stair-well to my right. I took the stair-well. After a series of rooms and hallways, I found myself face to face with a twitching, shambling, pale monster. This is when I noticed the aiming feels a lot different from RE4-6. It feels kinda stiff and it makes trying to land headshots a real pain in the ass. Luckily, you only encounter one kind of enemy on normal difficulty in this demo and they all take around 7 body shots. So it’s not too bad. The infected are usually hiding right around corners to scare you in surprise, but if you’re cautious, you probably won’t take any damage during the course of the demo.
There are a couple of locked doors down this path that have me excited to be able to unlock when I play the full game. I don’t want to spoil the entire demo for you, so I’m going to cut myself a bit short here and talk about Infernal difficulty- the new hardest difficulty level added just for the HD version of this game.
The demo gives you a Machine Gun and a Shotgun on Infernal, and for good reason- enemies in this mode are bullet sponges. Even if you could stockpile ammo, you’d still run out before you could kill them all. Infected have been placed around nearly every corner and with much greater variety. You HAVE to run around a good chunk of them, and I think that knowing which ones you should run around is going to be a huge part of the skill required to beat this mode in the full game. There’s practically no ammo to be found with the Genesis, so every box you find is a god-send and brings with it a sense of relief. Infernal difficulty is one of the harder top difficulties I’ve seen in awhile. It’s borderline cruel and you may just find yourself, as I did, saying “what the fuck?” out loud when you see just how many zombies they manage to fit in one room. Oh, and before I forget, you can run and knife at the same time and there’s no sprint. I can’t wait to play it after I’ve beaten the game on normal.
I highly recommend at least trying this out if you liked RE4- it’s more about survival-horror than 5 and ESPECIALLY 6 were. Resident Evil: Revelations is coming to the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U on May 21st and I’m going to try and pick it up on day 1 to give you a full review. I am unemployed though, so we’ll see what happens*.
*EiC’s Note: Broke Ass Gamers representin’