by Liam Edwards
previewed on 3DS
Back To The Roots Of Evil
There has never been a true Resident Evil handheld title; only remakes, spin-offs and expensive mini-games (I am looking at you Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D). With Revelations, Capcom are promising just that though. Set between Resident Evil 4 and 5, the game takes place just after the formation of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), the counter-terrorist group that both Chris (Redfield) and Jill (Valentine), two of the series’ main protagonists founded.
Instead of playing as Chris looking for Jill and solving some dastardly bio-terrorism plots, this time you take the role of Jill, who is sent to a cruise ship in the Mediterranean to found out the whereabouts of Chris. How it came to be that searching a cruise ship in the middle of an ocean to find a man is helpful, I don’t know. But those at Capcom must be able to link the two, as usual our faith will hopefully be rewarded with this slightly promiscuous concept. On this mission to the deep blue, Jill is joined by her new BSAA partner, Parker Luciani. Quite a bulky man, Parker looks very much like a cross between Barry Burton, Jill’s previous S.T.A.R.S partner, and Bob from the fighting game series Tekken. The trailers released so far indicate that Parker is not with Jill very often thankfully - his build seems to be the ultimate zombie target.
The Wrong Road?
In the most recent trailer for Revelations, the supposedly missing Chris is seen in a snowy location with his new partner, Jessica. A controversial character when announced, Jessica introuduces a more sexy side to Resident Evil. The large chested brunette is seen walking with Chris in the snowy location in the trailer, moaning about being tired and how she wished they could just stop. In previously released pictures, Jessica is seen wearing a skimpy wetsuit. It seems Capcom are placing emphasis on bringing out the sexual vibes with Revelations, which could be a smart move if not a shout of desperation.
It isn’t uncommon for Japanese developers to make games featuring overly sexual women wearing next to nothing. However, it is a surprising addition to a highly-respected series such as Resident Evil, which now seems to be heading down an entirely new path. All previous female characters in the series have been strong willed and powerful women that do not even provoke a sexualised image. The exception is Ada Wong but even she came across as a tough cookie while simultaneously teasing Leon’s fantasies. Jessica’s inclusion and personality is something of a change in the long-line of series’ protagonists, witnessed in her whinging about walking in the snow. A few lines of dialogue is all anyone can go by currently, but Jessica's appearance has already been thoroughly debated. Personally, this seems like a road that Capcom should not head down, especially as they brought strong female characters such as Jill and Sheva into an industry that undoubtedly lacks them.
Rising From The Grave
With Revelations, Capcom has promised to head back to their roots, with more of an emphasis on the survival horror elements of the series. Limited ammo, limited health supplies and bereft of the high-octane action associated with the latst two entries. Many fans had complaints that the series had lost touch with what it originally started out as, but Revelations looks to promise many of the survival horror elements the series was initially famed for.
The enemies seen so far look very much like the Regenrators from Resident Evil 4, and there is a noticeable lack of humanoid enemies, i.e. zombies at the moment. Despite the attempt to do away with previous gameplay mechanics from 4 and 5, elements from both titles are still present - the over-the-shoulder camera angle returns for instance. Revelations is also going to be one of the first 3DS titles available that uses the new 3DS thumb stick add-on. With the game offering both sets of controls, with the player being able to use the right-face buttons as the camera as one set and the 3DS thumb stick add-on also being used for the camera too.
Capcom have claimed that Revelations will feature many puzzle solving sections similar to those found within the earlier titles in the series. This declaration seems to put Revelations back on track as the perfect merger between the new and the old; with the survival horror backbone and the quick fire action sequences that made Resident Evil 4 one of the previous generation's best titles. If Capcom manage to hit the nail on the head with the gameplay, then Revelations has the potential to be one of the best in the series.
It's All Down To You Capcom
While Capcom have established a fan following over the years due to providing consistent and quality content, they have lost a lot of respect recently. The cancellation of Megaman Legends 3, the resignation of Kenji Inafune, the disappointing Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and a whole host of other missteps have made the company come across as a lowly corporate giant. They have a chance to reel the fans back in with Revelations though. The correct formula is there: action, puzzles, survival horror and zombies (creatures) all make for a good Resident Evil title. Let's just hope that the heart and soul of the series shines through to deliver the familiar well-crafted, suspense inducing, scare-a-thon we have grown to love.