More than a year since the announcement that Resident Evil: Revelations will be appearing on the Nintendo 3DS, I finally got to take the game for a spin through the demo that was released on to the 3DS eShop yesterday.
A lot is being made of this new release. Capcom claiming they are bringing the Horror back to the series, something that was well and truly lacking in Resident Evil 5, and from what I played today, the game is on it’s way to bringing the series back on form.
The Demo opens up with Jill Valentine waking up in a strange bedroom on the cruise liner that has been featured so heavily in promotion for the game, with no clue of how she got there. She alludes to it looking a lot like a Mansion. An obvious nod to Mansion which was the setting of the very first Resident Evil game. A quick call to her partner Parker, and they agree to rendezvous on the Ship’s Bridge.
Moving into the bathroom area of the cabinet, Jill drains some water from the tub to reveal a screw-driver which she uses to unlock your way out from the room. Thus beginning one of the new touch screen mini-puzzles. The puzzle was quick and easy to get through and made good use of the touch screen.
Moving out the room Jill traverses different corridor’s in search of new Items and weapons. In this short demo she is already equipped with a Knife and Pistol but also comes across a Shotgun. Encountering a few enemies soon after shows off the combat system. In true Resident Evil style, you cannot run and gun. Enemies will advance towards you, and it’s up to you to either take them out quickly or dodge them and escape. Pulling the right trigger goes into aiming mode. You can choose in the options menu to aim in either first or third person. If Jill is grabbed by a creature, a struggle ensues and by repeatedly tapping the ‘Y’ button, Jill will be able to knock them back with a swift kick.
The combat system also calls in question how the inventory system has been implemented this time around. Unlike the older games where you would have to leave the gameplay screen to get into your inventory and equip your weapons, everything is now done on the fly. Jill can cycle through her weapons with the D-Pad, and by clicking the weapon icons on the touch screen can instantly reload too. It makes for a far less time consuming scenario, and it definitely a welcome addition. On top of that, when Jill begins to lose health, the screen will begin to turn red, this serves as an indication that you need to heal yourself. If you happen to have a green herb available, you can quickly tap the ‘A’ button and Jill will heal herself instantly, which is another bonus of not having the convoluted inventory system to past games.
I must add that Resident Evil: Revelations will be the first 3DS game that will be fully compatible with the upcoming Circle Pad Pro. I won’t be able to give my impressions on that until my bundle arrives next week, but for those that do not want to take the plunge and spend more money on Nintendo peripherals, then rest assured that the game is easily playable without it.
The demo soon ends after meeting up with Parker, as they arrive at the Bridge, Jill is suddenly grabbed by an unknown person who quickly takes a shot in Parker’s direction, the screen fades to black and the demo ends.
It must be noted just how gorgeous the game looks. Capcom’s MT Framework looks really good on Nintendo’s handheld. From the character models, animations, detail in the environments and lighting effects, it’s definitely shaping up to be the best looking game on the system so far.
The 3D is also really well done. Capcom give you the option of creating added depth to the game using the in-game menu. So although turning the 3D slider all the way will give you a good depth, change the settings in the menu will create even more. On the strongest setting though I did notice a tiny bit of ghosting, I’m not sure if that was a problem with my eyes not adjusting to this added level of depth properly, or if it was just a problem with the game. It’s not a deal breaker by any means and changing some settings around can quickly sort that out.
Music is very atmospheric, and is able to create that tension that survival-horror games need when exploring the different rooms and corridors. I would suggest using a good pair of headphones though whilst playing so that you can really immerse yourself into it.
Overall I was very impressed with what I was able to play. It was a very short demo, but what was included was enough for me to want to play more. I just hope the rest of the game can continue to generate that sense of fear and dread I had whilst playing the demo, and then I am sure it will be a sure fire hit.
I did have my reservations about Jill having her partner Parker around, as from my experience with Sheva in Resi 5, I didn’t want the dumb AI to ruin the experience. Though according to the previews I have read, Parker is his own character, you won’t have to protect him, as he can’t die, thus meaning you don’t need to use valuable items such as Green Herbs to continuously heal him if he gets hurt.
It remains to be seen how the full version of the game will turn out, but as of right now, I am excited about it, and can’t wait to delve back into the experience when the game is released in the UK on Friday 27th January