Saturday, April 6, 2013

PAX East 2013: Resident Evil Revelations: Unveiled Edition


Over a year ago, Capcom released Resident Evil: Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS. It was given praise for its survival horror gameplay mixed with occasional action sequences while still maintaining a very Resident Evil feel. Now Capcom is bringing this title to the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii U as Resident Evil Revelations: Unveiled Edition. The new edition totes HD graphics, new playable characters, and a new Intense difficulty mode which adds new monsters to change things up. At Capcom’s PAX East 2013 booth, the Xbox 360 version of the game was playable, so I gave it a try.

Taking place before the events of Resident Evil 5, the game primarily stars lJill Valentine with her partner Parker Luciani. The two are on a mission to explore the abandoned SS Queen Zenobia to look for Chris Redfield who went missing while investigating the possible return of Veltro, a terrorist organization which used the T-Abyss virus to create B.O.W.s a year before. As you would expect, the ship is crawling with these monstrosities, and in usual Resident Evil fashion, there are also a number of plot-twists to keep things unexpected. Having played the 3DS version, I am curious to see if they added any new plotline twists in this release.

In the demo, I got to see a portion of the main story as well as the first mission in Raid Mode. Gameplay wise, Resident Evil Revelations: Unveiled Edition played nearly identical to its 3DS counter part when using the Circle Pad Pro. The left stick moves the character while the right stick controls the camera, which helped me survey my surroundings, searching for various monsters. In order to shoot your weapon, you must enter an aiming mode by pressing the left trigger and then shoot with the right. Like with the 3DS version, this mode could be set in first-person or over-the-shoulder as in Resident Evil 4. Overall, the controls were responsive and mapped well to the Xbox 360 controller. Sadly, there wasn’t a Wii U version to play to see what functions its touch screen would add besides a map.

Obviously, some major changes were the updated graphics for high definition displays. While the original was good-looking for a handheld title, this version had more detail in the character models, better textures, and improved lighting. The character models now appear closer to how they look in cutscenes. The monsters are also improved, appearing wetter and slimier than ever. These creatures also had more imperfections added such as gaps in the flesh or protruding bone structures though the skin. The game’s textures were crisper and had more detail with rust and drippings. While everything looked better in general, it definitely did not look like it was made from the ground up like the previous console ventures. Instead, it looked as though Capcom took what was already in the original game, cleaned it up, and made it higher resolution. Given that the first game was good looking already, being cleaned up does make it a good looking console experience, just not an amazing one.

The game’s musical score, sound effects, and voice acting all sound like they did back on the handheld version. The second I heard the theme playing on the menu screen, I was taken back to my time on the 3DS, huddled over and about to delve into another chapter. Finally, the game’s interface has also seen a slight facelift to fit the new HD television screen. Since there is no second screen, the Xbox version had the map, weapon ammo, health bar, and grenade count all on the screen along side the action. Being that all the other Resident Evil titles have been like this before, it did not feel too cluttered to play.

Resident Evil Revelations was a great title that played like the RE games of old based around survival horror. Now with Unveiled Edition, people will be able to fully experience this game on their big screens with added features. While it does not look as graphically powerful as other HD games by Capcom, it certainly isn’t an eyesore either. Even though I already own the 3DS version, I would be willing to try this game on consoles for its improvements and extra content. Look forward for a true Resident Evil experience when it comes to all consoles this May.

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