If I had to pick one, the Resident Evil franchise is probably my favourite non-Nintendo franchise. Sure, it has had its fair share of up and down moments but there is no denying to me that all of the original old-school style games are up there with some of my most beloved games ever, while Resident Evil 4 remains in my top five games of all time and probably won’t dislodge from that position for a good while. It’s clear to see, and safe to say then, that I like Resident Evil games.
You can imagine my jubilation, then, when I saw that the (then brand new) Nintendo 3DS was getting its very own Resident Evil game that wasn’t a spin-off game but rather a full-fledged game in its own right. I, of course, played it at launch along with the Circle Pad Pro (which was a really bad piece of kit by the way) and fell in love with the game. It probably comes as a surprise then, that I’d never actually played its sequel, Resident Evil Revelations 2, until now. Both games have been ported to multiple consoles over the years, but it is the Nintendo Switch that now has a turn to get in on the action with both games coming over to Nintendo’s superb hybrid.
Resident Evil Revelations Review
Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil Revelations sees Jill Valentine and Parker Luciani head for Queen Zenobia in search of Chris Redfield who has gone missing seemingly aboard the ship. The game (mostly) takes place aboard this luxurious cruiser and it serves as one of the best settings in a Resident Evil game. Stranded out at sea, abandoned ship, creepy atmosphere, tight corridors, it all helps create the kind of feel that was missing from a Resident Evil game for quite some time (until Resident Evil 7 came along, that is).
The game alternates between playing as Jill on the ship to playing flashback sequences as Chris, which, unfortunately, takes a lot of the aforementioned atmosphere away. I just simply did not like the Chris sections at all, it’s a lot more action-based and if you want a change of pace then maybe you will like these sections a lot more than me, but I much would have preferred the whole game being played as Jill.
The game features episodes and plays out almost like a TV show in the way it shows a ‘previously on’ section before carrying on with the story. Back when this was a 3DS game, it sort of made sense as to why they went for this way of moving you through the game with the pick-up-and-play nature. Of course, some of that gets lost a little bit if you’re playing it on the TV, but on the Nintendo Switch, you have the means of playing it exactly as it was designed, on a handheld console.
The gameplay in Resident Evil Revelations is generally comparable to that of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, in terms of the camera placement, the way you move your character, and gunplay. But, welcome to me at least, is that it’s a much more slowly paced game. Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly get around fast if you want, but the game puts more prominence on exploration and more of the survival horror traits we saw early on in the series’ life.
You have the option to use motion controls if you prefer, which at first I was really excited for. Earlier on I mentioned that Resident Evil 4 was one of my favourite games ever, the best version was the Wii version, purely down to the fact that it had Wii Remote aiming that worked amazingly well. The good news here is that aiming with just the movement of the Joy-Con works. The bad news is that it, unfortunately, doesn’t work as well as there’s something a little off and it never feels like you’re truly 100 percent in control of it, which is a shame. It’s still perfectly playable this way, just not as good as I’d have hoped. There are also touchscreen controls in here too but they’re not even worth mentioning in truth, as it doesn’t even let you use the touchscreen for item management.
Resident Evil Revelations incorporates a new item called the Genesis which acts as a scanner. It allows you to scan the environment to locate otherwise unseen items such as ammo. It also allows you to scan monsters but I think it’s poorly implemented, as you basically just scan enemies until you reach 100 percent and then you get a green herb. I would much rather have seen it used differently, like maybe once you get to 100 percent, you find out its weak point or the game gives you a bit of information about the monsters you encounter.
Raid Mode is a mode that is very similar to the Mercenaries mode from other Resident Evil games. Some might say that Mercenaries was the best part about those games and they’re not a million miles from the truth. It’s a mode that you can keep coming back to again and again trying to best yourself – its super fun and incredibly addictive. Raid Mode keeps to that motive. The difference here is that instead of just trying to kill as many enemies you can in your allotted time, you also have a goal to reach as well. There are a wealth of characters to choose from, each with different costumes and each with different skills and weapons. It’s incredibly deep, and if you are looking for something to play once you finish the main story then this will keep you entertained for hours on end.
The original Resident Evil Revelations started life out as a 3DS exclusive, and it was ported over to the Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, which was always inevitable. You don’t have to look very hard to notice that Resident Evil Revelations is a game from a previous generation that’s been ported multiple times. I remember it being super impressive on the Nintendo 3DS all those years ago, but it’s pretty rough around the edges for a modern day game, but I guess that is to be expected.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 Review
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a game that I have never played before now. For whatever reason, from the build-up to its launch I wasn’t excited for it and when it was released I didn’t even think about buying it. But now was my chance to experience the game, and to see if I had made a mistake in missing it the first time around.
The sequel went one up on its predecessor in terms of its use of episodes, as the game actually released episodically like a lot of the Telltale games do. But of course, here, you have all the episodes ready and waiting for you, meaning that once you finish the first episode, you can just carry straight on without having to wait. You also get access to the games two additional episodes that were released as downloadable content too, which is a nice little bonus.
The game is set between the events of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6. The main protagonist is the returning Claire Redfield with Moira Burton playing the supporting role. Some of you may recognise that Moira shares a second name with a certain legendary character, that being her father, Barry Burton, who also makes an appearance alongside Natalia Korda.
The big draw of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is that you can play the game entirely in co-op with a friend, just not online, which was a major downfall of the original release too. This may irk those that loved the first Resident Evil Revelations and wanted another single player experience, as a lot was lost playing the game by myself with a computer-controlled ally, as most games of this ilk do. If you do have somebody to play the game with though, I would argue and say it’s a lot more fun than the first game. If you do play alone you are able to switch between the two playable characters, if close by.
Each character has their own unique style of play and as such it’s best to decide between you and your friend who gets who because you will both have completely different experiences. For example, Claire uses firearms so she will be the one who dishes out all the whoopings to the Afflicted (the main enemies in this game), whereas Moira is the supporting character, doesn’t have any firearms, and is only armed with a flashlight and a crowbar. The flashlight is used to not only provide light for Claire but also stun the Afflicted to allow her to have more time to line up a headshot or deal a hefty melee attack. Moira can use the crowbar to deal some damage, so she isn’t completely void of any attacks, just don’t expect to be slaying all that comes before you.
The inventory works in a similar way to the other co-op/multiple character Resident Evil games like Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil Zero in that you are able to transfer items between the two characters. It can become a bit tactical in the way that you handle who picks up what, as you only have a certain amount of inventory slots available to you. You might want Claire to keep all of the ammo because she uses the guns, but you might want Moira to handle all of the health items.
The rest of the game works and plays in a very similar way to the first Resident Evil Revelations. Again, it’s slower paced and it bears a much more survival horror feeling than the more recent action-orientated games, even though it is a co-op game. The actual gameplay is largely unchanged too, identical gunplay and camera which is a good thing because it didn’t need changing in the first place. The graphics are better here than in the first, which again you’d expect with this being a PlayStation4 and Xbox One game originally, and it looks amazing in Handheld mode.
Raid Mode also makes a return and has undergone a bit of a revamp but in general, it plays relatively the same. If you’re going to sink your time into just one from either game, then this is the one that you’re going to want to play as they’ve managed to refine it in the years between releases. Again though, whichever you choose, be prepared to get somewhat engrossed.
It’s strange to get a game and its sequel to both play largely the same, but appeal to different people. The first Resident Evil Revelations hasn’t aged amazingly well, looks a bit rough around the edges, and has a few dodgy moments, but overall it is good, single-player Resident Evil game that tries its best to use the formula of number 4 but also goes back to a more survival horror style.
Whereas Resident Evil Revelations 2 is easily best played in co-op, so much so it’s hard to recommend to somebody wanting to play it by themselves. With the right friend, it’s a ton of fun and is probably the best co-op experience on the Nintendo Switch right now. The Resident Evil series has had its fair share of missteps, but these two games were, and are, a step in the right direction. Nintendo Switch owners are in for a treat.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Capcom