The demo for Resident Evil: Revelations just launched today in North American and European Nintendo E-Shops and I have had a couple of hours to play around with it. Let me tell you that this might be the new reason to own a Nintendo 3DS. Resident Evil: Revelations is far and away the prettiest handheld game I have ever seen and it handles just like its console counterparts (which is good or bad depending on what you thought of RE 4 and 5).
The demo puts you in control of Jill Valentine on a mysterious cruise ship (which I believe is where the majority of the game takes place) and Jill’s immediate objective is to regroup with her partner Parker. Based off of the extremely limited exposure to Parker I think he will be a solid addition to the RE cast and I am excited to see how he is intertwined into the narrative. Navigating the small part of the cruise ship in the demo definitely gives you a feel for how the game is going to make you play, which is smart or die. Ammo is very scarce and enemies take a beating before going down so choosing your battles will be the name of the game. This is true fan service because that is how original Resident Evil games operated, which is why Revelations feels really nostalgic and fresh simultaneously. This game also has great atmosphere (especially with the 3D cranked up). There is one room where the floor is covered in fog and the 3D makes it pop and you are just waiting for something to jump out at you (I’ll never tell…). But it is that kind of atmosphere that makes the game already super eerie which I can’t get enough of (even though it scares the crap out of me).
The controls for the game are pretty solid and are highly reminiscent of past Resident Evil titles (i.e. 4, 5, Mercenaries 3D). The over the shoulder perspective is back for navigating and the first person view from last year’s Mercenaries 3D has returned for aiming. The ability to sprint or move faster wasn’t present in the demo, but quick turning is still there (also some dodge mechanic that I am still figuring out). I hope they add an ability to maneuver faster because during combat I was easily attacked because I was simply moving too slow. I don’t know if that is being done deliberately to make the game feel more claustrophobic like previous RE titles, but like I said I hope that issue is addressed in the final build. Lastly I don’t have a Circle Pad Pro so I am unable to comment on whether or not that makes the game control better, but the demo does offer the option for those of you who imported one (comment and let us all know how it works).
The inventory system for Revelations is pretty intuitive with weapons, secondary weapons and items being mapped to the d-pad for quick swapping and use. You can also use green herbs by simply pressing the A face button which is pretty handy when you are getting dominated (happened to me on my first play through). One of my favorite additions is an item you pick up midway through the demo and that is the Supply Scanner. This little device operates pretty similarly to the scanner from Metroid Prime in which it lets you scan the room for items and scan enemies either dead (defeated) or alive (trying to kill you). The Supply Scanner turns up hidden items in the room that Jill was previously unable to pick up and comes up clutch especially near the end of the demo (mad hand grenades, yo).
When the demo concluded I was left really satisfied. It isn’t terribly long, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect when the game launches on February 7th in North America. This isn’t some half ass effort from Capcom and it is something that Resident Evil fans should rejoice about. This game will appeal to longtime fans as well as new ones and will surely move some 3DS units come early February. Stay tuned for more about Resident Evil Revelations and as always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.