Hands-on with the next main-series Resident Evil game.
As a huge Resident Evil / Biohazard fan, ever since watching the teaser for Revelations back at E3, I’ve been salivating at the chance to get some hands-on time. My wish came true at Nintendo World 2011, and while I wasn’t disappointed, the demo was so short, it left me even more desperate for the final game than ever before!
As seen in the trailer, this game (at least in part) takes place on a huge ship out to sea; even without any intro movie it was still obvious from the rain battering on the windows and quarters filled with dank corridors and damp bunk beds.
First things first, this game looks gorgeous. I’d put it somewhere close to Resident Evil 4 on GameCube, but running in 3D on a handheld. Jill Valentine looked just as detailed as back then, but the way she popped out of the screen gave her a real solid and realistic feel. If I was being super picky, I’d say some of the models, such as Jill’s gun, don't hold up upon close inspection, but this is a far from finished product.
Movement is handled with the slide pad; the touch screen can be gently nudged to give little glances to the sides, but it is not used for aiming at all. Hitting the R button puts you in a first-person mode; I think it’s a smart decision to not have Jill in view when aiming, as the smaller screen just doesn't allow for it. It has been wrongfully reported that you cannot move while in first person, possibly because it wasn’t really explained or talked about at the booth, but I can confirm that it is very much possible. Holding L while in aiming mode lets you move slowly in any direction; this doesn’t allow you to change your aim, however, so it cleverly keeps it from becoming an FPS game. I found this setup especially useful to backpedal; after getting a good aim on an enemy(kind of Nemesis/zombie hybrids), I’d hold L, walk backwards and keep firing until they were dead, all while avoiding the oncoming swipes from its claws.
If you are getting overwhelmed and need to make a run for a it, pressing down and B allowed a quick 180 turn, just like in the GameCube games. Overall, I think the controls are spot on for a RE game, giving the right sense of being on edge and wary of what’s coming around the next corner.
After dispatching a few enemies, I heard screaming coming from up ahead; I turned a corner and fell for the old “lightning flash, boo! - no, wait that’s my own shadow” trick. I got to the bottom of some steps, but was too late to save the guy as he was splattered against a window in front of my eyes. Hope I didn’t know him.
I got revenge for the guy, opened a few lockers to check for supplies, turned another corner, and it was all over. I finished the demo with three minutes to spare; I even had time to restart the demo and get halfway through again, this time trying to find alternative sections or secrets that I may have missed.
Unfortunately, that’s all there was to the demo, so I took my 3D postcard and left.