Resident Evil: Revelations Collection Review
Nintendo SwitchAlso available on PC, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One
Generally, when we play survival horror games, we make sure to do so well before bedtime. However, if you've always wanted to play them right up until you fall asleep then the Resident Evil: Revelations Collection on the Nintendo Switch can help you realise that dream. Like most of the Resident Evil games, they mostly follow the same style story which includes a sinister company, generally Umbrella, and a mass of genetically altered enemies that often increase in ridiculousness as you progress. Both games included in this collection (Resident Evil: Revelations 1 & 2) have been released before with Revelations 1 originally being released on the 3DS and both have since been ported to all major platforms. It’s no surprise, then, to see this venerable survival horror game arrive on the Nintendo’s Switch.
The action fills the gaps between Resident Evil 4 and 6 and those who’ve followed the series closely will get many of the inside references thrown in. Resident Evil: Revelations sees you play, mainly, as Jill Valentine who is supported by a new partner in the form of Parker Luciani. There are some flashbacks thrown in where you take control of other characters but the main story takes place onboard a cruise ship, the Queen Zenobia. There’s a great sense of claustrophobia here and a huge sense of foreboding. It’s very much like the Resident Evil of old where the surround is as much a character in the game as anyone or anything else. Whilst the levels are linear you are free to explore and examine every nook and cranny of the Queen Zenobia. The level design is beautiful and the more you explore through the game’s twelve episodes the more you discover about the ship, its story and its ties to the loss of the city Terragrigia (explained in Revelations 1’s opening). The other thing you notice as you explore is the architecture of the Queen Zenobia. There are points of wonder where the opulence of the ship is intact. However, there are others areas so run-down and derelict you wonder what it was like in its heyday.
As we started our way through, we enjoyed the initial lack of ammo and healing power. The latter makes you feel very vulnerable and take caution at every turn. Paired with little ammo we started to take care making sure to hit enemies in their weak spots. However, once we started using the Genesis scanner these limitations became less of a problem. The Genesis scanner is a tool you can use to scan surrounds for handprints (a collectible in the game), hidden items such as ammo and any enemies which, if you do enough of, grants you herbs which you can use to heal yourself. Whilst you still have to be careful with your ammo and use of herbs the Genesis scanner makes finding ammo almost too easy. It’s a shame that the initial feeling of insecurity and vulnerability couldn’t have been held throughout. There are certainly tough enemies, especially the bosses, but since we always had full ammo we went into most battles confident of coming out on top.
Revelations 2 sees you, mostly, in control of Claire Redfield who works for a biohazard prevention agency called TerraSave. During a fundraiser for the organisation, in a Dark Knight-inspired gatecrashing, Claire and her friend Moira Burton are kidnapped. You wake up inside a rather horrid-looking prison with little to no idea where you are or why you were taken. As you explore you start to notice that there’s some rather nasty looking machinery where, presumably other prisoners, met their grizzly end. This time, however, your partner does provide assistance in the form of shooting enemies as in Revelations 1. Instead, Moira is armed with a flashlight (used to find hidden items à la Genesis scanner or blind assailants) and a crowbar which can be used to open inaccessible doors and pry open crates for loot. You can also change between characters at will which can be rather useful at times for solving many of the game’s puzzles.
Beyond the stories both games have to tell we do have two rather good looking games. We were pretty impressed that both docked, and undocked, both games run smooth and look rather pretty. That is, however, except for the cutscenes in Revelations 1 which, in our opinion, look worse than the actual gameplay graphics. More often it’s the other way around but not so here. Thankfully they don’t last long nor are there too many of them. There’s also a heavy use of doors and elevators to hide background loading and whilst you don’t have to wait too long in most situations there are some that seemingly take forever. Still, it keeps each level flowing in both games which, when you’re trying to build suspense, is no bad thing. Whilst on the go you’ll get a decent play before you’re needing to get the charger out or the Switch back on its dock. In general we got around two to two and a half hours’ worth of playtime which is long enough to get through an episode plus a touch more depending on how efficient you are.
Both games have around ten hours plus as far as main content goes. We got stuck a few times, mostly due to our own ineptitude, but it’s not a breeze that’s for sure. If you decide to get everything and uncover all the mystery and hidden items then you’re looking at longer. There’s also local co-op play in Revelations 2 and a raid mode, and both have an 8-bit mini-game. So there’s a fair bit extra to do if you’re bored of the main game and fancy an extra challenge, or at least want to bring a friend to watch your back along the way. The raid mode will be very enticing to those who want to put themselves in a tougher test and see how fast you can get through a repurposed level from the main game with different enemies. If you’re particularly competitive, all stats from your game can be, should you choose to open an account, uploaded to Resident Evil’s website giving you the ability to track all manner of stats. This means you can boast to your friends about just how fast you can clear a level and the data to prove it.
As this is a Switch game both support both motion control and Amiibos. The motion controls are pretty good and, if you get comfortable with them enough, can be more accurate than using the normal thumbstick way of aiming. Considering both games try to make you conserve and use your ammo wisely, being able to accurately target your enemies is rather important. We still prefer using the Pro Controller for the most part but the fact that the motion controls are well implemented rather just tacked on is nice to see. Amiibo support is rather dull and merely results in points to use to upgrade your skills or provide quicker access to upgrades. There’s very little benefit to them so if you don’t have them then don’t worry as you wouldn’t be gaining anything worthwhile by having them.
If you’ve already played these games on other platforms there’s very little here that’s new or compelling enough to pick them up again. The episodic nature of both games lends itself well to the mobile nature of the Switch by creating natural points where you can step away and save your game. Given that most of these episodes can, in most cases, be completed within one full charge of the Switch, it’s pretty much perfect for mobile play. There’s much to like here and whilst neither game is stellar they’re very competent survival horror games. If that’s your thing and the Switch is your platform then they’re well worth picking up, especially if this will be your first time on this particular Resident Evil rodeo.