There’s a general (if sometimes tenuous) agreement within the gaming community that the Nintendo 3DS, after stumbling at launch, is starting to dust itself off. A handsome price cut, a slow but sure trickle in quality exclusives, and the upcoming circle pad expansion are all contributors to the revival. Capcom’s 8th game in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: Revelations looks to take advantage of this last feature and much else besides. How is the game shaping up?
For starters, Revelations looks good. There’s no doubting that Capcom’s engine – the MT Framework Mobile – is making the 3DS flex. My first thought was definitely: “Wow, the 3DS can do this?”
Beyond graphical prowess, the game’s menu sports an “enhance 3D depth slider” with three settings. It remains to be seen whether the feature truly boosts the 3D effect as we see it in other games, or whether it’s a simple way of adjusting the proverbial ceiling on the effect.
The single-player experience – being written by Dai Satō – comes with the developer’s promise that the storyline is the best of the series (he expressed the hope that we would comply in keeping the sentiment secret from the team behind Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which I must say features executions that make Jason Bourne look like a nun. My colleague Raychul has you covered on our preview of that!). A few unlikely heroes (Keith Lumley and Quint Cetcham) accompany Jill Valentine and other familiar names in their search for Chris Redfield, whose known location is, creepily, within a desolate cruise ship.
Raid Mode – a single or cooperative venture into survival horror – proves that support of the Circle Pad Pro makes you a more efficient killing machine, adding a fourth controller scheme that will surely become the standard among fans. Without it, you’ll find yourself awkwardly walking away from monsters, turning around, and taking shots at the things. With it, the game passes off as a modern third-person shooter.
The enemies in Raid Mode have some variety over their single-player counterparts: the clenched fist in the screenshot above indicates monstrous beyond monstrous strength, and similar icons exist for speed and tenacity. Each and every kill in Raid Mode makes for an item drop, some of which allows you to level up and customize weapons for future use. Upgrades include an increase in firing rate or chance of dealing critical damage.
If you’re a Resident Evil fan, mark your calendars for handheld survival horror on February 7th, 2012.