Reviewing Resident Evil: Revelations on Xbox 360 is definitely one of the more difficult I have had to do so far. It’s not often that a handheld title gets a home-console port, and it’s only been a little over a year since the game’s original 3DS release. The handheld version saw Jill Valentine returning to a more survival-horror type of Resident Evil, something many fans had wanted since Resident Evil 5. After the 3DS version performed admirably, the game has now received a HD makeover for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U and PC.
For the most-part, Revelations on home console is the same game as the 3DS version. While I could re-write a review of the game’s plot and gameplay, you can check out my original article for the 3DS version for a rundown of Revelations’ main game aspects if you haven’t already played the original version.
In terms of visuals, it’s apparent that there’s been some work on the game’s textures and there is some apparent improvement, though not to the extent that it makes the 3DS version look poor – more that the detail has been scaled to adapt to the larger screen used for home consoles. In terms of console quality, the game looks decent but not quite on the level of Resident Evil 5 or 6.
Gameplay-wise, the game’s control scheme has been mapped to a layout that should be fairly familiar to fans of the home console entries in the series, since the game was built with the same gameplay style. However, it’s the feel of the gameplay that is most noticeable – while the controls and visuals are similar to previous Xbox 360 titles, it’s immediately apparent that the game’s engine isn’t quite on the same level – characters feel somehow lighter and less solid and the way things are animated - such as how enemies move, and how they recoil when shot - aren’t quite at the peak of console-quality. While the game felt great on a handheld, little flaws are somehow more apparent – the game feels like a handheld title at its core, stretched into a home console format.
The game does incorporate a few new features – a new enemy called the Wall Blister, as well as a new “Infernal” difficulty mode, which adds some extra variety with remixed enemy and item locations. Perhaps the most interesting additions are the extra characters and weapons added to Raid Mode, which is a lot more accessible using Xbox Live to play with friends – I’ve never really got into multiplayer on a handheld format, personally.
The game’s story mode is still strictly single-player – which is a good thing, a tacked on co-op mode would easily ruin some of the scarier moments, so I’m glad Capcom didn’t decide to tack one on. While the game does feature three sets of partners (Jill & Parker, Chris & Jessica and Grinder & Jackass), the game still feels like a solo affair, unlike the latest numbered entries in the series which felt as though they were built for co-op. I never really could figure out why Capcom decided to include Grinder and Jackass in the game’s story mode – but of course, Revelations on the 360 preserves both the good and bad points of the original. It’s still not a terrifying game, but it definitely has it’s jumps and feels as though it’s a step in the right direction. And of course – having played the original fairly recently, the scares were less shocking to me than they might have been if this was my first time playing the story.
It’s hard to say that Revelations on 360 is better than the original – while the textures are better, the game does feel more impressive as a high-standard handheld title than it does as an average-looking console title. It’s almost as if playing it on a handheld made it somehow more personal, and of course the 3DS will always be the console it was built for.
But at the end of the day – that’s what Revelations is: a handheld game brought to home consoles, and in terms of a port it’s well done – if you never got a chance to play the original, this is a great opportunity to play a new Resident Evil adventure – despite it’s flaws, Revelations does a good job at bringing fear back into Resident Evil, and is hopefully a sign that the series will be trying to recapture its roots in the future.
I’m not sure the home console port would be worth it for those who have already played the portable version – there’s nothing particularly special in terms of extras, so unless you’re a collector or loved the original, I’m not sure it would be worth the money. However, for those who haven’t got access to a 3DS, I’d definitely recommend giving the game a shot – with an RRP that’s a tenner less than a regular console release, it’s worth overlooking the game’s flaws to enjoy the truly enjoyable parts.
+ Resident Evil with some survival horror put back into the mix
+ A solid port with a few extras thrown in
+ A great opportunity for those without a 3DS to enjoy a good chapter of the Resident Evil saga
- Game looks and feels less refined compared to previous home console titles
- Some chapters are less interesting than others, as with the original release
- Game feels less impressive on a home console than it does on the 3DS
If you don’t have a 3DS, I urge you to look past this port’s imperfections, and enjoy what is essentially, a decent Resident Evil title with some great moments. While the title is clearly developed for a smaller platform, many people who were unhappy with Resident Evil 6 could easily find solace here. Just don’t expect a major improvement upon the original version.