It’s been a good, long while since a videogame utterly scared the crap out of me. In fact, the last time that happened was probably somewhere in the late 1990s, playing Resident Evil 2 in a friend’s basement shortly after imbibing a reasonable amount of cut-rate vodka.
Anyhoo. . .
To me survival horror is the videogame equivalent of Sour Patch Kids. You know what to expect. And even though just the thought of the sour sweetness makes you cringe, you eat it anyway. Lots of it. With survival horror, you know what to expect, too. Dim, atmospheric lighting. Claustrophobic level design. Relentless zombies or what have you. And even though you sort of dread those brief experiences where a good survival horror game makes you jump from your seat, you keep coming back. For lots of it.
Enter Resident Evil Revelations, the latest — and 3d-est — entry into Capcom’s grandaddy-of-them-all-survival-horror-saga. With a street date set for early February, Revelations promises to be the first must-have 3DS release of the new year. And from what I’ve seen, it’s a doozy.
Let’s put it this way: It took me all of five minutes to kick and scream in the real life, while my character was kicking and screaming and fighting off a zombie in the game.
Try it for yourself. A demo version is available on the 3DS eShop right this second.
Here’s what stood out to me in my initial play-through of the demo:
- Revelations is the most visually stunning game on the 3DS so far.
- For better or worse, it’s a return to the gameplay that made the first Resident Evil titles great.
- It’s not without a stiff challenge: scarcity of resources and tough to beat zombies mean it’s not a game for wimps.
- Couldn’t figure out if it’s just the demo or the game, but the old ‘limited save point’ issue is back. For mobile gamers, this could take away from the game’s pick-up-and-play factor.
That’s about it for now. But as for a verdict, I can say this much – Resident Evil Revelations is the first must-have 3DS title since Super Mario Kart 7. If you’re counting the time between release dates, that makes it more than two months. The drought of great 3DS games, my friends, is coming to an end.