Resident Evil: Revelations (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Rudy Lavaux 28.11.2017

Review for Resident Evil: Revelations on Nintendo Switch

Resident Evil: Revelations shined on the Nintendo 3DS in early 2012 for being - simply put - the most beautiful game to grace the handheld. It is perhaps safe to say that even nearly six years later, there's nothing quite as visually stunning that's graced the system since, with stereoscopic 3D and on stock 3DS hardware. Back then, it was already a well-loved entry for pulling back the series more towards its spooky roots, but also for introducing shooting while moving. Then it came to HD systems of the day back in 2013, where it expanded on what was already a great game to play online with other players, thanks to the inclusion of voice chat, improved performance, and a slew of necessary bug fixes in co-op over its first incarnation - though many new ones crept in there in the process. Finally, earlier this year, it was yet again remastered for PS4 and Xbox One, including all DLC plus a few novelties, before finally arriving now on the Nintendo Switch, complete with a few promised bells and whistles exclusive to it. It is time, then, to look into how this entry holds up in 2017.

It would appear that Chris Redfield, the very same lead male character from the very first entry in the franchise, has been abducted and brought onto a ship out at sea: the Queen Zenobia. BSAA agent Jill Valentine and former FBC agent Parker Luciani are then sent to look for him on that boat, but it would appear that it was all a trap, as said character was apparently never in any danger. Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, the campaign/story mode presents a tale of plotting between anti-bio-terrorism organisations FBC and BSAA.

It is presented like an episodic TV show in the way it is structured, complete with summaries of previous episodes every time a new one starts. A portion of the story is played out in one episode, then it flashes back to events taking place before that, then to others taking place at the same time somewhere else, involving completely different characters, and so on and so forth. This was made so as to be perfectly enjoyable in smaller chunks on the 3DS where it originated - though it's probably not the best way to tell a story on a home console. It's a double-edged sword, but the Switch being also a bit of both, the story remains no less interesting, and the campaign should then still prove enjoyable even on the go in this instance.

It also offers quite a bit of replayability to those who may want to pace through it more than once, thanks to the lure of New Game+, where a player gets to start over with the advantage of being able to bring along weapons and weapon upgrades unlocked on a previous playthrough, which is always nice. During the campaign, players will have to solve minor puzzles, but perhaps more prominently explore their surroundings using this game's signature object called the Genesis to scan enemy corpses for bonus healing items, but also the scenery itself for hidden ammunition, as well as hidden hand prints.

Screenshot for Resident Evil: Revelations on Nintendo Switch

The campaign itself is not extremely long, and plays out more linear than the older instalments, more in line with modern entries in that regard, though some minor "looking for keys" is still in place. There aren't really any worries to have about inventory management in this episode, however, since there's basically none. A character may carry around up to three weapons of any kind at all times, and grenades, ammo and healing items all go into their own pockets, the capacity of which can only be increased by picking up larger dedicated pouches. The story, because of how it is structured, is not paced particularly well, but should still pose a decent challenge and offers its moments of intense, nerve-racking moments where ammo is low and waves of enemies keep on coming.

Another incentive to play through it again may well be for achievements. Indeed, like its predecessor on Wii U, the Switch version includes those within the game itself, since the system doesn't support that basic functionality like other modern systems. Replaying it in a higher difficulty may also be a good incentive.

This is a tough challenge, but this version supports the residentevil.net functionality that many recent titles in the franchise have come to utilise. Binding one's own in-game profile to a residentevil.net account makes it possible to earn RE points on the website itself through completion of various missions, but also allows a player to send his/herself ammunition and healing herbs that can be obtained when other residentevil.net users send them supplies, up to once per day, so making friends will definitely help.

Screenshot for Resident Evil: Revelations on Nintendo Switch

Furthermore, RENet allows the player to earn items for use in what is essentially the real meat of the game: RAID mode. This mode has the player playing through stages that reflect sections of the campaign, either alone or in cooperation with another player online or, in the case of the Switch version, in local multiplayer with another Switch owner, just like was possible on the Nintendo 3DS. There is a bit of an RPG flavour to it, since playing this mode awards Battle Points (BP), which serves as a currency for RAID mode only, allowing you to buy ammo, weapons, and weapon parts for customisation. Continued play raises the player's level to a maximum of 50, inducing a sense of character growth and progression that feels thoroughly satisfying.

Each stage offers challenges besides simply getting to the end of the course, such as managing to kill all enemies (leaving none), called the genocide bonus; taking no hits whatsoever, called the no damage bonus; as well as clearing the stage at an experience level inferior or equal to that stage's recommended level. Lastly, the very much sought after trinity bonus can only be obtained on each stage upon managing to fulfil all three requirements on the same run. Where before it would have been hard to know before finishing a RAID stage whether or not the objectives were met for the bonuses, stats are now displayed on screen at all times during said stages, showing the player whether he or she has taken damage since starting, but most importantly, how many enemies are in the stage (or within that section of it, in the case of the Ghost Ship), and how many have already been killed, which should ensure that bad surprises on the results screen, such as finding out that the genocide bonus was not granted, should never happen again! A very welcome addition indeed, then!

The player's name's colour when playing online reflects one's skill, as it reflects the amount of bonuses obtained by the player and, where previous incarnations had players chasing the already hard to obtain purple status, this newer version adds the orange colour on top of it, which is only obtained by getting all bonuses on all stages, including the newly-added, extra challenging "Ghost Ship CHAOS" stage. This challenge alone should already provide more than a hundred hours of playtime! RAID mode is insanely addictive mostly because of the challenge and because of the prospect of taking it on with the help of other human players, whether it is to unlock bonuses that would otherwise be really tough to obtain alone or to help one another farming for rare, powerful weapons.

Screenshot for Resident Evil: Revelations on Nintendo Switch

Again, however, RENet is there to also help things further by allowing users to earn weapons cases and weapon parts cases and send them over from the website into their game. Those already help the player gain otherwise harder to obtain weapons, but the best way to obtain the rarest of them all is to take part in the frequent online events organised through the website. Such events include killing a certain amount of wanted enemies found in RAID mode stages, bearing names of players previously played with on their heads, simply killing as many enemies as possible, or totalling a target amount of damage dealt to enemies over a typical period of three weeks. Meeting these quotas usually results in the players being awarded very rare weapons that should make the toughest challenges of RAID mode more easily approachable indeed.

Should players desire so, however, they may also go for the win, and try to earn a top spot on that event's online leaderboard for medals of gold, silver and bronze, oftentimes earning some extras in the process that no one else gets to take away - at least until the next online event of that type. These events add some extra flavour to an already addictive mode, but it's sad that keeping track of one's own score on these events cannot be done from within the game itself, and requires constant checking of an external website - something that one wishes Capcom had seized the opportunity of yet another rerelease to finally improve upon.

RAID mode is, however, still where the game shows off all of its potential. It was already very good on the 3DS, but it truly shined on HD systems due to the comfort of cooperating with another player over the built-in voice chat, including with strangers, which eventually lead to many friend list additions over the years. Of course, every community has its oddball players, and voice chat could lead to some awkward moments, but fun and memorable ones nonetheless in retrospect, and the RER community has proven to be a good one over the years on Wii U.

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The Switch version, however, sadly, removes that important part of the experience by not including voice chat at all; not through the game itself, and not through Nintendo's infamous Switch Online app, which means players who don't know each other outside of the game will be left with no way to communicate with one another, or even making appointments to use external third party apps or services to do voice chat over, since the Switch lacks any kind of private messaging services, as well - at least at time of writing. This is really sad, but it is hard to fault on Capcom, since other console manufacturers have no problem including these basic functionalities in 2017, right out of the box as a console-bound feature.

The Switch version, therefore, limits players again to using button combinations to send quick basic yells to the other player and convey ideas like "hold on" or "thanks," just like on the 3DS. There is, however, one silver lining: lobby invites. People in the player's friend list who are also already playing the game can now be invited to join an open lobby, whereas that wasn't possible before.

Lack of voice chat is the only main gripe that comes to mind about it over its big brothers, and that, depending on Nintendo's future course of action, could still be fixed. The Switch version is, thankfully not all about drawbacks over previous iterations, of course, as, compared to its Wii U predecessor, it loads blazingly faster, for example, past an initial rather long loading time on boot up. The Wii U version had infamously the slowest load times of all versions, even with the game downloaded from the eShop and installed onto the system's internal memory, so that's a big improvement.

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It also runs and looks better on the Switch, with a target frame rate of 60fps that is, by and large, met at all times (though not 100% of the time, but more so when docked), running at 1080p while docked, only paired back to 720p in handheld mode, where the Wii U struggled to maintain 30fps at 720p on the big screen. Furthermore, the Switch version offers exclusive motion controls and HD rumble functionalities. Anyone under the sun remembers how well Resident Evil 4 controlled in its Wii edition with IR aiming. The Switch version has gyro aiming instead - not unlike Splatoon 2, in fact - and it controls fairly similarly in that it is quite accurate. However, without a button to re-centre the aiming to the middle of the screen, this has to be done manually using the joystick, which is a bit unfortunate. Reloading the weapon can be done either by tapping a hand on the IR sensor on the right Joy-Con, or can still be done by pressing a button, while using the knife can be done simply by swiping the same Joy-Con.

The shortcuts for quickly changing weapons via the Wii U GamePad's touch screen will be sorely missed, especially as the D-pad for changing weapons on the official Pro Controller is notorious for inducing wrong inputs... but it is nothing experienced players should fear, and the pros of the Switch version of the poorly performing Wii U one all make up for it by far, especially since there are so many choices of controllers available for Switch. There are actually touch screen controls in handheld mode, but those simply allow you to switch weapons and grenades by swiping the designated area on the HUD and still forces you to cycle through them exactly like buttons. That's all the touch screen is used for, since it doesn't even work in the menus or for aiming in-game, so it's not very useful.

Last but not least, the Switch version includes a few more new additions - some exclusive to it, some common to all of the latest rereleases on current platforms. One example is a new Switch-exclusive mini-game called Ghost Ship Panic that helps the player farm BP without actually playing through RAID mode stages. It is, however, sadly, not very fun to play and mostly forgettable, as there are better techniques that advanced players can use to farm BP more efficiently anyway, though the absence of communication between Switch players online will, again, make the propagation of such discoveries much harder than it was before on Wii U. Finally, amiibo support was added, too, where tapping an amiibo on the controller grants the player some ammo refills, which is pretty forgettable.

Screenshot for Resident Evil: Revelations on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

There is absolutely no denial that this game is very good, with a decent campaign to play through and an absolutely amazing online mode to sink hundreds of hours into. However, because it is this game's third incarnation on a Nintendo system, whether or not to purchase Resident Evil: Revelations will all come down to whether one wants to play it again, or whether or not it is their very first time. First-time players should not hesitate, as this is probably the best way to play this game - ever! Potential double- or even triple-dippers should simply consider what they are looking for. It is likely that the online mode won't be supported much longer on the older systems, and the Switch allows you to play it in the best conditions, save for the lack of means of communication with people met inside the game. Nothing can be taken away from how good the RAID mode is, though, so those who can't help but want more of it on the newest system shouldn't have any reasons to feel ashamed of themselves. It's a blast to blast oozes into oblivion.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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