Resident Evil: Revelations, known in Japan as Biohazard Revelations (バイオハザード リベレーションズ Baiohazādo Riberēshonzu ) is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom and originally released for the handheld game console Nintendo 3DS in 2012. A spin-off title in the Resident Evil franchise, it is set between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The game follows counter-terrorism agents Jill and Chris as they try to stop a bioterrorist organization from infecting the Earth's oceans with a virus. The game features a single-player mode where the player must complete a series of episodes that involve solving puzzles and defeating enemies, and a multiplayer mode where players may fight their way through altered single-player scenarios.
Revelations emphasizes survival, evasion, and exploration over fast-paced combat by providing the player with limited ammunition, health, and movement speed. It was designed to bring back the content and horror of the series' roots, while at the same time trying to modernize the gameplay. Revelations was also the first game to support the 3DS' Circle Pad Pro outside Japan. The game was a moderate commercial success and received generally positive reviews from video game publications. Several critics praised its graphics, sound effects, and horror setting, but some criticized its inconsistent gameplay between scenarios.
A high definition (HD) version was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360 in 2013, and for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in 2017. This version does not support the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS but features upgraded graphics and other minor changes. Across all platforms, the HD version sold more than two million copies worldwide but received less critical praise than the 3DS version. A sequel, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, was released in 2015.
Resident Evil: Revelations is a survival horror game where the player controls the on-screen character from a third-person perspective to interact with the environment and enemies. In the game's single-player campaign, the player must complete a series of scenarios collected together into episodes. Most of the scenarios involve the player controlling Jill Valentine aboard a ghost ship in the Mediterranean Sea, but some require the player to play as other characters in different settings. To finish a scenario and proceed to the next one, the player must complete certain objectives such as solving puzzles, defeating a boss, collecting keys that open doors to new areas, and reaching a specific point in the game, among others.
As a survival horror game, Revelations emphasizes survival, evasion, and exploration over fast-paced combat by providing the player with limited ammunition, health, and movement speed. The player has the ability to run, climb ladders, swim and dive underwater for a limited period of time. Up to three firearms can be carried at one time, in addition to grenades and the standard combat knife. Firearms range from handguns to shotguns, submachine guns and rifles. When aiming a firearm to shoot enemies, the gameplay switches into either a first-person or an over-the-shoulder perspective. As Valentine, the player can upgrade firearms by finding special items throughout the game. The player may also perform melee attacks when an enemy has been stunned after being shot at the right time. Ammunition and health suppliers are dispersed among the game to help players increase their resources. A device called Genesis can be used to scan and find items hidden throughout the game's environments. An automap feature is available to help players navigate the game.
In addition to the single-player campaign, Revelations offers a more action-oriented mode, called Raid Mode, where one or two players may fight their way through a selection of altered scenarios from the single-player campaign. These usually feature enemies of varying power for the player to defeat. Once a scenario has been completed, the player is rewarded with experience and battle points that can be exchanged for various weapons and items at a store. Gaining experience and acquiring new equipment allow players to progress to higher and more challenging scenarios. As the player progresses throughout the game, the player may also unlock numerous characters for use in both the single-player campaign and Raid Mode, with each character having a different set of abilities and melee attack. The original 3DS version supports a StreetPass functionality that allows different players to exchange items for use in the game.
- HUNK - (HD version only)
- Keith Lumley - along with his partner Quint Cetcham, Keith are first sent to the airport, then to the crash site of an airplane to check the airplane's computer for data regarding the bioterrorist attacks. After this, they travel back to the airport for more information and must fight off wave after wave of B.O.W.s.
- Quint Cetcham - under Chris Redfield's suggestion, Quint and his partner Keith were assigned by Clive O'Brian to storm the airport, one of Veltro's main hideouts, to collect any information about the Queen Zenobia in order to track their fellow comrades, Parker and Jill.
- Clive O'Brian - the director of the BSAA during the incident known as the Terragrigia Panic. Although he shared command with Morgan Lansdale, the two did not see eye to eye. O'Brian was vehemently opposed to Lansdale's plan to sterilize the city. Shortly afterwards, Terragrigia was destroyed despite his wishes. A year later, O'Brian hoped to use the Queen Zenobia to collect incriminating evidence against Lansdale and see him relieved of his position as the head of FBC.
- Morgan Lansdale - the head of FBC who sent agents Raymond Vester and Rachael Foley to the Queen Zenobia to assess the threat to him around the same time that BSAA agents Jill and Parker were also dispatched to the vessel.
- Jack Norman - believing that people have become decadent and sinful, the head of Veltro uses B.O.W.s to create terror and attempt to make everyone realize their own corruption.
Revelations is set between Resident Evil 4 and 5, shortly after the establishment of the counter-terrorism group Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA). One year prior to the game's events, the Federal Bioterrorism Commission (FBC) sent agents Parker Luciani and Jessica Sherawat to keep the city of Terragrigia under control after the bioterrorist organization Il Veltro launched an attack using genetically modified living creatures in opposition to Terragrigia's solar energy development. In the present, BSAA head Clive R. O'Brian sends out BSAA agents Jill Valentine and Parker to search for BSAA agents Chris Redfield and Jessica at their last known location, the cruise ship Queen Zenobia in the Mediterranean Sea. They have reportedly gone missing during their mission to investigate Veltro's possible reappearance.
Aboard the ship, Jill and Parker enter a room where they believe Chris is being held, realizing too late that it was a trap set by a Veltro operative. Meanwhile, Chris and Jessica find a base of operations for Veltro; the Valkoinen Mökki airstrip in the mountains. Being informed by O'Brian that Jill and Parker are missing in the Mediterranean, they are redeployed to investigate their whereabouts. O'Brian also sends BSAA agents Quint Cetcham and Keith Lumley to Valkoinen Mökki to gather information. Awakening in separate locked rooms, Jill and Parker manage to regroup and witness a video transmission of a Veltro member threatening to infect one-fifth of the Earth's oceans with the T-Abyss, which was created in retaliation to the FBC for their involvement in the destruction of Veltro's forces on Terragrigia. Jill and Parker reach the ship's antenna to request evacuation but learn that FBC director Morgan Lansdale activated a satellite attack on the Queen Zenobia, which floods the ship with water.
Chris and Jessica arrive at the Queen Zenobia and eventually meet with Jill and Parker. The team is confronted by the Veltro operative, but Jessica shoots him before he reveals details of a larger conspiracy. Parker unmasks him to discover that he was his FBC partner Raymond Vester. He seemingly dies after whispering something to him. Afterward, Chris and Jill make their way to the ship's laboratory to stop the virus from contaminating the sea, while Parker and Jessica search for a way to stop the ship from sinking. As told by Vester, Parker turns his gun on Jessica, suspecting her of being an FBC mole. Jessica wounds Parker and initiates a self-destruct sequence before escaping. Vester reveals himself to be alive and working with O'Brian. Having found the laboratory, Chris and Jill are confronted by Lansdale via a video uplink, revealing that he worked with Veltro in the Terragrigia panic in an effort to increase the FBC's funding and international influence. The pair neutralizes the virus and proceeds to an extraction point.
O'Brian informs Chris and Jill that he had orchestrated the events in an effort to gather evidence of Lansdale's involvement in Terragrigia. He also informs them of the results from Keith and Quint's data analysis: the existence of a sister ship below the ruins of Terragrigia, which was destroyed by Lansdale to eliminate incriminating evidence of his involvement. However, Lansdale then proceeds to arrest O'Brian, cutting off communications. In the sister ship, Jill and Chris search for Veltro leader Jack Norman, knowing that he holds evidence against Lansdale. However, he has gone delusional and survived a year by injecting himself with T-Abyss. After a long battle, Chris and Jill defeat him and broadcast the video, exposing Lansdale. As a result, O'Brian is released, and the FBC is dissolved. In the end, it is revealed that Parker was ultimately saved by Vester. In a post-credits scene, Vester approaches Jessica at a cafe and gives her a sample of the T-Abyss. She asks him why he saved Parker, with him replying that he "had his reasons." The two agents then goes their seperate ways.
Resident Evil: Revelations was developed by Capcom and directed by Koshi Nakanishi, who previously worked as a game designer for Resident Evil 5. The game was developed simultaneously with The Mercenaries 3D and the people who worked on the game were not involved with the development of Resident Evil 6. The development team chose to develop the game for the Nintendo 3DS because they felt that its 3D capabilities could produce a "tense, scary experience with a realistic atmosphere that could make players feel like there could be something lurking around every corner." The developers decided to give the game an episodic structure with short and varied chapters to make it suitable for playing on a portable game console. The Raid mode was designed so that players could "bring the game to their friend's house and enjoy it with friends face to face, as they talk."
The developer's main goal was to bring back the content and horror of the series' roots, while at the same time trying to modernize the gameplay. A cruise ship was chosen as the main setting of the game because it could provide claustrophobic corridors and make the player helpless in the middle of the ocean. The ship's main hall was inspired by the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris. To increase the horror aspect of the game, enemies were designed to moan and emit terrifying sounds even before being spotted by the player. Nakanishi remarked that this mechanic allows players to determine which enemies are coming for them from their sound alone. Although zombies are the main enemies in the first Resident Evil games, the team opted to create "water-logged" creatures with deformed structures for Revelations to widen the variety of enemies of the franchise.
Revelations uses a ported and downsized version of the internally developed MT Framework graphics engine, which was originally designed for high definition (HD) games such as Devil May Cry 4 and Lost Planet 2. Capcom's previous experience with The Mercenaries 3D helped the development team improve the technical and graphical aspects of the game to a greater extent. According to Nakanishi, "It was thanks to the tremendous efforts of our technical team that we were able to get console-quality graphics from portable hardware." Some techniques were used to reduce performance costs; for example, the Genesis scanner reduces the on-screen display complexity, while some creatures were designed to have simplistic skeletal physics and no HD textures. A pair of glasses for Jill was originally suggested as the Genesis scanner.
Unlike in previous Resident Evil titles, the developers designed Revelations so that the player could move and shoot at the same time. Producer Masachika Kawata explained that the reason why the mechanic was not adopted earlier was that it would make the game too fast for a survival horror game. Nevertheless, the developers balanced the gameplay of the game by slowing down the speed of the player movement and by making enemies move in a complex and spooky manner, "as if they're trying to avoid your attack." The developers decided to support the Circle Pad Pro accessory as soon as it was conceived because improving the game controls was a major priority.
In December 2010, it was reported that only 20% of the game was complete. Numerous features were not included in the final product due to time and budget constraints. The developers originally planned to add a special weapon designed to be used underwater and acquired from Chris at the end of the eighth episode, but the plot of the game changed during development and the team had to discard it. Additionally, the land in the distance that can be seen from the ship in the first episode was originally going to be the setting of the last episode, where Jill would have found something from her past.
Marketing and release
Revelations was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010 trade show in Los Angeles. A playable demo referred to as a "pilot version" by Capcom was released with Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D in 2011. Another playable demo of the game was made available for download from the Nintendo eShop service in January 2012 in North America and Europe. IGN editors nominated the game for Best 3DS Game at their Best of E3 2011 Awards and later listed it as one of the 30 most anticipated games of 2012. Prior to its release, Capcom sent North American copies of Revelations to reviewers with the game's title, as printed on the cover's spine, misspelled as "Revelaitons". To make up for the error, Capcom offered to replace the cover with a corrected version to users in North America.
Revelations was released on January 26, 2012, in Japan, January 27, 2012, in Europe, and February 7, 2012, in North America. It was the first game to support the Circle Pad Pro outside Japan. A bundle containing the accessory and the game was exclusively released in Europe.
An HD version of the game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360 on May 21, 2013 in North America, May 23, 2013 in Japan, and May 24, 2013 in Europe. The HD version features upgraded graphics, additional Raid Mode content such as new weapons and characters, and a new difficulty mode which remixes enemy and item placement in the single-player campaign. The HD version does not support the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS, but the Wii U version of the game offers additional features using the Wii U GamePad, including dual screen gameplay, Off-TV Play and Miiverse functionality. The HD version was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Japan on August 31, 2017 and in the US and Europe on August 29, 2017. A Nintendo Switch version was released on November 28, 2017.
Revelations received generally positive reviews from video game critics. Jane Douglas of GameSpot felt that the game is "a thoroughly successful crossbreeding of old-school chills and new-school action", highlighting its brooding atmosphere and slow-paced combat. Josh Laddin of Game Revolution went so far as to say that the game is sometimes even superior to the old-school Resident Evil games. Writing for IGN, Richard George described Revelations as "a great handheld game, one that not only pushes the boundaries and standards of the Nintendo 3DS but one that recaptures a long-forgotten spirit of a classic franchise." However, he also criticized the scenarios not involving the cruise ship setting and remarked that the constant alterations of characters and gameplay between scenarios hold the game "back from true greatness", stating that the game "doesn't understand its strengths".
Several critics declared the game's graphics to be some of the best on the Nintendo 3DS. Eurogamer reviewer Rich Stanton praised the environments for their lighting and particle effects, while GameSpot credited the highly detailed character models, especially those of Jill and some enemies. IGN also highlighted the sound design, saying that "Capcom has mastered the ability to play up a soundtrack when appropriate, sometimes completely cutting to isolated noises in order to focus a player on something truly haunting." Game Revolution stated similar pros, noting that the game is best experienced when played in the dark with headphones on. Tim Turi of Game Informer praised the story for its episodic structure and pacing, but also admitted that BSAA agents Quint and Keith are the worst characters in the series' history. The fact that the game supports the Circle Pad Pro was seen as a valuable feature, as it gives players the ability to move, shoot and control the camera at the same time.
In a mixed review, Edge felt that the gameplay "takes the best and worst of Resident Evil's past and present, and spot welds them together unevenly. If the designers had committed wholeheartedly to either polarity of action or horror, Revelations may have been a headshot, but what we're left with is more like a glancing blow." GameSpot praised the gameplay for its stop-and-shoot action and use of the Genesis scanner, saying that it "nicely complements the resource scavenging that underpins your survival." Game Informer felt that the weapon customization allows for different playstyles, but also criticized the game's lack of enemy variety in comparison to other games in the series. Jonathan Deesing of G4 praised the exploration of the cruise ship setting, comparing it favorably to Super Metroid. However, he criticized the controls for being frustrating and the AI-controlled companions for being useless. Similarly, IGN remarked that the fact that the player is accompanied by a partner makes the game less scary. The Raid Mode was seen as a valuable addition to the game. Eurogamer stated that the mode "is a great concept for 3DS" and the game "executes it with conviction" due to its unlockable features, challenge, and replayability.
Compared to the original version, critical reception towards the HD version was not as positive. Taylor Cocke of IGN criticized it for its dated graphics and uneven controls, saying that the game is "simply out of its element". Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer criticized the slow character movement, but admitted that the game still stands out compared to the previous main installments in the series, which he described as a "directionless, desperate mess". In 2016, readers of the Japanese video game magazine Famitsu selected Revelations as the sixth most memorable game for PlayStation 3.
According to Media Create, the game sold 296,040 copies in Japan in 2012. In the United States, the game was among the 25 best-selling video games of February 2012 and sold 122,000 units in March 2012. Although sales of Revelations were considered successful for a Nintendo 3DS game, Capcom wanted it to sell "a little more" given the game's large development costs.
As of March 2019, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Microsoft Windows versions combined had sold 1.9 million copies worldwide, while, as of February 2018, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch versions combined had sold 500,000 copies.
Merchandise and Advertisements
- "Environment". Resident Evil Revelations: Official Complete Works. Titan Books. p. 164. ISBN 978-1783295012.
- "Creatures". Resident Evil Revelations: Official Complete Works. Titan Books. pp. 96–99. ISBN 978-1783295012.
- "Humans". Resident Evil Revelations: Official Complete Works. Titan Books. p. 32. ISBN 978-1783295012.
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