- The Washington Times - Monday, May 20, 2013

A legendary survival horror franchise serves up a terrifying case of deja vu for veteran gamers amidst another mutant virus outbreak in Resident Evil: Revelations (Capcom, rated Mature, reviewed with Xbox 360, $49.99).

This faithful port of a third-person shooter, previously available for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld-gaming system last year, gets a high-definition, video-and-sound upgrade and is now available for all of the major entertainment consoles including Microsoft’s current system.

For those unaware of the 3DS release, the story takes place in the Resident Evil canon between the fourth and fifth games, It weaves multiple plot threads together involving a mysterious terrorist group and its unleashing of the T-Abyss virus in an episodic adventure that fans of “The X-Files” will admire

A solo player controls one of a pair of BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) agents as they investigate locations ranging from a seemingly abandoned luxury cruise ship to the doomed floating city of Terragrigia and mountain caverns.

The game not only stars familiar faces to the series, Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, but also adds newcomers, the thrill-seeking Jessica Sherawat and Italian lug Parker Luciani.

The action comes alive through a character’s over-the-right-shoulder perspective and during exploration of many a dimly-lit hallway and claustrophobic rooms.

A player finds himself in a deadly fight using firearms, explosives and melee combat against numerous gooey, oozing, grisly and very resilient monsters (reference John Carpenter’s “The Thing”) on the prowl.

Most important, fans of Resident Evil get a back-to-the-basic approach including not enough bullets or healing herbs to survive in some tense and haunted house-style scenarios.

As I reported back in 2012, I appreciated the eye-popping version of the 3DS game even if confined to a 3.5-inch-wide screen. However, I longed for a larger experience.

To see more of the detail in its current presentation on a 50-inch-wide television screen (the cruise ship’s dining hall and promenade deck are stunning) is a welcomed reason to re-appreciate the horror.

It’s also much easier to find and analyze items using a handy tool called the Genesis scanner, a useful component to securing important stuff (like keys) and garnering upgrades as the game progresses.

Although, the load times are sluggish and the graphics take a step back when compared to other current generation survival horror games, the look is perfectly Resident Evil and still manage to impress.

I’ll put on my wish list that it would have been great to have a true cooperative mode in the story.

Capcom does throw in a few goodies to the console version of the game including new monstrosities such as the Wall Blister and an added difficulty level known as Infernal.

Additionally, multiplayer fans will be happy to know that the survival mode Raid is back.

This shooting gallery allows either a solo or pair of players (online and offline) to cooperatively tackle waves of enhanced enemies on almost two-dozen stages with more characters control including the addition of a Hunk soldier and human form of Rachel.

Raid mode is quite the feast with plenty of weapons, levels of customization, the accumulation of Battle Points currency and other goodies to keep players interested in working through the missions and offers a complement to the already time-consuming campaign of Resident Evil: Revelations.

Note: Resident Evil: Revelations is also available for the Wii U with some extra content and functionality tied to the GamePad and Miiverse. For the dozen or so folks who actually bought Nintendo’s nearly irrelevant entertainment console, it’s worth checking out — considering the smattering of games available for the system.

Parental advice: The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), after looking through a maggot-filled carcass for a key and watching Jill Valentine’s body get shredded by the disgusting Scagdead (with blood splattering on the screen), decided to label this game “M” and that stands for mature — adults 17 years and older need only take part in Resident Evil: Revelations. So don’t let your 14–year-old convince you that “I’m just running and gunning around a classic monster movie.” Killing really horrific enemies and bosses keeps the story progressing, and it’s a moaning, groaning and intensely bloody affair throughout.

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