Resident Evil Revelations PS3 review – You ooze you lose in this ship-shape survival horror

Ask yourself this: are you afraid of jelly? Not even the ones with the little chunks of fruit? Then it’s unlikely you’ll unburden your pantaloons while fighting the stowaway Bio Organic Weapons aboard the Queen Zenobia. Benign blobs with the occasional protruding claw, the Ooze won’t follow Nemesis or Dr ‘Chainsaw Death’ Salvador into any game baddies hall of fame. A pity, because poor enemies aside this is the purest expression of survival horror Capcom has put out in years.

Resident Evil Revelations PS3 review

A spruced-up port of last year’s Nintendo 3DS frightener, the work that’s gone into revamping Resident Evil: Revelations for an HD console release is admirable. Cutscenes have been completely reworked from the cramped, artefact-plagued cinematics of the original, while textures have been buffed to the point that the game arguably looks better than the murky Resi 6.

Speaking of Leon, Chris and Jake’s muddled misfire, Revelations sheds almost every awkward design decision that made the ambitious sixth outing ultimately directionless. Jill Valentine’s adventure is happy to set sail for uncomplicated scares that usually find a port. This is how PS1 used to serve up frights: in great, steaming bowls of carefully paced horror.

The majority of Revelations takes place on a gargantuan luxury liner that would make even Roman Abramovich’s sapphire-encrusted wallet blush. Although the action briefly jumps to messy undead husky-slaying in Finnish mountain ranges, the decision to ground the majority of the game in the Zenobia’s claustrophobic confines proves a strong one. Whether cautiously pushing forward through a mist-filled banquet room or battling zombie carp in the fountains of an on-deck casino, there’s a surprising amount of consistently creepy variation to this versatile haunted house on the sea.

Whether cautiously pushing through a mist-filled banquet room or battling zombie carp in the fountains of an on-deck casino, there’s a surprising amount of creepy variation to this versatile haunted house on the sea.

Like one of nature’s colossal ice cubes trying to crash poor Leo and Kate’s trip, Revelations sadly hits a stumbling block. In one key area, the action has unforgivably regressed from 2005’s Resi 4. Specifically, enemies now barely react to your bullets. Rather than buckle convincingly when you pop them in the knees (à la Los Ganados), the Ooze instead trudge forward with a blind ambivalence. It’s a decision that neuters the tense tactical payoff seen in Shinji Mikami’s masterpiece. Thankfully, there are enough chills and thrills in exploring Revelations’ evocative location to keep you aboard.

Our Score

Score: 7