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Face-Off: Resident Evil: Revelations

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How about something a little different? A Digital Foundry Face-Off that serves us the usual HD platforms with a little extra Wii U spice - all lined up and compared to the original Nintendo 3DS release. It's a fascinating, one-of-a-kind comparison that should see the handheld hardware comprehensively out-classed, out-quaffed and generally out-done in every way. And yet, despite the enormous gulf in processing power (think of the 3DS as Dreamcast-level hardware with some more modern GPU features) we came away rather impressed with the vintage handheld game and it remains one of the most impressive technological showcases for Nintendo's portable system.

Designed specifically for the 3DS and engineered around the strengths and weaknesses of the hardware, Resident Evil: Revelations is a far lower-key affair than recent instalments that delivers the claustrophobic environments and more traditional survival horror gameplay traditionally expected from the franchise. The enclosed locales allow Capcom to create detailed characters and locations, leaving enough GPU power for an impressive per-pixel lighting scheme and a range of visual effects that demonstrates the capabilities of Nintendo's low-spec handheld without compromising too much on performance.

Released at a time when 3DS adoption was still very low, the game failed to find the kind of success expected from one of gaming's biggest franchises. With the disappointment of Resident Evil 6 still lurking close by, Revelations gets a second chance to impress via a reworked HD edition, featuring upgraded graphics and expanded gameplay modes. For a game built around modest hardware, how well does it translate to vastly more powerful home console hardware? Are we dealing with little more than the 3DS game running at a higher resolution, or do the graphical upgrades do justice to what is the first traditional Resident Evil game to hit home systems in years?

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