When we we left Revelations a month ago, resident evilexpert Jill Valentine (and her new partner-in-undead-crime Parker Luciani) was being shot at on a creatureinfested cruise ship in the Mediterranean.
We squealed with delight/terror as the former S.T.A.R.S. member shot unnervingly gooey humanoids, tastefully scanned their dead bodies for stashed loot and endured some good oldfashioned Resi scares along the way, the likes of which haven't been seen since Code Veronica on the GameCube.
There were a couple of things missing from that demo, however. Primarily Chris Redfield, the knife-wielding beefcake who served as Jill's partner in the original game. For this hands-on demo, however, we were given the reins of the Chrismeister, or 'Chris' as we'd imagine he prefers to be known.
Rather than poking around a claustrophobic cruise ship, we find him exploring the snowy wastes of the Arctic tundra. It's quite the leap from a cramped environment where even wardrobes started to seem hostile, but the game appears no less atmospheric for the change of scenery. As we trudged through the heavy snow, a slightly-on-fire plane flew by overhead.
Upon investigating its wreckage a few minutes later, we got a mild shock when a dead body fell from the cockpit. Okay, so it's not exactly Silent Hill scary, but it's spookier than anything featured in the action-heavy Resident Evil 5.
As in RE5, you seem to spend most of Revelations accompanied by an AI partner. While Jill has doughy newbie Parker tagging along, Resident He-vil - or 'Chris' as he prefers to be known - is followed everywhere by a woman named Jessica. It's too early to tell whether said partners will turn out to be double-crossers (like Resi 1's Barry) or instantly punchable (like Code Veronica's Steve Burns), but Jessica has endeared herself to us already. Through incidental dialogue, it's revealed that she's jealous of Jill - do we smell potential romance in the air?
Er, nope, that's actually the rotting carcasses of zombie dogs. The primary (well, only) enemy we faced during the demo were these hungrily hideous canines. Capcom still haven't revealed the origins of this current monster outbreak, although producer Tsukasa Takenaka has said that this level of mystery was intentional. Judging by their prominent ribs and blood-red eyes, however, we're guessing there's devilry involved.
Because we were Chris, we were packing a shotgun, a knife and plentiful shells. Ammo seemed less scarce in this latest version of the game, apart from one point when we were reduced to slashing at the putrid pups in blind panic. Combat's just as robust as you'd expect from a Resi title, but there's been a suspicious lack of gore in every demo so far - perhaps we just haven't met anything human enough to contain any.
New to this demo is the B.O.W. Decoy, a grenade that attracts enemies towards it before exploding. This came in handy during the final, standout sequence of the demo, in which Chris stumbled down a collapsing platform and promptly injured his leg.
Lying wounded, with only a pistol and dwindling bullets for company, we had to fend off waves and waves of feral dogs. It was a tense scene, unlike anything we've seen in the series before, even in the Black Hawk Down-inspired Resi 5. It may *shudder* be a bona fide action moment, but as it puts man-mountain Chris in a rare position of vulnerability, it manages to be scary as well.
After running out of bullets and stabbing the rest of the dogs in the face, we were rescued by our slowcoach partner Jessica. Spying an enemy base in the snow, the pair proceeded to contact HQ and their boss, a man named O'Brien.