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Resident Evil Revelations: Kill zombies, score points, buy guns

Everyday they're shuffling...

If all the enemies we've faced in Resi, the Hunters, who can take your head off with one swipe of their claws, are the most terrifying.

The bad news is they're back in Revelations, and this time they're invisible. The only way to reveal their location is to look through the lens of a new gadget called the Genesis Bio Scanner, by which time they're usually leaping at your face.

These, and all of Revelations' monstrosities, can be fought in Raid mode, a new set of missions that add an RPG-inspired 'loot' system to the game. It sees you running through a level, taking out enemies, and being scored for your accuracy and speed. When the round is over you get a ranking, which unlocks new items, weapons and weapon parts.

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To give us an example, Capcom showed us a standard pistol given to you at the beginning of the game, then one that had been upgraded with unlocks. They transformed it from a flimsy pea-shooter into a head-popping device of death. Building your arsenal, and chasing those elusive S rankings, is Raid mode's reason for being, and it seems like a fun and addictive aside to the single-player story.

TOUGH NUTS
To make things harder, enemies have different parameters applied to them. If one has a fist icon above its head, that means it's tough and aggressive. A shield icon means it will take a lot of hits to kill. It's an interesting system, forcing you to constantly rethink your tactics.

It's also playable in co-op over Wi-Fi, both locally and with people around the world. We teamed up with another journalist and tackled one of the easier Raid levels, set aboard the cruise ship that serves as the setting for the main game. We crept through the dark, claustrophobic corridors together, firing our guns in a panic whenever an enemy appeared suddenly around a corner.

It was tense and entertaining but having another player there didn't really add anything to the experience. If anything it actually made it more clumsy because we found we kept getting separated. Raid mode, it seems, is better as a single-player experience, although we only tried one map. It could fare better in more open levels.

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Of course, the real meat of Revelations is its story, which producer Tsukasa Takenaka told us is "the best story in a Resident Evil game yet". Raid mode should give you something to do when you've clocked the story, and the constant stream of loot and weapon upgrades are an enjoyable motivation. Turns out there are things to look forward to after Christmas after all.

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