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Drown With The Ship: Resident Evil Rev's Horror Heritage

Wait! Have you seen this map? It's really cool!

I don’t think I’m being particularly controversial when I say Resident Evil hasn’t been scary in a long, long, long time. Resident Evil 4 (abysmal PC port aside, sadly) was a great action game, Resident Evil 5 was an offensively inoffensive action game, and Resident Evil 6 should be illegal. But Resident Evil Revelations actually garnered pretty strong marks on handhelds, and I think I’m starting to understand why. The ship looks suitably confined, the monsters aren’t simply regular people whose heads explode into evil spaghetti sometimes, and the game apparently attempts to leverage the natural human fear of drowning. That’s interesting, but can it be fun? I sure hope so. For now, however, all we’ve got is footage and three devs spilling behind-the-scenes secrets like warm entrails from a fallen fish monster. I suppose that’ll do.

So yes, I’m a fan of the idea of leveraging water’s somewhat lung-unfriendly nature for horror, but I do worry a bit about how that’ll translate into game form. I mean, it drives me insane (in a good way) in movies, but “ohmanohjeeztheclockistickingbetterswimfasteroopsyouredead” sections in games tend to drive me insane (in a very, very bad way). That said, I imagine most of the game keeps with various forms of Resident Evil tradition, so I’m not anticipating a tear-your-hair-out water park of doom or anything.

Also, did anyone else get really excited when they were dissecting the psychology of horror and the hormones involved in fear, only to kind of wilt when they finally explained how that applies to the game? I was like “Oh? Oh! …Oh.”

At any rate, it’s out on May 21st in North America and May 24th in all other undead-infested virtual waters. I’m hoping for a satisfying, slightly spooky snack, if not a stick-with-me-for-weeks meal. How about you?

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Nathan Grayson

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