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Resident Evil Revelations: Shoot the zombies or the terrorists win

Hands-on with Capcom's 3D fright fest...

It's time for Chris, Jill, Thingy and the other one to face a threat unlike any they've ever faced before.

The intrepid monster hunters have fought zombies, shot down parasite-infected tribesmen, and even found time to battle giant mutant wasps, but all pale in comparison to their greatest enemy yet: the creature known as... man.

Well, men. Terrorist men to be precise. While Jill and Parker are off investigating a seemingly abandoned cruise ship, Chris and his new gal-pal Jessica are in some snowy part of Europe, seeking the truth about an organisation calling themselves Veltro.

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To be honest, it's not the most threatening name we've ever heard - recalling a certain type of trouserfastener more than anything else - but in the fast-moving field of bioterrorism it'll have to do.

It turns out Velcro [sigh] are in possession of a virus, which they're ready to deploy to "1/5ths of the Earth's waters". Said virus turns normal fish into toothy carnivorous freaks, as their masked frontman ably demonstrates on camera.

We're sure they have some other, more apocalyptic tricks up their sleeves, but for now Chris and Jessica have been dispatched by the BSAA, and their new boss O'Brien, to put a stop to Veltro's distinctly fishy schemes.

DOG DAYS
The last time we saw our heroes they were trudging through a ridge of snow-capped mountains, dispatching zombie dogs left and right. Capcom have made much of Revelations' supposed return to the old-school scares of the early Resi games, but while that may be true for Jill's I'm-on-a-boat moments, muscle-man Chris is not the easily frightened type.

The frosty crosssection we had access to was short on monster closets and long on dog-stabbing, dog-shooting and dog-'sploding, although that's not necessarily a complaint.

Combat in Revelations is slick and robust, and thanks to the long-overdue addition of a first-person aiming camera it might just be the least fiddly in the series. True, in previous games the awkward shooting only added to the tension, but it was a cheap gimmick that's been done to death by now.

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Besides, playing a fully fledged Resi on a handheld comes with its own set of problems: namely, remembering what the many inscrutable icons on the touch screen do.

That tiny niggle aside, this is shaping up to be a top-tier Resident Evil - if it continues in this vein, all memory of the underwhelming fifth entry will be wiped clean from our minds. In a year of highlights - Ocarina Of Time, Luigi's Mansion 2, Mario Kart - 2012 just might belong to Revelations.

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