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Resident Evil: Desolation
RE Desolation
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
Series Resident Evil
Engine RE Engine
Released August 1, 2017
Genre(s) Psychological-Survival Horror
Mode(s) Single-Player

Multiplayer

Ratings ESRB: M

PEGI: 18

Platform(s) PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Microsoft Windows
Media Blu-Ray Disc

Digital Download

Resident Evil: Desolation is a 2017 Psychological-Survival Horror game developed and published by Capcom. It was formerly announced-alongside Resident Evil: Revelations 3-during Capcom's TGS 2016 conference as part of the Resident Evil 20th Anniversary celebration. It is a canonical side-story in the Resident Evil universe following the whereabouts of Claire Redfield (TerraSave) and Jill Valentine (B.S.A.A.) during the events of Resident Evil 6 and the first Resident Evil title to feature the two characters, picking up where Revelations 2 left off. It also reveals the aftermath of Jill's ordeal in Resident Evil 5 where she served as Albert Wesker's test subject for Uroboros during her elongated absence. Ada Wong and Barry Burton are additionally featured in unlockable side campaigns along with Piers Nivans (Barry's co-op partner), the former of whom appears in the main story alongside Claire and Jill (meaning all 3 lead females are introduced for the first time in franchise history).

The game was developed from the ground-up using photorealistic graphics via Capcom's brand-new RE Engine. Directed by Resident Evil: Revelations 2 director, Yasuhiro Ampo and Silent Hill 2 director, Masashi Tsuboyama (formerly of Team Silent), it features unique elements never-before-seen in a Resident Evil title, taking on the moniker of a Psychological-Survival Horror game akin to Konami's Silent Hill franchise. It also lends players the choice of panoramic "fixed" camera angles from classic games or the over-the-shoulder view of the more recent entries (Resident Evil 4-onwards).

It was released on August 1, 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Synopsis

After launching an attack on a Panama cruise ship containing Uroboros survivors during a TerraSave rescue mission, Alex Wesker, reborn through Barry Burton's daughter, Natalia kidnaps Jill Valentine from the B.S.A.A. testing facility where she's undergoing treatment for wounds suffered by her brother years ago. Jill and Claire soon wind up on opposite ends of the top-secret New Umbrella Research Facility on Zheabus Island where they find themselves in the middle of a deadly experiment along with the ship survivors: Alex Wesker's T-Incubo (latin for "Nightmare") Virus, created from mixing the T-Veronica virus with deadly hallucinogens coursing through the facility walls.

They'll soon experience fear like never before as they fight for survival and uncover hidden secrets. Perhaps there's more to the deadly experiments lurking inside this horrific laboratory than we ever thought possible...

Gameplay

Resident Evil: Desolation is a fill-in-the-blank side-story game explaining the whereabouts of Claire Redfield and Jill Valentine during the events of Resident Evil 6. It is, in many ways, a reimagining of the Survival Horror themes of Resident Evil, offering a unique perspective for the franchise. It borrows many queues from the Silent Hill games, such as foggy environments (due to hallucinogenic agents inside the laboratory) and psychologically-profiling you as you play, altering in-game elements for different choices and actions, thus becoming more of a Psychological Survival-Horror game.

Many of the core Resident Evil elements return, such as exploration, combat, item management, limited ammo and puzzles, but the traps and laboratory halls/rooms are so cleverly designed that solving one puzzle often leads right into another, potentially setting off a contraption in the process. For instance, facing an unpredictable wave of smoke-screened monsters, both real and hallucinatory alike as a result of the various hallucinogenic aerosols. During this time, it is commonplace for each character to run into a series of vanishing illusionary monsters before a real-or similarly hallucinatory-B.O.W. will appear and attack completely at random. Unlike past games, there are multiple ways to solve each puzzle, each method having different consequences for both the current and subsequent character's campaign. Characters can also perform the more recent series-renowned melee strikes to combat foes-such as Jill's signature roundhouse kick-but hallucinogenic monsters (Incubo) will dissipate and be absorbed into the character on impact, limiting its resourcefulness in order to add a sense of immersion and powerlessness to the game's gritty atmosphere.

New to the game are conditional health mechanics. The character's perception is altered in response to hallucinogenic stimuli while navigating through each area, i.e: the layout of hallways, rooms and monster designs are similarly affected differently depending on the choices made due to the presence of hallucinogens, including distortions within said hallways/rooms such as psychedelic windy halls. They may affect the character in other ways, too, such as the presence of blurred vision, screeching, echos, demonic voices ringing inside the character's head, baby laughter and apparitions. These effects reflect the psychological mind games Alex Wesker plays on each character throughout the course of the game. New items, such as psychoactive drugs, are also implemented as a counter measure as the character will occasionally experience gradual heart attacks and seizures linked to the player's heart rate. Each character is also equipped with a heart rate monitor courtesy of Natalex.

While in the "seizure" phase, the character will see a bleed-out effect encompassing the player's screen, causing all surrounding environments and enemies to be increasingly blurred out until your heart rate flatlines.

Resident Evil: Desolation also introduces hallucinogenic cutscenes for the first time in franchise history. While passing certain hallways or entering select rooms, a hallucination-fueled cutscene depicting horrific visions through the eyes of the character will be triggered. These include, but are not limited to: evil telekinetic killer dolls hovering off the ground to a horrific nursery rhyme recital, Franz Kafka passage graffiti on the walls in an asylum-like dorm, a montage of a gurney, bloody surgical equipment and a mutant nurse, even random horrific apparitions of the Weskers, often capping off these cutscenes. The same areas can also trigger a different cutscene when accessed by the other character, leaving many different ending possibilities depending on the choices made.

Like Resident Evil 2, the player can assign an "A" solo campaign for either Jill or Claire followed by a "B" for the other, allowing for 4 different scenario possibilities (Jill A-Claire B being canon). Each campaign is prefaced with a hallucinogen-induced nightmare sequence that the character wakes up from and occurs concurrently. Each character finds themselves periodically being preyed upon by the Weskers (perceived or otherwise), Jill being followed by Albert and Claire being haunted by Alex (their respective 'captors' from previous games) who dons an increasingly demonic figure with each appearance as the story progresses. Whether these are real or perceived is a mystery within the game itself. Each campaign is intrinsically linked to each other, in many ways affecting the other character. For instance, tapes can be uncovered showing the events from the other character's campaign as they actually occurred in real time as well as other plot devices affecting the other's story, such as the presence of select items and puzzles. Items valuable to the other character's skillset, such as Jill's signature lock pick, can be obtained during each campaign.

Each solo "A" and "B" campaign is followed by a final "C" co-op campaign where both Jill and Claire travel together after meeting up. The co-op campaign adopts Resident Evil Zero's dual control system where the player can either control one character with the other controlled by the computer or both simultaneously as well as split them up. Splitting up is necessary to solve certain puzzles during the final "C" campaign. Both characters have their advantages and disadvantages over each other, i.e: Jill can unlock secret doors/safes via her lockpick and Genesis scanner abilities, but can only hold eight items to Claire's ten. Claire is more resistant to panic attacks, but suffers more physical damage when attacked. Both characters also have differing counter techniques. For example, Jill is more resilient and can dodge incoming attacks (similar to Resident Evil 3/Revelations) while Claire can counter monster strikes with a takedown technique.

Characters

  • Jill Valentine: B.S.A.A. field agent. Was being treated at a B.S.A.A. testing facility in Europe due to injuries/viruses suffered from her ordeal with Albert Wesker in Resident Evil 5, where she is believed to have suffered from severe PTSD and flashbacks of her captor. However, she's suddenly kidnapped by his "sister," Alex Wesker/Natalia's men, who raid the facility. She is taken to a secret facility in Rhysport, New Jersey harboring many dark secrets and deadly traps and experiments. Her plight with the Wesker family will soon come full circle as she's forced to relieve her nightmare as their pawn while experiencing a new wave of horror.
  • Claire Redfield: TerraSave agent, sister of B.S.A.A.'s Chris Redfield, who is out battling the C-Virus infection in China during the time of this game's events (Resident Evil 6). Her organization, TerraSave, helped stage an Uroboros survivor rescue attempt in Haiti, placing them onboard a Panama cruise ship. However, their ship was attacked by a nerve gas agent waged by Alex Wesker. She was later taken to the new Umbrella Research Facility where her and her men will be part of a deadly experiment along with Jill involving a new state-of-the-art hallucinogenic virus.
  • Alex Wesker/Natalia: Sister of the late Albert Wesker. Conducted experimentation on Sushestvovanie Island for the fear-based T-Phobos virus. She met her end when she was killed by Claire in the same way Albert met her end by her brother, Chris years ago via RPG. However, after abducting and transferring her consciousness inside Barry Burton's 6 year-old daughter, Natalia Korda, Alex Wesker is now reborn through young Natalia and she plans to wage revenge-and a new layer of fear on the world.
  • Barry Burton: Communicates with longtime B.S.A.A. and former S.T.A.R.S. colleague Jill Valentine over Skype during the Panama cruise-in response to her Revelations 2 e-mail-before the ship is attacked by Natalex. He is subsequently captured along with the remaining ship crew. After withstanding mutation from the T-Incubo Virus contamination (due to a non-matching blood type) at the secret Umbrella facility, he sets out to battle the T-Incubo outbreak in downtown Rhysport alongside Piers Nivans. Little does he know the secret of his missing daughter, however.
  • Ada Wong: After receiving a tip from Piers, Ada manages to track down the whereabouts of Alex's secret Umbrella-owned facility via her espionage skills. Believing Alex wasn't alone in her abduction of both Jill and Claire, she sets out to search the nightmarish facility on her own for a potential accomplice.

Plot

Game's Story Mode begins with either a Jill A/Claire B or Claire A/Jill B campaign followed by a co-op campaign where both are controlled at the same time. Ada's campaign can be unlocked after completing Story Mode and fills in the blanks, which can then unlock Barry/Piers' co-op campaign.

Jill Campaign

Claire Campaign

Jill/Claire Co-Op Campaign

Ada Campaign (Bonus)

Barry/Piers Co-Op Campaign (Bonus)

Development

Coming soon.

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