I need bullets to feel secure. Even something as unnatural as the undead couldn't scare me if I had a loaded gun in hand. Unfortunately for the zombie that had burst out of the closet, I had plenty of ammo as I littered his corpse with holes. When I raised my pistol to another fiend who had shown itself in the hallway, I realized I only had one bullet left. I shot the abomination in the head, and it responded by slamming me against the wall and eating my face. This was just one of the many scenarios in which I died in Capcom's upcoming title, Resident Evil: Revelations.
Up to that point, I’d never played a survival-horror game. So Revelations was my first exposure to the genre. To my dismay, everything I had learned in modern-day first and third-person shooters was worthless. I had to completely revamp my play style so I could last through the first level.
The biggest adjustment I had to make was made clear after I used 10 bullets to kill my first zombie and had only five left for the next. Ammo, which rains on you in games like Halo and Gears of Wars, is scarce in Revelations, and you'll regret missing any shots. Patience would be my greatest ally as I resisted the urge to press the fire button too soon. It seems like an easy transition, but I had become accustomed to immediately going all-out against legions of zombies in titles like Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising where I'm given ample weaponry.
Unfortunately, simply shooting the monsters wasn't enough to win. I found myself in many situations when I couldn't find ammunition. Headshots were crucial in preserving ammo. I had to learn to remain calm under pressure whenever a nightmarish creature would appear before me. Getting a quick shot in the torso could slow it down (and was what I was used to), but that extra bullet could’ve been my saving grace later on. Unfortunately for me, I still ended up running out.
With no ammo, I had to get over the feeling of invulnerability. Titles like Halo had gotten me so used to being a badass with rechargeable armor, great weapons, and an amazing melee attack that anything less would make me feel inadequate. I had to learn to cope with the fact that I’m not a super human with an infinite amount of supplies, and I had to stop fearing death.
I had just one more room left to beat in the level, a zombie in the hallway before it, and an empty handgun. I spent five minutes backtracking through the level to look for some bullets to no avail. I was about to restart the level when I decided to make a run for it. I threw the door open and ran right past my enemy and into a nearby elevator. Somehow I managed to survive the area. Did I do it right? I’m not really sure. Was I supposed to run out of ammo before I killed the last enemy? Perhaps…or maybe I wasn’t conservative enough.
I know I'm doing a lot of other things wrong such as using herbs too quickly and not strafing whenever possible, but I'll learn those skills with time. As for now, I have to continue to ignore what the impatient, trigger-happy, space marine in my head tells me to do if I ever want to survive this game. Master Chief should be grateful for all those sniper rounds and rockets he has.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase your ticket now to save $200!