At Capcom's Gamers Day event last week, I played Resident Evil: Revelations two different ways: with and without Nintendo's recently announced Circle Pad Pro. The headline might have given away how I'd prefer to play the game: Resident Evil: Revelations is far more enjoyable with the added analog attachment.The Circle Pad Pro itself feels great; it's light and contoured for extended play sessions. The extra bulk of the dock isn't a deal breaker -- at least, it wasn't once I got my hands on it. Seeing it is one thing, but once I actually used it I was sold.
Resident Evil: Revelations has a specific Type D control scheme, tailored to the Circle Pad Pro. I didn't need to set anything, though you can calibrate the extra stick. Controls are re-mapped to the Circle Pad Pro's four shoulder buttons, so you don't have to worry about moving your hands back over to the 3DS, unless you want to use the touch-screen.
Capcom's demo build of Resident Evil: Revelations showcased a new multiplayer game type, Raid Mode. Unlike the arena-oriented version of Mercenaries mode seen in Capcom's previous 3DS Resident Evil, Raid Mode rips specific maps from Resident Evil: Revelations' campaign for one or two players to run through. Runs are scored, yielding some goods you can use to modify your weapons in Mercenaries mode, though weapon customization isn't shared between the campaign and Rush modes. It'd be too easy to grind and steamroll through Resident Evil: Revelations' campaign, obviously.
These may be maps ripped right from Revelations' campaign, but goons have new hiding spots and custom levels and attributes. Each enemy has a health bar and an icon that shows their modifier: a fist means they hit extra hard; a shield means they're armored; a skeleton means that particular enemy is faster and cagier than most. As much as you want to just run up and shotgun blast everything to death, it's not exactly the best strategy.
With only a small chunk of Resident Evil: Revelations available to the press, I couldn't mine Raid Mode too deeply, but at first glance it looks like the kind of time-sink you'd expect. There's a store, different characters to choose from (each with their own attributes) and many customizeable weapons. Raid Mode was relatively painless to set up in local wireless play, and Capcom tells me it should be the same when it comes to playing over the internet when Resident Evil: Revelations launches on February 7, 2012.