Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode One - A Barry Good Time
Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 1
Xbox 360, PS3, PC, PS4
Survival Horror, Third-Person Shooter
Review copy provided by the publisher
I always thought Claire the more interesting of the Redfield siblings, also she does manage to get herself captured more often than her meathead brother Chris. So when armed miscreants capture her alongside Moira Burton, daughter of Resident Evil fan favorite Barry Burton, I can’t say I was too surprised.
It’s evident Claire needs to find a better job that doesn’t involve biochemical terrorism but at least Barry comes into the picture later as he attempts to save both Moira and Claire.
Tonally, Claire and Moira’s portion of the episode feels like classic Resident Evil. Resource management, picking your fights, and finding long convoluted solutions to simple problems. Their simple problem? Trying to get past a blocked entrance that requires to scour the prison for a power generator while also trying not to get impaled, crush and set on fire by traps.
There’s some clear evidence of foul play at this detention center. There are also the infected humans and giant bugs that want to kill you, so there’s that. The tension is palpable and well done as both characters feel especially vulnerable, even when Claire gets her hands on guns.
Revelations 2 employs the gameplay mechanic of being able to switch characters on the fly. Knowing when to switch is important since Moira can use her flashlight to highlight items to pick up that Claire can’t see.
I found myself using Claire to knockdown monsters and then have Moira finish them off once they hit the ground. Smart interplay between the characters not only good videogaming but conserves much needed and hard to find ammo.
The second half of the episode has you playing as immaculately bearded Barry Burton. He too has an annoying partner in crime in the form of a little lady who can also highlight items in the distance. Unlike Moira, Natalia can’t directly engage enemies in combat but she can sense them, revealing their locations in the immediate vicinity.
To make up for Natalia lack of combat prowess, Barry is armed to the teeth with a pistol, magnum and assault rifle. Barry’s section had plenty of ammo and he can also take more abuse than his red-headed counterpart. Natalia can toss bricks as fools but it serves more as a diversion.
The big twist at the end of episode was actually pretty unexpected yet completely earned, which is saying a lot for a Resident Evil game after all. The episodic nature of Revelations 2 could actually work in Capcom’s favor if we are left with cliff hangers this well-executed for each episode. I know I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode.
The over-the shoulder camera returns but damaging enemies lack any proper oomph whether they’re hit by bullets or crowbar. At least being able to dodge makes up a little for really stiff controls. Revelations 2, however, lacks in the visual impressiveness we’ve come to appreciate in past Resident Evil games like 6 or even the first Revelations.
Where Resident Evil Revelations 2 truly shines is in Raid mode. This arcade style shooter is similar to classic Mercenaries mode, as your character gets dropped into an area and needs to clear out x amount of bad guys in order to move on to next area. You’ll level up, gain new skills, gear and silly things like killer dance moves gestures.
The light RPG touches such as seeing the damage numbers pop above an enemies to see if you’ve gotten stronger make it seem like a different game entirely. Even enemies will possess “attributes” like front-facing shields and elemental buffs as you make it to harder stages.
The local co-op in the campaign is appreciated but the person playing as Moira/Natalia might be a little annoyed at the fact that they actually can’t shoot any guns and are regulated to a support role.
The problems that always plagued the Resident Evil like the backtracking, poor dialogue and general poor controls didn’t bother me as much since I only had to deal with in short spurts. I think this has to do with the fact the episode itself was around two hours.
Meanwhile, the checkpoint system is actually forgiving, as most times you die you will reloaded to room prior to your demise.
Capcom is trying something new with how they releasing this title. Every week a new chapter in Claire and Barry’s misadventures will be released, with a final retail version available once the last episode comes out March 17th. The fact that the episodes come out so close together keeps things fresh as opposed the typical monthly approach most episodic games take.
Episode 1 lays down the groundwork for what could be a refreshing revival of the Resident Evil franchise. Of course this is only episode one, so I can only hope that the stakes are raised for the next three installments.
For six dollars you really can’t wrong since there is plenty of game here to be had with the really fun Raid Mode and new game plus type unlocks for the campaign.
You’ll just have to put up with very dated visuals and the general Resident Evil weirdness you’ve come to know and love all these years. If you don’t believe me check out the intro video below.