Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode Three – Highs and Lows
Coming directly after episode two’s cliffhanger, can the penultimate episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 keep up the momentum?
It really depends on how much you like slaughterhouses, spiked ceilings and moving crates.
The Claire/Moira campaign in Episode 3 has everything a classic Resident Evil fan would want. The healthy mix of puzzle-solving and action keeps on the upward momentum of the game.
You’ll slosh through grimy sewers, get trapped in a slaughterhouse and escape a burning tower. Throw in some pretty tough enemy encounters and you have perhaps the best few hours in Revelations 2 so far.
The ladies need to find a way into the ominous tower that the Overseer has been teasing them from. Guarding the entrance is a Prometheus statue that’s missing two parts of a liver you’ll need to find. In comes the trapped filled factory and the “oh my god, there’s blood everywhere” slaughterhouse.
The clever use of the claustrophobic corridors make the encounters pretty intense, however. My strategy of stunning monsters with Moira’s flashlight then having Claire knock them down with a kick was made a lot more difficult with the tougher baddies, which made me stick with my tried and true method of getting as far as possible then shooting them in the face (if they had faces).
In order to get a liver you need to drop animal carcasses into a meat grinder until the case gets full of blood to unlock your prize. You’ll be doing this while wading waist-deep in what I’m really hoping is cow’s blood. When you think about it, it seems like the Overseer has seen the movie Saw one too many times.
The set up for the final boss encounter was a bit of a letdown. It involves a character that Claire has an implied relationship with that we really don’t know anything about. This makes it really hard for you to feel anything about that person since you literally don’t know anything behind their motivations.
This in part highlights the biggest problem with plot so far — that all the side characters are completely disposable and don’t really add anything to narrative aside from having someone turn into a monster.
Sadly Barry’s Chapter doesn’t really move with the same intensity as Claire’s. There’s a section that requires Natalia and Barry to get through a sewer system by opening what feels like a millions sluice gates (okay, only five).
The pacing feels weird and the environments don’t feel as creative or as spooky as Claire’s portion. The abandoned mine where I defeated a boss by just leaving the area felt really anti-climatic. This came right after I had to power different sections of the mine by moving a giant battery from gate to gate, which ran waaaay too long.
This tedious progression and poorly thought out boss battles were the kind of gameplay mechanics I wish the franchise would leave behind, like they did the fixed camera angles and really bad voice acting.
Thankfully the saving grace gameplay-wise was that Barry still has all the fun weapons; pumping lead into some of the bigger enemies feels pretty bad-ass. I still found the most effective way to get through was using Natalia’s vision to sneak up behind the infected for stealth kills.
Barry/Natalia adventure this time around had only one bright spot as well: we find out why Moira hates Barry in tragic detail. It’s actually pretty sad and I enjoyed that the rift between them was caused by a very believable incident which had nothing to with zombies or monsters.
Episode 3 manages to give us the best and worst gameplay experiences Revelations 2 has to offer in one package. Claire’s campaign is a shining example of how I want all my future Resident Evil installments to be, while Barry’s time seem wasted with a “been there, done that” busy work design.
Here’s hoping that all the work building up to the final chapter pays off in dividends.