If there is one thing I know for certain, it’s that Resident Evil is one of the longest running game series still being made today and with mass appeal. With that certainty comes the uncertainty of just how good the next iteration will be. While the series has seen drastic changes over the last ten years and divided its fan base, only more recently have we seen Capcom’s ability to takes the series and experiment with it. This brings us to Resident Evil Revelations 2. A budget, episodic, weekly scheduled online gaming series that culminates in a full retail disc release on the day the final episode drops. A bold move on Capcom’s part and one I’d like to see more of in the future as it works surprisingly well.
Resident Evil sees the return of series vets Claire Redfield and Barry Burton. Two characters many fans have been waiting for and it’s glorious to see them back in the franchise after disappearing for so long. Claire is captured along with Moira Burton (Barry’s daughter) and they awake on an unknown island, wristbands attached to their arms, and deadly creatures waiting to attack. Each episode is broken down into 2 parts. The first consisting of Claire and then Barry bringing up the rear. Not only does each segment between the two feel different enough and offer variation in gameplay mechanics, the episodes themselves vary also. One segment players might be overrun by fast zombie like enemies, while the next minute creeping along in a forest, trying to stealth kill enemies and conserving ammo.
Platforms: PC, XB1, 360, PS4, PS3
Time to completion 10 +
Price $24.99 digital or $40 for physical
Price I’d pay: $40
Multiplayer: 2 local co-op, 4 online RAID mode
Gameplay is a mixture of Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6. It retains the behind the shoulders camera view and their more action oriented moments. That being said, Capcom isn’t afraid to slow the pace down at times and actually throw in a few puzzles, something that’s been lacking over the years. The player is never doing the same thing often, and while combat is prevalent throughout, it just feels more balanced and not an all-out shooting gallery. Ammo can also be extremely scarce at times giving the player the option to decide whether to fight or run. Between moments of silence in a forest or perhaps exploring a creepy meat factory, the variation really make Revelations 2 feel memorable with each episode having their unique moments.
Claire and Barry are not alone during their adventure though and this means AI assisted characters will provide helpful assistance at times. Players can also control them at the click of a button, which is sometimes necessary if the AI doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. They are more helpful then not and often are require to switch to for certain specific gameplay moments that add to tension. Having to assist Barry who can’t see invisible enemies can be downright nerve-wracking.
All this is wrapped up in a very solid looking visual package. Not the best looking Resident Evil title in the franchise, it does takes players through a multitude of locations. Outdoor forests, mine facilities, detention center, and one very special area on the last mission that will be sure to give longtime fans a smile. This is all encompassed by an atmospheric soundtrack and serious yet silly voice over work from the cast. Is the dialog intentionally cheesy? Likely yes and with all the nods towards other previous Resident Evil games in dialog and notes, feels right at home. Even more connected to the franchise then others before it, brings a sense of connection to the series, characters, and events that have transpired before Revelations 2 occurs and this will go a long way towards making fans of the franchise happy.
After completing an episode or the entire campaign, players can try their luck at the raid mode. An arcade like experience with points to gain, maps to clear out, and a ton of enemies are your disposal. One could even say it even feels like a dungeon shooter as you can level up your characters, unlock new weapons, and more. Much like its predecessors raid modes, players can find a lot of reasons to return as it exponentially increases the replay factor.
There are a few blemishes on an otherwise solid new entry. An extremely annoying bleed filter covers the screen when your hurt causing issues with viewing what’s relevant on screen. If you think that’s bad, it gets worse when specific enemies throw these exploding parasites at you, blinding your vision even more with a nasty thick brownish slug. Every time this happened it just caused immediate frustration and prompted me to ask why? There is also an overabundance of box/crate moving moments, it was a nice mechanic but one that wears out its welcome before the end. The AI, while suitable and capably to carry their own can be extremely annoying, but I do feel the more unique aspects of the two character dynamic bring more positive then negative.
Revelations really knocks it out of the park when it comes to bringing that classic Resident Evil feel but a bit more modernized. You’ve got a great combined clash of some of the old and new. Interesting locals to explore, puzzles to solve, intense enemy encounters, and revelations at the end of each episode that will leave you wanting to jump right into the next episode. You’ve got a solid 8 hour campaign, local co-op, RAID mode with online co-op, lots of unlockable weapons, features, and figures, multiple endings and two bonus episodes which feature some unique scenarios themselves with more story parts. This might not be a main entry in the Resident Evil series, but it doesn’t mean it can’t compare to the best. Revelations offers quite the punch when it comes to quality and content.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.