Resident Evil Revelations 2
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One (Reviewed)
Release Date: March 20, 2015
Price: $39.99 US – Available Here $89.99 AU – Available Here
Episodic gaming has become quite popular lately with numerous stories with simple gameplay mechanics popping up everywhere. Now while the Resident Evil franchise has seen a number of changes throughout the years, few could have predicted that Capcom would initially be releasing the latest game in the franchise, Resident Evil Revelations 2, as an episodic game with multiple purchase options. So now that the entire game is released at retail with various bonuses, is Resident Evil Revelations 2 a worthy entry for fans of the franchise?
Claire Redfield is attending a party for TerraSave, an organization focused around helping those who are affected by bio-terrorism and other issues and this time around she has brought Moira Burton, the daughter of Barry Burton, to the party. When the event is raided by an unknown group of well-equipped soldiers, the pair end up kidnapped only to awaken in what appears to be an abandoned prison which they later find out is on a mysterious island filled with mutated B.O.W.s, traps, and puzzles.
On the other end of things, we have Barry Burton arriving on that same island six months later in an attempt to try and find Moira only to come across a strange young girl Natalia who possesses the ability to see things that normal people such as Barry are incapable of. Throughout the game players will see the story switching between both narratives and in an interesting twist, the way that Claire and Moira handled enemies will have some effect on Barry and Natalia.
As far as the storyline goes, Resident Evil Revelations 2 establishes a fairly predictable pacing as the entire game is still set up in an episodic form at retail which means players will be witnessing various cliffhangers as the story swaps from Claire to Barry and the other way around. This is hardly a bad thing however as this pacing helps the storyline stay concise and entertaining while not keep drawing things out too much, though some episodes do have a problem with poor pacing.
With the return of Barry after such a long time and even Claire, fans will be interested to learn a bit about his past as well as his daughter Moira who undergoes the most development throughout the storyline, even though Natalia is the key to everything. It is worth noting that there are two extra episodes contained in this release that expand on Natalia and Moira during certain sections of the storyline and while these extra episodes aren’t very noteworthy, they do help fill in a few small blanks in what becomes a solid story that fans will enjoy.
Since both sides of the story feature a pair of characters, players will find themselves paired up with an AI partner that can be swapped to at will. Unlike past games in the series with mechanics such as this, only Barry and Claire can actually deal massive damage to enemies since they are the only two capable of using firearms. Moira carries a flashlight to reveal hidden items and she also has some effect on enemies as she can blind opponents with the flashlight as well as hit them with a crowbar and even finish them off if they are on the ground while Natalia can point out enemy weak points, reveal invisible enemies, and throw bricks at foes.
This creates an interesting balance that sees players generally focusing on dealing out damage but occasionally switching to their partner when needed, though I must say that the AI on Moira and Natalia is actually rather intelligent in combat but the same cannot be said for Claire and Barry’s AI. Players will be facing off against hard hitting and fast creatures and zombies and the best thing to do is aim for weak points and headshots as the gunplay in Revelations 2 is surprisingly heavy hitting with enemies smaller enemies reacting to damage as you deal it.
Throughout the game players will gain various points that can be used to upgrade the core characters in ways that not only increase their deadliness also more deadly finishers that can prove quite useful considering the enemies in this game are not a cakewalk. Players will also come across various gun upgrades throughout the game, usually hidden in chests that require a small mini-game to unlock, that range from simple damage upgrades to adding the ability to shoot more than one bullet at a time.
As mentioned before, the enemies can be quite dangerous in Revelations 2 so you cannot be too frivolous with items as healing herbs and ammunition can be rather scarce especially since players can only carry so many items with them at any given time, though both Natalia and Moira can also carry items and can pass them to the main character if needed.
Now once an episode is completed, players have the option to retry the episode and try to complete special goals that are revealed once the episode is finished the first time or even aim for beating it in an Invisible Mode where all enemies will be invisible, raising the tension another notch. The bulk of your spare time however will be spent in Raid Mode where players will find plenty of enjoyment as they take on a wide-range of foes all while unlocking new weapons, abilities, and characters to face off against the hordes that only get stranger and more difficult to beat as you advance.
Visuals & Audio
One thing that many so called horror games tend to forget about is the creepy atmosphere and dark feeling to the places players must navigate. Thankfully Revelations 2 has pulled it off perfectly while finding a nice balance of light and dark moments ranging from players traveling through dark winding halls only illuminated by a single flashlight while enemies roam around to navigating above ground during the day in a long abandoned area or an extremely familiar looking area all while providing suitable sound effects to help complete the tense feeling of some areas.
This atmosphere does wonders in providing a sense of fear as players deal with the various monstrosities that they will encounter throughout the title. While some may be a bit standard looking, the creatures players come across have a wide-range of designs and the actual character models themselves are rather nice looking but nothing more than that.
As far as the voice acting is concerned, players can expect the characters be voiced quite well though there are still a number of painful sounding lines that pop up from time to time in the game. A few of these tend to be references to lines from the past Resident Evil games, including Barry’s famous line from the original Resident Evil, though some of them are bad writing that the voice actors simply did their best with.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 may have been given an unconventional release schedule but now that the entire package is out it is clear to see that Capcom has managed to put together an enjoyable title with a solid storyline that brings back two fan favorite characters and pairs them up with two new characters that put a twist on the game’s co-op focused combat. While there are some issues with the pacing and ultimately this final retail release may not add much to the experience, Resident Evil Revelations 2 offers plenty of content with its enjoyable story mode and fantastic Raid mode and is what Resident Evil fans should hope for in the future.
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