Resident Evil Revelations is not exactly the homecoming of survival horror touted by Capcom during its announcement, though it was still a credible alternative to the action packed Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6. Having tested the waters on the Nintendo 3DS, the Japanese publisher released it as an HD remake on consoles, and now tackle on the second Revelations that fully embraces the episodic model tested in 2012.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is divided into four chapters, each split in two parts based on two different pairs of characters. It alternately embodies the Claire Redfield / Moira Burton duo, imprisoned by yet another venal bioterrorist corporation, and the Barry Burton / Natalia duo, a weird homogeneous mixture of an old soldier and a mysterious girl with inhuman powers. The quartet is fighting the Sentinel organization, which infect the three women with a new virus like lab rats (The T-Phobos virus transforms subjects into monsters when their stress or fear level is too high).
When it comes to this genre, each one is known for something. The Last of Us is based on stealth and a wide level design. The Evil Within has treacherous traps associated with really disturbing images. Revelations 2 though is all about the cooperation of their characters, something of a reminiscence of the Zero episode (Which not much liked thirteen years ago). The challenge for Capcom then was to modernize its typical mechanical routine by trying to give a purpose for each character, developing extensive puzzles involving each protagonist’s skills.
It is partly successful in a way, because if Claire and Barry are the aggressive ones which take on the enemy with firearms, Moira and Natalia play as sort of non-violent alternative. Moira lights the way with her flashlight, distracting enemies and open certain passages with her crowbar (though she can use that same tool to bash zombies). The second can sense enemy presence with some sort of sixth sense (a bit a-la Last of Us), and crouch into tight corners that our massive Barry could never dream of passing through.
When it comes to level design, Revelations 2 succeeds in its own way to establish some good moments of tension differentiating the seasoned players, saving ammunition as much as little, or the newcomers, who are probably hoping to hit that one headshot. The problem though is that the rest of the time, the overall game is restrained to a boring contrition reflexive and mechanical level design that is too mundane to keep us interested. It’s not until the second chapter that the game space gets a bit more interesting to explore, and the third for its great side puzzles. Even when it comes to environments, there’s a diaspora of style, from the beautiful forest (Chapter 1) followed by the “Alan Wake” sawmill (Chapter 2) chaining with a horid slaughterhouse (Chapter 3), but contrasts with the sad sewage uphill mine and very typical abandoned asylums or prisons. But the damage remains, and in its flow of stages, Revelations 2 never has a precise style.
Thus, we play the game on a slow rhythm until we reach the boss fights, which are directed in the form of obsolete plot-twists. The episodic model, as I saw it coming, is a good trick for Capcom to artificially hype its title, feeding you with content with a baby spoon. Yet, it is difficult to be carried away by the “revelations” often revealed at the end of each chapter, as they are quickly defused at the beginning of the next one. Still Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is a good way to explain what happens between Resident Evil 5 and 6, all in less than eight hours of play.
Inherited from the first Revelations, the Raid mode once again serves to extend the game’s lifespan, repeating portions of areas of the game or former Resident Evil. These are missions that requires you killing a number of creatures, in order to blow up the chain blocking access to the rest of the level. Characters and enemies have levels and special attributes that change the damage done or add penalties, among other modifications. Playable in local cooperation or online mode (with heavy lag), these challenges are largely fixed and governed by a logic of classic progression, but there’s daily missions with different conditions that can also be accessed by connecting to Resident Evil’s servers; then track your stats on ResidentEvil.net.
So there is plenty to do if you’re the type to want to break all records and collect all weapons, badges, modifiers and other abilities to climb into a level without necessarily learning to play better, like farming an RPG. Of course, paid DLCs can help our fellow lazy players to get overpowered sidearms and other weapons, to save time. A temptation worthy of a free-to-play title. Other than that, there’s a feeling that Revelations 2 is lost between two generations in its productions.
Unoriginal, Resident Evil Revelations 2 has enough flaws and not enough courage for us to remember it. Though a little nicer than its predecessor, it still lags behind the competition, trying to imitate without much success. This second title built episodically is almost more interesting to play as Raid mode and the only good chapters (The Struggle) than in all of its main campaign oddly rhythmic. This does not mean that everything bad, but it’s just too bland and less appetizing than a main course like The Evil Within, which almost reduce Revelations 2 as a mere appetizer.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 was reviewed using a full version including all episode and extras of the Xbox One digital version of the game provided by Capcom. The game is also available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita and PC. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• Greatly designed settings
• Not bad as a combat system
• Good amount of content
• A story full of clichés despite its occasional surprises
• Do not attempt to play coop
• There was no point of turning the game into episodes
• Technically outdated