Date Released: March 17th, 2015
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox One], PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Genre: Survival Horror
Rated: M for Mature
With 2015 just three months in we’ve already received two new Resident Evil games, the remake (which you can see the review by clicking here), and the latest entry, Revelations 2. Resident Evil 7 is known to be in development at this point, and looking at how people were generally disappointed in Resident Evil 6, it was hard to tell where the series is headed. I can confidently say that not only am I excited for the next game, but that I thoroughly enjoyed playing Revelation 2.
While attending a party, Claire Redfield welcomes Moira Burton (the daughter of series legend Barry Burton) to Terra Save, a biohazard prevention agency. Their celebration is short-lived as masked soldiers literally crash the party and abducts our heroines. Claire and Moira are taken to a remote island facility where a woman only known as the “Overseer” occasionally mocks them with cryptic messages through bracelets placed on them that reacts to the wearer’s fear.
Sometime after the disappearance of Claire and his daughter, Barry personally speeds towards island where they are held by boat. Arriving at the docks Barry comes across a mysterious young girl named Natalia who seems to have been waiting for him. Undeterred by Barry’s insistence to remain by the boat, the two make their way to pick up Claire and Moira’s trail and figure out who is behind the abductions and the mutated denizens called the “Afflicted”.
Revelations 2 is broken into 4 episodic chapters which have two parts each, one for Claire and Moira, and the part for Barry and Natalia, which takes place 6 months apart from each other. Playing the episodes as they came out felt very much like an action drama show, leaving me in a state of wonder. As the story progresses the questions are slowly answered and the blanks are filled and it leaves you wanting to play all the way through to uncover backstories, plot twists, and insane master plans the series is known for.
This is Resident Evil we’re talking about; item management, creepy settings with creepy creatures infesting the place and you’ll have to put them in their place. Playing solo, players will have to utilize each characters abilities equally; you can also enjoy the game with a friend by connecting a second controller for local co-op or online. Claire and Barry are the weapon experts, handling armaments of all types, while Moira and Natalia are support characters that help out by finding secrets and revealing enemy locations. However you play, alone or with a buddy, you’ll have a lot of fun. Friendly A.I. has never been the most reliable, but with the ability to switch characters, you’ll take advantage of every character’s skills. Using Moira’s ability to blind the Afflicted with her flashlight and being able to point out invisible monsters as Natalia, the gameplay gets a health does of variety.
With that said, there are some moments where things come to a crawl. Some puzzles slow down the pacing and aren’t as fun as the rest of the game and when playing as Barry you’ll usually retread old areas when in search of Moira and Claire, but does go through different routes to previously unexplored sections. What keeps the game engaging is the excellent fast-paced gunplay and action that Resident Evil has been perfecting, and there’s plenty of it. On top of that, each chapter has several moments of large enemy encounters that really leave an impact as you dodge, shoot, and blow up swarms of deformed Afflicted.
The interaction between the two duos is filled with hilariously cheesy dialog and classic references that series fans will love. Barry and Natalia’s friendship is the most endearing as Barry makes an effort to protect and comfort Natalia, like a father would, and I found it touching oddly enough, especially when I realized that this coming from a Resident Evil game!
Postgame content is plentiful as you can always replay on harder difficulties and attempt different modes like speed runs and fighting all invisible enemies. There are medals to collect by completing objectives in each chapter and you can try to get an S ranking as the overall best score. You earn BP (an acronym for Battle Points I’m assuming) upon completing a level. BP can be spent improving weapon power and abilities which will help when tackling harder challenges.
Raid Mode is by far the best thing about Revelations 2. Pick a character and level them up by undergoing a series of stages that tasks you with different objectives such as killing all enemies, or guarding an object. You gain experience whether you succeed or fail, you are constantly building your character up. Reaching certain levels will unlock more abilities or an extra slot to carry more weapons with you in missions. You’re main objective is to get the maximum five medals from each stage to access more maps and the “Hard” or Very Hard” versions. There are chest to find that contain weapons and attachments so not only is your character improving so are your guns.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a strong entry in the long running survival horror series. While at times the action gets bogged down by the dated puzzles, it’s not enough to tarnish everything else that’s done right. The story will leave players on the edge of their seat, the gameplay is fast and chaotic, and the boss fights and bigger set pieces are some of the most memorable in the franchise. Keep playing and you’ll know why it’s called Revelations.
Visuals: 4.5 /5
Overall Rating: 4.25/5