Resident Evil Revelation 2 is an episodic game so we are doing an episodic review. Stephen will be looking at all of the episodes of RE Revelations 2 and putting together a small review on each. Stay tuned for episode 2 soon.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode One ‘Penal Colony’
Following in the footsteps of the first Revelations game, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 proves itself to be a worthy entry to the venerable series, taking elements from everything that has come before it to create a compelling episodic experience.
Kicking off with a bombastic and propaganda laced CG intro for bioterrorism response group TerraSave (“Because ‘Terra’ doesn’t have to end in rist!”, as they so eloquently put it), the first episode of Capcom’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2 quickly moves from comedy to tragedy as TerraSave member/Zombie outbreak veteran Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, daughter of the infamous Barry Burton, are kidnapped by what appears to be some kind of ParaMilitary Corporation. They awake to find themselves imprisoned in a compound overflowing with evidence of an odd preoccupation with the works of author Franz Kafka. Human torture and experimentation are evident and the many victims of these acts are now intent on ripping the heroines limb from limb. To be fair, this isn’t exactly new hat for Claire who seems to be like a candle to a moth when it comes to viral Zombie outbreaks. However, the trials and tribulations of Claire and Moira are only covered in the first chapter of this episode, the other consisting of Barry and his attempted rescue of Claire and Moira, aided by a mysterious girl named Natalia. While not exactly ground-breaking drama, I found the story thus far in Revelations 2 to be compelling enough that I am looking forward to covering Episode 2 in this review series.
Along with the shift to an episodic model, Revelations 2 also changes some gameplay elements from the first Revelations with the inclusion of a couch co-op mode and a focus on dual protagonists, each of whom can be switched between to access different abilities that can aid with exploration and combat. There is also the option to rapidly switch between characters to combine their individual activities. For instance, I could have Moira use her torch not only to locate items, but to also blind enemies, switching back to Claire to quickly dispatch the disoriented foe. Similarly, Barry is a veritable walking armoury compared to Natalia, who is able to sense the location of enemies. This encouraged me to use a stealthy approach as opposed to running and gunning, especially on higher difficulties. Of course, with such a system comes the inevitable problem of unpredictable AI and a certain amount of handholding and protection of the passive character by the more combat focused character. Fortunately, there are only a few short sections throughout the entirety of both chapters that feel close to the dreaded escort missions so many gamers despise.
The greater concern for players only interested in the main story of Revelations 2 is the short length of the campaign, which can be completed in well under 2 hours. To offset this, Capcom have included 3 difficulty levels and a bevy of character upgrade options to encourage multiple playthroughs which, given the pricing model thus far, doesn’t seem like a bad deal. What does cement Revelations 2 as an excellent investment for fans of the series is the return of an expanded Raid Mode from the first Revelations.
Stay tuned for Episode 2 soon.
Stephen del Prado
It was whilst toiling away in the bowels of the now mythical Australian Gamer forums that Stephen’s attempts at writing were recognised by then up-and-coming Matt ‘Hewso’ Hewson as “not terrible”. Since then he has contributed to such sites as The Age’s now defunct Screen Play, the now-long retired Black Panel and currently serves under Editor-in-Chief Hewso for Player2.net.au, at least until the pattern of decline obvious in his previous engagements is picked up on by Hewso and he is exiled from games journalism forever.
Writes on Yugambeh land.