Review: Resident Evil: Revelations 2

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 really grew on me.

When I first started the first of its four episodic instalments, I’d just finished Resident Evil HD… and absolutely loved it. A remastered game leveraging a 2002 GameCube title that itself began life as a 1996 PlayStation game, the HD version of Resident Evil really reminded me why it coined the phrase ‘survival horror’. Yet as the years ticked by, the franchise seemingly forgot its roots; 2012’s Resident Evil 6 was panned by fans and critics alike for adopting all of the action of Resident Evil 4 without any of the horrific, tension-filled elements that balanced it.

Resident Evil: Revelations, originally on the 3DS, was a step back in the right direction. Revelations 2 follows on in that tradition, yet at the same time it shuns it.

You’ve read what I’ve had to say about past episodes; instalment four works in terms of Barry’s story, but falls flat with Claire and Moira. Claire’s bit runs at a lean fifteen minutes, relying on countdown timers, exposition and cheap invisible enemies. It’s wholly Resident Evil 6 and immediately left a foul taste in my mouth.

Barry and Natalia’s story, thankfully, makes up for that. A lengthy ordeal, this one’s got it all: a tense atmosphere, a spooky mansion and epic boss battles that stay true to what I traditionally love about the franchise.

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The beauty of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 relies upon multiple playthroughs. Countdown and invisible modes are meant to be played after cruising through the main campaign itself; you’re actually encouraged to play on easier modes to get a lay of the land before tackling the intense bonus ones.

Even then, being ‘prepared’ for an episode and playing with a counter at 10 seconds left brings a new layer of pressure and dread to the mix. Same too when it comes to invisible enemies that can only be felled with precision shots. It’s easy enough to do when you can see a baddie, but far harder when you need to switch back and forth between your gunman and spotter.

Yep – I started off hating that Moira and Natalia don’t handle weaponry, and now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve not played the game in co-op, and nor do I want to; Revelations 2 brings delight by mastering the pacifist and aggressor duo in each episode. You need to be perfect with both to excel.

If you’ve elected to pick up the whole game, make sure to head into Revelations 2’s two bonus episodes only after finishing the main storyline. Both episodes take place in the middle of the game’s action, so to speak, and follow newcomers Moira Burton and Natalia Korda in very inventive ways. In “The Struggle”, Moira is tasked to survive, but in a far different way than normally seen in Resident Evil.

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In “Little Miss,” her specific episode, Natalia faces off against what could perhaps be the most diabolical enemy seen in the franchise to date… herself. With an emphasis on stealth atop that particular story beat, it’s certainly unique stuff.

Both bonus episodes feature gameplay that overstays its welcome, but I appreciate that Capcom tried to mix things up rather than just deliver episodes five and six.

All up, you’ve probably seen my love for the game grow in the four weeks I’ve spent with it. For great gameplay and a low cost, you can’t go wrong with Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Buy it for nothing else than to give Capcom more money to produce quality content.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 was reviewed using promotional codes across all six episodes on Xbox One, as provided by the publisher.

 

Review: Resident Evil: Revelations 2
8.5 out of 10

The good

  • A nice mix of tension and action.
  • It takes some getting used to, but it’s great playing as a shooter and a spotter.
  • Countdown and Invisible modes really are a challenge.

The bad

  • Sometimes a little too action-oriented.
  • You can tell Capcom didn’t give this game a very high budget.

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