Resident Evil has really stretched itself into new territories as of late. Disregarding the awesome recent remaster of the original masterpiece, the failings of Resident Evil 6 and the many issues that befell the Operation: Raccoon City game left a bad taste in the mouths of long time Biohazard/Resident Evil fans. For a franchise that seemingly created an entire sub genre of survival horror, watching our beloved series turn into an action-shooter and a multiplayer fiasco has been hard to take.
Capcom really started to right the sinking ship with Resident Evil Revelations, both on the Nintendo 3DS and later ported to consoles. While the outright scares were gone, the high tension and thrill was brought back and the game did well enough fiscally to warrant a sequel.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 steps away from the story and world that the original Revelations created. Instead, Capcom has brought back RE2‘s Claire Redfield, and paired her with Barry Burton’s (the orange-vest wearing hero of the first RE game) daughter. They also let Barry in on the fun and yes, his orange vest is back, one way or another.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is told in four chapters, originally released in a chapter-by-chapter business model, much like Telltale’s The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us. Each chapter runs about four hours and the story is compelling enough to force fans to pick up subsequent chapters to get the whole story. Thankfully, Capcom has collected all four chapters, some costume DLC and a new raid mode and sold it as one complete package.
The four chapters teams up Claire and Barry with another character; for Claire it’s Moria (Barry’s daughter) and for Barry it’s Natalia. The partner characters don’t fight, but they bring skills to the table in the form of assists. Moira carries a flashlight and she can find hidden items like ammo and herbs, and she can also stun enemies by blinding them. Natalia has powers that can assist Barry by discovering enemies weaknesses. In a single player play-through, a press of the triangle/Y button easily switches between the two characters, or in co-op, a second player can take control in split screen play. Working together is paramount as the enemies, called Afflicted, grow stronger, and oh so uglier.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 looks great, as to be expected on new-gen systems, and the music and effects are classic RE. I found controlling Claire/Barry (more so than Moira and Natalia) felt clunky and less fluid than the previous Revelations game, but then again, control clunkiness is almost a Resident Evil signature. Personally, I thought Claire looked better in RE: Code Veronica, but the character model here closely resembles the animated version from the film, Resident Evil: Degeneration. Barry is still Barry, orange vest/shirt and all.
The raid mode, which is added to this complete package, gives players opportunities to kill wave after wave of enemies to get higher scores and to level up characters. Raid mode can be played with friends, which ups the ante. In fact, raid mode would almost fit perfectly with Resident Evil: Mercenaries, and if you enjoyed the Mercenaries game (which I did), you will love raid mode, making this a full game in and of itself, and adding so much more to the complete RER2 package.
I’ve felt that the entire Resident Evil franchise has kind of lost its way in recent years. The first Revelations game worked to restore that confidence, and the RE HD Remaster went so far to show how far off rails the series has fallen. Resident Evil Revelations 2 works as a fun, tense, thrilling side-story, and the co-op feature really gives it a unique feel. I think I’d rather see Capcom work to develop these kinds of games more than further-altering what made the franchise great with the numbered core games.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available now for the Playstation 4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and is priced at $39.99. This review was based off a code provided by Capcom for the Playstation 4.
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