The last main entry in the Resident Evil series wasn’t received very well. Resident Evil 6 was criticized for trying to pack too many stories into a single game. Before that however was the release of Resident Evil Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS which was surprisingly good given it’s handheld home. Years later, after the launch of Resident Evil 6, Revelations would be released on home consoles to remind home console players that the series hasn’t forgotten its survival horror roots.
Now, we have Resident Evil Revelations 2, the next side-installment for the Resident Evil series that brings back Claire Redfield and Barry Burton himself who hasn’t appeared since the mansion incident in the original Resident Evil. (No, we’re not counting Resident Evil Gaiden).
The story elements that make up Revelations 2 aren’t all that dissimilar from Resident Evil: Code Veronica which originally launched on the Sega Dreamcast. The game starts out with Claire Redfield, she gets captured and imprisoned on an island (which happens to have plenty of monsters on it) then there’s Barry Burton, who arrives at said island afterwards, exploring some of the same areas that Claire did previously, sometimes with new avenues to explore.
There are a great deal of similarities between Code Veronica and Revelations 2 however, the opening act tells us right away that this isn’t the same Claire Redfield we’ve come to know through the history of the series. When Code Veronica opened, we saw Claire infiltrating one of Umbrella’s European buildings in search of her brother. She had a helicopter flying around the building trying to shoot her! Now in Revelations 2, there’s a helicopter that shows up at a Terra Save event, guys in full combat gear bust in through the window and Claire just kind of stands there as they shove a needle in her neck and drag her away along with Moira Burton who as you might have guessed, is the daughter of S.T.A.R.S veteran Barry Burton.
Claire awakes alone in a prison, finding herself with some new jewelry- a bracelet that changes color according to her level of fear.
Each episode starts you out with the Claire and Moira duo as they explore the island while trying to figure out a way to escape. The second half of the episodes are followed up by Barry who has come to the island to rescue his daughter Moira. The weaving of these two stories side by side while also taking place some time apart offers an interesting way to break up the story.
Revelations 2 offers up some interesting gameplay by giving each main character a partner. Claire is buddied up with Moira while Barry teams up with Natalia, a girl he finds upon his arrival to the island.
In both cases, only the main character can use firearms. Moira will help Claire with her flashlight, shining it at enemies to momentarily stun them allowing either one of them to go in for a hard melee attack. The flashlight also allows Moira to see objects that might otherwise remain hidden. Moira also comes equipped with a crowbar, which can be used to attack enemies.
Natalia on the other hand is a gifted child with the ability to sense the monsters that roam the island. By switching to Natalia while playing as Barry, you can see where monster’s are lurking in the next room. While this ability seems helpful at first, it doesn’t become nessecery until you encounter a special type of monster on the island which appears invisible to the naked eye. Only by using Natalia and her senses to locate it will you be able to take one of these down. Because of her size, Natalia is able to crawl into small holes found in some of the walls of the island allowing her to open up doors for Barry that are locked from one side. Similar to Moira, Natalia can also spot items that Barry might be unable to see while running by. If Natalia gets into a tough spot, she can pick up one of the myriad bricks that are strewn about the island and throw them at an enemy.
The inventory system is less restrictive than previously RE titles as well, letting you hold a solid amount of items while limited your arsenal to four guns at a time. You can craft different explosives from empty bottles and ingredients you find while on the island as well as use the inventory space of both players to manage your items.
After you’ve gone though and completed the main game, you can go and check out Raid mode- a mission based game where you level up a character, upgrade guns and tackle different challenges to earn medals. There are fifteen characters to choose from, some being unlocked as you progress and over 200 stages including areas from older Resident Evil titles. Raid mode is a nice addition, allowing for fairly quick gaming sessions. With ResidentEvil.net, you can use points earned on the website to help unlock new attachments which can be sent to your Revelations 2 game so that you can attach them to your guns while playing Raid mode.
While some of its story elements won’t feel new to veterans of the series, Resident Evil Revelations 2 offers a great side-story featuring some fan-favorite characters. The replay value is extended quite a bit with Raid mode and with fun gameplay, and some humorous nods to previous RE titles in the script, gamers will definitely want to check this title out.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStaton 3, PlayStation Vita and PC. Being an episodic game, is available at several price ranges including $5.99 per episode, $24.99 for the complete season, and $39.99 for the game at retail which includes additional bonus content including two new scenarios.
~ Final Score: 8/10 ~
Review copy provided by Capcom for PS4. Screenshots taken by reviewer.