The success and accolades of 2012’s Resident Evil Revelations for the 3DS and its HD ports on the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC were well-deserved. The game brought back the horror elements seen in earlier games while retaining the classic gameplay mechanics that Resident Evil 4 introduced.
Revelations 2: horror on a budget
Resident Evil Revelations 2, however, falls short of the near perfection that is its predecessor. And while Revelations 2 includes many of the same elements as the original, the sequel’s budget-priced release leaves players with lackluster graphics and a short game. One notable improvement is the addition of a co-op mode that allows you to play through the game with a friend either online or split screen.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is divided into four episodes, with each episode divided into two parts. The first part of each episode covers the story of Claire Redfield, the main lead from Resident Evil 2 and Moira Burton, the daughter of Barry Burton from the original Resident Evil. Together, they attempt to escape an island they were imprisoned in after being kidnapped. The second part of each episode puts players in control of Barry and Natalia, a mysterious child with an even more mysterious background. As a duo they must figure out who imprisoned Claire and Moira and why.
The gameplay elements of Claire and Barry follow traditional Resident Evil mechanics while Moira and Natalia can only use melee weapons or projectiles like Molotov cocktails. These differences allow each partner to stand out, but it also makes for an obvious choice when players must decide who to choose during co-op (hint: the ones that can shoot guns).
The core gameplay remains similar to previous versions. You explore and tread through spooky environments, occasionally solving brain-dead easy puzzles and shooting whatever that stands in your way. Although it’s a formula that has been part of the series since Resident Evil 4, it surprisingly still works.
There aren’t as many weapons in Revelations 2 compared to others in the series, but they can be modded with upgrades. The characters themselves can also be powered up with various upgrades that are purchased with points received after clearing certain sections in the game. Having many things to unlock does give the game some lasting value, but the upgrades themselves are generally shallow and useless.
Raid mode returns from the original Revelations with even more RPG elements than before. Revelations 2 also benefits from multiple weapon and upgrade drops throughout each mission, making the game all the more addictive.
And while playing co-op turns each mission into a simple kill-everything-in-sight affair, accumulating weapon upgrades and increasing damage counters provide gamers with plenty of incentives and rewards to keep playing. On the other hand, downsides include environments taken straight from previous Resident Evil games and the game’s level of difficulty ramps up fairly quickly, forcing players to grind through missions.
Capcom’s decision to turn Revelations 2 into an episodic format and releasing them piece by piece is a bit jarring. There is no practical reason to do this other than artificially increasing the value of the whole package. Another annoyance is the game’s shameless method of extending its short 6~7 hour story line by having Barry and Natalia retread through the same old levels that Claire and Moira already explored.
In addition, the game’s graphics offer nothing to rave about. Even on the PS4, blurry textures and bland environments are abundant. Visually, it is difficult to say that Revelations 2 can trump 2012’s Resident Evil 6 as seen on the last generation of consoles. In other words, Revelations 2 fits the bill of a budget-priced game, through and through.
The retail copy of Revelations 2 comes with some extras, namely two bonus chapters that explain some missing holes in the plot, but they are hardly worth playing since they take place in the same levels that the players have already gone through twice in the main storyline, and the new story bits are disappointingly predictable and are nothing more than fillers.
Release Date: March 18, 2015 (Retail Release)
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a decent follow-up to the first game, even though it falls short of what most expect from a console Resident Evil game. Story mode may be disappointingly short, repetitive and lacking in scares, but the Raid mode makes up for it through dozens of challenging levels that can be played with a friend. It’s a difficult package to recommend overall, but the lower price makes it one worth checking out.