With Revelations 2 being presented in an episodic format, I’m holding off on my full verdict until all four episodes have been released. In the meantime, stick tuned for weekly impressions of the ongoing campaign.
Resident Evil is at a turning point. With a more action-orientated stance being taken since the fifth and sixth entry, its original atmospheric roots seemed lost. With Resident Evil Revelations, true survival-horror peered its head around the corner, and with its sequel it seems Capcom are ready to start serving fans more of what they want. With episode one of four now available, Resident Evil Revelations 2 marks a promising start, with a resurgence towards its truly terrifying origins.
It’s strange having Resident Evil through weekly episodes, but in a way, it kinda works. Since a definitive seventh title is probably a while off, Revelations 2 seems to provide enough to keep fans such as myself busy until its arrival. Being given the chance to play two sides of an ongoing story, Barry Burton makes his long-overdue return to the series, and series regular Claire Redfield is present once more. Each episode is split into two parts, and both protagonists have a companion, allowing you to switch between both characters on the go. Claire is accompanied by Barry’s daughter, Moira, whilst Barry is on the hunt for her and is aided in his quest by a little girl named Natalia. Though we don’t know who she is exactly, she does possess the ability to see an enemies’ scent through walls, and is mentioned through various notes found on your journey. As for Moira’s advantages, she has a flashlight capable of blinding enemies and slowing them down, which comes in handy should you become surrounded by the infected. In addition, Moira can also use a crowbar to open chests found on your travels.
It’s clear that the pace of both Claire and Barry’s segments aim to fulfil the need for a mix of horror and action. Providing a slower and more atmospheric approach, Claire’s path pits itself in the survival-horror base. With a mixture of puzzles and teamwork in order to circumvent the enemies you encounter, firepower is low to begin with, and each and every monster presents a tangible threat. There were points I had hardly enough ammo to dispatch of every enemy, which made me switch characters more often to use Moira’s flashlight to slow down incoming threats; using my head more than brute force. The main goal during Claire’s segment was to escape the main facility I was being held in, and after locating a switch to restore power, I found the cog needed to proceed past a door and barely made it out alive.
As for Barry, he’s all for heavy weaponry to get the job done. Switching halfway through, gaining control of Barry allowed me to be faster and more agile. With Claire my first weapon was a knife, but with Barry I was given three guns straight-off the bat. You’ll be retreading a lot of ground covered with Claire and Moira, though with a shift in perspective and alternate routes made available, new scenarios and enemies present themselves. Having both styles of gameplay at hand is a safe choice for Capcom, but I admire their courage to bring back the horror that made the series what it is today.
Once you’ve exhausted your playtime in the campaign, then the Raid mode stands to keep you busy with each passing day, until the next episode arrives. If you didn’t already catch Freya’s preview, Raid mode gives you the opportunity to flex your skills with multiple characters, similar to the series’ Mercenaries mode. It’s a nice distraction with a tone similar to that of an arcade game, letting you dispatch of multiple enemies and upgrading your character’s skills as you progress. Though I haven’t always been a fan of the faster pace, I do appreciate being able to experience something radically different in tone.
Episode one sets the series on a new path, bringing back the horror aspect of Resident Evil, as well as trying to keep its footing for a larger audience with some action as well. Though my hope of a return to the eerie hallways of a mansion may seem far away, I’m eager to continue my journey through this experimental spin-off.
Episode two of Resident Evil Revelations 2 releases on March 4th in the UK, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
*Episode One was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Capcom UK