After being invited to a preview of Resident Evil Revelations 2, I was very excited to get my first look at it, since it wasn’t just my first time playing the new title, it was the first time I’d played any game in the Resident Evil series. Growing up, I’ve been surrounded by your typical FPS’s such as Call Of Duty and Battlefield — as well as the likes of GTA and Minecraft — and I haven’t really strayed into other areas of gaming. After my hands-on preview, I felt like I had missed out on a huge part of gaming, as I never really played through any survival horror games, and to my surprise I found my first experience with Resident Evil very enjoyable.
To start with I played through a short snippet of the first episode of Revelations 2, which featured series regular Claire Redfield, alongside Moira, the daughter of Barry Burton (first seen in the original Resident Evil on PlayStation One.) Throughout the episode I was able to switch between both Moira and Claire, using Moira’s keen sight to spot new items, while Claire came into her own during combat sections. One thing that struck me was the music, which caused me to remain uneasy the whole way through.
As the groans of zombies grew closer, it kept me on the edge of my seat; least of all because I knew one could jump out at any moment. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel like I wanted to stop playing, even after these jump scares, it simply made me want to fight more monsters and get out of this crazy asylum. Unfortunately, as I appeared to possibly escape the prison, the preview of the episode ended, and I was left to wonder what would come next.
As most gamers will know, Resident Evil isn’t just made to be a horror game, it’s also built upon well-implemented action pieces and puzzles. This meant that we were thrown certain curveball challenges along the way, such as finding cogs to make a machine work, or overcoming a stubborn brute of a zombie. This was made more interesting by the character switching, as the two characters have slightly different weapons to each other. Claire is more into using guns whilst Moira makes it clear that she definitely isn’t, so settles with a torch and a crow bar.
I then got the chance to play ‘Raid Mode’, which was undoubtedly my favourite area of the game and focused on having you kill a set amount of enemies. It reminded me of a cross between Call Of Duty’s Zombie and Spec Ops missions, as I progressed through each round and picked up upgrades to weaponry along the way. The maps were pretty sprawling, allowing for multiple routes to be taken if surrounded by the undead. One of my favourites being set at night time in a street, and having to climb on top of buildings to get to safety. They weren’t just plain and linear, and in some areas you had to really think on your feet as to where to head next.
Customisation featured heavily in Raid Mode, giving you the task to find golden chests across each area, the contents of which might hold a different gun or in some cases, an upgrade for one. When you complete the level, you go back to a safe room wherein you can pay to unlock the guns you have retrieved from around the map, upgrade them and even change your character. Obviously as you progress up the level ranking systems, the guns you unlock will be better, and have more customisable elements to them. I made it up to around level 5 in the preview, which allowed me to unlock a few more powerful guns, with the level 5 rifle being my favourite. If anyone has seen me play any FPS, you will know that I’m not the best at sniping, but in Raid Mode (or in the early levels at least), I was a sniping pro! As long as you don’t let a zombie get too close, it’s pretty easy to headshot them smoothly, and perhaps get a double kill in the process.
The thing I loved most about Raid Mode is that it was oddly relaxing compared to the main campaign. The first thing I noticed was that the music sounded more like an old arcade theme than anything designed to build tension, and although the game was still very fast paced, I enjoyed not having to be wary of any jump scares. It’s more light-hearted than the main story, especially looking at the maps, which from the early levels I played do not seem as eerie and hair-raising as in the campaign.
As far as my first impressions of the game goes, I was pretty blown away with how much I enjoyed it, particularly since I’ve never played the genre. But I feel this is mostly because the storyline was captivating, and even from just playing a snippet of the first episode, I was really interested to find out what would happen next.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 will release in the UK in digital form first, starting with episode one on February 17th, while the remaining three episodes release in a weekly manner. At a price of £4.99 per episode, they’re pretty reasonable, however, for those who wish to purchase the season pass can do so for £19.99, and will gain an additional two spin-off episodes at no extra cost. After episode four the game will then be released through physical distribution. Take your pick of which platform to grab it on when it releases on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
As a side note, it was great to meet people that had worked on the game, including some of the producers who’d popped in for half an hour or so to speak to fans. Some of the cosplay was especially impressive, and you can see photos from the event at https://www.facebook.com/capcomUK.