Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Very few survival horror games have managed to stay true to their predecessors, with most of these titles venturing off into a more action oriented style of play and less than stellar storytelling; the Resident Evil series was no exception. It was only until the release of the first Revelation game that fans had started to notice the redirection of what made RE (Resident Evil) leave a pivotal mark in the horror genre. So does Revelations 2 hold up to the name of its older predecessors, or does it fall flat as an attempt to revitalize the series once again?
Set between the events of RE 5 and 6, Revelations stars longtime series veteran, Claire Redfield, and newcomer to the franchise, Moira Burton as they are the two heroines who work for a human-rights organization called Terra-Save. During a night of reprieve with their coworkers, masked assailants kidnap Claire and Moira, who wake up in cells on a mysterious, monster-infested island, each strapped with a bracelet that records their levels of fear—as mentioned by the Overseer, who is watching their every step as they attempt to find a way off the island.
Presented as four bundled episodes, including two extra episodes meant for after completion, players are to navigate the island as Claire as well as Barry Burton, father of Moira, whose campaign that takes place six months later. Instead of going solo in searching for answers of past events, Barry is accompanied by Natalia, a young girl with strange abilities, who holds an enigmatic connection to the island and its secrets.
Anyone who has played the first Revelations game will feel right at home with the controls. Combat is broken up into two types of gameplay: offense and defense (or how I like to distinguish them, anyway). Claire and Barry are the heavy-duty members of the two man teams, with each of them using various weapons found throughout the game such as a knife and pistol, to more powerful equipment like bombs and assault rifles. On the defensive, we have Moira, who is more suited for “light duty,” using her flashlight to temporarily blind enemies in order to get the jump on them. In Natalia’s case, she has the ability to detect monsters as yellow hazes, which gives Barry a great advantage on sneaking around and getting the kill quietly.
Each team feels balanced, competent and capable of fighting the monsters that are introduced. Not once did I feel too overpowered that I could briskly play my way through, nor did I feel comfortable enough to use up my ammunition, despite having a good amount of it by the end of the game. In Revelations, items are managed in real-time with both characters only being able to hold a certain amount at one time; it is up to you to decide what is worth saving or tossing away. Should you save ammo for this gun? Should you use your last cloth for a bomb or create an ointment to heal yourself? It’s these questions that can make Revelations such a delightfully strategic experience, as it borrowed these elements from the earlier games in the series.
Though, I do give brownie points to Revelations for establishing a desolate, unnerving atmosphere in the beginning, once you’ve finished the first episode, the feeling of dread has nearly dissipated. Many of Revelations scares are generally lackluster, and instead are presented in grimy environments and scenery. The areas in which you fight monsters are generally close quartered and short ranged, so once you’ve discovered the monster placement and their timed attacks, it can get pretty predictable and extremely easy to defeat them without much effort.
During my run with the game, one thing that bothered me was the lack of any noticeable music to further engross me in the horror experience, leaving me wondering if there was even a soundtrack to begin with. Nothing stood out in the game to instill fear in me, and for a horror game, that isn't a good sign.
In addition to the local co-op play in the main campaign (insert sad face for no online co-op) Revelations does offer an online raid-mode, where you are able to team up with strangers or a friend (preferably) and fight infected. This functions more like an RPG with a selected character leveling up to unlock new slots for abilities and weapons, and, unfortunately, gets tedious rather quickly since each mission you partake in is generally the same: kill a set amount of infected before moving on to the next area—rinse and repeat.
For those horror fans that were hoping to be unable to sleep at night, you wont’t find it here. But that does not mean that Revelations is a title you should pass up. It’s a step in the right direction for the franchise with lots of potential for the future that I’m looking forward to experiencing.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 gets a solid score of: B