Originally Written for FlickeringMyth.com
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is an episodic sequel to the 3DS title that took the franchise back towards its survival horror roots after a couple of action packed entries into the franchise. Set between the events of Resident Evil 5 and 6, Revelations 2 sees the return of Claire Redfield and, playable for the first time in a main story, Barry Burton. Each episode is split into two parts as you play from each character’s perspective in an interlocking story.
Noticeably absent from previous chapters, puzzles are a core mechanic of classic entries in the franchise. There have been some simple environmental ones (find the switch/hidden path) but for episode 3 it’s a big element of the gameplay. Both parts get in on the action, although Claire and Moira have a bit of an edge. Their puzzles feel very old school, almost like references to moments in previous games (or just outright copying them). It’s interesting how each episode feels like it was designed by a different person. The first was half survival horror half action game, the second kept you to a minimal amount of ammo almost constantly fighting for your life, this time around its puzzles and the centre of it all. It leads me to wonder what else is to come, or if the last chapter with be a bit of everything.
I enjoy seeing the overlap with environments when playing the two parts of the episode, particularly when one affects the other. In this instance Barry and Natalia go backwards through an area Claire and Moira explore, and you get to see how the place has changed and degraded over time. There are even some items that you can’t get as Barry unless you did particular things as Claire, that at the time could be easily missed (as I did on my first playthrough). Each team also had a section where the characters were separated and had to be controlled one at a time to progress. This is another example of where I wish I could of played it co-op. But as it’s not online, only split screen, this isn’t something I was able to organise while reviewing. It still works fine and can add to the tension (particularly with Claire and Moira), but I really wish there were more options for me to join up with other players.
When thinking about Claire and Barry’s parts as separate entities, I really think Barry got the short end of the stick this time. His section feels more like filler, even to the point of their being no real revelations (sorry) in the plot until the very end, and even that feels like it could have been part of the episode 2 conclusion. Not much happens, he even gets a very lacklustre boss fight, that’s only really challenging because it’s a bullet sponge (I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being a reoccurring enemy). On the other hand Claire and Moira get a great boss fight and some, while silly, fun old school puzzles. It’s obvious they needed both stories to be at these points for the final episode, it’s just a shame they couldn’t have done more with Barry.
While I wasn’t that impressed with Natalia and Barry’s entry this time around, Claire and Moira more than carried the burden with enjoyable puzzles and a challenging boss fight. The overall fun gameplay and intriguing story is still keeping me invested but that lack of online co-op just gets more and more frustrating.
Alan Heath – Follow me on Twitter