In our last exciting episode of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Claire Redfield, Moira Burton, Barry Burton, and creepy little Natalia were all trapped on a mysterious island run by the psychotic Overseer! Claire and Moira escaped the prison only to find the surface world a hellish landscape of run-down buildings, lousy weather, and damnable mutant freaks.
Barry, a whopping six months later, finds… exactly the same thing. Plus, he runs into Natalia, the strange young’un with psychic powers and the most durable nightgown ever (she’s been wearing it for at least six months, people!). Episode 2 of Capcom’s grand experiment works better than the first in most ways thankfully.
While the first episode was entertaining enough to warrant a play, the latest chapter is a hefty plot building piece. New characters emerge and mostly die horrible deaths (not exactly a spoiler) and the villainous Overseer and her evil ways are expanded upon. The focus is still on the central four characters introduced in episode 1 though, but things are definitely more expansive this time around.
The basic design bones of the game are painfully clichéd though. Anytime a character has to do something that takes time, just assume that’s the cue for the game to send in a canned flood of monsters. There are a couple effective chase scenes, marred by incredibly clumsy running, and each duo has their own special boss fight as well.
In short, this episode feels very much like a Resident Evil game. The deformed viral (but definitely not zombies!) monsters are ferocious and there are an awful lot of the big hammer-swinging buggers wandering around. Invisible monsters make a debut as well, and there’s a particularly nasty plot point about a virus that only activates when the victim experiences fear.
It’s safe to say the whole game will include a lot of backtracking and re-use of the same levels, which is certainly the case here. Barry’s segments require him to cover the exact same ground his daughter crossed. This is a double-edged blade, of course, since it can be interesting to see different sides (and occasionally new areas) to a familiar level, but it also makes a lot of the game feel repetitive. There are chests spread throughout the levels that only either Moira or Natalia can open, and you’ll see them in both stories. Also, since both secondary characters are essentially the adorable girl equivalent to a pointer dog, they’re both used mainly for highlighting shiny objects to collect.
The main enhancement episode 2 has over the first is the overall length. Just the Claire segment is longer than the entire previous chapter. This time around, things are more hectic and challenging, ammo and herbs are scarcer, and it just moves better. There’s not much new added to the Raid mode and the episode just downloads right into the main Revelations 2 game, so all old content remains the same.
It’s becoming readily apparent, however, that Capcom’s decision to go with episodic releases was relatively last minute. The game already feels like it was simply chopped up after the fact instead of truly designed as a serial story. This isn’t a huge problem, but it makes the overall presentation feel a bit clumsy, with an unnecessary recap video before the start of the chapter.
Ideally—and this opinion isn’t likely to change over the next couple episodes—Revelations 2 will certainly prove more satisfying to fans who wait for the final, complete product. Either way, the familiar game play and dirt cheap price makes Revelations 2 worth a look for even casual horror gamers. If the rest of the game keeps improving the pace like this chapter, it’ll make for a fine B-grade level bloody time.