Over the holiday season, I was in the mood for some Resident Evil. But I had no intention of replaying Resident Evil 2 Remake again. I also wasn’t going to wait around for four long months for Capcom to release Resident Evil 3 Remake. I realized that I haven’t played the other remakes Capcom had made in the franchise, specifically, Resident Evil 1 and 0. So I went to the PlayStation Store to see if I could buy them. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fund in my account (I outright refuse to put my credit card information on the PlayStation Store after Sony’s servers got hacked) to buy any of them.
What did pop out was another Resident Evil game that I haven’t played before and totally forgot: Resident Evil: Revelations 2.
I was reluctant to get Resident Evil: Revelations 2 because, well, I didn’t like the first Revelations. It was one of the most unfun games I played because of how sterile things felt and the characters and overall plot felt really bland. Moreover, your AI partner was as dumb as a sack of bricks. Still, I was hankering for some Resident Evil action and it was heavily discounted, with all of the episodes and bonus content for around $10. I thought I might as well get it and see how bad it was.
Well, color me surprised! I really liked Resident Evil: Revelations 2. It may not be the best game in the series but I will admit that Capcom did a really good job with this side story. Oh, there are some big problems with the game but it did scratch that survival horror itch I was having.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 takes place after the events of the first Revelations and probably sometime after Resident Evil 5, if I were to guess. There are actually two scenarios. The first one focuses on Claire Redfield and Barry Burton’s estranged daughter, Moira. The two has joined Terra Save, a non-government unit who protects people from bioterroism. During an office party, the two and other fellow Terra Save employees are abducted by an unknown group.
The second scenario has Barry Burton tracking down the whereabouts of Moira. He is paired with Natalia, a young girl who he also finds trapped in the place. Barry and Moira attempt to find Moira while also trying to solve the mystery of who is behind the abduction.
I was extremely reluctant about the gameplay because of my bad experiences with the first Revelations as well as Resident Evil 5 and 6. Once again, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 focuses a lot on co-op play. Since I generally like playing games on my own, I will have to be relying on the AI to control my partner. However, Capcom was rather creative with the co-op here. In general, there will be one character who handles most of the combat while the other is mostly used to locate hidden items and get into places the other character can’t or to play the support role in combat.
For example, in Claire Redfield’s scenario, Moira can’t use guns but she does have a crowbar to do melee attacks. However, she can also use her flashlight to blind enemies, allowing Claire to run in with a knockdown blow. For Barry Burton, Natalia can only use bricks she finds but she has the ability to sense monsters, allowing the pair to avoid them or to let Barry perform an instant kill stealth attack.
The original version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 was an episodic series. This was probably when Telltale Games strategem was all the rage. Each “episode” is broken down into one Claire and one Barry scenario. The overall length of each episode during my first playthrough was around two to three hours. That’s because I wanted to explore every nook and cranny of each location. Revelations 2 follows the more action heavy flow of the latter games of the series so I generally ran around looking for as much ammo and healing stuff I could find! Some enemies can be really tough and I will give props to Capcom for even making some of the enemies different per scenario. There is some recycling but not really much.
There are some ways you can make combat much easier. Claire and Barry can find weapon parts use can attach to your existing firearms that gives them bonuses like extra damage, increasing the size of the clip and whatnot. You can also unlock special skills by earning something called BP. The amount of BP you gather depends greatly on how well you perform during a scenario. You can also collect hidden gems scattered throughout the levels. The most useful is the one where you can have the AI controlled Claire and Barry actually fire at monsters while you control their respective partner! I kind of disagree that you have to unlock this and it should be active right from the start. But, hey, at least the AI controlled character doesn’t drain your existing ammo reserves. Guess they have a hidden supply they’re not telling anyone?
I will say, despite having to unlock that much needed ability, general gameplay is enjoyable. Combat can feel frustrating early on but, once you get the proper feel for the controls, it works really well. Exploration and the puzzles in Revelations 2 never feels like there’s a ton of tedious backtracking. It does feel rather simplistic overall but there’s a kind of beauty in simplistic, right?
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 does have a good number of issues. The graphics are okay but nothing spectacular. The character models do look rather like plastic, especially Claire Redfield’s face model. Also, a lot of the supporting character designs leave a lot to be desired. I did not care an ounce for any of the other Terra Save members that were captured. When you do meet them, you can just feel how underdeveloped each character is! They’re not even caricatures or trope-y enough to leave a mark in your memory!
The overall plot is also rather muddled and confusing. Without revealing anything, there doesn’t seem to be any real sense to anything that happens. The biggest mysteries, such as why Claire and some of Terra Save’s members were kidnapped is never resolved in a substantial way. The motives of the main villain never clicked for me in a satisfying manner. Even some of the locations don’t really make a whole lot of sense! I mean, the place they’re trapped in has a couple of factories, a prison, a fishing village and a mine just walking distances from each other? I know it’s a game but even my suspension of disbelief has its limits!
I will say that the way the game is structured lends itself to a lot of replayability. You can upgrade your characters with the skill tree then try beating it at a higher difficulty. You can also find all the extra things like tower emblems, hidden drawings and, yes, even killing insect larvae. There’s also a Raid mode, which is kind of a mission based shooter. In fact, Raid mode is much more fun diversion that it deserves to be.
However, even unlocking the extra modes can be a bother as you also need BP to purchase them. In a weird twist, Capcom made it so you have to first complete a set of actions to make it purchasable! Why do I have to purchase the mode when I already unlocked it? It just feels like an unnecessary step. And I don’t get why this is the way they do it since you’re essentially using in-game currency instead of real money!
Even with all that said, I am very happy that I got to experience Resident Evil: Revelations 2. It’s a flawed game but the good stuff does outweigh the bad a lot.
What’s your favorite Resident Evil game? Let me know in the comments section below!