A SEASONAL DUD
In the final episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2, it shows that the episodic nature of the game did no favors in terms of gameplay and story. So what we got is a game, as a whole, that tends to drag around doing nothing instead of telling a compelling story.
The stories in the Resident Evil franchise aren’t what one would call “High Art,” but they did tell a fun B-Movie story that kept you interested until the very end. Each game dug deeper into the lore and expanded the story of the franchise. Even Resident Evil 6, a game I only saw cutscenes from, seems it was telling an interesting story. There are a few moments in Resident Evil Revelations 2 that had story beats that seemed they might go somewhere, but what followed was more obvious padding. In one episode, Barry must carry around a box from part of the area to another and it acts as a giant puzzle. It adds nothing to the game except the game time, and it lasts far longer than it has any right to. And it’s not just this one thing, it happens several times. In one episode, you have to go through a fiery puzzle under a time limit. It just drags on without saying anything or developing any of the characters.
Sadly, the characters aren’t much better. Claire and Barry get away with their personality because we have established who they are and it stays consistent with the series. Claire cares for others and does what must be done to protect them, and Barry is still awesome. The same can’t be said with everyone else. In one episode, you’ll meet a group of survivors that just becomes fodder. Much like the more recent Resident Evil titles, you’ll have partners. Claire has Moria Burton; Moria is a bland uninteresting character who complains about her father, Barry. While she has the best line in the game and her choice not to carry a gun is justified, it does not excuse who Moria is as a character. The closest development she gets is from her Bonus Episode, The Struggle, which you can easily skip. Natalia isn’t much better, while she is the biggest character in the game, she doesn’t really do much outside of gameplay. You can switch to both Moria and Natalia so they can go to places Claire and Barry can’t go along with finding hidden items like ammo and herbs. They can also attack the enemy with Moria’s crowbar and Natalia’s bricks, so they are not completely defenseless. Moria is more important to the overall story than Natalia and Natalia is a key figure in the mystery the game sets up.
The gameplay is your typical action game with generic set pieces. Want an elevator to arrive? Fight off the most difficult enemies in the game first. Like that big open area? Prepare to fight a boss that amounts to nothing. The bosses and set pieces are uninspired and predictable. There are a few good jump scares sprinkled throughout the game, but the game doesn’t have the sense of dread that will stick with you. Out of the four episodes, only one showed the potential of Resident Evil Revelations 2. Instead, even that just withers up and implodes. If you took away all the fat this game has, it would have made something more consistent.
It’s not all bad– the highlight is Raid Mode. In Raid Mode, you go to an area and are required to kill all the monsters. It can be fun to level up your character of choice while finding and unlocking more powerful weapons. It does get boring after a while though because you are just fighting in the same areas against increasingly difficult enemies. The worst thing is that if you want all the medals, you have to be on the recommended level; so if you decided to grind certain areas to level up, your level won’t matter much if you want to 100% Raid Mode. Even weapons take a hit because of this.
The best thing about Resident Evil Revelations 2 is its price. There is a ton of content for its $25 for Digital and $40 physical price. There is the main story, Raid Mode, a LOT of unlockables, upgrades and weapons that carry over from game to game, special weapons, figures, art, two different endings, and two bonus episodes. The two bonus episodes aren’t worth playing, however. Without spoiling the events of the game, The Struggle stars Moria and Little Miss stars Natalia. The closest thing I can think of that best describes these two bonus episodes is from LOST’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “Exposé.” For its price, you get more out of this than most $60 games.
The Verdict: 6.0 out of 10
Even with the amount of content the games have, for the price and the occasionally fun Raid Mode, Resident Evil Revelations 2 is still a misfire in the franchise. There is no sense of dread, the story contradicts itself, the series’ most mysterious character is wasted to the point of insult and it drags on advancing nothing but the play time. It does do a few things worth playing, but they are few and far between.
Episode Two was this season’s best episode in an otherwise dull season.
Jesse Webster is a Senior Writer at MONG. He bought and played the game on PlayStation 4.