Game Review: Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 1

Felipe Cabrera

Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

While playing through Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 1, a single question kept nagging at my brain; why is this game being released in four parts as episodic content? I do not know the answer to that question, but what I do know is that fans of the Resident Evil series are going to love this game more than anyone else.

Revelations 2 stars characters who have been missing in Resident Evil games for a long time—namely fan favorites Claire Redfield and Barry Burton.  

The story is broken up into two sections; Claire and Moira’s story and Barry and Natalia’s story. The first section follows Claire and Moira, Barry’s daughter, after they get kidnapped by a mysterious organization who leaves them trapped on an island. They wake up in an abandoned prison wearing odd bracelets that sense their level of fear. They are apart of some strange “Saw” like experiment.

The second section follows and aged Barry Burton as he tracks down the whereabouts of Claire and Moira on the same mysterious island. He is joined by a strange little girl named Natalia who doesn’t know how she got there.

These two stories intertwine with a cool twist at the end, but this episode felt like it was leaving me hanging. There were too many questions left unanswered. I understand we will learn more in the next episode, but I cannot help but feel unsatisfied.

The gameplay feels familiar if you played the first Revelations or survival horror in general. The game focuses on solving puzzles in the environment to move ahead, and gives you little ammo to deal with enemies. The new monster designs are some of the best I have seen in Resident Evil for years. The mutants match the rustic colors of the prison.

The most fearsome foes I encountered were these mutated amalgamations of limbs. The only way to take them down was to shoot parts of their flesh to reveal their weak points.

The gunplay is serviceable at best, and on normal mode regular enemies seem to go down easily, especially the dried up corpses in Barry’s section.

Some of the new gameplay features are hit or miss. Revelation 2 allows you to control two characters instead of one. You can switch between Claire and Moira or Barry and Natalia in their respective section.

With Claire and Moira, Claire will handle most of the combat. Moira says she refuses to use guns for reasons she does not explain. Just because Moira will not shoot the monsters does not mean she is useless. Moira can use a flashlight to stun light-sensitive enemies, and use her crowbar to pry doors open and as a weapon.

This more than I can say for Natalia. While she has the useful ability to sense enemies in the area, she offers little help in combat and gets in the way. I also found it strange that Barry was armed to the teeth with weapons and ammo, yet most of the enemies he faced were not nearly as threatening as the ones in Claire’s section.

There is a new stealth mechanic, but it feels clunky. The new stealth takedowns look awesome, don’t get me wrong, and stealth just makes sense with Resident Evil if it’s executed correctly. There were not enough opportunities to use stealth takedowns, and the enemies’ field of vision was inconsistent. Once I was practically crouching in front of an enemy and they did not take notice.

After you beat the story mode, which can take between two to four hours, you can play through the story again on a harder difficulty, or simply play through again to score a higher ranking in missions. Personally, I spent most of my time playing the strangely addictive Raid mode.

In Raid mode, select a character and go through various missions where your only objective is to kill enemies. At the end of each mission you are rewarded money which can be used to purchase new weapons and upgrades. Raid mode is a good time—I easily sank five hours into it.

Maybe I was hoping for too much from a Resident Evil storyline. I was happy to see Claire and Barry return to the Resident Evil series, and I love the new addition of the spunky Moira Burton. So far, Revelations 2 Episode 1 feels like it is merely a demo to a bigger adventure.