Wednesday, December 12

Resident Evil Revelations 2 Review

I played on: PS4
I paid: £12.99
Available on: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Notes: N/A

Resident Evil Revelations saw Chris and Jill returning to the series roots by slowly exploring and unlocking the Queen Zenobia cruise ship. I really enjoyed that game a whole lot more than I thought I would. Does the sequel have the same quality to it? In short yes but it’s never that simple so let us look a little closer.

Revelations 2 sees you playing as both Claire Redfield and Moira Burton for the first half of each episode and then Barry Burton and Natalia Korda for the second half. Claire and Moira get captured and wake up on an island in the middle of nowhere. Months later Barry arrives looking for his missing daughter Moira. The story is well written and has plenty to keep fans of the series interested and wanting to learn more. We see another member of the Wesker project with Albert’s sister Alex starring as the villain. Seeing as this is set 2 years after the events of Resident Evil 5 and Albert Wesker’s death it’s nice to see his sister taking his place. Moira is also an amazing new addition to the cast. She feels like an interesting character with plenty of depth. Her destain for guns and violence in general sets her apart from Claire and Jill. That’s not to say she’s a weak defenceless character. She will fight when she needs to but it’s always clear that she doesn’t enjoy doing so.

The gameplay is very similar to the original Revelations with an over-the-shoulder camera and separate buttons to use your gun or knife. It worked well in the first game and it works just as well here. It’s not groundbreaking but it’s simple and enjoyable. When not fighting you will be exploring areas and solving puzzles. I found myself very split on this aspect of the game. Unlike the first Revelations, you don’t have a large open area to explore and slowly unlock. You will find no cruise ship or mansion here. Instead, you will explore a small area and then move on in a linear fashion to the next small area. Resident Evil 4 used this same style of exploration and it worked well there because everywhere was well designed and interesting. That’s not the case here. Some areas like the town or slaughterhouse were great while some like the prison just annoyed me. The quality of these locations is really inconsistent. I would say the good outweighs the bad with the level design but it’s not as strong as the first Revelations or Resident Evil 4.

The visuals while not quite as impressive as I would expect from a PS4 game graphically are very good for other reasons. I love the way that the abandoned town is being reclaimed by nature during Barry’s story. It gives off this depressing feeling. You can see what used to be peoples homes now overgrown with weeds. It delivers a feeling that whatever happened here is in the past and it’s too late to save anyone but yourself. This fits, with Barry arriving after the events we see with Claire and Moira. Barry is too late and everything we see happens to them in the past. Seeing visuals used to back up narrative points like this is the mark of a great art team. This same strong use of visuals can be seen while playing as Claire and Moira as well. I won’t go into details but Moira hates guns, she will refuse to use them relying instead on melee weapons. This is reinforced by the way she flinches whenever Claire fires around her. I doubt most players will even notice these little details but they take the presentation from okay to amazing.

Another thing I loved about Revelations 2 was how many women it had as the main characters. This is really rare to see in both films and gaming so it’s very welcome. 3 out of 4 of the playable characters are female and all feel distinct and well written. Even the villain behind everything is a woman and I love her. I really hope we get to see more of Alex Wesker in future games. Just like her brother before her she steals any scene she’s in. Sadly all this gender equality falls flat when you check out the bonus outfits that come with the box set. Both Clare and Moira have sexualised costumes while Barry has a perfectly normal one. I don’t mind ‘sexy’ outfits but when it’s completely one-sided like this it’s just plain sexist. If you’re gonna put both the women in sexy dress up then why not the man as well? I’m sure seeing Barry as a shirtless fireman would go well next to Claire as a sexy cowgirl. Overall I love these characters and having a game with mostly women in is great. That’s not to say the game is perfect in this regard because it’s obviously not.

At the end of the day Revelations 2, is a good Resident Evil game. The action is fun, the characters and story are fantastic and the visuals are beautiful. Some of the places you go may feel poorly designed but for the most part, they hold up well. I hope to see more games in this series feature women like this as well. Even when I was a teenager I loved Resident Evil for its women. It would be great to see this series defy expectations and really start to explore female characters in more depth. Despite a few problems I did very much enjoy this game and can give it a good recommendation to both Resident Evil fans and action-horror fans alike.

Recommendation Rating: 8 out of 10

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