At long last, I’ve reached at the end* of my big Resident Evil journey by completing Resident Evil Revelations 2. Here’s what I said about it in the first post:
To be honest, I went into this game knowing almost nothing about it. Aside from what I mentioned above, the only other thing I knew was that it was released episodically over the course of several weeks. I didn’t know anything about the story, what the gameplay was like, or how it differed from other titles in the franchise. So, pretty much everything about it was—ahem—a revelation to me.
First thing’s first, let’s talk about the game’s structure. Set between RE5 and RE6, it takes place across four episodes. Each episode is split into two parts with the first devoted to Claire Redfield and the second to Barry “Jill Sandwich” Burton. Barry’s story takes place about six months after Claire’s, and many of the actions you take in Claire’s story affect Barry’s. Both Claire and Barry are accompanied by a supporting character. For Claire, it’s Moira Burton, Barry’s daughter, while Barry is accompanied by a mysterious little girl named Natalia. If you’re playing solo, you can switch between the main character and the supporting character at any time. You can also play co-op with a friend, but only in split screen mode—no online multi-player here.
Unlike the co-op modes in other Resident Evil games in which the two partners have the same move set and abilities, both Moira and Natalia are very different from the Claire and Barry. Neither Moira nor Natalia can carry guns. However, they can both locate hidden items in the environment. They also can crack locked boxes for additional items. Also, Moira carries a flashlight and can focus its beam into an enemy’s eyes, blinding them temporarily, so that Claire can deliver a devastating melee attack. Meanwhile, Natalia can sense enemies through walls, allowing Barry to sneak up behind them and take them out with an instant stealth kill. She can also locate their weak spots so Barry can more quickly dispatch foes during face-to-face encounters.
All this makes for what I imagine would be one of the best co-op experiences in the series. To me, it’s always more interesting when characters have differing abilities rather than being carbon copies of each other. Kudos to Capcom for doing something different. This is one game I might actually be interested in playing with a friend some day.
Gameplay-wise, it doesn’t deviate too far from RE4. There’s a heavy emphasis on third-person shooting throughout, but it’s paced extremely well. It’s not wall-to-wall action like RE5 or RE6. The game isn’t afraid to give the player a chance to breathe and soak up the creepy atmosphere before the next encounter. It’s quiet at times, and there are some good environmental puzzles sprinkled throughout to break up the pace. While I still prefer games like REmake and RE7 that allow me to explore small, more confined spaces, Revelations 2 handles its linearity about as well as any game in the series. Dare I say, it may only be second to RE4 in that regard.
Claire may have been the character Capcom used to sell the game, but Barry is the real star. I never thought much of him until now. He was a complete joke in the original PS1 game due to his cringe-worthy dialog and terrible voice acting. The REmake greatly improved both of these, but he lost most of his quirky personality in the process. He ended up being just kind of a bland guy with a big gun.
In Revelations 2, Barry ends up being one of the most well-rounded characters in the series. He’s a tough-as-nails veteran in the war against B.O.W.s, but he’s also the kind of guy that proudly tells bad dad jokes, much to the Moira’s chagrin. At the same time, the fact that he’s pair up with a little girl throughout his entire campaign allows for his gentler side to come out. One minute he’s taking out hoards of monsters like a total badass, the next he’s carrying Natalia on his back because she can’t walk. Some of the dialog between these two is my favorite of the series. It’s that relationship really got me hooked on the story, not because I cared about the over-arching plot, but because I cared about the characters.
In case you can’t tell already, I really liked this game. Not only does it get the obvious stuff right (atmosphere, pacing, action), it takes elements that didn’t work well in previous entries and executes them much better. For instance, this game shares a lot in common with RE0 in that both games allow you to switch between two characters at any time, pick up and drop items wherever you like, and requires the player to manage both characters’ inventories. Whereas all this is slow and kills RE0’s pacing, Revelations 2 handles with aplomb. Menus appear fast when prompted, and swapping items between to characters can literally be done in seconds with the press of a single button. Likewise, you can dodge an enemy’s attack here like in RE3, but whereas that move was inconsistent and unreliable in execution in that game, in Revelations 2 it’s mapped to a specific button and can be pulled off nearly every time you try (provided you get the timing right, of course).
I’ve been thinking a lot about Revelations 2 since I finished it a few days ago, and I can’t think of anything negative to say about it. It’s a solid entry in the series—maybe even one of its best. If you’re a fan of Resident Evil and have not played it yet, I highly recommend it, after you, presumably, play REmake 2 first.
(No random thoughts this time. I think I’ve said most everything I wanted to say about this game in the post proper.)
Now that I’ve finished all of the currently-available Resident Evil games that I wanted to play before the release of REmake 2, look for a post in a few days with my thoughts on the the series as a whole. I will rank the games from best to worst, but do so in a way that’s a little bit different than what you might expect.
After that, I’m diving head-first into REmake 2 and will post my thoughts on it once I complete it. That will be my capper for this thread, and the official end of this journey. I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it!
*Not the actual end.
Solo: A Star Wars Story - It wasn't bad. It wasn't good either. And that's probably the most disappointing thing about it. Han Solo is my favorite movie character of all time, and they got the blandest actor to portray him.
Annihilation - This is sort of what I'd expect from something that strikes me as cosmic horror/sci-fi light. That's not a bad thing. I liked it. I was kind of hoping for something mind-blowing, but it's not a bad effort. If I had one nit to pick, it's this:
Bird Box - This wasn't bad either, and this too struck me as cosmic horror/sci-fi light. If you had to go for the angle
this does a pretty good job.
Yeah, once you accept that it is what it is, things make more sense, but it almost makes you wonder if they could lean more into it. Give you the ability to do things like map out locations of more things/guard paths (i.e. once you have the knowledge, be able to pinpoint where a guard will be)? Track schedules with an in-game timer/calendar (like Dead Rising)? Rewind time to change an outcome (like Life is Strange/Prince of Persia)? I guess leaving things as-is lets them be a little looser with timing, like how some events will happen on their own, but others will trigger immediately if you meet a condition. There also seems to be the ability to improv your way out of a situation, but not sure how far that goes, and replaying levels is kind of an alternative to having a long, drawn out planning/recon mechanic. Still early going all things considered, so we'll see how it sticks. I want to play more of it though.
If anything though, it's mission impossible meets groundhog day.