After last week’s ever so slightly bland opening to Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Episode 2 manages to step up the game immensely with a few shots in the arm. Everything that was missing, from the intense boss battles, worrying supply management and wacky plot development have found their place, cementing Revelations 2 as an unmistakably silly but memorable title in the series.
Picking up from last episode’s cliffhanger, Claire and Moira meet up with a group of Terra Save employees who have also been left stranded on the island. Working their way through an eerily empty fishing village, they stumble upon a conveniently placed helicopter that, of course, only needs fuel and a battery, both of which are within walking distance. Like every other Resident Evil game, this development seems to be just a bit too convenient, but later scenes balance out the good with some bad news.
Eventually, the pair begin making their way to a freaky-looking tower in the center of the island in search of the Overseer, who may be broadcasting from there. In a nice twist, they actually meet up with Natalia for a short time, a plot thread that’s revisited in Barry’s half of the story.
Claire’s section of Episode 2 is classic Resident Evil, full of claustrophobic face-offs, intense chases and quieter moments full of foreboding. One memorable duel takes place in a locked up bar with a particularly nasty monster, bringing to mind some of the more frantic moments from RE4. However, the episodic nature of Revelations 2 is still leaving me unsatisfied, as the pace tends to pick up right before the chapter unceremoniously ends. It works to leave players wanting more, as I’m chomping at the bit to get episode 3, but Capcom’s decision is still baffling with no justification in sight.
Fairing just as well, Barry’s half of the episode continues to follow a primarily stealthy focus with a few bursts of intense action. Similar to Episode 1, Barry and Natalia continue on the trail of Claire and Moira, revisiting the same locales on their way to the tower. However, enemies are becoming increasingly varied, with a new invisible monster adding a chilling new combat mechanic to the mix. When these creatures are nearby, Barry’s vision begins to falter, and Natalia must guide his shots by calling out where to aim. Her AI works surprisingly well with this, leaving you to trust her sight fully. Nothing’s more intense than following her directions as your vision worsens, until she finally shouts, “There! Shoot now!” The music builds, the buzzing from the enemy grows incessant, and Natalia’s worried shouts are unnerving, making this an excellent showcase for how well the co-op works.
The story finally begins making some forward progress this time around, especially once Barry makes an intriguing discovery at the end of his segment. There’s a bit more revealed about the Overseer and her possible motivations, and this episode’s cliffhanger left me wanting the next chapter worse than last week’s did.
As much fun as Barry’s section is, it’s still odd that it has such a focus on stealth, because of the two campaigns, Barry has the larger arsenal. Ammo is quite plentiful, and his weapons are strong enough to fend off just about anything the game throws at you. However, it’s still nice to have the option to take out enemies silently and save your bullets for those unavoidable boss fights.
The Resident Evil series has always had a knack for crafting battles against enemies that manage to be both completely silly and terrifying at the same time, and it’s all on showcase in this episode, with battles against a drill-toting behemoth, a gigantic fireball-spewing monstrosity and a slime-slinging annoyance. Like the Metal Gear Solid series, Resident Evil is utterly goofy and self-aware yet so engrossing that it’s easy to lose yourself in its world, and these challenging boss fights showcase this quality perfectly.
Supply management is more in line with earlier games this time around, leaving you constantly anxious about running out of ammo and herbs while still providing just enough to make it through. Revelations 2 manages to find that sweet spot that its predecessor found, providing challenge by requiring skill to take out enemies without wasting too many resources, but never being unfairly sparse.
Some of the problems from the first episode still remain intact, including an obnoxious reliance on those big guys with hammers and extremely short episode times, with this one taking about two and a half hours to complete. However, another handful of Raid Mode gauntlets come with episode 2, as well as two new characters who add a few new twists with their active abilities. As short as each episode is, Raid Mode has proven to be more than enough fun to last between each release, with daily challenges, new gauntlets and characters filling the void that the story leaves.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 finally picked up the pace and added a much needed shot of adrenaline into Episode 2, gracing gamers with tough boss battles, inventive co-op moments and some plot development that seems to be moving things in an interesting direction. While Capcom’s episodic release schedule is still maddeningly inane, with each small glimpse of the story leaving me enticed but immediately wanting more, Resident Evil fans who enjoyed the original Revelations and the first episode will surely find something to love here, even if the flow-breaking wait in between each week is starting to take its toll.
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game.
Injecting some much-needed adrenaline into Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Episode 2 ups the ante with intense boss battles, creepy new creatures and some interesting plot developments.