It’s no Last of Us, but Resident Evil Revelations 2 is very good at what it does. The story is cheesy as Resi should be, the atmosphere creepy but not unrelentingly so, the action engaging and the controls butter smooth. Overall Revelations 2 does a fine job of combining elements of the pre-Resident Evil 4 and post-Resident Evil 4 games.
Revelations 2 focuses on the fundamentals of exploring, simple puzzle solving, blasting enemies – all of which are done very well. As such there are fewer action setpieces here than the modern Resident Evil games I’ve played like 4 and 5 – that means no minecart rides, no driving segments, no speedboat chases, no punching boulders… Instead I spent more time working methodically through moodily lit prisons, labs, sewers and woods. The lack of a certain kind of action is a positive for the most part. QTEs in cutscenes are entirely gone for example, something I was profoundly relieved to discover. The only downside is that the game can feel a bit flat or drawn out in some areas. For instance, there are surprisingly few boss encounters for a Resi title, and most present aren’t particularly inspiring or ambitious.
A callback to previous games are separate campaigns. Unlike early Resident Evils where you’d need to complete the campaign with one character to start again on the alternate path, Revelations 2 forces you to alternate between the two campaigns: Claire’s and Barry’s.
Barry’s campaign is set six months after Claire’s, which is a smart move for the story. The narrative isn’t revelatory (geddit?) but it did keep me guessing throughout. In terms of gameplay and pacing the episodic campaign works well near the end of the game when each campaign goes to different locations, but is a bit of a chore early on when you’re exploring an environment as Claire only to immediately re-explore the same area as Barry. Still there’s a solid campaign here with a satisfying ending (as long as you get the good ending!), and the included DLC story content is a nice albeit inessential addition.
As well as the story, the other fully featured mode in the game is Raid Mode, an RPG-cum-arcade game where you tackle challenge after challenge, levelling up your characters, weapons, abilities and more. It’s a decent mode and this game’s equivalent of the Mercenaries minigame from Resi 4 and subsequent entries. As with the rest of the game, it’s absolutely solid without being exceptional. It’s a really cool concept mostly done well. My only concern is that the progression is so slow it is a huge timesink to see it all. There is online co-op for this mode – split screen co-op too – which sounds like fun but I haven’t been able to try out either. (I fully intend to get the Switch online service some day, but right now I don’t own any games that justify the cost.)
While there are limits to what it does, Revelations 2 is a thoroughly sensible game that packs in a lot of content. It’s an easy recommendation for fans of the cheesiest horror series in gaming: RESIDENT. EVIL.