Claire Redfield and Barry Burton are back in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. This sequel to the revelations series goes even deeper into the RE mythos as more supernatural-esque themes are explored regarding the inner workings of how the zombie virus came to be and the people behind it. Of course, everything still gets the big sci-fi treatment in terms of story delivery, but the new approach certainly adds a level of scares that have been palpably vacant in the more recent RE games. Being a non-numbered sequel (and more of a spinoff series), Revelations 2 gathered good praises but very little in terms of gaming fame.
What is Resident Evil: Revelations 2?
As the title implies, this game is the second installment in the Revelations series –and yes, it does ‘reveal’ a few key plot points in the story. So far, the first Revelations game proved as a link between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5. Revelations 2 on the other hand appears to be set before the events of RE6.
Revelations 2 is composed of four episodes whose narratives alternate between two different sets of main characters. This is a lot like RE6 where the story revolved around 3 pairs. In one story, players must control Claire and Moira as they try to find a way to escape their mysterious captors while in the other story, Barry is accompanied by Natalia as he tries to search for Moira.
In this game, players alternate between controlling the pairs of Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, or Barry Burton and the mysterious Natalia. Fans of the series would instantly recognize Claire as the younger sister of major RE protagonist Chris. She is one of the main characters for RE2. Barry Burton is also a well-recognized returning character, but this is the first time that players actually get to control him directly (aside from a minor, non-canon, Gameboy game).
New to the story are Moira Burton (who has only been mentioned in extra content from other games), and the mysterious little girl named Natalia. Moira is Barry’s daughter and she joins Claire as part of the Terra Save group which works a lot like the BSAA but with a lot less guns and lot more investigation and prevention. Natalia is the girl that they encounter on the island where they end up getting captured.
Good Narrative Delivery
One of the best bits in the first episode is how you spend the first half of it trying to get to a radio tower to signal for help. Then the next bit throws you out for a loop with Natalia establishing to Barry that his arrival and ‘rescue’ of Moira is too late since she has ‘died already’ and that the signal was sent out a full six months ago.
This opening foundation sets the tone of the rest of the game –when playing the Claire and Moira side of the story, you know you are playing through a massive flashback sequence. With Barry and Natalia, you see the aftermath of things a half year later. The parallelism in the story is remarkably well-written and feels though out and this makes the gameplay experience very satisfying as you learn more about what happened to the characters.
Natalia not only serves as a ‘creepy girl with strange powers’, but is also a link between the two stories. While you can directly control her in Barry’s storyline, she appears in Claire and Moira’s side of the story as a supporting character.
The best part of this game is the fact that it has two possible endings depending on how you play out some crucial parts of the storyline. This is actually quite new for the Resident Evil series as there is normally an established storyline for players to follow. Of course, the ‘bad ending’ is considered as not canon as it has been said that the next RE games will make use of the good ending as the foundation.
Gameplay and More
The gameplay is quite fun as the two pairs have specialties in what they do. Unlike RE 5 and 6 where each character has their own arsenal of weapons, not all characters in Revelations 2 are combat-capable. Moira supports Claire by using melee weapons and using a flashlight to find hidden items of spot targets. Natalia’s special ability allows her to detect enemies through walls as well as tell Barry where their weakpoints are.
Switching between characters (or having someone else play with you) through the most exciting parts of the game is one of the best experience that Revelations 2 has to offer. Since the support character has no offensive capabilities, they have to keep avoiding and running from enemies while controlling Claire or Barry makes you responsible for protecting your partner from attacking enemies.
Visually, the game is superbly creepy, with a very minimal and dark color palette, the game’s isolated zombie island setting is perfect for those looking for a real thrill ride. The enemy variations, on the other hand, are not that varied –and while this makes perfect sense from a narrative point, it does make the combat feel repetitive at times. The characters animations are very smooth and it is nice to see them performing contextual actions based on the environment.
Good for Horror Fans
While Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is still a long way from recreating the same sense of wonder and fear that the first RE game did for fans, Revelations 2 does a good job of actually making players scared. Bosses are creepy, the whole reveal with Alex Wesker is mind-bending, and exploring the island’s inner workings is full of strangely unnerving things. There are also a few good puzzles that makes the game even more fun to play.