Resident Evil Revelations 2 : Episode 1, is the first chapter of the second game in the spin-off franchise from Resident Evil and is based between Resident Evil 5 and 6. Even Capcom have noticed that their Resident Evil games have gone a bit flashy over substance and are no longer appealing to fans of the original games. They have decided, due to the success of Revelations, both the 3DS version and later the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, to make a franchise for fans of the originals. The Revelations series are designed to appeal to those of us who aren’t happy unless we are screaming, shaking or having panic attacks because of music changing, something jumping out at us or more often than not, nothing happening but in a scary way.
Revelations 2 features two dynamics seen before in the Resident Evil franchise that have been improved upon, especially since one of them involves a relatively intelligent AI controlling another character. Clearly inspired by their own previous games and the ground breaking relationship between Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us, Capcom have paired our protagonists with a younger more fragile character to protect.
The other dynamic is playing the same level through from two different perspectives as found in Resident Evil 2. The genius thing about the early resident evil games a decision which was fuelled by disc space and machine power, is the games were based in one small area where you have to earn your access to different parts of the building, blocked off either by machines, locks, keys or puzzles. This made the game feel both much bigger than it actually was but also very claustrophobic, once you became sick of seeing the same locked doors and the same stair cases you would start to go at least a wee bit mental.
On that note however there is one thing that is missing from Resident Evil Revelations 2, and that is puzzles. Puzzles were always a nice break from the terror but also frustrating in a different way that toyed with your emotions and I believe was part of its genius. Even with the Jurassic Park esque Dino Crisis the puzzles really helped stress you out in a great way. I hope there are more in the upcoming episodes. Apart from that the game perfectly captures the atmosphere of the earlier games.
The game play has you playing as a strong character and a supporting character in both stories. Claire and Moira or Barry and Natalia respectively. Claire and Barry are armed with guns and shoot stuff that is unpleasant. Moira and Natalia assist by stunning monsters with flashlights or throwing bricks at them and tossing you bullets they find and the like. The relationship between the characters is a little less believable than the Last of Us, but the season pass for all four episodes is only £19.99 so that’s not even half the price of a new game on the PS4, so really this should be looked upon as an incredible PSN game that is much better than the games from off of which it has spun.
Claire is whisked off with everyone she works with to an unknown island, everyone of her co-workers except for Moira Burton seem to have mutated and started killing everything around you. The twisted experiments, the virus and the crazy rusty machinery are beautiful in that survival horror kind of beauty. The second part of the game you are playing as Barry Burton, king of the ridiculous one liners from the original game. He doesn’t disappoint with puns and ludicrous references to the last few games. At one point even says “Ha. Who’s the master of Unlocking now?”. I’m fairly sure it’s still Jill Valentine. Once I finished both parts of the story I was greeted with a skill tree, to level up skills such as the speed of applying green herbs and reloading. If you replayed the first episode over and over, by the second it would be easier than if you played it straight through. I think this could make the game more fun, like how Breaking Bad was better when you had to wait every week for the next episode.
The thing that I love most is how the colour of the the light on my dualshock 4 changes depending on my health, Green, Yellow and Red. The afflicted are test subjects that apparently have been infected by a virus called T-phobos that causes people to mutate once they become suitably afraid. They all have wristbands on that change from green to red and once red they apparantly mutute. They are an interesting blend between the Las Plagas from Resident Evil 4 and the Zombies from The original trilogy and Code Veronica. There is also the reintroduction of invisible mode, which I just don’t understand how one would get through. It is looking to be one of the best mid range priced survival horrors on the PSN and I’m very much in favour of more of this kind’ve thing.
The episodes are released weekly throughout March and the season pass is only about twenty quid so I suggest you get it if you are even slightly fond of Resident Evil.
3 out of 5 Nerds