Capcom released the first in a four part series of survival horror madness on consoles and PC with the arrival of Resident Evil Revelations 2 Episode One. Each week a new episode releases filling in more blanks to the rather twisted story which features series heroine Claire Redfield accompanied by Moira Burton and the much loved Barry Burton character who becomes playable for the first time.
Without going into too much detail surrounding the story, there’s a chilling tale as Claire and Moira find themselves trapped in a not so abandoned penal colony on a solitary island in the middle of nowhere. Interestingly, the story is split into two halves with Claire and Moira fighting for survival and escape and then Barry and his younger sidekick Natalia searching for clues and the whereabouts of his daughter. It’s an interesting mix which although is somewhat darker in tone than one would expect for an opening section does offer some engaging introductory moments.
Gameplay feels tight as the enemies come in various forms across the two stories which is most welcome. It’s too early to tell how good this story will be with just over an hour’s worth of play between them but time will tell once the next episode releases this week. There’s some neat interchanges between the two characters as one plays where each has their own role to play and can be swapped in and out on the fly. Natalia for example acts as Barry’s radar and can highlight enemies through walls. What’s also neat is how there are certain areas which are only accessible to her making for some forced moments to unlock doors or pull switches. Hopefully this continues into future episodes. What’s more, players can upgrade the characters with wide number of skills making the game a bit easier and the characters better suited for the hardest difficulty settings and unlocked timed run modes of play.
What is of note is the Raid Mode which seems to borrow assets from Resident Evil 6 and throws players into an RPG action survival mode that can be replayed over and over. This was a popular feature from the first game and in many ways has much more legs than the main story as players can choose from several characters and level them up individually. This is certainly more fleshed out at this juncture and something players can spend many hours in making the initial purchase worthwhile even if the later episodes are ignored.
Either way, so far it’s looking good, although we’re a little at odds with the changed looks of Claire and Barry from early incarnations but that’s perhaps a minor complaint and something that won’t bother many players if at all. The PC version does suffer from some stuttering which can impact play which is a shame, but hopefully this will be addressed at some point. There’s also a lack over overall detail to the game in terms of overall looks which can only be put down to a lower budget – although all versions are running at 1080p 60 frames per second. Aside from this everything is pretty good despite the opening episode’s visuals being somewhat dull compared to the more colourful openings of previous games in the Resident Evil series.
We’ll be posting further reviews of each of the episodes before rounding off with a final review when all are available. So until then you either take the plunge and dive in to the first outing and enjoy the Raid Mode to the fullest, or wait until all the episodes are available and play them back to back to get the full experience. For now Resident Evil Revelations 2 is favourable for fans and survival gamers alike.