Resident Evil Revelations 2: Deluxe Edition Review – Capcom just raised the stakes

Back to its Roots

Review for the Deluxe Edition

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015) takes what fans liked about the first Revelations from 2013 and improves upon it; A well refined mixture of horror and action is the result. Without giving too much away: Rev 2, like its predecessor from 2013, is divided into episodes – but this time with much better structure whenever the story switches between characters. No longer do players have to awkwardly jump from one seemingly convoluted plot with lots of protagonists to another; instead there are only four playable characters to keep the whole thing streamlined.

In the first half of each of the four episodes, players control Claire Redfield – from previous Resident Evil titles – and her co-worker, Moira Burton, Barry Burton’s daughter from RE. They were kidnapped and brought to a mysterious island in the Baltic Sea where they are forced to partake in a sadistic game of who-will-live-the-longest. In the second half then, players will try to retrace their steps as they play as Barry Burton, six months later, trying to find and rescue his daughter. On his way, he finds Natalia Korda, a little girl who survived the Terragrigia Incident from RE Revelations. The neat thing about this experience is that at times, actions taken in the Claire and Moira segments will impact Barry and Natalia later on down the line. That being said, this game is definitely worth playing through more than once trying out different approaches.

ReRev2_01
Trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare, Claire Redfield and Moira Burton struggle to survive

Gameplay

If the Quick Time Events from RE 5 & 6 weren’t your thing, fret not. Like in Re Revelations, there is only one QTE: If enemies capture a character, wiggling the mouse or analog stick will take care of it. And that’s pretty okay.

  • Single Player
    In case players take this game on by themselves, they’ll be able to freely switch between the two protagonists at any point – kind of like in Resident Evil 0. As Claire and Barry are pretty much used to fighting monsters by now, they both have firearms to fend off zombies. Moira and Natalia, however, are the more analytical type: Moira can open crates and doors or bludgeon enemies using her crowbar, and she uses her flashlight to find hidden items or navigate dark areas. Natalia on the other hand has some mysterious powers that let her not only sense enemies behind walls, but also lets her know where their weak spots are. However, in order to take them out, she mostly has to rely on Barry’s help.

    ReRev2_03
    Claire Redfield, as competent as ever

    When it comes to gameplay mechanics, the Natalia-Barry segments are definitely better designed than the Claire-Moira ones, as players have an actual need to switch between the two. With Moira and Claire, it’s more a question on whether one likes long-range or mêlée combat. That isn’t to say that their campaign isn’t enjoyable. The two women really make up for the lack of creative combat with their witty dialog as they are trying to get out of this Battle Royale-like nightmare (novel 1999, film 2000) that this Franz Kafka quoting overseer created for them.

  • Two PlayersRe Revelations 2 is awesome for having a local co-op mode, something that has become a rarity with big-budget games. Players pick a character and can then play the campaign in split screen. Sadly, there isn’t an online co-op, but it’s awesome for such a big developer to encourage the couch multiplayer experience. This isn’t without its fault though. If you are playing on a PC and play using the keyboard and mouse, while your buddy picks a controller, the game may experience problems though. So, it’s best to have two gamepads ready.
  • Crafting
    Just like other games of its generation, RE Revelations 2 comes with a rudimentary crafting system. Creating new items might seem token by now, but it was quite enjoyable. Players can use items they find, like gun powder, bottles, or alcohol, to create projectile weapons or medical supplies.
  • Leveling
    During the course of the game, characters gain battle points (BP), which can be used to level up their stats in the skill tree menu. Unlike in other RE titles, however, unlocking unlimited ammunition has been made more difficult and using weapons with unlimited ammo completely ruin your score. So, instead of rewarding players with these weapons, they end up not being used.

Additional Game Modes

If you think that the regular game is too easy and are looking for something to put your skills to the test then each episode also offers some challenging trial modes to spice things up for you. Sadly, the first two of these ended up annoying me more than anything else.

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Natalia Korda can spot invisible enemies
  • Countdown Mode
    Players have to beat the chapters under a certain amount of time in order to progress. This mode is definitely not recommended for older or weaker PCs as the dynamic lighting and water effects may cause serious frame drops on these systems, with things plummeting down to around 5-10 frames per second.
  • Invisible Mode
    The name of this mode is pretty self-explanatory. The enemies are invisible and players have to use Moira or Natalia to locate, and Claire or Barry to fight them. Boss fights in this are extremely challenging and will make you long for a co-op player to make it easier for you.
  • Raid Mode
    The Raid Mode is a staple in the Resident Evil franchise and, even though it’s definitely not for everyone, is fun to play for a lot of people. It’s also the only mode in this game with online capability. The different stages in this game are sorted into three categories:

    • Kill all enemies
    • Protect the target
    • Reach the goal before the time runs out

Downloadable Content

Extra Episodes DLC

Re Rev 2 has two optional mission DLC that are highly recommended. They do contain spoilers, so best play them after you’ve completed the main story. Once done, players will be rewarded >400,000 BP, for each of them:

  • Little Miss
    ReRev2_05
    Barry Burton fending off mutants. The designers did a marvelous job in coming up with unsettling monsters.

    In this stealth mission, players will accompany Natalia as she tries to find her favourite teddy bear, Lottie. The mission takes around 20 minute to complete but plays fundamentally different from the rest of the game as combat is completely disabled. It wasn’t too popular with some players because of that and it indeed does stick out, but is a nice change of pace that gives a good insight into Natalia’s psyche.

  • The Struggle
    Moira’s The Struggle is more akin to Chris Redfield’s action segments from RE Revelations or most of Leon and Helena’s campaign in RE 6. Players will have to find enough food for sustenance while also having to try and keep enemies at bay with very limited ammunition. Similar to Natalia’s episode, this one too will take around 20 minutes to complete and gives players some insight on what transpired on the island.

Costume Pack

During regular gameplay, additional outfits for the protagonists will be unlocked automatically. However, the costume pack adds another four pieces to everyone’s wardrobe. Personally, Moira’s and Claire’s DLC clothes (Urban Ninja and Rodeo) aren’t my style, though I do appreciate of how intentionally out-of-place they are. In contrast to that stand Barry’s uniform and Natalia’s teddy bear costume, which were awesome.

Throwback Map Pack DLC

This Raid Mode DLC contains various maps that were taken from Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil Revelations. They might be a bit hard to find at first, as one has to scroll all the way to the bottom in the level select screen in order to play them. And even though it was a lot of fun to revisit the Queen Zenobia cruise liner, players with no interest in the online multiplayer should maybe stay away from this one. Additionally, and in all fairness, it should also be noted that the popularity of this map pack varies, as it is difficult to feel nostalgic about locations from two games where one came two and the other three years prior.

Raid Mode Characters: Albert Wesker and HUNK

While Albert Wesker is amongst the most iconic Resident Evil characters, his only evident benefit to other Raid Mode characters is his evade cancel move that is unique to him. The HUNK character, however, has all four weapon slots ready and available off the bat. Normally, these would have to be unlocked as one levels up a specific Raid Mode character over time.

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Moira, just as kind-hearted and loudmouthed as her father Barry

Conclusion

It will take players around seven to eight hours to play through the entire campaign – since its story is denser as its predecessor – which is certainly a plus. While Claire’s and Moira’s story arc is much more engaging, Barry’s and Natalia’s gameplay mechanic was way better fleshed out. The many Raid Mode DLC were definitely not my thing as I only engaged in the multiplayer in Resident Evil 6. But still, the single player has lots to offer and this game comes as a big recommendation. I wholeheartedly suggest that fans of survival/horror, action games, and Resident Evil check it out. I am sure you’ll love it.

On a side note, the version I bought did not include the storage part upgrades for the Raid Mode. They have since been added to the Deluxe Edition.

The game is a 9 Jill Sandwiches out of 10

Where to get

Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available at a retailer near you for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox 360, purchaseable on online stores like amazon, as well as available as digital download on platforms like the PlayStation Store, Xbox Marketplace, and Steam. The Deluxe Edition is available for $29.99 USD or your local equivalent.

Feel free to visit my Steam curator page for other reviews:

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/gaoscorner#curation

All screenshots taken by me during my playthrough and recorded using the Steam Overlay feature.

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