Resident Evil fans have some serious trust issues, it seems for every game like Resident Evil 4 you have a Resident Evil 6 and whilst the co-op in Resident Evil 5 was fun, it can be pretty hard to grasp that feeling of fear when blasting through town after town of Majini with a buddy, particularly when sporting infinite ammo.
That’s what separates Revelations 2 (I’m so done with putting Resident Evil in front of everything!) from its siblings is that whilst co-op has once again been brought along for the ride, however the way Capcom implemented it really bolsters the tension.
Series staple Claire Redfield and newcomer (but inextricably linked) Moira Burton find themselves kidnapped, where the pair awaken in a mysterious and exceedingly dilapidated facility monitored by the overseer, who cryptically communicates with the pair through the bracelets that have been placed on their arms. Fill this facility with an assortment of biohazard experiments gone wrong and it pretty much ticks every box off the survival horror checklist: dark, check! Blood, check! Creepy atmosphere, che- OH MY GOD, THERE’S AN EMENY COMING TOWARDS ME…
Sorry, had to restart at the nearest checkpoint (damn survival mode). With not a penny (though I’d prefer a shotgun) to their name, Claire and Moira survive with whatever they can scrounge together. Thankfully in a facility where the policy is ‘put the nasty’s down by force’ you’ll find a couple things (guns) to make your journey a little easier.
Moira’s fear of firearms leaves Claire in charge of anything that uses gunpowder, putting her into more of a support role. Which is surprisingly more fun than you’d take it for, using a flashlight to illuminate the area, find hidden items and blind enemies. Admittedly I’m pretty fond of the latter, since it allows you to dispatch enemies with relative ease and without wasting ammo. Considering how scarce it can be at times, you’ll be glad for an option that saves a few shells. Regular enemies take a fair beating, but satisfying crowbar finishes and clever use of the environment will deliver some satisfying finishers.
It’s a pretty intense experience and I was glad to have a partner throughout. Whilst the experience can be enjoyed solo, you’ll feel a lot more attached to your character when not constantly switching between the pair and to be honest, it’s been far too long since a game has supported split screen co-op, something that other developers seem to have forgotten about.
Half way through the episode, the perspective switches to Barry Burton, who’s come to the island to rescue his daughter. He meets up with a young girl named Natalia who comes along for the ride because Barry cannot handle children (something Moira is quick to point out). It differs from Claire and Moira’s story since Barry sports enough firepower to wage war on a small country (including his trusty Colt Python) and whilst Natalia is also a non-combatant, her supernatural senses and ability to beat people to death with a brick (we’re not kidding this time) really vary her gameplay.
Whilst the combat and tone is pretty serious, Revelations can’t help slipping in a little Resident Cheese-vil (I should stop) where it can. There are some pretty noticeable nods to the originals, handled with a little more tongue in cheek than the Evil Within’s very noticeable copypasta.
There are a couple of irritating set pieces, where enemies indefinitely spawn until you’ve worked out what you need to do, though thankfully they’re few and far between. Natalia seems to lose track of the bricks she’s carrying when the game is trying to make a section particularly hard and there’s a couple of minor slip ups regarding continuity depending on how you play out certain scenarios.
That said these are pretty small complaints and you can storm through Episode 1 in a couple of hours. Multiple difficulties, achievements and collectables do a fair job of extending the replay value, alongside the pretty extensive level up options. There are a couple of reasons to give the game another play through, particularly if like me you spent a little too much ammo first time round and expect that you’ll be running pretty dry come the second part.
Outside the campaign, there’s also the raid mode, a set of challenges with its own progression system and load outs. A number of these challenges are unlocked with the release of each new episode and unlike what we’ve come to expect from episodic titles (looking at you Telltale!) Revelations feels more like a weekly TV show than something you’ll be left waiting months for.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is shaping up to be an absolute steal, there’s a wealth of content in Episode 1, some amazing references for fans and it’s the first game where I’ve been able to enjoy split screen on the ‘Next’ generation.