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Resident Evil Revelations 2 Review: More Like Repetitive Evil


Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Platforms: PC (Version Reviewed), PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360

Release Date: (Full season) March 18

So let’s talk about “Resident Evil.” Specifically, let’s talk about why it’s a franchise that really has no reason to exist anymore.

Yes, I really just typed that.

But seriously. I want you to imagine something for just a second — imagine that the movie “Gone With the Wind” had spawned a series of sequels that continued for about twenty years after the first film, and imagine that with every film, the protagonists became steadily more obscure members of the cast from the first film. In fact, imagine they got so desperate that they started using minor characters from the sequels as protagonists.

Because this is the guy you can see helming his own story.

It’d get old. Fast. And the same thing’s at work with the Resident Evil series, which will turn 19 years old this year, and seems to have bled itself dry of ideas, and is now in the process of cannibalizing its own desiccated corpse.

Not that all the late entries in the series have been bad. “Resident Evil 4” ranks up there as one of the few games I literally spent all my free time trying to finish (and eventually did) due to how well-designed its gameplay was. Fortunately, “Resident Evil Revelations 2” recycles some of that gameplay. Unfortunately, it also feels compelled to recycle the co-op from the much less inspired “Resident Evil 5,” and to double down by making certain sections of the game impossible to complete without using a different character. In fact, the game’s good ending isn’t even possible to get unless you use a comparatively weaker character to finish it. Which would be fine in a game that was more elegantly made, but unfortunately, the combination of a predictable story and an overly familiar slog through its puzzles and monsters makes the choice seem like an attempt to foist busywork on the player, rather than a challenge to be met.

To be fair, some of the slog elements can be chalked up to the game’s technical issues on PC, which probably plagued my game more than they would for a console player. So opining on the technical side of the game doesn’t seem quite fair, because somehow I get the sense that it really didn’t get a chance to put its best foot forward with me. I sense that this is a game that’s meant to be played faster than I really had the chance to — by frantically switching between characters as tactics demand, for instance — and in that sense, it could be quite a lot of fun. Furthermore, having gotten all the game’s episodes at once, the various cliffhangers probably had less of an effect on me than they needed to in order to be effective.

So setting aside the things that can’t be opined on fairly, I do have to give “Resident Evil: Revelations 2” some credit in a couple areas. For one, it delivered on its episodes, which in a post-Half Life 2 world is not necessarily a safe bet. For another, its backstory for the monsters is genuinely tragic and at least semi-original, despite there being nothing more than reskinned zombies in terms of behavior. Finally, at least half of its playable characters are genuinely interesting, and the choice to have the game tell two parallel stories at different points in time really added a nice whiff of intrigue to the storytelling. There’s even some genuine pathos in the backstory of some of the characters, which makes it easier to care about what happens to them in the game, and invests gameplay with emotional stakes that wouldn’t otherwise seem warranted.

The problem is that the game takes a while to get to the actual characters you’ll probably grow to care about and instead focuses on the comparative dud characters at first, those being Claire Redfield and Moira Burton. About these two all I can say is that bland personalities seem to run in the Redfield family (try to get excited about Chris’s fate in RE 5, I dare you), and Moira is just annoying.

The face of a pointless character.

I’m pretty sure I lost all capacity for sympathy with her when she refused a freaking gun in the middle of a zombie infested hellhole because of some obscure part of her past. Oh, she was fine whacking them with a crowbar, but no guns. I cannot imagine a single human being who, when confronted with the necessity to escape from an unfamiliar location filled with eldritch hell spawn, would prefer to use a crowbar over a gun (despite having no experience in hand to hand combat). Moreover, Moira’s “flashlight duty” role strains credulity, especially given the existence of crafting stations in the game. She isn’t a character; she’s an excuse for lazy puzzle and level design.

Moreover, you are explicitly told that she’s dead in the other storyline, which takes place after the first. Well, way to shoot down any capacity I had to care whether an albatross of a character lives or dies, game! I found myself much more invested in Moira’s existence when observing her story through the eyes of her estranged father, Barry Burton, who stars in the game’s second storyline in the company of my personal favorite playable character, the tragic superpowered child Natalie Korda. I cared about Barry and Natalie. Not so much the people they were searching for.

Speaking of not being able to care, the game’s “good” ending does that pretty effectively, too. But hey, got to have that sequel hook!


I’m not sure what else there is to say about this game. On the one hand, it’s not offensively bad in any way. On the other, it’s not particularly memorable in its gameplay, story, characters or enemies, and will probably go down as yet another uninspired entry in a franchise that’s gone on too long already. I can’t score it poorly or well; in fact, its greatest sin is that even when trying to work up opinions about it while playing it, all I could manage was a resounding “meh.”

A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.