Resident Evil Revelations 2 Episode 1: Penal Colony review (Xbox One)
Resident Evil Revelations 2: Penal Colony was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. It was released February 24, 2015 for $5.99. XBLA Fans’ Michael Cheng purchased a copy out of pocket for review purposes.
As a fan of classic puzzle-style Resident Evil games and someone who has played 270 hours into Resident Evil Revelations 1‘s Raid mode, I had high hopes for Resident Evil Revelations 2 and expected its gameplay to be similar to its predecessor. The kind of high expectations that would fall short.
Admittedly, Episode one is a good game. In fact, it’s the kind of good that fans of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 would enjoy. The environments feel wide open and danger is ever-present in the form of enemies waiting to ambush around the next corner. Suspense is limited as there is usually enough ammo to handle any situation, and there are mandatory fight segments that require the player to fight back. You will, however, dread of running out of ammo on harder difficulty settings when waves of enemies arrive to cause harm.
Claire’s campaign starts the episode with intrigue. Who did it? Why? Where are we? You’re left to wander around a desolate, rundown detention center while encountering strange humanoid characters that are really happy to bite into you. Barry’s campaign comes in with the intent of having you pick up the pieces from the events of Claire’s campaign. Barry and Natalia venture through the same detention center that Claire and Moira found themselves in before progressing through dark forest areas and eventually making it to the radio tower that Claire and Moira used at the end of their segment. The titular revelation I encountered at the end of all this was, somehow, both expected and unexpected.
Resident Evil Revelations 2‘s gameplay is interesting in that some moments feel rehashed but drastic, as events in Claire’s campaign can make a big impact on Barry’s campaign. Decision making becomes important in creating the player’s future course. And while the duration of the episode is short, but at $5.99 for an episode, it’s expected and fair. An average first time for both characters is two segments of 45 to 60 minutes of play depending on your level of exploration. The levels can be completed very quickly, though, the top leaderboard times on Xbox One clock in at around nine minutes for Claire and eight minutes for Barry.
Returning to Resident Evil Revelations 2 are the classic cheesy lines expected from the franchise — including a reference to a sandwich — and I’m hoping for more of this in subsequent episodes.
Also plucked from previous RE outings is Raid mode. For those unfamiliar, Raid mode is an action-packed mode in which players kill off enemies and try to survive. While I’m disappointed that Revelations 2‘s take on Raid does not use the search and destroy mechanic that Revelations 1 did, here it has a better variety of backgrounds, and the gunplay is still satisfying. As the player progresses forward, more weapons and custom parts show up for use while stages gradually become more difficult. Even if Penal Colony‘s campaign disappoints, there is enough Raid mode content to justify double the $5.99 price tag.
To find reviews of other episodes (as they become available), check out the Resident Evil Revelations 2 review hub.