Resident Evil Revelations 2 was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. The last episode was released on March 17, 2015 and the complete season is available for $24.99 on Xbox One. XBLA Fans’ Michael Cheng purchased a copy out of pocket for review purposes.
We’ve finally reached the end of the crossroads, and it’s been a long journey. You can find reviews of individual episodes at the Resident Evil Revelations 2 hub, which gives finer details on each leg of the campaign. If I were to score to just the campaign, it would be “Try It.” The campaign is somewhat short but fair at its current price tag, and it has a bunch of interesting concepts filled with exciting highs and lows — and a few other concepts that just didn’t work very well. It is not, however, the only gameplay option available.
Resident Evil Revelations 2‘s Raid mode is an arcade-like experience featuring players hunting down hordes of enemies in an arena-like setting while trying to survive and ultimately reach a goal. Players level up from killing enemies, which allows drops of higher level weapons and weapon parts and gives skill points to upgrade perks that increase character durability. It’s similar to a role-playing game in which you play to see your character grow stronger, tackle harder levels, progress forward and hopefully beat the toughest challenges. Raid mode is addicting to play through and features 15 playable characters (two are DLC characters and one is unlockable from an extra episode) and six different weapon types with multiple weapons in each category. I’ve put over 200+ hours into it, which is much more time than I spent on the campaign. Raid is not without its faults, however, as you’ll find out below.
Here’s what I liked:
Campaign mode: main characters — Most of the main Resident Evil games use the same characters throughout. The franchise is lucky enough to have a good cast that can garner fans’ attention, and, unfortunately, many characters never see any modern screen time. The main heroes of this tale, however, are have finally made it out of that pit trap. It’s a good thing too, since I’ll be bold enough to say this game would have been horrible if the characters were replaced with Jill, Chris or Leon. Claire and Barry are welcome protagonists who are tested veterans back for another round, while newcomer Moira Burton has the potential to be a future exciting (and foul-mouthed) female heroine. Finally, Natalia Korda will also be a key character in a future installment — provided the good ending is the canon route, and this story’s characters and plot aren’t forgotten like Resident Evil Revelation 1.
Campaign mode: dialogue — The main installments are delegated to be serious and dramatic. The spinoff titles are less tethered to that requirement and have more freedom to do what they want in general. Revelations 2‘s dialogue is very tongue-in-cheek and filled with great nods to other titles in the franchise. Even the final boss’ paper-thin dialogue serves to be something more symbolic and can draw parallelism to either the plight of the main characters or to her position within Resident Evil’s hierarchy of “evil” villains. Even when the dialogue dips into the cheese, it’s too fun to complain about.
Campaign mode: a little extra on the side — One of the strong points of Resident Evil is the ability to unlock fun and cool rewards by succeeding and achieving. Revelations 2 is no different in that regard; it features many neat toys to play around with if unlocked. The unlockable costumes are particularly wonderful, and I took a liking to Survivor Moira, Black Dress Natalia and Sniper Costume Claire. There are also different screen filters that can be unlocked and applied to the game, but I found them distracting to the experience, making the cool concept less than ideal for serious players. The biggest joy, of course, is unlocking new campaign weapons like Ada Wong’s bow from Resident Evil 6, an infinite rocket launcher and Pedro’s drill. Many of them are purely for fun, as they have a negative impact for rankings at the end of levels.
Raid mode: starts strong — Some players aren’t a fan of ammo conservation or puzzles. This mode solves all of their problems. In Raid mode, you have one goal: to survive. How you do it is completely up to you. Fan of shotguns? Go for it. Sniper rifles? Check. Want to cut enemies up? Well, that one takes awhile to set up, but it’s possible. Raid gives players the freedom of shooting Resident Evil enemies with Resident Evil guns in a shooter-friendly environment. Best of all? Both split-screen and online co-op are available. (Xbox One has yet to see the online co-op patch; though, the other consoles have already received it.)
Raid mode: gestures — By playing through Raid mode or completing campaign challenges, characters can unlock special motions that can be used for fun as a taunt or cute gesture. For those who’ve played Capcom’s Lost Planet 2, you’ll recognize that Revelations 2‘s gestures function like emotes from that title. Keep playing and you’ll realize most gestures are pretty much copy and pasted from Lost Planet 2 emotes but use Resident Evil character models. Despite the lack of originality, the gestures are still fun to mess around with. Nothing breaks a serious moment more than a serious character performing wild poses or dances in front of an enemy. There’s even a fun skill called Gesticulating that allows you to do damage while gesturing, although it’s not very effective due to a lack of range.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Campaign mode: Claire in Episode 4 — Short and anti-climactic are two things you don’t want to hear about a character’s final chapter, but that’s exactly what Capcom has given us here. It’s tough to rant about this episode while avoiding spoilers, so I’ll keep it brief. There is no major encounter, and there is no memorable moment in Claire’s portion of Episode 4.
Campaign mode: Twitch censorship — It’s outrageous to both the streamer and the viewers that pivotal moments of action are blocked off from being shown via the Twitch App. A viewer tuning in to watch a streamer perform should know ahead of time that spoilers may occur due to the nature of being real-time events. By leaving the viewers with a pause screen, Capcom is frustrating them by not allowing them to see the action they wanted to see, and the streamer is left with an unhappy audience.
Campaign mode: some ideas should not come back — “Glasps should not come back,” I gasped while playing. But seriously, glasps are invisible fly-like enemies that can instantly kill your character should they touch it. The only recourse is using Natalia to spot them. Claire and Moira encounter a small amount of these enemies in Episode 4 and have no answer to dealing with them except guesswork or area of effect attacks. While Natalia should be a solution for this problem in her and Barry’s sections, the problem is that the glasps move around rapidly in the higher difficulties, meaning by the time they’re spotted by Natalia and the player switches back to Barry, it’ll have already moved. It’s frustrating, even if easy to deal with and serves to unnecessarily slow the game down. The deadly toxic gas in Barry’s part of episode 4 should also not come back ever again. This forces the characters to have a violent cough sound byte while in the gas as well as a simple but annoying time limit in traveling from place to place and performing actions that slows things down. One more feature I’m not too particularly fond of was Natalia’s bricks. I liked using them but having to fetch them after each use as well as losing the brick while traveling to a new location made them too much hassle to use often. I left the brick work to the AI.
Raid mode: ends weak — For the first three quarters of Raid mode, I had no real complaints. Some levels were a cakewalk, while others were more difficult and required quick thinking to survive. Unfortunately, the end game content of is rather weak, as I was able to reach the level cap of 100 by the end of Episode 2’s content. The final two episodes did little to circumvent that, as the difficulty is far under what my character was capable of at that point. The penultimate challenge is something known as the Omega gauntlet. It features the final boss of campaign with 11 other enemies in tow. It was very easy, probably easier than the campaign version. The last challenge is Code Red difficulty for every level except the DLC Throwback map pack. In Code Red difficulty, the recommended level is 90, while the enemies on stage are level 96. Unfortunately, this is still too easy, as the cap on store-bought weapons is level 95, and the parts that are available make characters really sturdy. All Code Red stages can drop the best loot of level 100 guns, but there is no real point to farming them, as Code Red is the last challenge, and it’s too easy. From what I hear, the recent online co-op patch has bumped the enemy levels to level 105 while leaving the recommended level at 90. This still feels like a cheap, ineffective way to add challenge. I’d like to see new, longer levels featuring multiple boss encounters at the same time and have the end game designed for level 100 characters. I don’t expect to see that happen, but what can be done currently to extend the life of the game is to play in co-op with a friend on a new character, complete all challenges or participate in residentevil.net online challenges, which are unique takes on the standard formula.
Raid mode: too much Resident Evil 6 — A large majority of the maps were level designs from Resident Evil 6 including three of the four DLC maps in the Throwback Map pack. The music was pulled from Resident Evil 6‘s Mercenaries mini-game. Many of the special enemies encountered in Raid mode were from Resident Evil 6. Capcom declared that Revelations 2 Raid mode would have a mix of Resident Evil 6, Resident Evil Revelations and Resident Evil Revelations 2 content but it’s shocking to see the unbalanced proportion of content: a different game essentially highlights Revelations 2 Raid mode. If I wanted Resident Evil 6, I would have bought that instead. It’s a shame to see the backdrops in Revelations 2 go to waste, but very little of them actually transferred over to Raid.
At $24.99 ($25.99 for Xbox 360), the campaign alone is worth the admission despite some faults. Tack on the extra and well-fleshed-out Raid mode and you’ll have a game worth double its price tag. While I would not recommend the retail copy of the game over the digital copy, at $40 the game is still a bargain for its content. I’m still disappointed by the weak ends to both the campaign and Raid mode, but at the end of the day, the game is a huge value at this price.
Score: Buy It (at a high price)
Achievement notes: This game contains 1960 Gamerscore as an homage to the origins of Resident Evil. Most achievements will unlock through progression as long as you know to go for them. Invisible and Countdown modes may give you some trouble, but with enough trial and error, most gamers should be able to conquer them.