Note: If you want an overview of the game mechanics and graphics you can read our review of Episode 1 here and Episode 2 here. There will also be some spoilers here for Episodes 1 and 2 so proceed with caution.
The last two episodes of Resident Evil Revelations 2 have provided some mixed experiences, bringing into question the pacing of action versus horror and the unravelling of the narrative. Sometimes it strikes the perfect balance between classic and new-era Resident Evil. So if the last two episodes felt like a roller coaster ride oscillating between highs and lows, Episode 3 definitely hits the highs once again. With a thickening plot, we have now met Alex Wesker, also cringingly referred to as She-Wesker, and we are one step closer to completely uncovering the horrific story behind what has happened to this island. Add in some action-packed set pieces and you hit that perfect balance once more.
Once again, we begin the episode with Claire and Moira, who have just lost Natalia–they definitely need to work on their babysitting skills–and found a note on the door of the giant tower that once acted as our beacon. In true horror movie style our heroines decide to listen to the note that they have no idea who really wrote and make a beeline straight to the abandoned meat factory. It may sound a bit cliché but the meat factory is creepy, claustrophobic, and exceedingly bloody, all of which adds that extra layer of tension.
This far into the series, it is hard to complain about the formula that unfolds the same way: solve puzzles, survive during the puzzles, and sprinkle in a boss and some set-pieces. Sure it could be more creative but it has yet to adversely affect the game simply because the same formula is tackled in different manners. This time around the puzzle solving is much more interesting, but unfortunately still relatively simple. One puzzle has you trying to get an eyeball to open up doors, while another will have you shooting down meat to fill up a pool of blood. They are fun, twisted ways of changing the pace. The one puzzle that was an absolute chore has you carrying around a giant power box that allows you to operate an elevator. It brings the whole episode to a screeching halt and is neither entertaining nor difficult–just completely unnecessary.
Barry’s side of the story up to this point hasn’t been as entertaining as Claire and Moira’s since the motivation is to save his daughter, who he already knows is dead. What has become more compelling is how Natalia is now Barry’s redemption. He finds his need to save Natalia as a way of redeeming himself for not being a great father to Moira. We are also getting a glimpse into the secret hidden in this innocent-looking little girl. All we know at this point is that Alex Wesker has been looking for her and that is more than enough to keep this side of the story enthralling.
There are two parts of the episode in particular that stand out. One is a great escape sequence where you are forced to switch back and forth between Claire and Moira in order to clear each other’s path, and the other is a boss fight that is tough as nails. The boss fight is big and brutal and unforgiving, and it’s ultimately the best boss fight so far. Both of these sequences are thrilling and even difficult and ramps up the pace to a level above the rest of the episode. This is where the best set pieces come in as well. Coupled with the improving narrative improving and amped up levels of intrigues makes for a seriously compelling episode.
That being said, all hopes of improved dialogue should be abandoned at this point. There are silly lines and silly moments, and there is just nothing that can be done about them. They make the whole experience feel like something straight out of one of those mediocre teen horror flicks.
Episode 2 was all action all the time but lacked the narrative to drive it, whereas episode 3 strikes a better balance between the two, which is what made the episode 1 so good in the first place. If you have completed the first two episodes and you are already hooked, then this new installment is a must play. The formula is starting to become a bit tired but there is enough action, horror, and tension to make this a worth while episode.
– Compelling narrative.
– Exciting set pieces.
– Who doesn’t love a good meat factory?
– The dialogue–this is just not going to get better.
– Power brick puzzle slows the pacing down.
Rating: 4 out of 5 burritos
This review was completed using a PS4 copy of Resident Evil Revelations 2 provided by Capcom. The game hit PS3 and PS4 February 24, 2015 and Xbox One and Xbox 360 February 25, 2015.