Note: If you want an overview of the game mechanics and graphics, you can read our review of Episode 1 here, Episode 2 here, and Episode 3 here. There will also be some spoilers here for Episodes 1, 2, and 3 so proceed with caution.
What a journey into Hell it has been thus far; Episodes 1-3 were a bit of a mix, with some very high peaks and very low dips. Episode 3 however, was arguably the best up to this point, marrying horror, action, and puzzles perfectly. It also revealed some key plot points that drive the narrative further. That being said, this final episode has a lot to deliver on. Could this be the perfect sendoff for this episodic horror tale? Well, in short, yes and no.
Before we go any further, here are the questions that need to be answered: What happened to the island and the success Alex Wesker had in harvesting people? What happened to Alex and how did Moira die? How did Alex Wesker go from having a normal human body to the horrific troll looking thing? And finally, who is Natalia and why is she so important? For the most part, all of these questions are answered but some answers are more satisfying than others.
Like the previous episodes, the game is divided in half, with the first section focusing on Claire and Moira. Everything about this episode was twisted, horror-filled, and paced perfectly–unfortunately, it does not last too long. We get a better understanding of why they are on the island, what was going on in this forsaken piece of land, and even get to see the horrific end to Alex Wesker the human. It is absolutely terrifying the whole time and because the setting forgoes a drastic change from the rest of the game, it makes it even creepier than the meat factory we raved about last episode. We watch Alex Wesker’s twisted mind at work which leads to the best part of the episode, a fast-paced escape scene. Without revealing too much, the event that has to happen finally occurs and well, it doesn’t pack much of a punch, but merely promises a large pay-off in the second half of the episode that it never fulfills. It involves a bracelet color change and the whole scene that is supposed to be powerful gets completely undone in one of the bonus episodes.
Other than the unfulfilled promise, the first half is top notch excitement. It has everything that is loved about Revelations 2 and ends Claire’s story in a satisfying manner. Now for the second half, or better yet, the unnecessary, drags on for too long, Barry half. To be fair, after the first half, Barry’s story end needed to be excellent but apparently that proved too difficult of a task. Barry is after Alex Wesker for some reason, even though he knows his daughter is dead and Wesker has some crazy powers that he can’t do anything about. He already faced her once and got demolished so the fact that nothing has changed makes it odd that he still wants to go after her. We also find out that he knew of his daughters death before he decided to go to the island. Clearly this wasn’t revealed beforehand because it acted as one of the main plot twists in the first episode. His motivation for the whole game is just dissolved and makes very little sense at this point. He is just a conduit for Natalia’s story.
Natalia is certainly the more interesting character at this point. Even though gameplay-wise she is a bit of a hassle to use, her story quickly becomes much more interesting. We already saw that she has some sort of power as she is the one that fended off Alex Wesker the first time she and Barry engaged in battle. Here–despite being a bit obvious–is where we finally find out who she is and what Alex wanted with her.
This half is also where most of the gameplay comes in and it is poorly paced. A lot of action again and it really does feel like it goes on for too long. The puzzle aspects are also just fetch quest, find a key to open the door. They shouldn’t even be considered to be puzzles. The one pay-off though is the setting. It completely changes from the rest of the game tonally and all. It is a throwback to the classic Resident Evil games and it works perfectly. It is creepy, dark, claustrophobic, and completely out of left field. This half may have been more interesting if the whole beginning of the act (of this half) would have been cut out and just left this setting to explore.
Of course, as the final part of this four-episode game, we get the final showdown. The boss fight is frustrating at times and forgettable at best. The “revelation” of this is a great cliffhanger but as you well know there are no more episodes announced as of yet so the ending is utterly unsatisfying. It is a huge reveal for sure, but after some perfect storytelling told throughout the four episodes, this felt weak.
This climax felt more like a dud. It answered most of our questions; whether you will like them or not is a different story. Fortunately, there are some saving graces for those that have come this far and need to complete it.
The four episodes are a roller coaster, at its best, Revelations 2 reminds us why the franchise is so celebrated and at its worst it reminds us why action games shouldn’t infiltrate our horror. The use of Kafka was brilliant and actually showed how it was influenced by the great horror literature. The episodic format also worked extremely well here, it helped propel the narrative to another level, making it better than it might have been if it was just one straight narrative. Revelations 2 is great fun despite two less than stellar episodes. It shows a positive improvement to the franchise hopefully leading to its prominence once again.
-Perfectly executed throwback to classic Resident Evil games.
– Claire and Moira’s half is paced excellently and feels like the most appropriate conclusion to Revelations 2.
– Horror aspects work well.
– Unsatisfying ending.
– Second half is clunky and leaves more questions unanswered.
– Final boss is lame, providing frustrating moments.
Rating: 3 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.