RER2 shines in so many places the original failed to. Compared to the original, RER2 has:
- More of a sense of exploration
- Some scary moments (more is better than none, right?)
- Better music
- Characters are much more specialized
- Richer, deeper gameplay
- Diversity of environments
- There's no swimming mechanic anymore (thank the gods)
There are some areas where, despite being a great game, RER2 falls a little flat:
- Inventory management is a constant chore. I found myself often going through a routine of passing ammo to the character that can use it, and freeing up space.
- While this sequel doesn’t hit you over the head with instructions as much as the original, it still does more so than it needs to. For example, I came across a brick wall with a giant X on it. When I explored it I was informed I needed a drill. And when I say explore, I mean in the non-diegetic sense whereas text appeared on screen to slap me in the face. This type of spoiler ruins that aw-ha moment you would have had when you found the drill. Allowing players to make connections is paramount to good design.
- Scanning for items with your counterparts ability, while still tedious like the scanning mechanic of this games predecessor, at least fits better into the game world. For example, using a flashlight to seek out items is a nice touch. However, constantly toggling to the flashlight character hurts the cadence of the gameplay.
- Grading, like the original, remains pointless. Unlike the original, RER2 adds a “next time” spoiler that you need to quickly skip. This isn’t a TV show and I don’t see the benefit in pretending it is.
Overall, RER2 was great fun. I was constantly engaged with the level design, characters, and themes. It still holds up fairly well today. If you are thinking of checking it out, feel free to skip Revelations 1 (just read a quick synopsis).