Last week I wrote a review of Resident Evil Revelations, and in short, I was disappointed. This week I'm returning with a review of Resident Evil Revelations 2. This being a rather old game by now, I'll keep my analysis short, and focus mostly on why it is so superior to the original.
RER2 shines in so many places the original failed to. Compared to the original, RER2 has:
Overall it feels like a very different game. The biggest similarities are that you are always operating as a pair, although in the original the notion of having a teammate was a total farce. In RER2 your teammate is highly valuable, and extremely specialized. I found myself rhythmically toggling between partners in order to search, fight, and solve puzzles. There’s still a bit of the tedious nature in this dynamic, such as relying on one particular half of the pair to properly search.
There are some areas where, despite being a great game, RER2 falls a little flat:
RER2 seems to have been heavily influenced by games like The Last of Us, and mostly for the better. There’s the middle aged man and mysteriously important little girl dynamic. There’s the character that can essential wall hack. There’s stealth zombie kills. And you can sprint. Obviously TLOU didn’t invent any of these themes or mechanics, but the connection is clear.
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).
My first exposure to Resident Evil was watching a neighbor play the original on PlayStation. At the time, even as a fan of the zombie genre, I wasn’t that intrigued. It wasn’t until the rerelease, Resident Evil: Rebirth for GameCube, found its way into my home that I finally dove into a Resident Evil game. I was hooked, and played it through a few times. I was ready to consume all things RE.
Fast forward and, after wrapping up RE4, I was caught up on all the series had to offer at the time. By the time I had the opportunity to play RE5 I had heard enough about the frustrations of the AI partner and the mixed reviews, and I decided to skip it. Then RE6 came along and snippets of info was enough to scare me away from that one. It just felt like a strange deviation from what attracted me to the series.
Once RE7 was announced I had grown eager to return. This is a game that reminded me why Resident Evil is one of my favorite series. It looked and felt amazing. The environments were truly terrifying, and I actually jumped a few times. It defined what survival horror should always be.
Which brings me to Resident Evil Revelations. Purchased for PlayStation 4, I figured I would give it a shot. Knowing nothing about it, I placed my order.
Here’s where it fell flat:
This wouldn't be the first time that a Resident Evil title let me down. Zero and Outbreak were also let downs, just for different reasons.
There is a bright side to Revelations, however. At least, I think so. I just played the first hour of Revelations 2, and I'm amazed at how much of an improvement it is in so many ways. I was gripped from the start, and felt the horror that was missing in its predecessor. The team mechanics are sensible, the monsters more terrifying, and the environments are engrossing. While it still is more linear than I prefer my RE games, it gives a better sense of being free roaming. My only beef with the sequel, thus far, is that it clearly was influenced with many of the mechanics and feel of games like The Last of Us. To be fair, those mechanics weren't all original on their own, and have become commonplace. All in all, I have high hopes for this sequel.
Brian Riggsbee lives in San Francisco CA. He enjoys gaming, writing, creating art, practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, chasing adorable dogs, and spending time with his wife and boy.