Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2


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The newest installment in the Resident Evil horror series is a rough and unpolished experiment for game developer Capcom so far.

Two more weeks remain in the release schedule for Resident Evil Revelations 2, the newest entry in the nearly 21-year-old horror-game franchise. Developer Capcom has opted to release the game in four smaller installments before the full retail release on March 20. 

Each episode is divided between two returning characters from the series: Claire Redfield and Barry Burton. The significance of their return was not lost on fans of Resident Evil, because both characters have not played a major role in the last decade of the series.

The game takes place on a remote island prison that Claire and Barry’s daughter Moira attempt to escape as Barry and a mysterious little girl named Natalia infiltrate it.

The escaping and infiltration could have used some more work. Typically horror games use their environments and enemy locations to take advantage of the tension between player and game. While a few early sights did make me jump, the game otherwise trips itself up with goofy character and enemy behavior. 

One room had three enemies standing right next to each other, facing away to better facilitate a stealth attack. Said stealth attack includes noisily kicking each enemy down to the ground and driving a knife into his skull. While I thought this ruckus would alert the other two enemies, they simply stared straight ahead, unable to see me coming despite being in their line of sight a second ago.

The lack of proper player/character-enemy interaction is jarring. Sometimes your partner character will react to a swarm of aggressive enemies by pretending to be a wallflower at the school dance. The enemies will react to this behavior by running into your partner like a misguided Energizer Bunny until their legs tire and they realize they have arms with which to attack. Your partner will in turn react by screaming really loud and then standing back up to wait for the next hit.

Other times, the artificial intelligence that controls the partner characters will act out of habit and simply dance around obstacles for no other reason than you happened to move a couple inches to the left.

Barry’s partner, Natalia, can pick up stray bricks and throw them for a distraction or as a melee weapon. It is adorable to see a little girl pick up a brick for no reason and clutch it like a teddy bear. However, this becomes distracting when the player enters a room and Natalia instantly runs to the nearest brick as though she has abandonment issues. One encounter with a larger, stronger enemy ended when a brick came in flying in out of nowhere to save the day. 

This reminds me of the bad or random AI behavior complaints leveled at Resident Evil 5 in 2009. The bottom line with Resident Evil Revelations 2 is that players should definitely wait until the retail version releases to experience a (hopefully) patched game.

Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episodes 1 and 2 are available exclusively for download on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Episodes 3 and 4 will be available March 10 and 17 respectively. Full version releases March 20.

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