Resident Evil is back with another episode in the ongoing drama of Bio-terror and it does not disappoint. Like with the previous games Revelations 2 is heavily connected to the rest of the series and is set 2 years after the incidents in Resident Evil 5. The game begins with the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) Headquarters being attacked by an unknown party capturing multiple agents in the process including Claire and Moira. From here you awake as Claire in a remote prison on a distant island and shortly after rescue Moira, quickly realise that you are back in the hell that could only be brought to you by the Resident Evil series.
Evil is watching has been the tag line for the game and you can quickly see why as you will be contacted during your escape via a bracelet that you will notice is attached to your wrist by a mysterious female known as The Overseer. This lovely lady seems hell bent on making sure you meet a fate far worse than death. You soon learn that everyone on the island who is either still alive or captured has already been infected with the virus known as T-Phobos, the virus lays dormant in the host and is triggered by fear which then mutates the host into one of the afflicted (Not that the afflicted are the only problem you will face). The afflicted are fearless and very aggressive and will have no problem charging at you once they have spotted you. This looks to be the main purpose of the virus to remove all fear from its host in a very hostile manner. One thing that looks to have changed is that when a person is killed by one of these monsters they no longer contract the virus as with previous strains. The bracelet that is attached to you is a not just a communication device for the overseer but a monitor for the wearers fear. If the bracelet starts changing colour from green then trouble is brewing and when it hits read there is no further hope for the wearer. This is something that has always kept me coming back for more with Resident Evil is the fact that even from our first run in with the Spenser Mansion the story and viruses have evolved but always followed on from what it first was. I always thought that without the zombies it would lose its touch but it really hasn’t and has moved forward perfectly by keeping references and characters from previous titles flowing and introducing horror in new ways.
The game plays out following two stories in an episodic fashion which really works well and leaves you wanting more. One a story of escape with Claire and Moira and the other a story of rescue by Barry who quickly meets the orphan Natalia. Both stories are obviously connected but you learn later on in the first episode that it might not be as you expected. We welcome back the buddy system in this title and it really works well relying on a lot of character switching as you progress to get the most out of the game. I was a bit concerned at first with the other party member not having a gun wondering just how they would assist but Moira has a flashlight that will help find hidden items and also stop enemies in their tracks and a crowbar that she can use for melee and opening doors and chests. Natalia is able to use bricks and find hidden objects also but has an extra ability where she can sense the afflicted and their weak points to allow for you to gain an advantage in attacking. You will be plagued with the common problem of ammo or more the lack of it (but hey what do you expect, it is “Survival” horror), for veterans of the games you will know to conserve what you have when you can and avoid fights that might not be so easily won. I was even pretty proud of myself in Episode 3 where I somehow managed to finish off a boss with a knife due to a lack of ammo (after a lot of running a round like a chicken I might add). The ammo might be scarce but there are plenty of pickups for making your guns better at a workbench and also multiple items to combine with empty bottles to clear out the infected like explosive, decoy and fire bombs. Like previous games you will find many notes and books lying around each map to give you an insight into the tragedies that have befallen the people on the island and all the great mind bending puzzles that we love so much. With each scenario you will collect and earn BP which will allow you to equip better skills to help you survive from increasing the effectiveness of the herbs to allowing you to slash and dash with your knife if things get too hairy.
The gameplay very much feels like the previous over the shoulder titles in the series where just because you can run really doesn’t mean you should unless you are backed into a corner. I have found myself crouched a lot of the time sneaking around and making sure that nothing is going to pounce out on me. This has not always worked as I have found myself backing off from a doorway only to hear a window behind me shatter as the abomination I was trying to avoid has figured out my move and snuck in behind me. There are also plenty of traps around the maps that will try to catch you out and believe me I have fallen for a good few. Capcom have done a great job with the atmosphere in the game, even down to the beautifully horrifying graphics of the creatures you face and areas you will visit. I am currently halfway through episode 3 on writing this review and am so far loving the story and the characters that I have met throughout. There have also been a could couple of nods to the original Resident Evil which fans will really enjoy. There is also the option for Co-op mode in the game which shamefully is only available offline but can be used in both the Raid and Campaign modes. There has been a lot of negative comments on the campaign version of Co-op due to the second character not being able to get involved with the gun play but this does allow you to both work well with the skills at your disposal to find more and take down enemies easier so long as your buddy is happy not having a gun. For a game with so much to offer you really have no reason not to try it out, for the £4.99 per episode or £19.99 for full season you can’t go wrong especially with most new titles marking up closer to the £50 mark.
Finally we come to Raid mode, in this mode you will begin in a virtual training room at which point you will then see around you the options to customise yourself ready for the missions available. There are multiple characters available to you to choose from and even more from the store (I am currently running through with HUNK who was included in the season pass). During your character selection you will also be able to set up your gear and skills. Once you are setup you can then open up the list of missions and get involved in some fast paced gameplay as you try to reach and shoot the goal emblem at the end of each mission. During the mission you will be able to collect loot and points that will allow you to get new weapons and skills. This as I said previously can also be played co-op which unlike the campaign mode your buddy can have some fun with guns too. This is a great addition to the story mode and will keep you entertained long after the story has finished as there is so much to collect and upgrade.
Reading this you may feel that as a Resident Evil fanboy I have not added anything to fault the game but this is really not the case. I strongly believe that this is a game that has come out at a fair price and offers so much with it. We hear so many problems about games being released at the moment that do not work or have problems but so far I have been able to install and play through each episode and have seen not one single crash, bug or problem. The story keeps you wanting more and the characters and their unwinding stories are ver well written. All I can say is that if you enjoy survival horror then this is a must for your collection.