Note that this is the third in a series of four informal pieces which will detail my experiences with each individual episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2. Following this, a full more “traditional” review will be posted at the end of March to coincide with the game’s retail release. As such, no score will be assigned to the game until all episodes are available to the public.
Of the three episodes of Revelations 2 that I’ve played so far, I’ve got to say that the third episode, called “Judgement”, is possibly my favourite. It’s got a good combination of tension and build-up. Some subtle tinges of horror. Even some action packed encounters that really force you to look at managing your ammo properly rather than just unloading carte blanche. In fact, it’s the first time since Lost In Nightmares that I truly thought the old style of Resident Evil could properly be mixed with the new style. Judgement isn’t a perfect example, mind you, but it’s pretty close.
When we left Claire and Moira in the second episode, she’d just lost sight of Natalia and through some vague messages was told to head to a mysterious tower to confront the overseer. Having lost some of her friends previously, Claire is fuelled by feelings of vengeance more so than ever. But as most of us have learnt, evil is always watching, and the overseer has grander plans for Claire and Moira.
Claire’s scenario feels very close to what Lost In Nightmares was. It throws Claire into a meat processing facility made up of a few different buildings, and lets her explore at her own leisure. Yes, there are enemies here and there, but for the most part the progression in this chapter is fuelled by the players’ completion of puzzles. They’re really simple puzzles, mind you, but at least one of them will have you scratching your head until you realise how obvious the solution was. It’s also a nice opportunity to explore and find files giving backstory to the region and all these buildings, specifically how they ended up so dilapidated.
In typical Resident Evil fashion, the door out of the first factory area is blocked by a ludicrously flamboyant mythological depiction of Prometheus. It’s bizarre and weird, but it reminded me of how much fun it was to approach similar situations in the Spencer Mansion back in the first Resident Evil. The overseer has a penchant for mythology and philosophy, it would seem, although the incessant quoting of Kafka probably eluded to that fact already.
The concluding half of Claire’s scenario is another one of those situations where Revelations 2 seems to seek inspiration from another horror franchise. I’m personally not sure if it was intentional or not, but the meat processing facility reminds me a lot of a scene from SAW III. The puzzle in this area is pretty simple but also pretty gross, and results in an intense arena battle that once again harkens to some of the better ones in the series like the village encounter from Resident Evil 4. After some pretty by-the-numbers cooperative puzzles and an explosive escape, Claire and Moira finally make it to the a boring and confusing sewer segment (seriously, has there ever been a good one) and then to the tower.
This is where the story takes a bit of a weirder turn as yet another major revelation is brought to the surface. We obviously won’t spoil it, but it’s nice to see that the story doesn’t lose steam despite revealing the identity of the overseer at the end of the last episode. Claire’s scenario culminates into something every old-school Resident Evil fan will appreciate. A grotesque mutation and boss battle. One which requires both Claire and Moira to work together. And it’s great!
Which then brings us back to Barry and Natalia. They just discovered who the Overseer is. Natalia was of course less surprised than Barry since she had dealings with her before. But Barry is still confused about the whereabouts of Moira. If you’ve been playing this long – it should be pretty obvious by now – it’s very obvious that there is a six month gap between Claire’s scenario and Barry’s. So the crux of the mystery now is whether or not Claire and Moira are still in the same place as Claire and how things came to be that way in the past. It might sound confusing, but it’s not, I assure you.
Through some idle dialogue between Barry and Natalia, we begin to learn more about why the father and daughter are so estranged now – including the obvious question of why Moira doesn’t use guns or only uses blunt weapons. Personally, I kind of understand why Moira might not after what happened – but at the same time I still can’t see myself being in the same situation as these characters and not being willing to use a gun.
Barry’s scenario for this episode is pretty by the numbers. He explores the same sewer area that Claire did, but taking a different path through. Him and Natalia must navigate what looks like a reservoir looking area using the same typical co-op mechanics you’ve become acquainted with in any game like this. One player must help the other move along a walkway so that they may open a door that the other player can move through. It’s very done to death and a bit of a shame that the characters asymmetrical abilities weren’t utilised a bit better.
Barry’s episode ends in an abandoned quarry which once again provides more backstory to the area and why it’s the way it is. Most of this connects to other stories told in other files elsewhere so it’s great to see the team focusing on building a story for the location and how the overseer eventually moved in and took over the area.
The quarry area is basically an extrapolated area of the battery puzzle from the original Resident Evil – trying to get a power supply to a certain point while opening up an alternative path to make such a thing possible. It’s simple and pretty hard to get wrong, but once again it’s complicated by an intense looming threat.
The boss in this area appears twice and follows the design you’d really expect to find from Resident Evil 5. Lots of long and oozing tendrils and of course, in typical Resident Evil fashion, insta-kill moves too. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too much of a hard battle although towards the end of the chapter resources will definitely be slim and you may only get through it by a hair.
Once again, the developers have done great work at writing and utilising the episodic nature of Revelations 2, ending it on a cliff-hanger that will leave most players wondering what the hell is going on but at the same time ridiculously excited for more. It’s hard to believe we’re going to see the end of it all next week, but be sure to check in next week at the same time for our final review as well as our final recap of the fourth and final episode!