Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode One Review – “Penal Colony”

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is Capcom’s first attempt at an episodic game release. Though I found it a bit weird in the beginning, I immensely enjoyed the newest entry in the famous franchise, and am now eagerly anticipating the release of the next episode.

10424348_360550394128768_1037056771578025521_nR.E: Revelations 2 is a sequel that’s loosely based on the very popular R.E: Revelations that starred Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. Revelations 2 brings back Claire Redfield and teams her up with Moira Burton, daughter of Barry Burton. I always wondered what happened to Claire Redfield when all hell broke loose in R.E: 6 and I greatly felt her absence from the title. I still believe she should have been paired up with Leon S. Kennedy in that game instead of that random female character. Does anyone even remember her name? At least Sheva Alomar had a role to play and brought diversity to the cast.

Revelations 2 takes place between the events of R.E: 5 and 6. Claire was shown working for Terra Save in the animated movie Resident Evil: Degeneration and the game opens with her welcoming Moira to the team during a party. However, things go downhill when the party is attacked and Claire and Moira get kidnapped. The two wake up in a prison on an isolated island inhabited by enemies known as ‘The Afflicted’.

The whole premise felt similar to Resident Evil Code: Veronica which also had Claire stuck on an island inhabited by zombies while she searched for her brother Chris. I was half expecting Claire to tell Moira not to worry because she had been through such events before. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s mentioned in upcoming episodes.

The first thing you’ll notice is the new team dynamics. In R.E: 5 and 6 both characters were copies of each other when it came to gameplay. However, here one character is the ‘attacker’ while the other offers ‘support’. Claire has to carry the guns and shoot zombies (no complaints here!) while Moira lights the way with her flashlight, which can also be used to stun enemies for take-downs. She can also open doors and locked chests with her crowbar. If you have time to do some exploring, you can also find useful items by making her shine the light around. But personally, I couldn’t understand why she refused to carry a gun; I look forward to knowing more about her character. Moira also curses a lot which actually makes her sound like a normal teenager.

10856667_360550310795443_8528461708866018378_oThe first episode is divided into two chapters. You get to play as Claire and Moira in the first chapter, and then in the second chapter you play as Barry and a weird little girl named Natalia Korda. Even though I’m a huge Claire fan, it’s with a very heavy heart that I have to admit that I found playing as Barry and Natalia more enjoyable in this game. Compared to Moira and Claire, Barry and Natalia actually felt like a complimentary team. Barry held the fire power while Natalia was able to ‘sense’ zombies and useful items, crawl through small spaces, open locked chests, and knock down zombies, as well as squish their brains by throwing a brick at them. Barry and Natalia’s team felt similar to Joel and Ellie from The Last of Us, and actually made me feel invested in their survival.

I’m not sure if Capcom will do it, but it would be fun to see the game mixing the teams a bit more in the coming episodes. Pairing Barry and Claire would make for an amazing ‘shoot-everything-you-see’ kind of team, while having Moira and Natalia in a team will make for a more cautious gameplay.

The game isn’t completely survival-horror; I found enough ammunition and resources to play through the campaign. The sense of dread is created by the realization that the ‘Overseer’ is controlling where the characters are supposed to go. The whole thing has a Saw-like feel to it, with the villain monitoring the protagonists’ every move and deploying challenges and traps when necessary.

The Raid-Mode will definitely have you coming back for more. It’s so much fun shooting various enemies and leveling up your character. One of the best things about this mode is the enemy buffs. If you play long enough you will end up facing zombies covered in flames! You can also customize characters with different costumes, weapons, and passive skills.

The graphics aren’t all that impressive. The prison setting is all square rooms and dim lighting. The forest gave more room to move but nothing really stood out to me; however, kudos to Capcom for creating such a game on a small budget. The whole game costs $24.99, which isn’t a bad bargain considering the immensely enjoyable Raid-Mode, and the fact that there’s more than eight hours of total gameplay in story mode.

As far as the plot is concerned, I have no idea who put Claire and Moira on the island. Did any of you read the list of names they showed in the opening? Natalia’s name was in it, along with Claire’s and Moira’s. I have a feeling someone in Terra Save is in cohorts with the main villain, whoever he or she is. The voice of the ‘Overseer’ was female but it could be a male character doing all of this from the shadows.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode One “Penal Colony” is an amazing start to the newest installment and I expect great things from the upcoming three episodes. The twist at the end made it all worthwhile, but I don’t want to spoil that here!

Have you played Resident Evil: Revelations 2 yet? Did you enjoy it? Who is the main villain? Did you catch the two jokes Claire and Barry made about Jill Valentine? Let us know!

Developer: Capcom

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox360, XboxOne, PSVita

Genre: Survival Horror

Release Dates: “Episode One” February 25/2015

“Episode Two” March 4/2015

“Episode Three” March 11/2015

“Episode Four” & “Retail Version” March 18/2015

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Masters in Psychology and is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies. He reviews shows such as Gotham and Teen Wolf.

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