The Average Gamer

Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 1 Review (Xbox One)

Res Evil Revelations 2 Ep 1 - Claire Zombie Grab
Resident Evil has succumbed to the inevitable: it has gone both episodic and download-only. This latest instalment, a sequel to the excellent once-3DS exclusive, serves as not only a new Resident Evil adventure, but, much like its predecessor, as a reunion. Claire Redfield and Barry Burton return to take centre stage, as they are thrown into yet another monster virus conspiracy.

This first episode, released at a very reasonable £4.99, is embracing the future of video game storytelling with the monthly episodic formula that has worked so well for Telltale Games. But of course storytelling is just one element to any RE title, and now Capcom have added an extra dimension to their own blueprint – co-operative play. It works surprisingly well: one person is the shooter; the other being reconnoitre/flashlight slave/inadvertent diversion.

Claire’s partner is Barry’s daughter Moira, who vitally assists with a crowbar (as good a key as any), and Barry is paired with a mysterious young girl Natalia who can sense the infected before they are visible to the eye. Both serve as invaluable allies to each main character (and of course must keep each other alive), but what makes this special is that how you decide to work together is left up to you. The A.I. is fine in solo play too, but working with a friend is the true experience here.

Res Evil Revelations 2 Ep 1 - Barry ExecutionLike the first Revelations, you get to play as both the franchise favourites. Not at the same time, but do not despair; this only serves as a positive, providing 2 distinctly different styles of journey.

Claire and Moira, thrust into the penal colony setting after being kidnapped, are simply trying to survive and escape; ammunition and weaponry is sparse, obligatory ‘jumpy’ moments are apparent, and plays out like a Saw movie as opposed to your typical Resident Evil experience. Barry and Natalia’s journey however is far more stealth-and-exterminate. Barry comes well prepared for a rescue mission, with bigger weapons, more ammo, and a scout in Natalia. It’s a variation formula that is spot-on in its execution; thrilling to play with cliff-hangers that leave you wanting more, which adds to the episodic release format.

Although Claire and Barry’s paths are played separately, they cross constantly; in a surprising move, Barry will venture through many of the same rooms you have already conquered with Claire, albeit with some deviation due to previous actions undertaken in your time with Claire. This is initially confusing, as said previous actions initially lead you down the garden path as it were, only to find no way through and having to backtrack. Thankfully this is limited to only a few moments, and as the chapter progresses the separate paths reflect Claire and Barry’s respective styles using different yet interconnected locations, to great effect.

Res Evil Revelations 2 Ep 1 - Barry Raid ModeAs mentioned above, the first Revelations was originally created for the 3DS, and is still a landmark title for the platform. However, it was later ported to all home consoles, with a lick of paint, and this installment will be avoiding Nintendo platforms altogether, which feels a bit inconsistent and is unfortunate.

Despite this, it’s good to see Capcom are willing to work on what is still an absolutely crucial intellectual property, and I’m hopeful that those who were disappointed with RE 5 and 6 (I know I was) kept tabs on the series, as there is plenty to jump back on board for here. This is but 1 chapter that so far not just promises to build on the first Revelations, but maybe become the best Res Evil title in 10 years.

Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 1 is now available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

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