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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Episode One Review

  • First Released Mar 17, 2015
  • Reviewed Feb 24, 2015
  • XONE

My "fear" is my substance.

The premiere episode of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 kicks things off in a decent way, but it's also an inconsistent experience that's plagued by issues during the first half of the game. Dialogue is poorly written, and you feel like a chump when you tackle yet another fetch quest disguised as a puzzle. However, there are moments that leave you on edge, and the mysteries keep piling up until the very end, stoking your curiosity to want to know more. If you tend to loathe action sequences in Resident Evil games, you may be put off to know there are a few in Revelations 2, but rest assured they're delivered with tact this time, sandwiched between foreboding moments of tension that set your pulse racing before you're thrown into the fray.

Though Revelations 2 starts with a whimper, at least it doesn't waste any time getting you into the game. Right as they were starting to enjoy a swanky company party, Resident Evil hall-of-famer Claire Redfield, and her co-worker, young Moira Burton, are kidnapped at gunpoint and shipped off to a wretched penal colony on a remote island. The game begins when Claire awakens in a damp cell, and the mystery kicks off when the door opens moments later, seemingly on its own. Their imprisonment is clearly the work of someone who fancies control as they're taunted over the PA system by a mysterious overseer. She speaks in very vague terms, introducing more questions than answers. By and large, Revelations 2 likes to keep you guessing.

It's about to get ugly.
It's about to get ugly.

Moira's father, the ever memorable Barry Burton from the original Resident Evil, attempts to come to Moira and Claire's rescue. With the help of a young companion, the mysterious Natalia, he searches the same prison, but the enemies he faces are quite different, acting more like classic zombies as they shuffle along, rather than the speedy juggernauts that hunt Claire and Moira. This setup affords you two points of view within the same nightmare, and slightly different gameplay experiences, but not all things are created equal. Barry's act is far stronger than Claire's, not only because it offers the best moments of tension, but because his companion is a far better compliment than Moira ever is to Claire.

Working in tandem is at the heart of everything you do in Revelations 2, for better and for worse. You can switch between your two characters on the fly, and sometimes you must in order to solve simple environmental puzzles. Moira's flashlight may uncover a hidden item that you need to proceed, and Natalia can go places that Barry can't thanks to her small stature.

Unfortunately for Claire, Moira's not much use outside of a few strict scenarios that call upon her unique abilities. She looks capable of manning a gun, but a tragic event from her past conveniently prevents her from doing so here. She comes in handy when she pries open a rare door or blinds an occasional enemy, but she's otherwise dead weight and a near constant source of bad dialog as she spouts vulgarity after vulgarity. It's not hard to take in because it's offensive; it's obvious that she's meant to sound young and brash. However, she comes off as an exaggerated caricature that sticks out like a sore thumb.

You can always count on Clair to say what we're all thinking.
You can always count on Clair to say what we're all thinking.

Outside of a few important plot points, the only helpful thing Moira brings to the table is a flashlight, but Natalia has a subtle personality that comes across as a breath of fresh air and she's far more useful during tense situations. She can sneak by enemies undetected and crawl into tight spaces. If Barry is low on health, Natalia is a solid backup, trading head-on action for simple but effective stealth. Though she lacks the firepower, Natalia proves to be even more useful than her caretaker at times, so long as she remains undetected by the bad guys.

Natalia and Barry's stint is the best source of tension in the game by a long shot. For the most part, Claire and Moira are stuck inside their prison, which is predictable and boring. On the contrary, Barry and Natalia spend a lot of time outside, and in the middle of the night, with only a few light sources off in the distance, a sense of dread creeps in when you wander into the unknown. Natalia is the best candidate for the job given her ability to spot enemies from a distance, but you always know in the back of your mind that she's practically incapable of defending herself apart from throwing a brick at an enemy, yet there you are, meters deep into a dark forest teeming with horrific abominations that want nothing more than to eat you alive. When an enemy takes multiple rounds from a gun to stagger, a brick offers little solace.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 shines when Barry and Natalia are at the helm.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 shines when Barry and Natalia are at the helm.

You can tackle the campaign via local co-op with a friend if you're so inclined, but your teammate has to come to terms with the fact that they're playing second fiddle. Teaming up is an effective means of getting through the campaign quickly because you aren't reliant on AI to watch your back, and you have the ability to multitask, but the split screen view and real world chatter can dilute the tension. If you're looking to get scared, playing solo is the only way to go.

There are a few puzzles to solve during each scenario that are reminiscent of classic Resident Evil moments, but instead of having to consider all of your options and search for a solution, it's given to you in the form of a simple task. Ultimately, these moments feel like chores rather than puzzle solving opportunities. Moira's asked to point a flashlight around a room to find a key, for example, testing your patience rather than your intellect. If anything, these quandaries feel like justifications for having a sidekick. Perhaps it's good that it's not as obtuse as some games in the series' past, but the formula has been simplified too much for its own good.

Classic Claire!
Classic Claire!

If you find your trigger finger itching after beating the first episode, you can hop into the optional and oddly enjoyable raid mode. This arcade-like experience pits you against small armies of enemies in various environments from this and future episodes, and you're encouraged to take advantage of your firepower. The more enemies you kill and the more efficient you are at doing so, the better rewards you receive, often in the form of additional weapons. It's a very different experience than the main game, especially with it's initially jarring dance soundtrack, but it's a fun diversion that gives you plenty to do once the rather short campaign comes to an end.

Though you have to wade through mediocre puzzles and endure cringe-worthy dialogue and references to past games, episode one successfully entices you to look forward to the next episode. Just before you feel like its antics are wearing you down, it commands your attention by redeeming itself during the second half, just before sealing the deal with an impactful cliffhanger. With tastes of both classic and modern Resident Evil, Revelations 2 has something for everyone, but it would be served better if it was a little more focused and had a little less Moira.

Back To Top
The Good
Tense moments draw you into the game's sinister atmosphere
Good flow from action to exploration sequences
Mysterious circumstances and a strong second half leave you wanting more
The least intimidating character is the game's strongest personality
The Bad
Poor writing pulls you out of the moment at hand
The first half of the game leaves a mediocre impression
The partner system occasionally makes you feel like a babysitter
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Resident Evil: Revelations 2

About the Author

Peter beat the first episode of Revelations 2 in less than three hours before giving co-op a try, and he spent a few more hours chasing high scores in raid mode as both Barry and Claire.
313 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for RogerioFM

You should have added Barry himself as a plus.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

I would say that the partner system has the player babysitting both characters.

I am amused at how proactive the computer-controlled partner is though, especially the one without the gun.

Speaking of which, that Natalia sure has a strong throwing arm; who would have thought that she can toss bricks like a champ? On the other hand, I would very much prefer that there are some tools to set the partner's behavior, e.g. Natalia could have benefited from behavior scripts which make her hold onto a brick until Barry has to reload.

I also like the design of one of the enemies in Barry's half of this episode, if only because this enemy is slightly different from the usual Biohazard menagerie. Specifically, this is the one for which the player needs to shoot off its outer layers of flesh, trying to guess which body part is hiding its weak spot. It's a bit luck-dependent though.

Also, man, there sure are many references to the terrible lines in the original Resident Evil.

Avatar image for hochstreck

This game, in its complete package, is surprisingly well done, actually.

Pretty much everything is better than in the first RE: Revelation - as long you don't mind the heavy focus on horror(pure action has been transfered to Raid Mode).

Just don't expect it to be as amazing and varied to play and pleasant to look at, as Resident Evil 5 was at its release.

Avatar image for Iordanis1278

A mediocre game overall. Good and satisfying gunplay but a lot of old school gameplay mechanics such as pulling levers or moving boxes to progress further. The graphics are also mediocre but good enough to pull you in the game's atmosphere. In my opinion the fourth episode is the best one especially the part where you enter something like a mansion, i really liked the art there. Also i didn't fully understand the ending of the game, it was a bit confusing. Anyway its a game worth playing but it could be a lot better. I miss really good resident evil games like res 4 and 5, this game cannot be compared with them.

Avatar image for josssmith82

No thanks i'll stick to Zombi U.

Avatar image for scottw84

After trying this when it became available I cancelled my pre-order of the full physical copy of this, I really enjoyed the first revelations, it was fun and it was something new - this just felt rushed, clunky and mediocre.

Avatar image for depman1972

Anyone else having problems downloading episode 2, it says no content found?

Avatar image for depman1972

Got it now, had to download it manually from store, as wouldn't download from link from game.

Avatar image for punksterdaddy

I am having a hard time as to why most people are telling me that this game is good? It is atrocious, I wish I never bought the damn thing knowing what Capcom are like these days.

That brings me to the DLC, wow are there some really awful dlc packs in this game.

If anybody is looking for a decent Resident Evil game if you are new to the series, do not get this tripe. For the authentic survival horror experience go play the recently remastered remaster of Resident Evil 1.

Avatar image for Infinite_713

@punksterdaddy: I'm interested in knowing how come you don't like the game? It's on sale for $3. Yeah, it's chump change but I have limited space on my HDD.

Avatar image for ewjiml

The next Resident Evil should be called Resident Evil: Relevancy. Better things have been done with these AI partners (i.e. The Last of Us) while the entire series hasn't improved on campy voice acting and suspense. If people stopped buying into this crap, then Capcom would stop making it. Everybody wishing this series harkens back to the old-school might as well move on to something better.

Avatar image for Foxhound1982

People still care about Resident Evil? Sorry but the next gen efforts have killed the series for me. If i want a good Resi game i will return to Resi 2 on PS1 or Gamecube.

Avatar image for Freboy

Exactly what you would expect from a game with this title. Yawn.

Avatar image for Meta33

Tank controls were the stupidest thing of the old games. I actually read below someone said that is what made the old games so fun and scary. No they did not. Having crappy controls just meant and lead to cheap death cause you could not or turned to slowly to outrun something. That is not fear. Its amazing that people defend the old games as if they are still gods greatest gift to the earth. RE5 is the top selling and fastest selling in the franchise. Sure slow dim witted zombies is fun for the crowd not good at shooters but I thank capcom for continuing the story not just putting zombies in a game cause they are zombies. You want that go play walking dead. I love the build up of the villian in this one being alex wesker. and hints given to the events in 5. And raid mode is amazing.

Avatar image for joesguy

@Meta33: Tank controls made the game playable, given the constant change in camera angle. You go and try Remake or Silent Hill 2/3 with the directional controls and let me know how that works for you.

Avatar image for fdb20

There's a good reason Barry had the much stronger segment. As taken from an excellent YouTube comment:

"Would really like a return to true single player. No online multiplayer. No help from an AI.

One person you control vs everyone. True survival horror."

Avatar image for Aspire85

Really dislike the pricing method for this game, so I'm glad I'm not missing too much. This will probably be the first RE game that I skip completely.

Avatar image for Garbage943

Do i need to have played the original Revelations to get into this one? I know it was on 3DS, but I never messed with it. Maybe I should pick up one of the ports first?

Avatar image for NTM23

@Garbage943: Yeah, the first came out on last-gen consoles and PC as well, but no, you don't have to play the first to play this as they aren't really connected. That said, it could turn out to be in later episodes, but I'm doubting it.

Avatar image for hishamramzan

@Garbage943: The original Revelations first came out on 3DS, but then also came out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. You should play it, its actually good and the story is quite interesting.

However I haven't tried Revelations 2 yet, so I don't know if the story is linked or not.

Avatar image for swavo13

At least some improvement of past installments. I do hope they'll eventually go back to the gameplay of the old-school resident evil games. The remastered of 1 really shows that kind of gameplay/survival horror is desired.

Avatar image for Zeeksie

A game can be made scary without fixed camera angles and tank controls. Fact.

Avatar image for swavo13


I never said it couldn't be scary without those things. I said it just worked in resident evil's favor. If they come up with something newer that's just as scary, fine by me.

Avatar image for dylandr

@swavo13: you mean bad turning like your 1/2 paralyzed, terrible aiming and bad graphics?

Avatar image for SingletreeAve

@dylandr@swavo13: And all those door load screens that aren't even necessary anymore.

Avatar image for jareion

@dylandr@swavo13: Really? You seriously dont know what he means or are you playing stupid? He means a return to ammo conservation, instead of mindless shooting, and better puzzles.

Avatar image for IrrelevantGamer

@dylandr@swavo13: That slow movement is what made it tense. One wrong move and your done.

Avatar image for swavo13


Tank controls make the game a lot scarier, I didn't have too much problems with aiming since hitboxes are rather big and I'd say the Remaster is one of the better looking resident evil games.

Avatar image for dylandr

@swavo13@dylandr: Rather have deadspace kind of controlls and you can't say that game wasn't scary...

Avatar image for swavo13


Dead Space wasn't scary to me. The games that scared me are rather few: REmake, amnesia the dark descent and P.T. But I guess we just have a different preference then. I still like the deadspace/resident evil 4 type of games, they're just not that scary to me.

Avatar image for dylandr

@swavo13@dylandr: lol you're the opposite of me xD i think the RE games like 1&2 are sleep inducing xD

Avatar image for swavo13

@dylandr@swavo13: That's a fair opinion. Let's agree to disagree then :)

Avatar image for dylandr

@swavo13@dylandr: agreed, wait what did i agree to agree to disagree or agreed to disagree to agree xD

Avatar image for franzito

@swavo13@dylandr: Tank controls and action don't go together. Past RE had much more suspense thanks to tank controls which made some spots damn scary if you didn't have good reflexes.

Avatar image for depman1972

Loving it, this is so much better than resi 6.

Avatar image for franzito

@depman1972: So no quick time events?

Avatar image for depman1972

@franzito@depman1972: no quicktime events :)

Avatar image for dylandr

@depman1972: Good to hear, what console are you palying? :o

Avatar image for depman1972

@dylandr@depman1972: ps4 :)

Avatar image for 00black

I give Gamespot's video player a 3/10.

Avatar image for e5115271

@00black: Yup. Goes something like -

Load video. (Defaults to jerky-as-hell 'Auto' quality). Go full screen but still jerky-as-hell.

Try to change to HD but unable to change quality in full screen.

Come out of full screen mode

Change to HD but then video freezes.

Reload web page. Click play, click full screen, finally watch video.

After watching video start reading comments but 10 second countdown starts to random next video assuming you want to spend all f*ing night watching GS videos, and rather than load the video in the same container, loads up a completely different webpage, losing the comments you were reading.

And I've given up trying to watch videos on my smartphone...

Avatar image for gsbliss

@e5115271@00black: I hate that 10 second countdown to a video I don't want to watch. It just got me as I scrolled down to look at the comments on this review.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 More Info

  • First Released Mar 17, 2015
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PC
    • + 5 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Resident Evil Revelations 2 brings the terror to a new setting for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
    Average Rating195 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Resident Evil: Revelations 2
    Developed by:
    Capcom, Frima Studio
    Published by:
    Capcom, SCEA, SCEE
    3D, Action, Adventure, Survival
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language