This review will keep story spoilers to a minimum.
Check out our review of episode one!
Resident Evil Revelations 2's second episode is a satisfying continuation of the episodic game, especially after I played the introduction chapter last week and was a bit underwhelmed by the abrupt ending to the story. With this second chapter the game's narrative structure takes shape and comes closer to being almost as strong as the gameplay.
This episode switches the tables and this time Claire's section is more action-packed while Barry's is more suspenseful. The main story hook presented from the end of episode one is more apparent here, with Barry's chapters taking place six months after Claire's. On the initial playthrough you are forced to play Claire's section first and then Barry's, which only makes one section in the initial playthrough intense. In hindsight this seems like an unfortunate break from the many ways the story's episodic nature could have been experienced based off of this episode alone. If someone played Barry's section's first and thengot to see every environment in its initial state when the story of the island was rewound six months before as Claire, that could have had a greater impact.
Concerning the actual events of the story, however, a few new characters are introduced and help make the story not feel as lonely as episode one. These characters help out during the game, becoming points of intrigue as opposed to cannon fodder like many of the new characters introduced over the course of Resident Evil 6. We also get our first glimpse of a new antagonist in this chapter.
There's more crossover between the two plotlines this time around, with one person seeming to hold the answer to what happened during the time skip. Everything is strung along slowly as the chapter goes on, culminating in something at the end that makes the wait for the third episode more unbearable than the wait between the first and the second.
Look And Feel
Episode 2 pretty much looks the same as the first one. The environments are still bland, with some characters and set pieces looking on par with current gen and others looking like something meant for a mobile/portable game. The graphics continue to be the lowest point of the game, although they're serviceable considering the scale of the game.
With the number of new monsters added to the campaign, the gameplay has significantly changed and combat has become intense. The new enemies here are designed to kill your character in one hit if you don't keep your distance and use the support character to detect them before they get close enough. However, if you gained enough BP last week through replays, the difficulty may vary greatly.
One thing that probably ruined the experience of the first encounter with these enemies for me was playing Raid mode as much as I did in between the chapter releases, so most of the time I just thought "Oh, this guy can be killed that way." Another thing that becomes common with many of the enemies is that they can be killed by shooting their bright orange spot(s), which makes the combat feel simplistic and at times makes the difference in weapon damage a non-factor. I'm also starting to find that the context-sensitive stealth takedowns are pretty specific compared to Resident Evil 6, to the point of being unfair.
What I enjoyed most in this episode were the environmental connections between Claire and Barry's sections. Certain things can be done in Claire's section to make Barry's experience six months later easier and even allow him to skip whole sections. Between this and the medal given for doing certain things in each scenario, it’s easy to complete a few playthroughs and have each experience feel significantly different.
Overall, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 leaves a lot of questions to be answered in the latter half of the season. While the story pacing is questionable, the gameplay is still making up for the story at this point, with replay value in spades and even more stages and characters being added to the Raid mode. I hope that episode 3 doesn't tack on to the questions we have from these first two chapters already. At this point the episodic nature of the title is bringing the story down, as each episode's events don't have as much gravity or conclusion as other episodic games.
Here are the criteria I consider most important for evaluating Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Episode 2.
With the new enemies added and the intensity of combat situations, combat feels significantly different this time around.
While we're well aware the engine isn't AAA, environments should still be better than just decrepit buildings and structures. The sound was not memorable or anything beyond what I was expecting.
So far there has been little momentum or excitement to be found.
Replay Value: 8/10
There are plenty of modes and reasons to go back through the campaign over and over again, and raid mode even get a few new characters and sets of levels. The BP point gains become higher here, allowing better skills to be bought and unlocking more abilities for use in the campaign.
The gameplay in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Episode 2 is still strong, but the story and the environments need to improve to stop dragging the game down.