Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Review

Richard Walker

Resident Evil's recent history has been somewhat chequered. Die-hard fans of the original fixed-camera entries in the series pinpointed Resident Evil 4 as the beginning of the end, charting the decline ever since, until it reached a devastating nadir with Resident Evil 6 in 2012. Capcom has listened to fans and attempted to rebuild the franchise, each subsequent game promising a return to the roots, while retaining the over-the-shoulder third-person gameplay that Resident Evil 4 kickstarted.

The first Resident Evil: Revelations was seen as something of a return to form, and where that game adopted an episodic structure to deliver its story, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 went one step further, actually releasing each episode on a weekly basis. And now that they're all available, you can get them on a single disc and enjoy them as one uninterrupted whole, with two bonus episodes.

Keep up, Moira. FFS.

Revelations 2 sees the return of Claire Redfield and Barry Burton, each of whom have their own partner characters who tag along for the duration of the ride. Each character has their own reasons and motivations for being on the game's mysterious, remote island, and each have their own trials to face as the sadistic Overseer pulls the strings from the shadows.

The story flits between Claire and partner Moira Burton (Barry's daughter) and Barry and partner Natalia Korda. Mystery and intrigue surround the quartet, with weird little girl Natalia the most shrouded in mystery of the four (you'll have gathered by now that there's quite a lot of mystery). Much of the narrative drive comes from wanting to lift the fog obscuring the answers, and after four episodes, we're not entirely sure that you'll get them, or be satisfied with how it all wraps up.

It's not that Revelations 2 is hard to understand or follow, it's more that the characters aren't really fully explored, with Moira's reasons for avoiding guns touched upon at various intervals but never completely revealed until you play her rather boring bonus episode, The Struggle. Natalia, meanwhile, remains an enigma, and by the time the game wraps up, you'll only have more questions hanging over your head.

You get two bonus episodes with the Season Pass or retail package, with each dedicated to one of Revelations 2's partner characters. 'The Struggle' is an interesting set of challenges that fills in the six months between Barry coming to the island on a search for Moira, and sees you playing as Burton's daughter. Overcoming her fear of guns, she learns how to handle weapons and even hunts for food, shooting rabbits, rats, spiders or whatever provides a viable source of meat.

Magnum Force. Barry style.

Each chapter is its own challenge, with some demanding that you pass enemies undetected and others playing like a Horde mode, tasking Moira with eliminating a certain number of enemies. So far, so unconventional. Less conventional still is Natalia's bonus episode, called 'Little Miss'. This one sees Natalia teaming with her dark counterpart in a string of insta-fail stealth missions to find postcards left by her creepy teddy bear, Lottie.

Natalia can interact with switches, doors, items and so on, while Dark Natalia is able to run around freely, tagging single enemies as they happily ignore her. Both bonus episodes are slightly odd and in some cases, rather punishing. They may prove disappointing to fans hoping for more of the same sort of thing offered in the main game, but then again, some might appreciate the effort Capcom has made in attempting to provide something a little different. Ultimately, however, both are completely throwaway, lasting a little over 45 minutes to an hour each.

There are no achievements attached to any of the bonus content, which is just as well. They're hardly what you'd call essential. Anyone who's shelled out for the episodes individually needn't feel too hard done by, as you're really not missing much. It's Raid Mode that really adds the most added value, with a veritable banquet of levels, characters, upgrades, weapons and objectives to complete. It's part of the game that just keeps on giving and gives Revelations 2 huge longevity.

Not that there isn't ample replay value in the campaign of course, with skins and other extras to unlock, including Countdown and Invisible Modes. It's also not beyond the realms of possibility to envisage a second or third playthrough, with split-screen co-op and higher difficulty levels inviting some variation. Even Raid Mode has split-screen co-op to consider, and by the end of the month it'll have online co-op via a free update too.

This place looks familiar...

Obviously, there are achievements to be had, although if you're expecting a walk in the park like other episodic series, forget it. Bagging every achievement means completing the campaign in each of the unlockable modes across every episode, dispatching a certain number of Afflicted in various ways and so on.

Some achievements are specific to each episode, while 20 of the 43 in total are spread across the entire saga. It's a slightly workmanlike list, offering little invention, but it'll keep you playing if you want to earn the full 1960G available with the full game. That's a lot of Gamerscore.

Cribbing ideas from its survival horror stablemates, like Alan Wake's dodge move and flashlight, Silent Hill's decaying, rusty aesthetic and The Last of Us' stealth mechanics, the result is a Resident Evil game that feels relatively fresh. In spite of occasional slips and a slightly damp squib of an ending, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is also immensely enjoyable, and one of the better Resident Evil games we've played in some time.

You can read our individual episode reviews for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 via these links:

Resident Evil: Revelations 2

It might not reach the dizzy heights of seminal Resident Evil, but Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is nonetheless a solid fleshy slab of survival horror that represents great value for money and a fun few hours of infected freak shooting.

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Some genuinely creepy soundtrack cues manage to raise goosebumps and the insane whoops and wails of enemies makes for the odd jump scare. Good stuff.


Detailed and atmospheric environments, excellent character models and gloopy-looking enemies make for a visually memorable game. It's pure Resident Evil, and it looks pretty good.


The dual character element of the game throws up interesting challenges and the core shooter gameplay is brilliantly robust. Revelations 2 is entertaining to play from beginning to end.


A substantial campaign that's worth repeated visits, and a massive Raid Mode make Revelations 2 a fantastic package that's hard to fault.


A good spread across all four episodes and Raid Mode, there's extra mileage in replaying the campaign. Some more Raid Mode achievements would have been welcome.

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