It’s finally over. I don’t like episodic games, there’s not enough time to get involved in them before the episode ends. And it’s very difficult to put together the full picture from these passages and make put impressions into one piece. So it turns out that each episode is evaluated separately from the other in my head: this one was OK, this one here is excellent, and this one is a complete mess. Well at least episodes of Revelations 2 came out fairly quickly, and not too much separation happened, though, impressions of each were different. And, since the latest episode has been released, in this review, I begin to summarize.
The fourth episode, Metamorphosis, according to my personal feelings, came out worse than the third. The third was full of puzzles and unusual gameplay where shooting is almost not required. And in Episode 4 the game went back to where it started – continuous shooting and running. Riddles have been reduced to a minimum, and for the most part, they have become primitive. However, the major disappointment is different here – the game has just lost a quarter of the content. Usually you buy an episode and for half an hour of the game you get Claire and Moira and another half an hour for Barry and Natalia. In Metamorphosis Claire’s episode time takes only 10 minutes, reducing the already short episode to a very indecently tiny size. But where did these 20 missing, honestly purchased minutes go? The publisher has cut them out and sold it to the players again in the form of a DLC. That is, the game itself is a set of DLCs, but the publisher is forcing people buy a DLC for the DLC. The extent of greed is dazzling.
But I’ll tell you about the additions later, the main story line has finished and the four characters finally intersect, even if without a happy ending. The authors used Revelations 2 to connect the plots of Resident Evil 5 and one of the upcoming parts of the game, making a banal cliffhanger with the advent of a new, very cool and powerful enemy, who sooner or later will come into play. A simple move and it’s so simple that all the intrigue, which the authors piled on for three episodes in a row, is starting to look like a pathetic attempt to hold on to the players and get them to buy new episodes. Promises we made: “Wow, what things will come!”, but in fact it turned out to be all too simple and in part very clumsy.
For the ending is more frustrating than satisfying. Of course, it is good that the story of Claire is left largely untouched, and Barry’s story as the more interesting, is expanded upon. Yet this is not exactly *it*, and even then traditionally too little. The first Resident Evil Revelations only just got going by this point whereas Revelations 2 has already finished. It is no wonder that with such duration the authors chose to saw the game into episodes and stretch out what meagre content that they had.
In general, the main disadvantage of Revelations 2 is that the authors have saved on almost everything. A series of Resident Evil games brings Capcom multi-million profits each year, even if they do not release new ones. But the publisher continues to save every dollar and every yen. It’s felt particularly strongly in Revelations 2. Small tight locations, copy-pasted textures for every square meter, and the quality of the textures, as well as that of light and shade leaves much to be desired. Cutting the network co-operative and replacing it with a couple of dozen of paid DLCs, perhaps, is also the result of a very strange Capcom commercial policy in relation to one of its main series. Question: why? Saving on their flagship has never led to anything good – Capcom’s neighbours, the company Konami, has already proven this.
But at least the team responsible for Revelations 2, has tried to do something good, even if it had to be content with the crumbs from the tables of their bosses. The technical part (controls, optimization, the absence of the network portion, in the presence of many bugs) is terrible, but the content is good: the plot is interesting, albeit with a few missteps, the enemies are beautiful, the scenery for the second episode is very diverse and rich. Lack of money is playing a cruel joke, and not everyone will like this. First impressions matter.
I also have to praise the authors for two emotional story DLCs, which came along with the latest episode. Together, they represent yet another, the fifth non-standard hour-long episode, and patch a couple of plot holes (for example, how Barry found Moira’s mobile in a sewer). Episode «Little Miss» tells of the drug- and stealth-soaked journey of Natalia and her Dark Side around the island, until she stumbles upon Barry arriving in search of his daughter. There’s no shooting in the episode – only hiding from monsters in the locations from the other episodes. “Crawl from point A to point B without being spotted” – that’s the goal. The second hero of the story is the same Dark Natalia – there’s something living in this girl’s head. She is invisible to monsters, so moves freely around the locations, as well as marks enemies with a pointer. However, she can’t open doors, collect objects and perform simple interactions with the environment, because that is a task for the real Natalia. The episode is of a standard duration, designed to be a little less than half of an hour, which grows depending on the frequency of your death.
The second additional episode, «The Struggle», has a little more of plot, and looks at how Moira survived six months on the island, together with a character named Eugene – the same old man which the girls met in the sewers. Eugene is looking for his daughter Irina, exclusively calls Moira «baby», and generally doesn’t behave like a welcoming and friendly old man. Throughout the episode there will be exactly two tasks: to shoot animals when hunting and survive waves of enemies in the familiar locations. Hunting has a direct relation to the gameplay – the food represents the number of attempts to complete an episode (maximum of five). If you don’t manage it in five attempts, the whole process of playing has to start all over again. The story itself is generally not so important, but it is a scene coupling the two campaigns, and it also happens to be the main ending for the whole of Revelations 2. Capcom have decided that it’s not enough to sell separately the main episodes; the resolution of the story also has to be paid for. I wonder, when will we get to a situation where the final credits will also have to be bought separately?
Revelations 2 as a whole is not such a bad game, as it seemed in the beginning. It’s made for very undemanding players who have already forgotten all the joys of the first part of Revelations, and don’t have any experience in shooters, or horror movies. The creators of Revelations 2 were lucky to have the name prefix Resident Evil, as well as two starring characters from the series. Without that, the whole game would have been noticed by no one, and those who would have noticed, probably wouldn’t have praised it much. There are too many problems, some can be fixed with patches which may never come out, and some are not quite fixable. This works for fans, they’ll even ask for more (10 more half-hour DLCs, of material cut from the game), the rest can play something better, or even re-play the original Resident Evil, which is still breaking records in sales.