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Preview | Resident Evil: Revelations 2

by on October 31, 2014
 

Resident Evil Revelations was a stellar game on the 3DS, pushing the visuals of the system and giving an atmosphere that brought back the horror element to the franchise.  It was later ported to home consoles, allowing more fans of the series to play and enjoy the game.  With that, Capcom decided that the sequel would work best as a multi-platform console title, keeping it so fans could continue to play on their console of choice, as well as add more content to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One libraries.  Capcom gave me the opportunity to go hands-on with about 30-40 minutes of the PlayStation 4 version of the game, giving a longer demo than what was available at New York Comic Con.  Given that this is a fairly long demo, potential spoilers ahead.

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t bring a lot of new content to the table, but instead brings elements from the whole franchise into one title.  Raccoon City survivor and Resident Evil 2 heroine Claire Redfield returns as the primary protagonist in the game, joined by Moira Burton, daughter of S.T.A.R.S. member Barry Burton.  Players are able to switch between the two characters at any time, a similar feature used in Resident Evil 0, and the game even offers split-screen co-op.  The demo starts off with Claire waking up in a prison cell, a strange bracelet on her wrist, and with no clue with how she got there.  Starting out, the game covers the controls a bit, playing a lot like recent Resident Evil titles with slightly different button mapping.  I will say I found it fitting that the DualShock 4 touchpad was used to access your inventory, as it feels like the natural choice, though it left me wondering how other systems would have players access it.  I also have to say that even though I was playing this on a PS4, it didn’t really push the system in terms of visuals, which doesn’t surprise me given the fact that it is also releasing on last-gen systems.

Moving on in the demo, Claire finds Moira in another cell, freeing her from it as they have a short exchange about the situation.  Going along the fairly linear path, crawling through small spaces and lifting gates, I soon had access to a knife for melee attacks, as well as a flashlight for Moira.  Early on, I was treated to a surprising jump scare, catching me off guard since it wasn’t something I was used to from recent entries in the series as I was attacked by my first enemy.  The bioweapons of the game, known as “The Afflicted”, take a more grotesque approach to the enemies of the series, being altered humans through torture and experiments.  It didn’t take long for me to find a handgun to give me a fighting chance, though it should be noted that these enemies don’t drop ammo, so it should be used much more sparingly.  Once I got the handgun, as well as a key to advance my progress, I was immediately ambushed by enemies, Moira only able to shine her flashlight at the enemies to blind them briefly.  Stunning enemies still allows for a powerful melee attack and though the characters shouted to run,  I fought so I could have freedom to explore more of my surroundings.  Speaking of which, Moira’s flashlight not only helps stun enemies, but it is also vital to find extra items, using it to focus on anything that glimmers in the darkness, uncovering the secrets within.

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Now that I had a weapon, the Afflicted became much more abundant throughout the demo, attacking from previously locked cells and from other previously inaccessible areas.  Though ammo isn’t dropped by enemies, you can still find it in various crates, and I was told that Moira could even discover some herself and give you ammo Bioshock: Infinite style.  Shooting in the game is similar to the previous game in the series, and I was told that players would be able to upgrade their weapons as well.  As I got further in, I found a shotgun next to a corpse on the floor, as Claire suggested that Moira should use a gun.  This brings up a bit of dialogue from Moira where she says she doesn’t use guns, particularly because of a previous experience.  What exactly this event was is still unknown, but I’m told that we’ll learn more as the story goes on in the full game.  Despite the choice not to use firearms, it’s soon discovered that there is another use for Moira, as we use her flashlight to discover a crowbar, giving her a blunt melee weapon that she readily uses to break down wooden barricades and help take out Afflicted.

Upon reaching a cell block, I hear from an unknown adversary over the prison PA system, telling us how the bracelets work off of fear, also further suggesting the idea that we are being watched.  This area gives us a throwback to classic Resident Evil as well, needing us to use various keys and other items to progress further.  The sounds of many Afflicted can be heard as many of the cells seem to be locked, some of them unlocked with more crates.  There is a mechanism ahead that needs a gear to function a gate that seems to lead to an exit, and as I look in one of the locked cells, there is the exact gear I need in plain sight, just out of reach.  Another cell that is conveniently open holds a rusty key, and upon picking it up, the Afflicted in the locked cells grow more aggressive, managing to break free from their prison.  After taking care of them, I pass by an odd blade-spinning obstacle as I go towards a door and use the rusty key to continue.

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In this next room, I have several more Afflicted to deal with, along with another blade obstacle as it seemed like my enemies were too smart to get caught in it, making a mad dash towards me as I fended them off.  I continue along the path, picking up herbs and ammo along the way, finding a locked control room where my current objective lies.  Obviously, this means I need another key, so I had to continue up to a large two-story room, as I saw the top of a ladder but unusually no button prompt to use it.  I was told I had to jump down by one of the reps from Capcom, as the ladder turned out to be broken halfway down.  At the bottom of the room was a spiky torture device that held the key (and a corpse) to the control room, which I immediately grabbed and had Claire boost Moira back up to the top level, taking the key back to the control room.  Turns out I missed a chest in the room that had a new minigame for picking locks, tasking players to move a cursor around to refine onto the point that would pick the lock.  Anyway, I immediately unlocked all the doors in the facility, which caused many more Afflicted to be freed from their cells as I made my way back to Claire.

Once reunited with Claire, I switched to her and pretty much played the rest of the demo with her, getting back to the cell block where the gear was, and fighting off many more Afflicted to obtain my prize.  Once I set the gear in it’s rightful place, I triggered a boss fight, as Claire turned around and I was immediately smashed by a large hammer.  I was told that this boss usually walks into the room, giving you plenty of time to avoid him, but for some reason he chose my demo to run in and get me with a cheap shot, causing me to bleed.  The game told me that I would have to use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, but the Capcom reps gave me the unfortunate news that the demo did not have any.  When put into bleeding state, you are temporarily unable to run, and the screen gains a bloody filter that also places red splotches of blood over the screen.  Think the blooper weapon in recent Mario Kart games and you pretty much get the idea.  Of course I wasn’t going to let the boss get away with that, so I took out my shotgun and proceeded to shoot him until he finally went down, giving me the chance to go to the exit and end the demo.  A “Next time, on Resident Evil Revelations 2” trailer plays, and it gives us a glimpse at some of the plot in the full game.

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Overall, I came away from this demo fairly pleased.  There were a few minor issues i had, one of which being that the position you had to be in for button prompted actions seemed a bit small, requiring that you had to stand in very precise spots to get them to work.  The game is still a work in progress, so I’m sure this will be adjusted by the time the game releases.  I also didn’t find a lot of reasons to access my inventory, though I guess it was just not something that came up during my playthrough.  I played the demo as Claire for the most part, but I was told there were opportunities to take advantage of with Moira, especially in combat, as Moira can do an instant kill with the crowbar when an enemy is on the floor.  The game seems to add a level of teamwork, another trait from Resident Evil 5, and it also utilizes the episode structure even further than the previous Resident Evil: Revelations.  Unlike the previous game, this one actually will release in four separate parts.  Each part will come with a episode of the campaign that will be approximately two hours long, as well as content for the popular Raid Mode, brought back from the first Revelations game.

The game has a lot of replay value from what I can see already, as I can already think of the challenges that players can take, like playing through the game as Moira only, or knife only runs.  There seems to be a lot of potential and I really can’t wait to see more.  Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will release early next year, each chapter costing $4.99 in the US, or $24.99 for the season pass.  The season pass will give players extra content that will be revealed at a later date, but I was assured that it would be worth the extra dollar.  After the episodes release digitally, the game will release at retail for $39.99, giving the full game and season pass content, as well as even more additional content that will be revealed soon.  The game will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, and will be sure to be a good value for Resident Evil fans.

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