Is Resident Evil Revelations 2 One Of The Top 50 Games Of 2015?
Resident Evil Revelations has injected the seminal horror series with new levels of fun fan service and consistent gunplay, and I think it's a contender for Game Informer's Top 50 Games of 2015. In keeping with our annual tradition, I've challenged another Game Informer editor to play the episodic horror game to earn another perspective for our year-end list. I enjoyed RE Revelations 2's unique, asymmetrical twist on the series consistent co-op, as well as its slam-dunk interpretation of fan-favorite Barry "You were almost a Jill Sandwich" Burton. I challenged GI editor Kyle Hilliard to join Claire Redfield and Moira Burton on a trip to the deadly prison on Sushestvovanie Island.
Tim: Hi Kyle! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me a bit about Resident Evil. You know, I'm not one to open up about the series a lot so this is pretty important. It means I trust you.
Kyle: I feel like that's not entirely true, but I extend my trust to you, so I will just have to believe you when you say you don't constantly talk about your favorite franchise at every opportunity you get. I want to apologize in advance, Tim, because I did not get to play the game as much as I wanted, but I want to play more so that might be a good sign. I'm not as big a Resident Evil fan as you are (I don't think anyone is) but I enjoy the series, and will defend Resident Evil 6 alongside you as being an intense action game. I wanted to play Revelations 2 when it released, but personally don't care for the episodic structure, so I wanted to wait until the full game released. Of course, by the time that actually happened my interest had shifted to other games. I am glad to have an excuse to play the game now, though, and did enjoy my time with.
Tim: Part of what makes Revelations 2 an overall success to me is the focus on the satisfying bread-and-butter gunplay that made Resident Evil 4 so much fun and evolved from there. The character skill upgrades and weapon modifications are straight-forward and I feel like they make a clear impact on gameplay. Especially in Raid Mode, which is an awesome, Mercenaries-style side game that's a blast with a co-op buddy. I love upgrading weapons until they light enemies on fire or being further rewarded for headshots.
As for the main campaign, I enjoyed how Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, Barry's daughter, play off of each other. Moira's sense of humor can be a little much sometimes, but I think she's got a fun personality and plays off Claire's stoic style well. What did you think of the return to classic characters like Claire and Barry?
Kyle: I like Moira and Claire, too, though I do wonder why Moira wasn't wearing something a little more professional for her first day of work. I like Moira's vulgarity and Claire's no-nonsense, "Look. I've done this before," attitude. I found both of their play-styles to be rewarding, too. In a weird way, it feels a bit like Alan Wake split into two characters - a game I am a big fan of. Moira handles the flashlight stuff blinding enemies, while Claire handles the guns part. And they both move similarly to Alan Wake when performing a dodge, which may be a coincidence, but interesting to me none the less.
I'm undecided on whether I enjoy searching for items with Moira. Every time I track down an item with the flashlight I am excited to uncover something, but I was never excited to switch to her in order to start searching. It was only after discovering something that I liked it, so I am bit torn in that regard.
Playing as Barry and Natalia I found less interesting, but I didn't spend as much time with them as I did Claire and Moira. I don't have a lot of love for Barry as a character (I never played the original Resident Evil. I started with Resident Evil 2) and I couldn't figure out why I should be playing as Natalia. Does their back and forth get more interesting? Does Natalie eventually gain more value from a gameplay perspective?
Tim: Oh man, you absolutely need to play through Resident Evil at one point to experience all the amazing Barry quotes firsthand. He also coined the infamous "Master of Unlocking" phrase. To answer your question, though, Barry really does carry the entire conversation between Natalia and him. It's a lot of amusingly heavy handed "I've gotta be a good dad" and a bunch of terrible one-liners tossed in there. Fun stuff.
I'm with you on the Alan Wake comparison. I loved stunning enemies in the face with a flashlight as Moira, swapping to Claire to deliver a big kick, then switching back to Moira again to smash them in the head with a crowbar. Barry and Natalia's interplay isn't quite as engaging, but a couple cool parts later in the game make creative use of Natalia's ability to see invisible monsters.
How do you feel about the gunplay itself?
Kyle: I like it. It's very solid, which is a vague word when it comes to describing something as being good, but I think it applies here. It's very straightforward without sacrifices made for the sake of visual flair, which I appreciate. I also agree with you about the upgrades feeling substantial, which I like. It made tracking down those weird-looking toolkits exciting and worth looking for. I also like the dodge mechanic more than the original Revelations. I never quite got the hang of it when I played the 3DS game, but here I was quickly dodging enemies with little issue. I also like Moria's melee combat, which I think is one of the reasons I didn't enjoy playing as Natalia when the switch occurred.
Tim: Capcom definitely improved the dodge function since the 3DS original, which I was happy to see. Now that you've survived a sample of Claire, Barry, and the rest of the gang's ordeal on the awful prison island, I'm eager to learn whether you think it's a contender for a spot on Game Informer's Top 50 Games of 2015 list.
Kyle's Verdict: I think Revelations 2 deserves a spot on the list. I like the direction Resident Evil is going with this separate franchise that feels a bit closer to Resident Evil 4 than 5 and 6 did. The episodic structure was totally unnecessary and hurt the game (it's probably the main reason I didn't play it when it released), but I also think Capcom just wanted to try it as an experiment, which I admire. I don't know where a hypothetical Resident Evil 7 would go, but if we keep seeing Revelations titles release alongside core entries, I think that's a good thing. I want to play more despite not being excited to continue down Barry's path, and I think that speaks highly for the game.