Warning: contains spoilers for previous episodes of Resident Evil Revelations 2.
So here we are, the climactic finale to Capcom’s episodic Resident Evil Revelations 2. Everything feels like it’s been building up to a crescendo with the horror adventure as Claire, Moira, Barry, and Natalia’s stories begin to intertwine on the ominous experimental island facility.
In comparison to the nicely balanced weightings of the first episode, Claire and Moira’s segment is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it quick. I’m talking 15 minutes, first time through quick. It’s almost certainly the worst to play of any segment so far, offering a brief bout of exploration before plunging you into a frustrating escape countdown sequence. This would be all well and good, but the time constraints really do highlight the few shortcomings of game - namely the occasionally shonky controls, buggy collision detection, and those damned invisible enemies.
Usually those invisible mosquito things haven’t been too much of an issue, but the decision to place them on thin corridor walkways during an escape sequence seemed like an attempt at padding the 15-minute sequence out. Without prior knowledge there’s no way you won’t just run headfirst into these and be eaten alive, forcing you to reload and give it another shot. Sigh.
Whatever the case, the main event is Barry and Natalia’s half. The shortcomings of the first half are ably made up here during an intense battle through underground poisonous mines and a mildly head-scratching puzzle sequence atop a giant bridge/crane amalgamation.
On my playthrough I was treated to a pretty spectacular ending, but doing a bit of research, post-completion, it turns out a seemingly innocuous decision in an earlier episode has huge ramifications on the ending. And I don’t mean one turns out a bit better than the other - they’re polar opposites, and you could potentially miss out on a frankly insane boss fight involving RPGs, helicopters, mutant transformation witches, and some of the greatest cheesy one-liners since Die Hard. Every box is ticked, it’s Resident Evil at its post-RE 4 peak, but sadly half of the players are going to miss out on it.
*Spoiler* - If you want the better ending, during Episode 3 when Moira is prompted to grab the gun on the floor, make sure you do it - don't use Claire Redfield. *Spoiler*
Ultimately it’s a great ending for a fine return to form for the series, all for a seriously budget price. In an age where £50 games are becoming the norm once more, Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a timely reminder not everything needs to be a AAA-blockbuster or a breakthrough indie smash to have a chance at success - there’s room for the middle-man. Like many of the previous games, don’t go in expecting to be frightened out of your skin, just go along with the creepy rollercoaster of ride.
All of this and then there’s the extensive Raid mode for those interested in it. This offers hundreds upon hundreds of additional challenges, weapons, and characters which could have you playing Resident Evil Revelations 2 for months. One for the high-score chasers, Raid mode is the perfect distillation of the action qualities the series has had going for it in recent years.