Holy crap. You know, I was trying to find a better, more politically correct way to start this Revelations 2 review but I can’t: when thinking back about my experience with Judgement, third episode of the game and longest so far, which saw the return of the dearly missed puzzles to the series combined with moments of sheer horror, tense combat and awesome boss battles, I can only think of “holy crap.”
Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 3
I really need to give Capcom some credit (and, to be fair, also to TOSE, their go-to third party help, who practically made the whole game anonymously,) since I always enjoyed modern RE for what it was but playing this episode made me realize how well classic RE design works when adapted to modern gameplay. And this is because Judgment is the closest we’ve been to playing classic, static camera Resident Evil since forever. It has more puzzles than every RE game from 4 to 6 combined, and proper horror/creepy setting unlike those games. And the bast part is that it just works. Remember when I said the first Revelations was a failed attempt at this? Well, not here. Revelations 2 is doing everything right, and achieving everything it’s set out to do episode after episode. It’s actually a shame this is a cheap spinoff because the more I play it, the more I feel this is what modern survival horror, or at least, modern Resident Evil should be.
Judgment, as always, starts with Claire and Moira searching for not just a way to escape the island, but also for the mysterious Overseer, that disembodied voice who loves getting them through all sorts of mindfucking and torture. And this time, their search will take them through an abandoned slaughterhouse, sewers, and other places that have long seen their best days behind. And of course, this being a Resident Evil game, they are full of door locked by strange devices and deadly traps that can only be deactivated by figuring out the cryptic clues we’ll find. Puzzles in general are well-designed, if a bit easy, and most of them include a death trap of some sort, meaning we’ll want to get them right the first time, lest we die affecting our final ranking at the end of the episode. This dynamic of searching a place > find a locked door asking for a specific item > find another, open door to a room with the required item locked behind another item in a different room > that room is booby trapped today feels like Survival Horror 101, but it was really missed in a series that not only singlehandedly invented it, but that has also been following the Charles Bronson Method for resolving any conflict with a ridiculous amount of firepower for a while now. Claire’s episode also ends on a high note with a great boss battle, and yet more story revelations.
Unfortunately, Barry’s chapter doesn’t come anywhere near the awesomeness of Claire’s, and I’d dare say it’s just good. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it really falls short (in both length and content) compared to Claire’s amazing episode. We have some really basic puzzles, mostly involving carrying a big-ass battery from one end of an industrial facility to the other, or using Natalia to open gates (or rather, ‘sluices’. I swear I’ve never heard that word said so many times before) to let Barry move from one area of a broken dam to the next. On the bright side, in this episode there was very little retreading of Claire’s stages and most of Barry’s locations were unique to his campaign. Also, we got an awesome new enemy type, the Dhulga. Stuff of nightmares.
As always, the new episode includes new stages for Raid Mode, and well as two additional characters including our favorite meathead, Chris Redfield.
This third episode offered one of the best experiences I’ve had with the series in many years, and even if the other half isn’t as tight, it’s not bad enough to diminish the quality of the complete package. Unless the final episode is a shitshow of biblical proportions, Revelations 2 will made its way into my series top 5, and most likely GOTY list.