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Resident Evil Revelations 2: The Penal Colony


He’s not stoned or anything…

Time to pump out another quick blog post, because the next installment of Revelations 2 is going to be out in only 2 more days! At least Telltale Games gives me a month to play their game and get around to writing a review post.

In case you somehow haven’t heard, Revelations 2 is being released episodically, with 4 episodes total. Price wise, you’re looking at about 6 bucks an episode. If you’d rather wait and have a hard disc, you’ll be forking over a considerable amount more: $40 total for the validation of a physical disc and “extra exclusive” crap that I can’t say I care too much about.

In Revelations 2, you’re thrown into two separate co-op or AI partner stories. The first pair you get to play as is Claire Redfield (Finally!) and Barry Burton’s daughter, Moira. The second pair consists of Barry Burton (the man!) and a young girl named Natalia. Both scenarios are developed so that the first player is the main attacker, while the AI or second player serves mainly a support role.

First you get to see what Claire Redfield has been up to recently. The opening cutscene features an awesomely cheesy commercial for Terra Save, which seems to be what Ms. Redfield has been putting her energy into recently. Camera pans into some sort of company banquet or PR event. Moira Burton approaches Claire and talks about wanting to join the company. Then BAM! SWAT-looking guys with guns storm in and the next thing they know is that they’re captive in a grungy dungeon wearing techy mood bracelets.


Like, seriously? Who the heck is this?

I’ve gotta get this superficial complaint out of the way: Claire looks terrible. For being a CG character she hasn’t aged very well. Oh, and Alyson Court, who has voiced her for everything up until now didn’t return. Very sad making.

Moira will probably annoy a lot of people, but I really like her. Mainly because she is a potty mouth like I am. Not only that, but she comes up with some pretty memorable lines. When you escape the first zone, she says something like, “Well f*** that place very much!” I’m counting the minutes until I can use that line in real life.

In terms of gameplay, Claire’s scenario felt like a snippet from The Evil Within. If Sebastian had a teenage partner who swore like a sailor, anyway. In case you  haven’t read Steve-O’s The Evil Within Review, the comparison is not made in a flattering light. You’ll find yourself stuck with typical survival horror puzzles, cheap one-shot deaths, and zombies that take 10 bullets to kill that you can’t reasonably escape from. Unless the game specifically directs you to do just that, anyway.

The idea, when playing co-op, is to blind an enemy with Moira’s flashlight, dropkick them with Claire, then do a crowbar finishing move with Moira. You could do it single player as well, if you actually find swapping between characters ever 5 seconds to be a fun experience. We didn’t find blinding enemies to be particularly reliable. The zombies (or whatever the hell they’re supposed to be called nowadays) would literally be in the “OhEmGee I’m blind!” pose, covering their eyes and everything. So Steve-O would shoot it in the head, only for the zombie to pull him into a “zombie hug of death” out of nowhere. Like most survival-horror-action-whatever games, they’re evidently immune to being shot in the head.

Moira’s flashlight serves a dual purpose. Not only does it sometimes blind enemies, it also makes loot shine. I’m such a loot whore, I happily obliged playing in the passenger’s seat to uncover all the goodies. Plus she gets a crowbar, which was good enough for me.

Commenting on the story in a Resident Evil game seems like a wasted venture at this point, but I will make one small comment: Throwing Kafka quotes around like candy does not add depth to your shallow narrative, okay? And while their “cliffhanger” ending wasn’t remotely unique, I’m still curious to see how the girl power duo will make their escape.

In Barry’s scenario, he’s being a good daddy and tracking down the whereabouts of his missing daughter. Fortunately for him, he has a pint-sized sidekick named Natalia. Natalia uses a point feature to uncover loot and “sense” monsters. You’ll probably be sick of hearing “There’s a monster coming” at the end of the hour it takes to play through this. Instead of being able to beat enemies over the head with a crowbar like Moira, Natalia can stun enemies with a brick.

Stunning enemies with bricks? Sounds a bit like The Last of Us, doesn’t it? The similarities don’t end there, my friend. Like Ellie, this small girl is also a useful “Crawl through this small space” bot. I’m tempted to call up Naughty Dog and suggest they call a lawyer for a free consultation to see if they can get Capcom on plagiarism.

Uncanny Last of Us deja vu moments aside, Barry’s portion will be more fun for you if you’re one of those weird people who likes feeling like you’re hurting things while pumping a dozen bullets into them. He comes packed with a sweet handgun, assault rifle, and a magnum. Don’t gotta wait until the end of the game to get your hands on one of these babies. And you can upgrade it relatively quickly as well.

If you end up riding shotgun during this game like me, don’t let player one bully you into rushing. Make sure you take your sweet time searching every nook and cranny for shinies. Your loot sense will pay off, rest assured. For some ungodly reason, there are valuable gems just hanging around. They don’t convert to moneydollarbillsyall like you’d suspect. Instead they equal BP, which unlocks skills! In terms of skill trees, you’ve got the standard fare like more melee damage and faster healing. But then you’ve got some interesting higher tier skills that I’m pretty excited to test in combat.

A lot of reviewers commented on the drab environments and enemy designs. And I guess they’re right. Most of the environments certainly didn’t stand out to me, unless we’re counting the narrow hallways that made evading monsters about as simple as doing walking handstands. There are a couple of enemies that, while not entirely creative, are grotesquely satisfying.

For $6 an episode, I’m content with the pricing, and definitely see myself in this for the long haul. This isn’t even including the Raid mode, which is the online multiplayer that can potentially give you dozens more hours with this game. A lot of people aren’t into the whole “episodic release” marketing ploy. I certainly understand their reasoning, but I’ve enjoyed all the Telltale Games series that I’ve played, and find myself being equally satisfied with Revelations 2. $6 for about 2-3 hours of story mode and the potential for endless hours of online play? No complaints here.


Until next time…


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