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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Hands-On Preview – Back to Basics

Though the core series has lost its way, Revelations 2 stays true to the classic formula.

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During my time at this year’s New York Comic-Con, I got a chance to try out a demo for Resident Evil: Revelations 2. This game came as a bit of a surprise for a lot of people (myself included) when it was announced just last month. However, considering how well the original Revelations was received by gamers, perhaps this announcement wasn’t completely out of left field. This title, like its predecessor, stays close to the series’ roots and from the short demo that I played, I could tell that it has the potential to be a solid entry in the franchise.

The demo began with me being in control of Claire Redfield who we’ve played as previously in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica. She was accompanied by Moira, who is the daughter of Barry Burton. I needed to get through a door which required an access key to open. I walked down the hall of what appeared to be a prison and saw the body of a security guard dangling from the ceiling. I attempted to get the key from his body, with a little help from Moira, but his body (predictably) fell to the floor deep below us. We had to descend some precarious stairs and creepy hallways to get to our objective.

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During our little trip, I got introduced to some of the game’s mechanics. I was able to freely switch between Claire and Moira. Claire handles combat while Moira can shine a flashlight on objects of interest. Claire was able to find a gun to use and Moira found some bullets and other random things.

The two got into the room where the guard’s body fell but there was no key on him. Moira looked around and found the keys which were stuck on a pipe somewhere above where the guard currently rested. Claire shot at the keys which then dropped to the floor for an easy pick up. I was able to meet this objective by switching between the two women and it was seamless.

As soon as the keys were in their hands, Claire and Moira were attacked by zombies. I shot at some of them, blowing off their heads with precise shots, but they began to overwhelm us with sheer numbers. A strategic withdrawal was in place and we quickly got out of dodge. On the way to the original door I had to open, I fought even more zombies. I mixed up my attacks between headshots, knifing, and staggering zombies so that I could finish them off with a spin kick. Moira refused to use a gun but she could help by doing some melee attacks with a crowbar and she was also able to finish enemies which were stunned. After a few encounters, the two women reached their objective and the demo ended.

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The end of the demo featured a “Next time on Resident Evil: Revelations 2” title screen, followed by scenes from the upcoming episode. Yes, this is an episodic game not unlike those released by TellTale Games. The original Revelations was somewhat episodic itself since it featured chapter breaks in-between the levels but this game will be broken up into four separate episodes which will be released each week.

I really enjoyed my time with this game. After the disaster that was Resident Evil 6 (you know I’m right) it’s nice to play a game which goes back to the series’ roots. The controls take a bit of getting used to but they definitely feel like a modern version of RE4 (you can dodge attacks and move while aiming for example). This game features the co-op from the last two main RE games which is great for those who want to play with their friends either via the internet or with split-screen co-op. The episodic nature of it is something that I think will work well since each episode is only separated by a week instead of months.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will be released for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Each episode will cost $6. The entire package will cost $25 and that will come with some additional (yet undisclosed) content. The retail disk version will cost $40 and it will come with all four chapters and the additional content. The game is available to pre-order now.

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Tony Polanco Executive Editor
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