Skip to main content

Resident Evil Revelations 2 review

Resident Evil Revelations 2 feasts on the flesh of its predecessors

Resident Evil Revelations 2 screenshot 28
Resident Evil Revelations 2
MSRP $40.00
“Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a paint-by-the-numbers exercise in survival horror lacking in bite strength”
  • Everything you expect from a Resident Evil game is here
  • Claire and Moira's campaign feels drastically different from Barry and Natalia's
  • The story does more to set up a future conflict than present an interesting current one
  • Monster designs and puzzles feel uninspired
  • Co-op partners are relegated to puzzle solution tools, not equal partners

In comic books, you’ll sometimes spot an Issue #0. These one-offs usually help set up a larger event, storyline or character arc, providing backstory and context for what is to come. They can be dramatic, funny, action-packed, and nice to look at, but they’re also often light on substance, and rarely are they considered a “must-have,” save for the most diehard of fans.

As the Resident Evil series has aged, it’s also been split and fractured.

In summing up Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I can think of no better comparison. This is an Issue #0 of Capcom’s survival-horror universe; a game that features series staples – the undead and the mutated, impractical mansions, obtuse puzzle-solving, and campy, theatrical villains – but ultimately feels like a prelude and preview of something more grand.

As the Resident Evil series has aged, it’s also been split and fractured. Resident Evil 6 is arguably the clearest example of how much has changed over the past nine years, featuring a campaign full of Michael Bay-esque explosion porn and roundhouse kicks. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Revelations spin-off games, which have been touted by Capcom as a return to the series’ horror roots.

The idea then, is that if you’re looking for action-oriented gameplay, stick with the numbered Resident Evil games. If you’re looking for horror, the Revelations games are designed for you.

In a sense, Revelations 2 accomplishes this well. The first chapter of this episodic game begins with heroine Claire Redfield and her friend Moira Burton being besieged by men with guns and a helicopter before waking up in an island prison. It’s an opening reminiscent of Resident Evil: Code Veronica, another game starring the ponytail-ed heroine.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 screenshot 30

The prison provides a claustrophobic atmosphere, filled with dread, mystery, and scientific experiments gone wrong. An omniscient Overseer taunts the pair, switching between proclaiming that their deaths are near and quoting Franz Kafka. Once Claire and Moira reach their cliffhanger, the perspective shifts to Barry Burton, who has come to the island in search of his daughter.

Both sections give players a second character to guide through the treacherous landscape. These characters can be either AI or human-controlled, and their abilities differ extensively. Moira uses a flashlight to search for items and blind enemies, while a young girl named Natalia assists Barry by squeezing through small spaces and using a sixth sense to tell where enemies are.

Revelations 2 just can’t let go of the good old days, when fake human organs unlocked secret doorways.

It’s an interesting concept, though an unevenly implemented one. Moira and Natalia both remark how they want to be of use and not a burden to their protectors, but it’s hard to think of them as anything other than tag-alongs that need only be called upon to solve a small puzzle or open a lockbox. Natalia’s special ability also has the uncanny ability to suck the suspense from the game. After all, you can’t be ambushed by a zombie lurking on the other side of a door if you know it’s waiting for you.

Thankfully, the companion characters aren’t the only difference between campaigns. Where Claire and Moira must often fight mutated prisoners who are still mostly human, Barry frequently crosses paths with more monstrous creatures and the undead. In this way, Revelations 2 provides an experience that nods to previous Resident Evil games, both those from long ago and those that exhibit Resident Evil 4‘s massive influence.

Unfortunately, the problem with paying homage to your own product is that there’s a fine line between honoring what’s come before and simply checking off boxes of what to include. Revelations 2 wears its heritage on its sleeve, and that’s fine. But it’s also predictable.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 screenshot 33

For example, it’s easy to categorize each episode of Revelations 2 by the aspect of Resident Evil which it represents. Episode 1 is officially called “Penal Colony,” but it as may as well be “The Jump Scares.” Episode 3, with a spiked ceiling death trap and reliance on block pushing, could be renamed “Obtuse Puzzles.” Claire and Moira are often genuinely terrified of what’s happening around them, while Barry can’t resist making bad puns and quips that reference previous games. “Who’s the master of unlocking now?” he asks after destroying a door.

Revelations 2 just can’t let go of the good old days, when “Jill sandwiches” were on the menu, and fake human organs unlocked secret doorways. And again, that’s not necessarily bad. In fact, I’d wager some fans have longed to search for “Emblem Key” and throw their shoulders into chest-high obstacles.

Sadly, the game never executes or elevates these concepts to a particularly satisfying degree. Its barebones plot does more to set up a future installment and antagonist than provide an interesting conflict of its own, its monster designs and puzzles sometimes feel copy-pasted from previous games, and the co-op gameplay does little to change the experience (and when it does, it’s generally for the worse). The dungeon-like Raid Mode, where players continually loot stronger and stronger enemies for better and better guns makes for a good, repeatable challenge, but still feels ancillary to the main event.

Revelations 2 is neither a particularly good game nor a particularly bad one. It has all the ingredients of a good Resident Evil game, but lacks substance. Viewed as a setup for what’s to come, it’s bearable. Viewed as its own game, it’s underwhelming. An Issue #0 if I ever saw one.

This game was reviewed on an Xbox One using a code provided by Capcom.


  • Everything you expect from a Resident Evil game is here
  • Claire and Moira’s campaign feels drastically different from Barry and Natalia’s


  • The story does more to set up a future conflict than present an interesting current one
  • Monster designs and puzzles feel uninspired
  • Co-op partners are relegated to puzzle solution tools, not equal partners

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Prell
Sam Prell is an acting major-turned-freelance games journalist who has contributed to sites such as, Destructoid…
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 gets wild gameplay trailer, but no release date
Kraven the Hunter appears in Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

Insomniac Games showed off a new gameplay trailer for Marvel's Spider-Man 2 during Sony's May 2023 PlayStation Showcase. The action-packed clip showed off its villain, the iconic Kraven the Hunter, but it didn't give the game a release date. It's still only scheduled for fall 2023.

The new trailer gave us our closest glimpse at Sony's upcoming release we've seen yet. It begins with a very cinematic clip showing off classic Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter. From there, we flash-forward a bit to New York City, where we see Peter Parker and Miles Morales working together to save the city. Parker has a fancy new black suit with a lot of wild powers. In the trailer, we see multiple black spider arms coming out of it and slamming enemies.

Read more
Warzone 2.0’s ranked mode fixes my biggest battle royale pet peeve
Characters from Warzone 2.0 in the ranked mode.

As part of the Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 Season 3 Reloaded update, Activision finally added a long-awaited Ranked mode. While the mode plays almost exactly like standard battle royale on Al Mazrah, it has a number of minor differences that give it an edge. Though there's one feature in particular that stands out, as it fixes one of my biggest pet peeves in the battle royale genre.

In Ranked, players are discouraged from quitting partway through a match, giving squads a better chance of coming out on top. Placement is key in the mode, and you aren't going to place high if your squad leaves you partway through. To support that idea, players are heavily penalized for quitting a match early. The whole premise of the mode is to climb the ranks, so it's not worth losing Skill Rating (SR) points for quitting before the match is over.

Read more
Warzone 2.0 Season 3 Reloaded has me optimistic about the shooter’s future
Characters from Warzone 2.0 in the ranked mode.

Since Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0's launch, Activision has slowly made improvements to the shooter, with each season being more fun than the last. It's been a slow burn, but with the launch of Season 3 Reloaded, Warzone 2.0 finally feels like it's in a decent spot. There's still much to improve upon, but given the sheer number of fixes and quality-of-life features that have been added with the latest season, I'm finally optimistic about the future of this game.
Ranked is surprisingly fun

The most notable addition to Season 3 Reloaded is Ranked, a mode that has been highly requested since the original Warzone. This features a robust ranking system that gives players a greater incentive to improve and perform well, while also adding a much more competitive feel. Since the original Warzone days, there has always been a lack of incentive to improve. Sure, winning a match is a rush, but after pouring hundreds of hours into the game, it's easy to get bored. With Warzone Ranked, climbing the ranks places you into different categories, from Bronze all the way to Iridescent and Top 250, while also yielding cosmetic rewards along the way. Each subsequent ranking places you into slightly more skilled lobbies, adding a bit more challenge as you climb.

Read more