After four weeks of action horror, Resident Evil Revelations 2 has come to its conclusion, and Episode 4: Metamorphosis continues to deliver on the same strengths as the three that came before, leaving you with one of two endings that serve to conclude this adventure nicely and hint at more Resident Evil down the line.
Claire and Moira’s chapter is heavy on the exposition, fast paced and intense. The pair finally confront Alex Wesker, trigger the Resident Evil staple of a self-destruct system and then frantically escape the tower they infiltrated. The clean steel and glass of the advanced tech lab and surveillance room Alex Wesker resides in is a nice contrast between the dilapidated prison, village, sewers and buildings that came before. And the rush to escape the ticking timer of the self-destruct plays nicely into the odd enemy encounter as Claire and Moira try to escape. It’s over very quickly, but its final moments are surprising, despite heavy telegraphing over the course of the adventure.
Meanwhile, Barry and Natalia’s chapter is lengthier and structured more like you’d expect, with dashes of combat, exploration and puzzles. Well-designed environmental puzzles and a section that references the original Resident Evil heavily in its aesthetic, adds variety to the experience and keeps the pace steady. A stand-out combat section truly tests your resource management, meanwhile, the final boss is a little underwhelming, never posing much of a threat and falling back on the tried and tested Resident Evil trope of a telegraphed weak spot.
However, there are two endings to enjoy, dictated by a choice you make in Claire and Moira’s chapter in Episode 3. Interestingly it’s the so-called ‘bad’ ending that injects the storytelling with more depth and wisdom, but the ‘good’ ending certainly rounds off this particular story better.
Indeed Metamorphosis provides a good ending to an excellent episodic experiment. The two different endings weren’t hinted at well enough, which can lead to a little frustration if you’re not satisfied with the one you get. The fact a single choice dictates which ending you get, and that it’s not in this particular chapter is also a nuisance, but it doesn’t distract from the overall quality of the experience. Episode 4 also adds more variety with its locations and although no new enemies are present – beyond the boss – and the combat situations are predictable, they still feel intense thanks to clever resource distribution.
Two further episodes have also been released alongside Episode 4: The Struggle and Little Miss. Each offer a unique experience over the campaign episodes. Moira’s The Struggle has you hunt for food and scrounge for ammo and herbs before lengthy combat scenarios against dozens of foes. Meanwhile, Natalia’s Little Miss has you sneak around the infected looking for your lost teddy bear. They add a lot of characterisation to both secondary characters and fill in some pretty important gaps in the overall narrative. It’s unfortunate that The Struggle compromises the ‘bad ending’ a little bit, and selling them as separate episodes is also a bit difficult to swallow, but they’re certainly great editions to the overall package.
Episode 4 does a good job smoothing over those cracks Episode 3 was beginning to show, environments are more varied, the puzzles remained interesting and the combat remained intense with barely enough ammo to survive it. The tone shifts to something more serious but it feels appropriate to how it all concludes. Overall, Episode 4 achieves the same high quality of its predecessors.
As a complete package, Resident Evil Revelations 2 does a lot right to keep the franchise alive and fresh. The action-horror style of play is pretty cemented in the series now, but Revelations 2’s thoughtful resource management makes it feel a little more desperate and intense, recapturing at least some of the original survival horror theme. Meanwhile, the script and voice work is noticeably better than the previous titles, with better localisation and hitting a better, self-referential tone overall. And although this story isn’t as involved or grand as many of the numbered titles, it’s an intriguing story that fits nicely into the pre-existing lore and potentially sets up an interesting future title. Additionally, releasing it episodically was a terrific idea, keeping individual play sessions to only a few hours helps keep the experience fresher for longer.
It’s not going to attract a new audience but long-time Resident Evil fans are likely to feel reinvigorated and hopeful about the future of the series. It’s been gradual, but Capcom appear to be steering the series towards a healthier future, and it’s exciting to imagine what could be in store next time on Resident Evil.
Thanks to Capcom for supplying TiX with a download code
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