Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been the surprise package of 2015 so far, serving up a survival horror experience befitting of the brand that it belongs to. Episode Three: Judgment furthers this fine form, delivering what feels like an extended highlights reel, demonstrating everything that makes Capcom's cult series great. It may look drab and dreary at points, but this is still the best instalment in an already strong series to date.
The fundamentals remain unchanged: you'll control Claire Redfield, Moira Burton, Barry Burton, and Natalia Korda through two chapters, attempting to evade the undead and escape from an island on which you've been held captive. The story's starting to pick up pace now, and because it takes place over an extended period of time (Claire and Moira's plot is set six or so months before Barry and Natalia's tale) it's constantly revealing beats that'll make you question what's going to happen next.
The fanservice is spectacular, too, with little nods to previous games that will ensure fans remain engaged. And this episode – which is the longest so far – definitely feels like it was made with veterans in mind. One sequence early on takes place in a factory, and is littered with puzzles that would have easily felt at home in the Spencer Mansion. These conundrums are just about smart enough to make you think, but won't test you too much, meaning that they don't break the pace.
And if hauling around generators isn't your idea of fun, there are several boss fights to make up for the downtime. With many of the same enemy types popping up multiple times, these set-piece battles add a little extra interest to the combat – even if they amount to shooting glowing blobs a lot of the time. One battle in particular – which follows a 'twist' so heavily signposted that you'll see it coming a mile away – sees you burning your foe to expose its weak spot.
This, of course, results in a gag about barbeques – or at least it should, given some of the amazing/terrible dialogue elsewhere. Even after three episodes, it's hard to believe just how silly this series has become, yet one sequence will see you operating a mincer, while the smug Moira casually makes a remark about "frickin' filet mignons". Even when it's trying to be serious, complete with slow walking and string instruments, it can't help but be hilarious.
But that's honestly part of the charm, and while this instalment doesn't really break from what we've already rated – there are some tense timed sequences, as well as one bit where Barry and Natalia are separated for quite a while – it does just enough to keep the core ideas interesting, and the story snowballing towards its impending ending. It's managed a decent cliff hanger at the end of every episode so far, and it's now three-for-three in that department – literally this time.
The biggest downer, then, is that it all just looks so dark and dismal. We've already commented on the release's far from stellar visuals, but a neverending sewer section represents the greatest case of brown and grey in games to date; you can literally sense the artists falling to sleep as they painted the muddy textures. At least the excellent Raid Mode has returned with more content than the average person has time to beat, with another new character for you to level, too.
A pastiche of ideas from Resident Evil's past, Episode Three: Judgment represents the best of Capcom's surprisingly enjoyable episodic series so far. Its ambition is modest, but the execution is good, with ridiculous plot beats, larger than life boss fights, and solid puzzles. Only the dismal environments let this instalment down, which are more lifeless than the corpses that you'll be pumping full of lead.
I've got the retail copy already paid off and will pick it up Tuesday but with each review of a new episode my excitement wavers. I hope I'm in for a pleasant surprise but the whole co-op nature of the game p*sses me off. And they couldn't put at least a little work into the environments? I know Capcom is hurting for money but either do it right or don't bother at all.
Anyways, thanks for another review @get2sammyb. Hopefully Episode 4 will save this. Otherwise I'm giving this game a chance only because I liked Revelations 1 a lot.
@Gamer83 Let your excitement wane, but don't cancel it - I think you'll find this a pleasant surprise. I went in with my expectations rock bottom, but I've thoroughly enjoyed it so far, even though it's merely 'good' and never 'ground breaking' or anything like that.
And I honestly think the character hopping is well executed - it'll maybe make more sense to you when you play the game. I think this is what they've been trying to achieve with the 'dual character' scenarios in recent Resident Evils, but they've finally pulled it off.
If you're after some dumb fun, you'll like this.
Well, I'm not lying when I say your reviews and feedback have never led me in the wrong direction, so I'll give the game shot. It's RE afterall and aside from the spinoffs I consider crazy (like those PSone and 2 light gun games and ORC) I always want to give the latest release a fair shot. I wasn't too high on the idea of switching among three characters in GTA V when I heard about it but Rockstar pulled it off. Capcom isn't Rockstar but have to be fair and wait to play before fully judging.
Bloody Tobey McGuire, man.
i cant wait till this comes to vita, i think it will be a much better fit. and i hope they make a physical copy.
@get2sammyb Another fine review!
I'll be picking up the full version on Vita, I think.
Nice review. I've enjoyed the first episode and about half of episode2 so far but would've liked some better mechanics for the co-op partner.
Pointing out weak points and items are fine, but Natalia's bricks and Moira's crowbar are not very useful. Since we make items in-game, I would've liked the ability to add damage to the crowbar or bricks that could be lost as you use them. The skillpoint tree for the co-op partner sucks too.
So far i've been thrilled with this game, not a single regret experienced, i recommend you to play it.
@Kage_88 Yeah just Vita
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