After 4 weeks it is finally time for the finale to Revelations 2 and, much like the finale of your favourite TV show, it is time to sit down and tie up all of the loose threads…right? Well, for the most part, Metamorphosis does tie up the major plot points, but there are still some burning questions which are left unanswered. It is pretty much left up to the player to use their interpretation of events to tie up some of the loose ends. Many of the smaller loose ends get tied up in the notes which are scattered about, some are in obvious places and others less so, which means that some players may not stumble upon the answer to their questions.
One of the biggest disappointments with the concluding episode is the pacing and the unbalanced chapters. Claire’s chapter is by far the best in this episode with Claire and Moira finally meeting their captor followed by a desperate escape attempt made even tenser by a time limit and invisible foes. The fact this chapter is so good makes it all the more disappointing that it is painfully short. Clocking in at around 25 minutes it feels like it’s over before it has barely begun.
However, Barry’s chapter lasts much longer at around an hour, though this is not necessarily a good thing as the much of the chapter soon becomes an exercise in tedium. Most of this portion of the game feels like filler designed to flesh out the running time, and the majority of the time you will be running around looking for keys, switches and security cards. I found myself beginning to get bored in these sections of the game. However, there are some great moments in the story which keep you engaged and pushing forward, such relationship between Barry and Natalia which keeps you hooked, ranking as one of the best parts of Revelations 2’s story.
The locations offer up little in the way of variation from the previous episodes – it would have been interesting to explore more of the tower at the beginning of Claire’s chapter but this is restricted to two small rooms, while over half of Barry’s chapter takes place in a dreary mine filled with gas, meaning a lot of running around looking for a way out whilst choking on the fumes. The sound of Barry and Natalia coughing eventually grates with its constant looping, even though Barry instructs Natalia to “hold your breath”. A section set within a mansion, however, evokes memories of the original Resident Evil which is a great fan service, perking up the chapter alongside the final showdown which showcases some of the best creature design in the game. It’s a shame then that the final boss battle, much like the rest of Barry’s chapter, feels like a slog and drawn out.
There are two endings to Revelations 2, naturally a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ ending. The only way to get the good ending is to trigger an event in episode 3 so if, like me, you didn’t perform this specific action then you are 100% certain to get the bad ending. However, the action you need to perform goes against one of the characters principles which means it isn’t obvious that this is an ending defining choice. Playing through the game again to make this choice and getting the good ending offers up a more satisfying ending than the bad one and points towards a further instalment in the series.
Finishing the game unlocks two bonus episodes: The Struggle and Little Miss, which help to fill in some of the gaps and expand the story further. Each episode is a self-contained vignette set on the island and last around 30 minutes each. Both episodes add value to the game and the story as a whole. Little Miss focusses on Natalia sneaking around the island trying to find her lost teddy bear, using stealth to avoid the monsters.
The chapter shows Natalia coping with being alone on the island and battling her inner demons. The Struggle focusses on Moira and stands out as the best of the bonus episodes due to a twist where you need to hunt and gather food for rations. Rations are then used as currency to retry missions, and if you die without having any rations, you lose all progress in that chapter. This adds a great sense of jeopardy and there were some genuinely tense moments to be had when fighting waves of monsters.
Although there may be problems with the pacing, the gameplay is solid this time around. Whereas previous episodes have seen some dip in the frame rate, I had no such issues with this episode. One issue I did have was with the computer AI during stealth sections, one moment saw my character being blocked when trying to move out of the way and getting spotted. However, the worst moment came during the Little Miss bonus episode when using foliage for cover, an enemy kept walking into me and eventually pushed me out of cover and spotted me, which then sent me all the way back to the last checkpoint.
The real value for money in Revelations 2 comes from the amount of replayability. Once the main campaign and bonus episodes are completed, there are many reasons to come back to the game. There are many collectables in the main campaign as well as challenges to complete. However, the greatest amount of longevity will come from the Raid mode which is now fully unlocked. Although the story as a whole has been strong, it is this mode which will keep you coming back for more long after the final credits have rolled.
Despite some of the flaws in the pacing of Metamorphosis, this remains a strong finish for the game as a whole. The episodic format suits Revelations 2, and may be prominent in future instalments. The conclusion of each of the characters journeys felt satisfying and shows that Resident Evil is still capable of telling a worthwhile story. Revelations 2 may just be the game which renews peoples faith in a series which has long been accused of becoming stagnant.
Version tested: PS4