Release Date: March 11th, 2015
Available On: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Reviewer’s Note: I played this game on the PlayStation 4. There may be differences between versions.
After Contemplation improved on the first episode’s quality, both in story telling and in game play, I was pretty prepared for the third episode to keep up the great quality. Good news: It does. Judgement offers another helping of what may still possibly be the best Resident Evil game since 4.
After the introduction to who The Overseer actually is, Episode 3 once again has Claire and Moria fighting for their survival, and Barry and Natalia trying to locate the other two. Sadly, this time around it’s Claire and Moria’s arc that stalls. They spend most of it searching for Neil and only really find him at the end of the episode, not learning much along the way. There is one interesting thing, the game connects to Resident Evil 5 by reintroducing the Uroboros virus, but otherwise not much happens during their run. On the other hand Barry and Natalia go much further now. The mystery of what The Overseer has done, especially to Natalia, continues to be really interesting. We get to learn more about the relationship between Barry and Moria and why it fell apart, something that’s actually surprisingly well handled considering Barry and Moria’s writing up until this point. Since there’s only one more episode left Judgement spends a lot of its time setting up the finale, and that’s okay with me since it seems like it’s going to be an interesting one.
Not much has changed as far as gameplay goes, though Judgement puts a greater emphasis on teaming up with your buddy it seems. There’s also some actual genuine puzzles this time around that aren’t just “move a box to block a door”. One weird puzzle had Moria holding down a switch to move butchered pig carcasses over a grinding machine while Claire shot them down to add more blood to it. Another has Barry and Natalia working together to move a generator across several conveyer belts to get it to a higher level. Even outside of puzzles there’s plenty of team work: Claire and Moria need to work together to escape a burning factory, shutting off gas to knock out fires for each other. Another scene has Barry providing covering fire for Natalia while she opens various gates in a sewer for him, some times stopping to once again point out the invisible monsters to him. While I still prefer the game solo, getting stuck as the “support” character isn’t much fun, playing them is at least less of a chore this time around.
Unfortunately Judgement is where I’m also coming across my first few problems with Revelations 2’s combat. Contemplation contained a couple of thrilling boss fights that were, hands down, the highlight of that episode. I guess someone at Capcom noticed because you refight the first boss from Contemplation about four times. A tense edge-of-your-seat fight gets watered down to basically “oh, this guy again” and that’s a real shame as it’s a waste of an excellent enemy. Claire and Moria’s chapter ends with a new boss fight that overstays its welcome, dragging on long past when it should have been done. Barry and Natalia’s end chapter boss also has the same problem: it has far more health than it needs and it’s not interesting enough to carry a fight as long as it does. Neither boss fight is bad, both are just too long and could have used a serious reduction in health.
Judgement is noticeably longer than the past episodes. Penal Colony only took me about an hour and a half, and Contemplation was really only thirty minutes longer than that, but Judgement lasted me a solid three hours. I do believe part of this time was due to the puzzles, things I actually had to stop and think for, so subsequent playthroughs may not last as long. Once again you have Countdown and Invisible modes to spice the chapter up, and Judgement adds a couple more new character to Raid mode (some of which you have to actually unlock).
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is drawing towards its end as only one episode remains. So far it has managed to keep up and be a great addition to the Resident Evil series. I’m going in with high hopes here, but even if the last episode fails badly I can still recommend this game when 3/4ths of it have been constantly hitting high notes.