Resident Evil : Revelations 2, Capcom’s long running horror series goes episodic.

The first Revelations was, bizarrely, an HD port of a Nintendo 3DS game. It wasa decent slice of Resident Evil, with a notably slower pace than recent entries in the main series. It still wasn't pure survival horror like Mikami’s originals, but it was closer. And now we're getting a sequel. This time it’s episodic, and will be released in chunks. Capcom say their focus is “traditional horror,” but with the post Resident Evil 4 over the shoulder combat that replaced the old games’ fixed camera.

The hero this time is Claire Redfield, in her first major starring role since 2000’s Code: Veronica, but who is probably best known for being the second protagonist of the brilliant Resident Evil 2. She’s joined by Moira Burton, the foul mouthed daughter of bearded sandwich enthusiast Barry, and you can switch between the two at any time.

The sectionI played was set in an old prison filled with fast moving not zombies. Moira can’t use firearms, but she can blind enemies with her flashlight. Then, switching back to Claire, I finish them off with my pistol. Otherwise it’s a fairly by the numbers third person shooter, with the odd Resi style puzzle to mix things up. Find the object, stick it in the slot, open the door, kill the monsters. You doubtless know the drill by now.

 Find the object, stick it in the slot, open the door, kill the monsters. You know the drill

Rationed ammunition and limited health restoring herbs give the game a survival horror feel, although there’s no option at least in the sections I played to avoid or flee from enemies. It’s a linear shooting gallery, and you better pray you don’t run out of bullets. The classic  Resident Evil  jump scares are, after years of playing these games, too obviously telegraphed. But I did find a few moments quite tense.

In one scene I was forced to split the pair up. Moira had to activate a door for Claire in another room, on her own, and her lack of any means to defend herself really upped the tension. The two character dynamic could potentially be really interesting, if only as a device for creating scary set pieces. Moira can also shine her flashlight around the environment to reveal hidden ammo for Claire to pick up.

Though it isn't a handheld port this time, the visuals and environment design are still pretty primitive. It doesn't look terrible, but it’s a step back from Resident Evil 6 . It feels like it was made on a small budget. It’s more spinoff than blockbuster sequel.

I didn't get much of a taste of the story. I’m not even sure why Claire and Moira are trapped in a creepy prison. But that’ll be the thing that determines whether or not the new episodic structure works. The reason The Walking Dead was so compelling was the urge to know what happens after every cliffhanger. Narrative has never really been Resi ’s strong point, so I’ll be interested to see how they handle this new format.

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