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Resident Evil Revelations 2 Hands-On – A Nightmare of a Demo

Lots of choices on how to approach the Resident Evil Revelations 2 demonstration at Tokyo Game Show 2014. Either wait an hour to play the PlayStation 4 version or twenty minutes for the Xbox One version. No real question there, considering the game is going to be at least close to identical. I might as well save myself 40 minutes.

Once I finally got seated in to play though, problems began to pile up which sadly left a bad taste in my mouth. For one, I could not get the controls set to how I like them for the life of me. Maybe I’m mistaken, but in most games, when choosing to invert the vertical aiming, developers use the Y-axis to describe it because that is what the gun travels along. But Capcom’s demo labels it based on which axis is rotating, meaning the X-axis was used in the menu to describe how to adjust vertical movement of the gun.

Perhaps the words “horizontal” and “vertical” would be better? That saves a lot of confusion. Resident Evil Revelations 2 doesn’t even have the excuse of being in Japanese, because the demo had an English option! I had no trouble getting the inversion to work in the Japanese menu in Bloodborne just half an hour earlier.

Needless to say, this kind of thinking wasn’t going through my head as I battled zombies in a dark room during a timed demo. I found myself totally inept with the most awkward control scheme imaginable, reversed horizontal movement with normal vertical movement, and I had to open the menu no less than two dozen times to try and figure out what went wrong.

After finally realizing that I should set it to invert the X-axis in order to reverse the vertical movement of my gun, I could enjoy the game with only a few minutes to spare. For what it’s worth, its pretty decent so far. Tight, claustrophobic, full of gore and bloody beasts. It is clearly the sequel to Revelation HD in every sense of the word, and maybe the team will be able to make that magic happen twice.

I’m not entirely sure what to think of Moira though. Claire Redfield and her female sidekick have been kidnapped and taken to a remote island. They awaken with bracelets strapped to their wrists that measure fear, and  some insane mastermind explains to them they are part of an experiment on human survival. I think that’s the plot anyway. Moira is exactly what you’d think she is at first glance, a punk teenager who sounds like she is just learning how to swear. Her back story alludes to a mysterious incident which traumatized her to the use of guns.

No matter the danger, she will not pick one up.

This carries into the gameplay as she acts as Claire’s back-up. Her main job is to shine the flashlight in dark areas, highlighting hidden story items, ammo, and gems, and her last line of defense is a crowbar. A quick push of the Y-button puts you in direct control of her, meaning you’ll have to use the functions of both characters to advance in the game’s story.

I’m not sure if her standing dumbstruck in front of a ladder, blocking our only chance of escape from a horde of angry zombies is supposed to be her function, though, because that’s what she did. All she had to do was climb up a ladder right in front of her face, and we would have lived. But she stayed in one place for a good thirty seconds and wouldn’t climb on her own, leaving me as Claire to die, unable to get around her.

If I have to take control of both characters to get them both to climb in the final build, we are going to have some problems.

On a more Earthly level, I think Moira functions as a friendship test to determine who among you is the alpha in your pack of buddies. Seriously, everyone who plays this in co-op is not going to want to voluntarily be Moira because we play Resident Evil to use guns and shoot zombies in the face, not be a back-up. If that’s your thing, you are more than welcome.

I want to like Resident Evil Revelations 2 a lot more than I did, and I’m going to wait for another stab at the demo from the comfort of my home before making any final opinions. I walked away grumpy from this one, but it’s hard to hold that against the game when it was the menu’s fault for not knowing that “vertical” and “horizontal” are far more clear than “Y” and “X…” or is that “X” and “Y?”


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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...


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