Resident Evil Revelations 2 - Penal ColonyOverview -
Over the past two decades, 'Resident Evil' has had a great deal of remakes, spin-offs, and gaidens on a multitude of platforms. In recent years, the most successful of turn of 'Resident Evil' was probably 2012’s 'Revelations'. Originally a 3DS game that was later ported over to PC and consoles, 'Revelations' was well received, with reviewers noting that the game was more horror, in contrast to the action focus of the main series. 'Revelations' now has its own sequel, and Capcom has elected to use an episodic format for release. 'Penal Colony' is the first of these episodes.
In addition to its gameplay and theme, 'Revelations 2' seems to have imitated the 3DS video quality of its predecessor. Well, to be charitable, it looks like a port of a 3DS game on the Xbox 360. That means simple geometry, small environments, and a range of texture detail. A scratchy filter coats the camera lens, maybe to mimic the effect of the found footage genre, but that combined with the troubling gamma correction makes for a game with very limited visibility. Not that it’s all that great to look at with the brightness turned up. To add insult upon injury, the framerate struggles during the more involved scenes.
'Resident Evil' has made great strides in its dialogue and voice acting since the Arklay mansion. Sure, there is still cheesy dialogue, but it’s not laughably bad anymore. And to its credit, the limited conversations between Barry and Natalia are sweet and believable, and probably some of the best acting in the series to date. The foreboding, industrial soundtrack thrums along in the background, adding tension to the scares.
'Resident Evil Revelations 2 Penal Colony' is a promising, but ultimately flawed first episode for Capcom’s new series. Aside from its visual issues, there are some questionable design and publishing decisions: why is the game episodic, seeing as how each episode is already completed? Why doesn’t it have online co-op for the campaign? Why didn’t they wait to release it until Raid’s co-op was ready? Still, at $5, that 'Resident Evil' charm is there, and you could do worse for survival horror than 'Penal Colony'.
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