With Revelations 2 showing that Capcom still has semblance of a clue as to what they are doing with this well-loved but often messed up series, the most recent iteration now arrives on the Sony's PS Vita. To say this is quite an achievement, considering it was initially a home console title, is saying something, however, whilst the majority of the game has survived the transfer, there are a couple of glaring issues that stop this from being one of the best PS Vita titles.
Kicking off the action we have Claire Redfield, who along with a bunch if her colleagues including Moira Burton have been kidnapped, locked up with peculiar bracelets attached to them. Claire being a dab hand in these situations soon takes control, escaping the cell with Moira but it does not take long for them to discover that they are in grave danger, puppets in a mad theatre of death hosted by the Overseer as they try desperately to survive and escape their predicament. Revelations 2 is however slightly different from other Resident Evil games, with two main stories twisting and turning between one another, with the other half involving Barry Burton, Moira’s father as he tries to locate his missing daughter, instead though he finds Natalia, a mysterious young girl with even more mysterious powers.
Revelations 2 takes the more action orientated approach of the series, with a classic over the shoulder viewpoint as you run and duck and occasionally shoot your way out of trouble. The game does support a few physical puzzles to solve but none of these are real headscratchers, the natural progression of the story leading you pretty much to each solution. The real interesting mechanic is in keeping both characters in play alive, utilising each of their skills to find the best approach to each roadblock, with Barry and Claire being the armed support to the younger Moira and Natalia, though they are far from being weak with Moira’s handy flashlight able to stun enemies and Natalia’s ability to "see" monsters and also cave in zombie heads with a brick, kids these days! Knowing when to switch from the safety of a magnum or assault rifle to the younger characters is an interesting take, opening up all kinds of puzzles and problems to work out.
Just like its bigger brother on the home consoles Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been split into chapters, though this PS Vita version has all the content from the get go, playing more like a standard retail release than the episodic approach originally taken. Each chapter will flip between each duo as they all uncover the horrors that await them, the story spiralling from the scary into the crazy as Resident Evil games often do.
For the most part this PS Vita version manages to hold all of the thrills, scares and excitement of the home console versions, quite an achievement but sadly there has been a trade-off. In the past Resident Evil games utilised clever use of doors opening, adding additional suspense as the game busily pieced together the code the developers crammed into its limited storage space. Here however no such clever design has occurred with loading times just leaving the player with a black screen and small twirly thing to show the game has not crashed, any suspense or excitement that was built long forgotten by the time the game begins once again.
These loading times have been limited as best as possible and placed in sensible breaks in the games flow but they are still achingly long and on occasion a bit buggy, with the game crashing on load even though the twirly thing is still twirling.
I am also disappointed by the lack of any sort of cross function, where many games that stretch onto the PS Vita have some sort of cross play or save, Capcom have decided against this, with the PS Vita version being a separate entity. From my point of view, having played the campaign and enjoying the raid element this would have been perfect to continue my characters, alas no. This problem only really applies to players of the PS3 and PS4 version; otherwise new players have no concerns here.
Overall what amazes me is that how well the game has been recreated on the PS Vita, of course when comparing this game to the home console versions there are going to be graphical differences but overall the game looks fantastic on the portable screen, managing to capture those classic horror moments that its big brother managed so well and aside from my gripe with the loading times there is nothing wrong with this game, even adding gyroscopic aim assist, allowing you to compensate for the rather small and imprecise thumb stick by slightly tilting the PS Vita; Capcom went out to port a console game onto a PS Vita and managed it well, just as well this iteration of Resident Evil is a good one and with the raid and co-op modes available it is a great reason to turn on the Wi-Fi on your PSVita every once in a while for an online blast of zombies with a friend.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: PS Vita)
+ A decent Resident Evil game crammed onto a PS Vita
+ Options gyroscopic aim assist
- Loading times can take a while and also occasionally crash
- No cross save
- No cross save