Game Title: Resident Evil Revelations 2
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Digital Download
Battery Life: 2.25 – 3.25 hours
Download: 23.6 GB
Resident Evil Revelations 2 and I have an interesting history. Outside of the original game, it’s the one game in the series I’ve replayed an obsessive number of times across 3 separate platforms. My PS Vita review of the game is also my most popular video on my YouTube channel, currently sitting at over 62,000 views.
Ever since it was announced for the Switch, I was looking forward to playing through it again. Now I’ve cleared the game and the DLC campaigns and am ready for this. Here is my review of Resident Evil Revelations 2 for the Nintendo Switch!
Just like how Revelations took place between Resident Evil 4 and 5, Revelations 2 takes place between the events of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6.
Claire Redfield (from Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica) is now a member of anti-bioterrorist group Terra Save and attending a party to welcome newcomer Moira Burton when the entire group is attacked and kidnapped.
The story then takes 2 different approaches. In the first half of each chapter, we see Claire’s Journey. Waking on a strange island filled with B.O.W.s and now under the surveillance of a woman known as “The Overseer”, she and Moira must fight their way through the island and find their fellow Terra Save co-workers before the monsters do.
And in the second half, we see Barry Burton’s journey 6 months later as he arrives on the island to search for his missing daughter.
The plot of Revelations 2 is a good story not because of its entire narrative, but in how Moira develops as a character and the lore behind The Overseer and her real intentions. It’s a type of plot point that is unique in the series and goes far beyond the typical virus experiments the series is known for.
Like many games before it, Revelations 2 is a Third-Person Horror Shooter. In all of your levels and environments, you’re going to be navigating dangerous areas and taking out enemies with weapons, be it Barry’s signature Magnum, Claire’s Sub-Machine Gun, or Moira’s Crowbar.
Just like with Revelations, we have to ask what’s different between previous versions of the game and the Nintendo Switch version, with handheld fans mostly asking the difference between Revelations 2 on the Switch vs PS Vita. The main additions are Motion Controls and a new Mini-Game for Raid Mode, inspired and playing very much like the old NES Ghosts n Goblins game. Other than that, it includes all the DLC like the other console full releases do.
Revelations 2 is best put as taking the dark environments and tones from Revelations and combining them with an enhanced gameplay style from Resident Evil 6. All of Revelations’s control and gameplay flaws have been removed and replaced by a much more Co-Op oriented style of 6’s gameplay engine. You can dash, the AI partners can be controlled and have different playstyles and uses in combat, you’ve got shared inventory, and everything just generally plays so much better.
With all of the focus on Co-Op Play, there is only one real downer about Revelations 2. There is full Co-Op Play for the Story Campaign, but it is only available offline for Couch Co-Op. That means you cannot connect to the Internet and co-op with friends around the world like you can in Raid Mode, and it feels like a huge missed opportunity.
Like the first Revelations, this game plays in Chapters as the chapters of the game initially released separately, like a Telltale Games’ title. This isn’t all that different from the first Revelations, but they’ve added in different elements to the chapters and 2 sets of playable characters, where your decisions in Claire’s Campaign will directly affect many factors in Barry’s Campaign, like traps, enemies, level shortcuts, and endings.
As far as combat goes, not a lot is different from Revelations. You can aim and fire with your weapons, and you’ve got guns and melee attacks. The main addition is the bigger focus on stunning and performing melee follow-ups on enemies. This ties into the Co-Op, with Natalia being able to point Barry towards invisible enemies, and Moira being able to stun enemies with her flashlight, enabling Claire to perform follow-up attacks to conserve ammo.
What is different is character development and growth. When you start the game, everything is at its base value, like any other RE game. However, almost every aspect of combat can be enhanced through a Skill Tree. Whether it’s how much health a Green Herb restores or how quickly you can slash your knife, the BP you earn in Campaign, Raid Mode, and the DLC Campaigns can all be used to upgrade your abilities and the abilities of the AI, making it almost feel completely different once you start playing Story Mode again with a completed Skill Tree.
The same can be said of Raid Mode. Revelations 2’s Raid Mode has more than 4 times the content of Revelations, and every character can be leveled up and enhanced with skills, like max health, weapon efficiency, and different combat styles for sub-weapons.
Before I get too carried away, let’s talk about length. If this is your first time playing Revelations 2, you likely won’t know how to create the shortcuts in Barry’s Campaign. With that in mind, your first run through the Story Mode on the Normal Difficulty will likely take you around 9-10 hours. If you add onto that the 45 stages of Raid Mode (plus multiple difficulty modes for all of those stages), we are talking at least 20 hours of content, and that’s assuming you don’t replay the store for the more interesting unlocks, like Infinite Ammo and the Special Weapons.
As far as the control scheme is concerned, you should prepare yourself for adjustments. While Revelations on Switch closely follows the control setup the 3DS used, Revelations 2 closely resembles the control scheme used on the PlayStation 4.
The Left Analog Stick is used to move and the Right Analog Stick is used for the camera. The L trigger opens the menu for using sub-weapons and the R trigger is used to use Green Herbs to heal yourself, while ZL and ZR are used for aiming and shooting. Also, ZR can be used by itself for melee attack and follow-ups.
Here’s where it gets really different, the Face Buttons. A is used for performing a dodge/jump and B is used for dashing and interacting with most objects, like doors. This is the opposite of Revelations, where A was used to interact with doors. The X button lets you switch control between your two characters, and Y is used for picking up items, like ammo and herbs.
As with Revelations, this game has motion controls for aiming and reloading. However, just like Revelations, these motion controls are exclusive to the Joy-Cons. Gyro Aiming is not possible on the Pro Controller. I’m not sure why, since even the PS Vita version of the game has Gyro Aiming. But if you use a Pro Controller, you’re stuck with manual aiming.
First of all, this game looks wonderful. If you’re coming from the PS Vita version of the game, this is a clear picture of what happens when Capcom makes a port, themselves vs a poorly-optimized port. There is so much more detail, the lighting is better, etc. Revelations 2 is nice and smooth, just like Revelations.
Performance is also good, for the most part. Frame-Rate stays at a locked 30 fps and I never saw it drop across my first run through Story Mode. Load Times, however, are another story. On the PS Vita, loading a save or a new chapter normally took about 40-60 seconds or more, and that has not changed here. The initial Load Time for the game booting up is quick, but every loading sequence afterwards is extremely long. It’s like the loading situation from Revelations but swapped. Quick Boot-up, long campaign loading sequences.
If you’ve ever wondered if reducing a game’s frame-rate would improve Battery Life, the answer is yes, as I found out with going from Revelations to Revelations 2. Here are my times, from 100% to 0%:
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 2 hours, 26 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 2 hours, 31 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 04 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 11 minutes
If you compare that to Revelations, Revelations 2 has more details, a more complex gameplay system, but 30 fps instead of 60 and gained around 10 minutes on the Battery title. 10 minutes isn’t a lot, but it’s 10 minutes.
In conclusion, Revelations 2 on Switch is everything the Vita port should have been and then some. While it isn't perfect, with long loading sequences and Motion Controls being excluded from the Pro Controller, it's a horror shooter with lots of content and one of the more unique plotlines of the Resident Evil series.