"It takes two to make a thing go right."
For players who love the survival horror puzzles of the original Resident Evil games, the third episode of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will be right up their alley. For those who appreciate the introduction of action and shooter elements to be found later in the series, well, at least there's still a few bosses that will turn into shoot-outs.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3: Judgment relishes in the build-up, leaving players to wallow in the mystery, revealing itself in true, contorted Resident Evil style. With only one more episode remaining after this one, the game clearly is in no rush to tip its hand, feeling confident in forcing players to earn the knowledge needed to put together the pieces of the overall puzzle known as the plot. This is the episode where previous knowledge of the Resident Evil series comes in handy; be warned, after the video below several spoilers exist, so proceed with caution.
Turns out the Overseer is a “sibling” of Albert Wesker named Alex, who was first referenced in the events of Resident Evil 5 as one of the candidate children of Project W. Originally loyal to the CEO of the Umbrella Corporation, Oswell Spencer, she later turned on him, disappearing with the secret of immortality he longed for. Since then, she has turned into the “Overseer” of the Penal Colony where Claire and Moira wind up in the first episode after the TerraSave attack. As Claire and Moira make their way through the episode, they discover Alex who unleashes a mutated Neil Fisher on them, forcing Moira to pick up Claire's handgun and pump bullets into the monster.
Meanwhile, in Barry's story, the female-esque presence reveals itself to be—surprise, surprise—Alex Wesker as well, in a mutated state this time. The two escape after shooting out a ceiling to collapse on an oncoming mutant horde. During a brief rest period, Barry finally reveals to Natalia that Moira and he drifted apart after an incident Moira accidentally shoots her sister, Polly, for which Barry blamed her for. The two follow the same path Claire and Moira took earlier, eventually finding Moira's cell phone, where she recorded a voicemail to her mother and sister as a farewell, forgiving Barry for being a poor father. The two return to the abandoned town on the island where Alex Wesker ambushes them, knocking Barry off a cliff and confronting Natalia, claiming that the “infection”—whatever that may turn out to be—left her ugly and wrinkled, but Natalia still remains humanlike, despite being “infected” herself.
The pace of the game slows down in episode three, but still maintains an intriguing presence, especially for longtime fans of the series. The classic puzzles take dominance in Judgment, requiring a bit more logic than those of the first two episodes, though the puzzles still retain the random-object-in-random-place tactic. (Moira even quips during Claire's act at one point what every player is thinking: “I don't know why that makes sense—but it does.”)
Though Barry and Natalia's act has been superior throughout the series, and continues to do so in Judgment thanks in large part to a sequence where Natalia has to work as monster bait for Barry to take them out in one hit to save precious resources, Claire and Moira's act improves immensely as Moira proves herself not to be an incessant twit, finally. Moira finally demonstrates what being the daughter of Barry Burton means as she becomes less of an appendage and more of a necessary part of a partnership that Claire depends on, including being needed to work together to escape a kill room that has separated the two characters on different paths. Players need to issue commands between the two character with precision timing yet avoid the enemies being released on to them. It's difficult, tense, and thoroughly satisfying when completing it.
Judgment at this point is the best of the episodic series, and though there are several unanswered questions at the end of the episode, it feels like the disjointed condition of the two stories are about to come together in some bizarre, just-go-with-it fashion that Resident Evil fans are used to at this point.
Code provided by publisher. Review based on Xbox One version. Also available on PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.