|System: PC*, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360|
|Release: March 11, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language|
Another shortcoming of the puzzles in RE:R2 Episode is the way they manage to constantly break the player's suspension of disbelief. Convoluted traps and puzzles that make very little sense for their environment are nothing new for the Resident Evil series. However, this time around the game unabashedly draws from the “most overused tropes” pile. Like I said before, there is a pushing a box puzzle, something we have rarely seen out of JRPGs since the days of the SNES. The frequency of these puzzles does sometimes make you groan, wondering why your characters can’t just climb a fence or something to get past the whole thing.
The puzzles also cause a particularly jarring shift when you are suddenly plunged into boss fights. Both boss encounters this time around feel longer than previous ones, but since combat has been a footnote everywhere else in this episode, they feel like they are there just because they could be. Honestly, I think it would have been better if you simply ended the episode after a big puzzle moment and story revelation. With episodic games, you can afford to do things like that that you couldn’t do in non-episodic games.
Still, the slower pace of this chapter is welcome, not only for the respite from the action of Episode 2, but also for the chance to focus on character development and story. While the mystery continues to heavily hang over our character’s heads, there is more dialogue and exposition in this episode which finally makes us feel like we aren’t completely in the dark. It gives the episode a sense of purpose that previous episodes didn’t have, and pushes you on toward the finale. In a way, episode 3 was getting RE:R2 “over the hump.” If you stuck with it this far, you absolutely want to see the finale.
That’s my recommendation for anyone out there thinking about picking up Episode 3. If you aren’t sold on the series yet, this is your opportunity to cut and run. But if Episode 1 and 2 have kept you playing, Episode 3 will push you forward straight through the end. It’s not the greatest Resident Evil title out there, but it has successfully taken us on a trip through Resident Evil’s variety of different gameplay styles, and the trip has been quite fun so far.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: March 11, 2015