‘Revelations 2’ conclusion cluttered but gets the job done
The “Resident Evil” franchise long has been known for its oversaturated plots. Some may go so far as to say “convoluted.” Stories diverge and intersect, criss-crossing among heroes and villains and the random passer-by with some unbeknownst thread connecting everything together in some disturbing mishmash that somehow creates a coherent universe. (Most of the time, that is.)
As with any conclusion in the “RE” world, the final episode in the four-part “Resident Evil: Revelations 2” has quite a few plot lines to stitch together: What’s the true goal of the Overseer? What’s the story behind behind the young and mysterious Natalia Korda? How will our heroes escape from this island of viral death?
While “Metamorphosis” struggles a bit to stitch together the answers to those questions and more, the episode captures the chaotic nonsense that makes a “Resident Evil” game memorable (and goofy, thanks to some hilariously awkward scripting).
Let’s get the bad out of the way first: “Metamorphosis” takes the easy way out when it comes to its reveals. While “RE” doesn’t shy away from stashing important story points in less than easy-to-spot places, “Metamorphosis” is riddled with details hidden away in text files. For a game that’s been fantastic in bouncing between monster-fueled action and tension-filled silence, “Episode 4” can’t seem to maintain the same rhythm.
This episode pushes you forward with little regard to background plot, basically throwing us against the game’s final sequences as fast as possible. (And you can miss the biggest reveal — well, maybe transformation is the better word — because of earlier choices. We’ll get back to that.) What interesting information “Metamorphosis” has isn’t easily found, and if you do find it, you then have to read it. Normally, that’s not a knock against the game, but it just feels lazy and tension-draining this time around.
The first part of the episode, featuring Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, is pulse-pounding in its intensity. In fact, it’s basically just one long escape sequence, filled with invisible monsters blocking your path and a timer forcing you forward. It doesn’t take long — in fact, it’s the shortest segment in the entire series — but the events that transpire throughout are heavy with importance.
When we get to Natalia and Barry Burton’s much-longer section, though, the blistering pace comes to much slower crawl. In one section, massively annoying monster slogs are made even worse because of having to traverse through poison gas-filled rooms that leave you little time to actually accomplish anything. (You have to return to safe breathing areas so you don’t die to the poison.) And then there’s the cart-pushing in the monster- and poison-filled tunnels. Sounds enthralling, right?
It doesn’t help that most of their chapter involves retracing steps, moving boxes and facing off against old enemies (and an old boss). It just feels so padded, which is completely unnecessary since the last three episodes were plenty long. I’ve never been a fan of lengthening a game’s play time for no reason other than “just because,” and “Metamorphosis” reminded me why.
Once you get past the padding, though, you have an interesting and adrenaline-fueled boss battle in front of you (and some more endearingly awkward dialogue). Taking on the final enemy is a blast, but it’s not an easy trial. You’ll need to invest time and plenty of ammo if you wish to escape alive.
Of important note: “Metamorphosis,” and “Revelations 2” in general, has two endings — one good, one bad. You’ll quickly notice the bad ending if you got it because of how abrupt it is, while the good ending adds on another major boss fight. The trigger for the change is in the third episode, and it’s worth re-doing the game from that point on to get the good ending (which you don’t want to miss).
Two extra mini-episodes, “Little Miss” and “The Struggle,” offer some more backstory and context in regards to Natalia and Moira, respectively. Normally, I would have preferred those story elements to be part of the main game, but separating them out works here, creating distinct experiences. (One in particular wouldn’t have worked at all if it had been part of the main game.)
In the end, “Metamorphosis,” the fourth and final episode in “Resident Evil: Revelations 2,” is a bit of a slog bookended by two intense sequences. It drops the ball in its storytelling, but it does mostly wrap up the game’s loose ends (if you manage to find that information strewn about, that is). The Natalia and Barry section is overstuffed and fairly boring, and it brings down the whole episode. It’s a lackluster conclusion to an otherwise stellar game, even if does end with a rocket launcher explosion and a tease for something interesting down the line.
Three secret endings out of five.