Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Brings the Intense Co-op Scares

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 isn’t a direct sequel to the first game in the survival-horror spinoff series. In many ways, it’s actually a throwback to the series’ roots: You move slowly through tight, creepy areas while confronting zombie-like regular folk that want to eat your face. Ammo conservation is important, as is mastering the art of unlocking various doors.

At any time during the game, a single button press switches between protagonists Claire Redfield and Moira Burton (daughter of series veteran Barry Burton, for those keeping score at home). You’ll need to do this frequently, as they have unique skill sets: Claire is a trigger-happy gunslinger, while Moira is equipped with the all-important flashlight, enabling her to find important hidden items like keys and ammo (she also carries a crowbar, allowing her to open certain doors). Moira can use the flashlight to temporarily blind enemies, thereby allowing Claire to kill them with melee attacks – and Moira also sneak up on enemies and take them out with her crowbar.

Perhaps most excitingly, Revelations 2’s local co-op mode lets two players take on these two roles together. Rather than both players taking the reigns of very similar characters (as is often the case in co-op games), Revelations 2 creates a unique juxtaposition of these two distinctive approaches to survival-horror. The idea of being accompanied by a companion that refuses to use a gun – and whose role is not simply to add extra firepower – is an ambitious one for what is a relatively modest addition to Capcom’s enormously successful series.

Additionally, Revelations 2 includes Raid mode (which was also in the first Revelations game, and is a variant of the fan-favorite Mercenaries mode). A sort of co-op score attack with loads of unlockable and upgradable extras, the mode sees players deal with waves of undead enemies in a rather alternative approach to survival-horror. While the main game’s co-op is offline-only – the screen splits horizontally, half for each player – Raid mode will feature an online option for Revelations 2’s retail launch on March 20.

Does the addition of cooperative play run the risk of making Revelations 2 less scary than its forebears? You might think so… but you might want to think twice, as it looks like the masters at Capcom have figured out a way to make it work. Find out for yourself now in the game’s first episode, available digitally for Xbox One and Xbox 360!