Resident Evil Revelations 2

When a current-gen game appears on a handheld platform, it's not unusual to be skeptical about it.

Is it a cut-down port? How dastardly will the controls be? What nonsensical touchscreen additions can we expect?

Well, I'll tell you now - if you're a fan of the Resident Evil series and you want a Resi game to take with you on the go, this is the best one out there.

Who's the master of unlocking now, huh?

Revelations 2 just so happens to feature my two favourite Resi characters, Claire Redfield and Barry Burton.

Claire's still the headstrong, sassy, firearm-savvy lassy we know and love from Resi 2 and Code Veronica, while Barry Burton remains a bearded badass with a knack for dad jokes.

Joining them as alternate partners who you can shift between Resident Evil 0-style are Moira, Barry's foul mouthed daughter, and Natalia, a mysterious girl with extrasensory powers.

While Moira's pretty handy with her crowbar, Natalia can only attack with bricks that are lying around, making her best suited for scouting rather than any manner of melee combat.

Complete island saturation

The game starts with Claire and Moira trapped inside an abandoned prison on a monster-infested island, soon finding themselves the playthings of an unknown woman known only as the Overseer.

Barry arrives six months later in search of his daughter Moira, only to find a lost and confused young girl named Natalia, who joins him on his misadventure.

The main campaign comes in four episodes, each with two parts. How Claire and Moira choose to navigate their way around can affect Barry and Natalia's journey, occasionally allowing them to find new weapons and upgrades.

This could come in handy

You'll find all the tropes you've come to expect from the series here - stop-and-pop controls, inventory management, horrifying lab experiments, key fetch quests, and plenty of self destruct systems being activated.

The monsters, never referred to as zombies, come in all shapes and sizes, occasionally resembling Bioshock's splicers and even abominations from forgotten horror classic The Suffering.

There are plenty of ways to despatch of these evils, from trusty pistols to formidable magnums, and the skill and weapon upgrade systems can be finely tuned to suit your playstyle.

You gotta be shittin' me

Something I noticed right off the bat was that the controls, even after customisation, feel a tad too loose. Gyroscopic aim is available, but rather than fine-tuning your aim as in Ocarina of Time 3D, it's just not responsive enough to help.

After switching over to playing with a DualShock 3 controller via PlayStation TV, the controls were much more responsive, suggesting the issue arises from the Vita's oversensitive nubs.

However, none of the touchscreen controls for crouching or using secondary weapons are available when you're playing via DualShock 3, which heavily gimped my playthrough, especially when fighting stronger monsters.

While Revelations 2's music does a fantastic job of setting the mood, much of the audio sounds quite tinny. This can be distracting, as some voicework has such a low sample rate that it almost sounds like background TV noise.

Almost a Resi sandwich

Much has been said of this port of Revelations 2 looking ropey, but it does the job as far as I'm concerned. Sure, the occasional tree in the background may look like a 2D asset out of the DOS era, but it doesn't detract from the experience.

Indeed, it seems as if the Vita is being pushed to its limits on occasion. The loading times can grate, the frame rate drops noticeably during frantic boss battles, and I even suffered an occasional freeze glitch, meaning I had to perform a hard reset.

Revelations 2 strips out the co-op play available on other formats, but otherwise it's essentially on par in terms of content. Raid Mode is an action packed side game with plenty to unlock, and the two bonus episodes answer many of the questions the main campaign leaves unanswered.

At the risk of sounding like an apologist, I love having a modern Resi on my Vita.

If you have no other way to play Resident Evil Revelations 2, or you'd just like a Resi game you can travel with, I heartily recommend you pick this up. Definitely be wary if you are a newcomer to the series though, or you may be a tad disappointed.

Resident Evil Revelations 2

Resident Evil Revelations 2 may be a cut-down port, but if you can forgive its rough edges you're in for a treat
Danny Russell
Danny Russell
After spending years in Japan collecting game developers' business cards, Danny has returned to the UK to breed Pokemon. He spends his time championing elusive region-exclusive games while shaking his fist at the whole region-locking thing.