Missed the earlier episode reviews? Use these links to get to Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3. Unlike the previous episodes, I’ll be putting a score at the end of this one that reflects the complete Season Pass / retail release.
This is it then, the finale to what has been a very encouraging episodic series debut from Capcom and the Resident Evil series. This is where we find out what happened to Claire and Moira as they make their way to the top of the tower and we’ll find out if Barry and Natalia can catch up with them and get some answers of their own.
Last week we were pleasantly surprised to see both parts of the episode last almost twice as long as previous episodes. So, it was a massive kick in the teeth that Claire’s ‘half’ of the final episode lasts about 15 minutes. And there are some incredibly annoying ‘platforming’ sections that will more than likely result in a few cheap deaths to mess with your overall stage rating. Fortunately, Barry’s is closer to two hours, but it’s incredibly frustrating as Claire’s piece lacks any real sense of closure.
If you’ve been playing the former episodes or reading the reviews, you may be wondering if the finale is going to go with the excellent horror aspects or just bring out all the guns. Sadly it’s the latter. There are a few of the invisible flying creatures again, but for the most part you’re plugging away at a mix of zombies, revenant, toxic exploders, giants, flame bombers and those incredibly tough claw monsters that guard their only weak spot.
While the Resident Evil series has come a long way from being routed to the spot while firing and suffering tank controls (rotate then run), it can’t stand up to too many enemies without getting flustered. The dopey response times for dodging or melee strikes really piles the pressure on too.
Life will be much easier if you’re playing co-op so a friend can call out the weak spots on the revenant by using Natalia’s sight ability and you’ll also not have to worry about her just standing there like a chew toy.
There are some cool high-tempo moments that don’t rely on guns this time though. Like having to sprint through clouds of gas that will kill you if you linger. It’s a bit like an underwater tunnel section, but without the horrible controls that go with them, as you look for pockets of air while making your way through the maze. It gets even more interesting when you have to dash past reaching zombies too. Some intense mini-siege moments in the gas cloud sections are most welcome classic Resi encounters too. It’s just a shame Natalia’s a bit useless against regular zombies unless she has a brick -the second player isn’t going to have much fun.
The end of Barry’s story isn’t as disappointing as Claire’s. But it still leaves questions unanswered and is obviously hinting at another series. I’d love another series, but at least give the gamer some sense of closure for the nine plus hours of effort they’ve invested, Capcom. Be warned, there are good/bad endings, which you’ve already missed the trigger for in episode 3. When you google it to find out what you were supposed to do to get the good ending, you’ll be pissed.
Season Pass or retail disc owners (which should cover everyone buying into this really) will get a few bonus chapters that are very hard to discuss without spoilers. Let’s just say one of them is a poor stealth-based one, where you can’t attack and instantly fail if you are seen. The other is similar to the Raid mode, but with a tiny sliver of story and the risk of a complete Game Over if you run out of continues in the form of rations gathered through hunting animals in-between waves of zombies and their other infected ranks.
The actual Raid mode has proved to be a lot of fun since launch and there are plenty of varied stages, some from new environments away from the island. The lengthy upgrade list for each character adds real depth and it’s nice to see that the micro-transactions aren’t intrusive at all and you can get by without them easily enough.
So far, Raid is best enjoyed in local co-op (it’s damn hard on your own), but we can’t wait for the online co-op option to unlock at the end of this month. Fingers crossed it has a smooth launch as this could become a fun mode for Resi fans wanting to team up with their friends.
- Raid mode is great fun in co-op
- Escaping gas cloud areas is a tense experience
- Challenging waves of enemies…
- …but the sluggish controls can be frustrating
- No attempt to bring back Episode 2’s creepy vibe
- 15 minutes for Claire’s finale is piss poor
The Short Version: This final episode was shorter than we were expecting and leaves more questions than answers. Some bad habits crept back in too as the horror atmosphere from earlier in the season has been replaced with backs-to-the-wall action. As an overall package though, the episodic take on Resident Evil has been a success. At half the price of a regular game release, the value for money is excellent. A nine-hour campaign, co-op options and a deep Raid mode make this an essential buy for Resident Evil fans.
*Score is for the complete Season.
8 – GREAT: Great games typically provide competent production values with a degree of innovation, personality and soul that's sometimes absent in titles that score lower. Or even just exceptional raw value on top of competent execution. There'll usually be a little something to stop games like these from reaching the very top - innovative but slightly flawed, fun but not groundbreaking - however you can buy games that score 8/10 with confidence.
Platforms: PS3 | PS4 (reviewed) | 360 | XO | PC