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Dumbrella: Resident Evil Revelations 2

The opening cinematic for Resident Evil Revelations 2 is below. Why am I posting an intro to a game that I’ll almost certainly never play? I think it’s because after watching it this morning, I moved from almost complete apathy to mild curiosity – I cannot imagine a single human being who would be the ideal target audience for this video. It suggests the game will contain all of the melodrama and convoluted corporate conspiracy nonsense that has accumulated on the series like barnacles on a hull, but will be entirely lacking in horror or humour. Unless you find the name ‘Barry’ particularly funny.

“What? The new virus?” Claire Redfield, zombie outbreak survivor and nemesis of the virus-manufacturing Umbrella Corporation is dubious about the possibility of anything going wrong. Terra Save seem like good eggs, after all, and there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that she’s going to end up kidnapped (again) taken to a spooky island facility (again) and forced to fight for her life (again). Of course, around thirty seconds later, that’s exactly what happens.

And then there’s “Hey! That Barry Burton’s girl?” New viruses and new takes on established characters. The only thing I remembered about Barry, from the first game, was his name. Barry. He’s a playable character this time around, as revealed in an earlier video, but we only get to hear his name in this clip. That’s all that really matters.

Perhaps the packaging of exposition into simple questions is a sign of tight scripting. As soon as Claire asks about the new virus we know that she’s an idiot and that everything that happens will be linked to the new virus. When the beardy man whose name I’ve forgotten asks about Barry Burton’s girl we know that she and Barry will play an important part in the plot, and that their relationship will be important in some way. We also know that she is a bit of a rebel because of her clothes.

Other parts of the intro raise questions that I can’t begin to answer. Why does the corporate video at the beginning show John McCain with a censor bar over his (presumably) very distinctive eyes? It doesn’t seem to be a clandestine filming effort because he’s at a press conference, with loads of microphones wired up in front of him. He’s making a public speech. Presumably the editor of the video decided to put that bar over his eyes to convince anyone watching the video that it’s the product of crackpot conspiracy theorists rather than a statement of fact. Good work!

The next scene reminded me of Hollyoaks. I don’t know why it’s Hollyoaks in particular that came to mind but I wish it hadn’t.

I did like the bit when Claire and Barry’s Girl do a synchronised slow motion dance, but I question the intelligence of the kidnappers. They clearly want to take Claire alive but they seem to be shooting almost directly at her through a window.

“No. There must be some kind of mistake.” So says Claire as she’s injected with sedatives What The New Virus and dragged away, which is the sort of thing you might say if someone called you up and thought you were Raccoon City teaching assistant Claire RADfield, but isn’t really an appropriate response to a military-scale infiltration and assault that is directly targeted at you.

Revelations 2 will be released episodically and episode one is due February 17th.

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