After the previous episode dialed up the intrigue by introducing new (old) characters that fundamentally change Revelations' plotting (and its place in the canon), the third chapter attempts no such grand reveals, instead spending most of its running time tiding players over until the finale. It's not quite filler: as with the previous two instalments, there is good work here, particularly in Claire's scenario. But it's very much lacking a stand-out moment of its own.
Of the two campaigns, Claire's is the strongest by virtue of it competently mixing both action and puzzle-solving. Taking place in an abandoned factory (which of course isn't that abandoned) and a series of sewers, there are enough enemies dotted around to ensure players will have to manage their ammo and keep an eye on their surroundings, while also throwing in a series of item hunts, giving the scenario room to breathe.
Episode 3 also happens to contain some of the most gloriously over-the-top Resident Evil contraptions yet seen in Revelations 2. These including two trap rooms (one with a spiked roof, the other with a series of laser-sighted guns), a meat grinder which must be filled with offal by dropping cow carcasses into the top of it, and a statue of Prometheus which happens to explode when you find the items that solves the conundrum it presents. Of course.
Silliness aside, there's also interesting interplay between Moira and Claire, as the former attempts to deal with (and explain) her strained relationship with Barry. This being a Resi game, it's not delivered with anything approaching nuance - a sewer-dwelling, gun-loving hobo is used as an expy for Barry - but there is at least something going on there. Moira's constant swearing grates somewhat, but she excels in her role as a substitute for the player: the constant questioning of the illogical puzzles and setting feels just the right side of well-judged.
The factory portion of Claire's game is the highlight of the package, then, managing to combine the action of the newer Resi's with the puzzle-solving of the later entries. It's the peak of the experience, and even throws in the old self-destruct countdown timer for good measure. What follows is less well crafted: the boss battle that closes it out is weak, asking little more of the player than to stand on the opposite side of a cavernous room and shoot an impressively oversized, if lumbering and in no way dangerous Uroboros victim. That said boss also doubles as a heel turn is meant to add emotional layers to Revelations, but as we know little about the person in question - and care even less - it fizzles.
Barry's scenario, on the other hand, doesn't really get out of second gear. Bar an opening few minutes where the old man opens up to Natalia about his relationship with his daughter - and the disturbing series of events which caused their rift - it's ultimately rather prosaic. It's still fun to run around as The Burtonator, blowing away zombies with his superior assortment of weapons, but episode 3 is essentially just one long fetch quest, overusing certain mechanics (at one point, the player has to open a sluice door by turning a crank. Five times.) Put it this way: at one point Barry says that if has to carry a key item any further he'll throw his back out. When you're more worried about that than the grotesquely mutated zombies shambling about, you know things aren't particularly troubling.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is in a holding pattern until its final chapter. It still does certain things very well - panic moments when zombies crowd the player out, the intertwining of the same environments at different points in time - but Episode 4 will have to up its game if it wants to end what has been a successful experiment on a satisfactory.
Version Tested: Xbox One.