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Penal Colony is the first episode of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, a survival horror game initially released as four downloadable episodes with a weekly release, and then also as single full season game and in retail. It is the tenth main Resident Evil game and a follow-up to Resident Evil: Revelations. Unlike that title, but in the tradition of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, the focus is more on action than pure survival and puzzle-solving.

The game has Claire Redfield return as the main protagonist at the start. She is a member of TerraSave, a non-governmental human rights organization first introduced in the 2011 animated movie Resident Evil: Degeneration. She is at a company party with the new character Moira Burton, daughter of the RE character Barry Burton, and it is her first day at the organization. Suddenly helicopters appear near the building and it is infiltrated by soldiers who capture both Claire and Moira. When they regain consciousness they are in a facility set on an island with a strange bracelet around their arms.

The game uses the typical over-the-shoulder person view. The player controls Claire while Moira is controlled by the AI and follows automatically. There is a focus on exploration through linear environments and she has the ability to shimmy along ledges, jump, duck, run, climb ladders and push or lift objects to create a path. Moira holds a flashlight and helps light the environment for Claire. At any moment it is possible to switch to Moira to control her and light specific parts of the environment, for instance to find an item Claire can grab or shoot down. These and the main exploration involving locked doors and keys forms the puzzle part of the game, but many items are also optional. There are optional notes to gather and items such as herbs (health), a tourniquet (stops bleeding) or rubies (the BP currency), stored in an inventory. Recovery items can be passed on to have the supporting character heal automatically. This is also done when Claire heals and the other character is close enough. When one character runs out of health she goes down, but can still be saved by the other character. When characters bleed their performance and agility is affected.

Claire starts with a melee knife attack, but soon picks up a gun with a small amount of bullets. Additional weapons can be picked up and are assigned to a weapon slot configuration. When enemies get too close they grab Claire and need to be shaken off. She can also use a move to evade. Moira can be attacked as well and the two cannot be separated. On many occasions there are just too many enemies and then they need to run. Moira refuses to use firearms, but she can attack using melee weapons such as a crowbar. If she attacks from behind certain enemies can be stunned and downed opponents can be finished off. She also uses her melee weapon to force open certain passages and the flashlight can blind enemies, making them vulnerable. At workbenches weapons can be exchanged, or upgraded through parts that need to be located.

The game is split in two large parts. After the first part ratings are provided based on accuracy, the clear time and the amount of retries. The performance is rewarded with unlocks and medals. It also shows a total amount of points, found collectibles and the amount of BP currency. BP can be spent on a skill tree to unlock many different types of perks affecting damage output, healing time, movement etc. The second part of the episode is played with a different protagonist. It starts with the arrival of Barry Burton on the island by boat after he receives a distress call from his daughter Moira. The scenes with Barry are set at a later time than those of the first part. When he arrives he immediately meets a young girl called Natasha Korda. She is very scared and Barry decides to take her with him. The gameplay from the first part is then largely carried over for Barry with Natasha as the supporting character instead of Moira. Natasha has different abilities however. She never attacks enemies, but she can crawl through small passages and has the ability to see enemies through walls, which Barry can use to his advantage. The game can be played cooperatively where another player takes control of the second character.

Next to the main campaign the Raid mode from the original Revelations returns. It consists of 54 missions played in a small environments based on three variants. The character needs to kill all enemies, reach a goal or protect an objective. There are ten characters unlocked gradually and a large amount of customization including a large list of gestures. By completing missions treasure chests can be bought to receive additional slots or to unlock new characters, weapons and skills (through skill points). Character have a global level and can level up. Weapons also have different levels. Next to the main missions there are daily missions, rewarded with light crystals used for revival during a mission. Certain items and weapons that are discovered need to be evaluated in exchange for a currency before they can used. They can also be sold. The Raid mode supports multiplayer as well. Unlike the other platforms the PC version does not support offline multiplayer for either mode. Online co-op Raid multiplayer was not available at the start, but launched on 31st March 2015.


Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Episode One: Penal Colony PlayStation 4 Waking up in the prison cell
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Episode One: Penal Colony PlayStation 4 Some monsters have a specific weak point
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Episode One: Penal Colony PlayStation 4 This place looks rather ominous
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Episode One: Penal Colony PlayStation 4 Tougher enemies can withstand a lot of punishment before going down

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Critic Reviews Windows Mar 12, 2015 8.2 out of 10 82 Xbox One Mar 07, 2015 8 out of 10 80
The Jimquisition Xbox One Feb 25, 2015 6 out of 10 60


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Contributed to by Sciere (780569)