The odd couple
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has one of the most hilarious gaming team-ups I've seen in a long time. The last time I played this game, it was through the eyes of Resident Evil veteran Claire Redfield and newcomer Moira Burton. In terms of survival horror team-ups, this pairing makes sense. I could see these two on the cover of their own horror movie or guest starring on The Walking Dead. On the other hand, Barry Burton and Natalia Korda don't make a lick of sense, and I love it.
A lot of great Japanese comedy takes a surreal - or otherwise ridiculous - situation and plays it with a straight face. Just look at Cromartie High School, or Killer is Dead, or even Capcom's own Dead Rising series; completely ridiculous situations, played seriously. Revelations 2 has some of that charm. A zombie outbreak is ridiculous, doubly so when you have a middle-aged, no-nonsense cop and a little girl with supernatural powers investigating it. But the humor doesn't end there.
A brief history of Burton
Barry Burton is a comedy goldmine. He has always been a fan-favorite among Resident Evil fans, most notably for his voice actor's amazing work in the original Resident Evil. In a game notorious for its awkward, cringe-inducing dialog, Barry became famous for having the most awkward, most cringe-inducing lines. 'Jill sandwich.' 'Master of unlocking.' 'What is this?' Barry could hardly open his mouth without a little nugget of gold falling out.
Capcom played up Barry's campy charm in the Mercenaries survival mode in Resident Evil 5, where (once again) every line the man spoke was over-acted to the extreme. He could also headbutt zombies so hard their heads exploded on impact, such is the power of Barry. Revelations 2 co-stars a more subdued Barry Burton. He's on a mission to find his daughter, Moira, but he's going to need a little help...
Natalia Korda is a spooky, supernatural girl
That's right, Barry Burton's partner is a girl, a teeny, tiny, spooky little girl. Because why the hell not? She is the polar opposite of the hyper-sexualized Jessica from the first Revelations. Barry is a family man after all, so it's only natural he'd be good with kids. Natalia fulfils much the same role as Moira. She is a support character who isn't as effective in a fight as Barry, but has some special abilities of her own to make up for it.
For one, she can point at stuff. Yup, pointing, that's one of her powers. This basically makes her look like the ghost from a certain Japanese horror film. Pointing also reveals items hidden in the environment - again, just like Moira and her flashlight. Natalia's other power is that she's able to 'see' enemies through walls. This has a limited range, and enemies are represented by a sort of cloudy aura, meaning it's easy to see that there is an enemy but difficult to tell what type.
Almost nothing phases Barry Burton
Here's the thing about Barry: he's on a mission to find his daughter, and everything else is just background noise. When he first meets Natalia he makes a token effort of having her wait on his boat while he looks for Moira, but at the first sign of protest promptly gives up and says "Let's go!" Whatever, Barry doesn't care. Later on when mutated bugs and zombies start attacking? Barry doesn't care (I don't even remember him commenting about it).
Later still when Natalia reveals her ability to see enemies through walls, Barry can only feign the slightest interest before dropping the subject entirely. He just does not care. There are all these wondrous (and terrifying) things happening around him, and he just cannot be bothered. Barry's general disinterest in his surroundings, combined with an absolutely ludicrous companion and setting, creates a very humorous dichotomy.
Natalia can throw bricks
Sadly, I do not have an image of this.
This is by far the most humorous thing I've seen in Revelations 2 so far. Being a tiny little girl who weighs about as much as Barry's last meal, Natalia isn't exactly built for high-powered firearms. But she is by no means helpless. While Barry handles all the fancy knives and guns and what-have-you, Natalia has something even better: BRICKS. Put a brick into this kid's hand and she is transformed into a killing machine. You can clobber enemies at close range with melee attacks, or put your eSports skills to the test by chucking a brick at a zombie's face.
I cannot stress to you enough how hilarious it was seeing little Natalia wind up and brain a zombie with a brick to the face. It was a real "Boom! Headshot!" kind of moment. Sadly, bricks will break apart after a few hits, so you will need to scavenge around to find a replacement. Natalia also has a bad habit of dropping her brick when she's climbing a ladder or going through a door, requiring you to find a new one. Thankfully, in my experience, bricks are around every corner.
Natalia WAS in Raid Mode at one point
This really would have been the icing on the comedy cake. Having little Natalia in Raid Mode and seeing her basically transformed into the Oddjob (who is still banned) of Resident Evil would have been a masterful play on Capcom's part. Apparently she was part of the roster at one point - wielding shotguns with the rest of 'em - but was later removed.
This is too bad, as her inclusion would have made sense even within the RE universe. Apparently, Raid Mode is basically a game within a game. Specifically, it's a computer-generated world hosted by the Red Queen AI from the first Resident Evil movie so, really, who's worried about REALISM. There are also freeze bullets for crying out loud. I suppose the image of a young child wielding a gun isn't exactly tasteful, but who ever said she needed a gun? She could just unlock custom grips and paint jobs for her zombie-slaying brick-o-doom!
Two of a kind
There were so many times throughout the Revelations 2 demo that I just had to stop and chuckle to myself. I know it's ridiculous, the developers obviously know it's ridiculous, and we're both having a laugh. There's a definite nod-and-a-wink there that was missing in a certain other super-serious Resident Evil game, which I think makes this one all the better. You can check out episode one of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 on February 24.
And for everything else we know about the game, be sure to look up our road to the review of Resident Evil: Revelations 2.