Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
The Good:1st real team based Resident Evil title
The Bad:Not a lot of back story for anyone not already familiar with the series
Capcom and Slant Six’s ‘Spin-off’ of the Resident Evil Series. Expect something different! The Resident Evil series has probably been the main reason for me purchasing any of the consoles I have owned over the past 15 odd years. The sheer tension, its atmosphere and not knowing what or who is going to pop out [...]
Capcom and Slant Six’s ‘Spin-off’ of the Resident Evil Series. Expect something different!
The Resident Evil series has probably been the main reason for me purchasing any of the consoles I have owned over the past 15 odd years. The sheer tension, its atmosphere and not knowing what or who is going to pop out from around the next corner was enough to keep anyone’s adrenaline pumping to the point that your heart was close to erupting from your chest. The puzzles have always been mind boggling yet solvable and the voice acting has been quite entertaining at times (I don’t think anyone who has ever played the original game will ever forget Barry Burton’s knack for stating the obvious!). With the sequels adding more diverse characters, deeper storylines and more enemies than you can shake a stick at, natural progression seemed to point towards a team based encounter. But not as you’d expect it!
Operation Raccoon City (Or RE:ORC) is based between the storylines of RE 2 and 3, right in the thick of the G-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City.
You are part of The Wolfpack. A Security Service, created by all round bad eggs Umbrella. Your only objective, cover up and destroy any record of Umbrella’s involvement in the outbreak. Destroying evidence, collecting data and ‘silencing’ series favourites in the process.
The Wolfpack are a team of operatives, each with their own special and unique abilities. As you progress through the game you will gain XP, which can be used to purchase better weapons and upgrade your abilities. Making the mindless killing of zombies that bit easier.
This is the first time that Capcom have really put the player into the boots of Umbrella. Being the bad guys, instead of the hero approach. But it works well, integrating events from the previous games and showing you perspectives from the other side.
The game has quite obviously been made to be a co-op/multiplayer addition to the Resident Evil franchise. This shows with what seems to be a sheer lack of computer AI. Not only will your computer controlled team mates not seem to have your back, but they seem to completely disregard what you would seem to be the main target in a fire-fight (You’re firing a small warehouse worth of ammo into a 7ft bio-weapon, wielding a gatling gun. The rest of your squad are quite happy shooting aimlessly into the ‘not so’ dangerous zombies who are strolling around in the background!). This can be quite frustrating to say the least, especially when some strategically placed cover fire can make your life a whole lot easier. An addition to the controller set-up which would allow you to get your squads AI to do basic functions would have been well received here. Like in Army-Of-Two, the facility to hold back, advance and suppressive fire would have been a god send.
A nice addition to RE:ORC is the fact that you and/or your squad mates can become infected. Ultimately making you panic, running around like a man/woman possessed looking for an anti-virus before you become one of the undead. The introduction of the ‘Bleeding’ state is also an interesting addition, as whilst in it you pretty much become a ‘Zombie beacon’ meaning any undead member in the vicinity is attracted to you like a fat man is to cake!
The campaign mode is broken down into 7 bite size sections, each with their own fairly simple objectives. In all, these are quite linear with limited areas to explore. Each section pretty much runs from point A to point B, cut scene, then repeated until you either reach the end of that particular section, or a boss/mid-section battles. These battles bring fan favourites like Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong and even Nemesis into the storyline, but you don’t seem to have any tact to finish them off, where mindlessly ploughing bullets into them seems to do the trick in 9/10 situations. This compounded with the never ending ammo boxes that are aptly placed around these battles, make it impossible to run out of ammo and make the task at hand quite simple.
Running through the campaign doesn’t take too long, but with achievements spanning from playing through on Veteran and Professional difficulties and having to get S or even S+ ranks, there is definitely some re-playability here.
The multiplayer is a nice change to the Campaign mode, bringing in 4 variants to play, each with their own goals/objectives. Biohazard mode pits you against another team in a ‘Capture the flag’-esque encounter, but replacing the flag with G-Virus samples. Survival can only be described as a free for all, shooting anyone and anything in sight. Team attack pits team against team and the final variant, Heroes, pits favourites of the RE universe against each other. Your abilities become extremely useful during these versus matches, as going in to the multiplayer unprepared can be like bringing a knife to a gun fight. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have the ability to ‘disappear’ off of your enemies’ radar? Or even shoot flame rounds at your opponents? There’s nothing like the feeling of inadequacy when walking into a room, firing your stock assault rifle at someone who has an all-singing-all-dancing shotgun that could blow you away from 100 yards! This is the only criticism I can really find in the multiplayer, but it does mean that you can get out gunned quite quickly if have not upgraded your classes very far.
The control structure is what you’d expect from an RE title, simple to get used to with changing weapons a breeze. Yet there is so much more that could have been added. The ability to hold down LB then fire your sidearm with the right stick is a very welcome addition, especially when you are in the thick of the action with no time to reload. The enemies AI can get a bit irritating if you are fond of using first person firing as, I suppose realistically, the enemies bolt around all over the place not giving you much of a chance to aim for the illustrious head shot. Some times it just seems easier to equip your shot-gun, run up to a zombie and just blow him to hell without having to aim.
The story itself is quite a good concept, but all-in-all there doesn’t seem to be enough to attract anyone not already familiar with the series. It doesn’t have the same Survival Horror feel to it like previous instalments and is more of a ‘shoot or run’ 3rd Person Shooter.
From a Resident Evil fan point of view, it’s not much like any of the rest of the series, but it was never meant to be! After all, it was developed by Slant Six who were responsible for the SOCOM series and they in turn were told by Capcom themselves that they should differentiate RE:ORC from the previous titles in the series.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is not like any other RE title so if that is what you’re looking for steer clear and wait for Resident Evil 6. But if you’re looking for a 3rd person shooter to run through in a few spare hours, then this is for you.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City,