Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review
- Posted March 30th, 2012 at 10:11 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Strictly a game to be played with friends, but even then Operation Racoon City will leave you wondering: why?
- Playing 4 player co-op with friends and different classes can be a blast
- It makes us yearn for Resident Evil 6 even more
- Poorly produced at every level
- Drab level design makes firefights monotonous
- No thrills or frights in a zombie game? That's not Resident Evil
One of the finest survival horror franchises has been dumped on from a great height, at least until Resident Evil 6 comes along, we hope. While you can’t really blame Capcom for taking its popular franchise and trying to widen its appeal among Western gamers, spin-offs rarely work and the experiment certainly hasn’t paid off with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.
In fact, this new cover-based shooter spin-off is a bit of a mess if truth be told. Fans expecting a game with a storyline that cleverly ties-in with past games, has decent production values, or keeps you on the edge of your seat with zombie-killing thrills, will no doubt be disappointed as Operation Raccoon City fails to capture the drama that we’re used to from the core Resi experience.
That’s not to say Operation Raccoon City is a complete disaster. If you’re a fan of the shooter genre and don’t mind too much about grubby graphics, dull environments, numerous glitches, combat-wrecking camera work and waves of brainless enemies, then you might get a few thrills with its arcade-style team-based combat and have a few giggles with three mates in tow blasting through the moronic masses.
Set between events in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, the lack of cut-scenes and meaningful dialogue makes the storyline too flimsy to be enjoyed, and only serves to give some sort of meaning to the subsequent firefights between the USS and U.S. military. The action revolves around the Umbrella Security Service (USS) Delta team who are tasked with preventing Dr. Birkin from handing over his T-Virus to the military, while also retrieving the G-Virus, said to be the ultimate biological weapon.
As fans will know, the T-Virus was made by the Umbrella Corporation to create biological weapons but was leaked into the sewers of Raccoon City causing its inhabitants to turn into zombies. Essentially, Umbrella is trying to destroy all traces of their involvement in the experiments and to do this they need to kill countless enemies to reach their goal.
Rather than fighting against hundreds of zombies though, the battle is largely against the U.S. military with both sides equipped with a variety of familiar weapons, such as a shotguns, carbines, sub-machine guns and pistols. Aside from the shotgun being able to blast human enemies off their feet, the weapons lack impact and the stop-and-start, room-clearing gameplay rarely excites.
That’s largely because most of your time is spent popping up and down from cover to shoot at enemies who are doing exactly the same thing. Play alone with three A.I. teammates following you around, and it couldn’t be duller or more frustrating. Gameplay rarely flows and the A.I. squad often gets in the way and does little to help out; even failing to heal themselves, causing you to waste your medical supplies on them instead of yourself.
In four-player co-op mode, however, there are a few laughs to be had out of clearing waves of enemies and causing as much carnage as possible. If you approach Operation Raccoon City as an arcade-blaster rather than expecting a strategic shooter then there are definitely some fun times to be had from ploughing through areas with three other like-minded gamers in your team.
With four players blasting their way through Raccoon City, however, you’d expect there to be some level of tactical play involved; and that was obviously the idea when Capcom first conjured up the idea. Characters earn XP which can be used to upgrade passive and active perks and six available classes in the campaign offer different abilities. Bertha is the medic and Lupo is the assault class, while Vector is the recon expert and Beltway specialises in explosives. There’s also Four Eyes who can program the bio-organic weapons and Spectre the marksman.
There’s definitely some variety and entertainment to be had in checking out what each class offers, which includes a unique takedown per class. Beltway, for example, can stick a grenade in an enemy’s mouth, kick them and break up a group of enemies spectacularly. Perks also help to improve your chances of beating a group of enemies. Vector, for example, can increase his active abilities through XP to ... (continued on next page) ----
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