Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review
- Great selection of powerups
- Ingenious multiplayer
- Raccoon City looks fantastic
- Utterly confusing AI
- A bit Resident Evil: 'Lite'
- Aiming is problematic
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is not a game that should be compared to either Resident Evil 5 or indeed the upcoming Resident Evil 6. This is because not only is it set much earlier (between Resident Evil 2 and 3) but also because it is a completely new direction by the chaps at Capcom.
In an interview with CVG it was recently reported that the team at Capcom wanted to make a Resident Evil game that felt more ‘Western’, that had elements of both gaming ideologies with Raccoon City as the metaphorical melting pot.
With third-person combat, a slick new interface and a more ‘movie’ style plot this game certainly appears to have made the transition, but does the makeover go beyond just the surface? We found out…
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City: Plot
Set in the late 90’s the co-op and single player campaign focuses around an elite team of the Umbrella Security Services who have been tasked with essentially hiding the Raccoon City outbreak single-handedly.
This team is the foundation of the game, with each possessing different abilities and traits that are upgradable by earning Experience Points.
Once you’ve chosen who you’re playing as it is simply a case of working your way through the city, fighting numerous bosses and encountering a number of familiar characters including Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield.
Now while this all helps in creating the illusion that ‘yes this is definitely a Resident Evil game’ it also feels shamelessly unnecessary at times and will no doubt cause a few diehards to exclaim the odd loud profanity in the direction of the screen.
That aside the story is OK, while it does indeed tread the path between Resident Evil 2 and 3 it also adds some new aspects to the mythology and at times this can be genuinely engaging.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City: Gameplay
As mentioned earlier, it was revealed that Capcom wanted to give the Resident Evil genre a ‘Western’ feel. Now that in itself will no doubt split gamers right down the middle and rightly so.
Bringing in a team who’s previous experience included the (at times) brilliant SOCOM makes perfect sense then, surely? Wrong.
What you’re left with is a game that ultimately feels like a port that has been overlapped onto the dregs of the original Resident Evil games. Sure the herbs are there, the bosses are back and aspects of the game do truly have you thinking ‘perhaps this isn’t so bad’ but overall it’s just not enough.
Focusing on co-op and multiplayer was also a risky move, while it comes off much better than say the single-player campaign it’s hard to imagine you choosing Raccoon City over say, the likes of Left 4 Dead.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City: Verdict
The bad bits first: The AI is just exceptionally poor, with enemies and zombies alike constantly surprising you with their side-to-side running and cover to cover predictability.
If you’re playing single-player on your own this will be accentuated greatly by a team that excels in shooting at you and not the enemy and has mastered the art of blocking almost every shot you try and take. It’s truly baffling.
It’s not in any way the ‘every bullet counts’ Resident Evil that many had been hoping for and at times it feels like a game confused between trying to be ‘Western’ while also keeping that arcade feel we know and love.
That said, remove the AI USS team, get some mates onto Xbox Live and you may find you’ll actually have a laugh. The campaign is well structured to accommodate co-op and the multiplayer has some truly interesting game modes.
Overall a decent enough co-op but in trying to take on the ‘Western’ style of game making they’ve ultimately lost a bit of what makes Resident Evil games so much fun to play.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City availability: 23 March
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon price: £37.99