Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

T3 2
  • Set between Resident Evil 2 and 3, Raccoon City aims to bring a 'western' style to the Resident Evil franchise, question is, does it work?

    Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

    Love

    • Great selection of powerups
    • Ingenious multiplayer
    • Raccoon City looks fantastic

    Hate

    • 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

  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is the latest chapter in the Resident Evil gaming series and will be available on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

    Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

    Love

    • Great selection of powerups
    • Ingenious multiplayer
    • Raccoon City looks fantastic

    Hate

    • Utterly confusing AI
    • A bit Resident Evil: 'Lite'
    • Aiming is problematic

    Unlike previous chapters in the Resident Evil gaming series, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is not about saving the world via superior survival horror. Instead, Capcom's new squad-based shooter sees you charged with spoiling it as one of the instruments of the twisted Umbrella Corporation.

    The latest gaming buzz may be all about OnLive on Apple iPad 2, but you'll only be able to play the latest Resident Evil game on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

    You are cast as a member of the wolf pack, a covert and deadly arm of the Umbrella security services and your mission is to erase all trace of Umbrella's involvement in the Raccoon City disaster (during Resident Evil 2) as well as liquidating any unfortunate survivors.

    Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City: Characters

    Your first choice is which squad members you select for each mission. Each character has different specialism like stealth, healing or heavy weaponry and you can also customise their load-out and weapons mix to make a highly specialised squad.

    After much deliberation, we picked Dr Karena 'Lupo' Lesproux a former French Special Forces assault specialist known as Wolf Mother, supporting her with Spectre (sniper), Vector (recon) and Bertha (team medic) for a balanced squad.

    Your own character you can customise even deeper with additional abilities and perks and since we were counting on Lupo to stand up front and lead the charge, we equipped her with Guns a' Blazing, a 30-second burst of withering fire and Quick Reloads to make sure we'd never run short of ammo.

    Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City: Gameplay

     

    Raccoon City's game engine is impressive, with suitably gloomy, atmospheric levels and it's quick and nimble, really lending itself to the fast paced gameplay. It wasn't too long before we encountered our first major fire fight.

    Infected, in smaller groups are slow moving and easily dispatched with some well placed headshots, but if they swarm and do get close enough to grab you, only some frantic stick waggling will ensure your escape.

    When you do find yourself pressed by the horde, you'll probably fall back on some meaty close range melee attacks but land a couple of decent blows and you can also activate some quite vicious special finishing moves, which are both brutal and highly entertaining.

    But the infected aren't the only opposition you'll encounter in Raccoon City, there's also government special forces on the prowl and these are a much tougher proposition. You'll enjoy plenty of stand up fire fights, but you can shoot to wound and nick a special forces guy.

    There's a good variety within each mission too and one minute you'll be blowing out computer server rooms to destroy all traces of evidence, another stalking through booby-trapped libraries chasing down hidden plans.

    Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City: Verdict

    Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is no Duke Nukem Forever-style disappointment. Although we only had a chance to test out Raccoon City's single-player outing which was excellent fun, we rather suspect that it's really going to shine in full four-player co-op mode, where you can go online and team up with your friends to battle the forces of good. We can see this game being every bit as addictive as Elder Scrolls V Skyrim.

    It's certainly an intriguing new take on Resident Evil's traditional survival-horror pacing and there's plenty o' pleasure to be had in life on the dark side. It's true what they say, evil definitely does have all the best lines.

    For the in-depth hands-on review check out CVG

     

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