Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Video Game)
Developed by Slant Six
Distributed by Capcom
Rated M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence and Strong Language
Available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City takes you back to 1998, the time of the events depicted in Resident Evil 2. Rather than taking control of classic Resident Evil characters like Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, you will control special Umbrella soldiers sent into the overrun city to eliminate these heroes and any other evidence that could link the outbreak to the Umbrella Corporation. The unique shooter dares you to take control of these villains to literally rewrite the history of Resident Evil. This concept is really special and one that all game developers should consider for their games in the future.
U.S.S. soldiers codenamed Lupo, Vector, Foureyes, Bertha, Beltway and Spectre each offer up different abilities and skill sets to use in combat. As you play through the game's campaign and multiplayer, you will gain experience points that will allow you to progress your chosen character even further by unlocking new weapons and abilities and gaining other perks. Each character is useful, and you can enter the game with up to three other players, either controlled by a friend online or by AI. The AI can be pretty poor in terms of helping in combat, but this just emphasizes the need for you to take the game online with other players in multiplayer matches.
In addition to the interesting and tactical character classes, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City showcases a few other fancy gameplay mechanics, some good and not so good. When you die in the game, you'll be turned zombie, lose control of your character and attack your teammates until you are killed and allowed to respawn.
This occurs if you are bitten and infected by a zombie and allow the virus to fully infect you without healing. This is a design choice first used in the classic Resident Evil: Outbreak series, and it is still a very good choice for this game as well. The one really noticeable design flaw is in the game's cover system. While it does make the game more tactical and can save your life more times than not, it definitely takes some getting used to, as you'll find yourself constantly running into and sticking to walls you weren't intentionally trying to use for cover.
You can take the fun of the game online in a variety of gameplay modes designed for up to eight players. You have your typical online shooter modes in Biohazard and Team Attack which are essentially capture the flag and team deathmatch respectively. Then, there is Survivors--a game mode that tasks you with surviving matches long enough to reach an extraction helicopter to escape the deadly city.
The final mode included in the game is Heroes mode which places one team of heroes against a team of villains. Each player will spawn as a powerful hero or villain, but you will respawn as an average joe if you are killed. This continues until only one team is left with an overpowered character and named the winner of the match. Also available as launch day DLC is Nemesis mode which places teams against one another in a battle to control and use the Nemesis to take out the opposing team. All of these modes are a ton of fun online, and they greatly increase the replayability of the game, as you spend countless hours trying to level up and unlock every ability, upgrade and weapon the game has to offer.
This special trip back to Raccoon City was well worth the wait. The game isn't perfect, but the nostalgia factor alone is reason enough for any Resident Evil to go pick up the game. You should know that this game doesn't play exactly like the classic games, and instead opts for a more fast-paced yet tactical approach. Make sure you check this game out if you're a fan of the Resident Evil franchise or even if you've just been looking for that gaming horror fix.
For more information on the game, check out the official Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City website.
4 out of 5