Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City + DLC
PS3, XBOX360, PC
By Janus 32

Introduction

The Resident Evil Franchise has become such a household name. You can ask any gamer who lived out through the 90’s or even now and they should at least say something good about it, or at least recognize it. Since Resident Evil 5, there has been a hiatus predominantly on the console platforms. There was a release for the Nintendo 3DS as Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil: Mercenaries and then the ported shooters Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles as ported games.

Operation Raccoon City is providing the first of many things. A different story, ‘running and gunning’ and its another addition to the franchise.

But is the game so different that it has made the right impression?

Or is it just a game that will infect you…horribly?

Story

The incident at Raccoon City was not all about the survivors such as Leon S Kennedy, Claire Redfield and Jill Valentine who had managed to escape the hell.

The story of the ‘other side’ the Umbrella Corporation was never told. What led to the destruction of Raccoon City? Was there any other incidents that had occurred?

There was.

Meet the Umbrella Security Service squad (USS)

The Umbrella Security Service (USS) spring into action when the city falls to the likes of the infected citizens. Due to the Corporation’s mistakes, the forces of Umbrella make a last ditch effort to try and save face. By trying to destroy and rid of any evidence that would link the Corporation to the incident.

But the USS are not alone…

Other than the infested citizens of Raccoon and several more abominations/experiments that roam the streets, the United States Government decide to stick their nose into this affair and send in a team of their own.

A Special Ops team is sent deep into the wasteland of a town to investigate what is left of Raccoon City, a simple mission at first. Report any findings of the occurrence of the infection and find evidence that could incriminate Umbrella to the hotspot.

Meet the SPEC OPS team…damn, like…daaaaaaaayumn

But as the armed forces near each other for what looks like an inevitable showdown, they both must contend with the B.O.W’s (Bio Organic Weapons) that stand in their way.

One party wants to destroy the truth but the other wants to uncover the truth.

The question is: “Who wins?”


Gameplay

The Resident Evil franchise has always been a game that was neither classified as a first person shooter (that’s for sure) nor a third person over the shoulder game, well not between Resident Evil 1 till 3. Due to the weird camera angles, it was more of sort of those games that were mainly thriller type story games on the PC. Such games like Alone in the Dark, System Shock 2, The 7th Guest and I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream just to name a few. All these games have shaped the survival horror that is modern day video gaming.

But this edition like Resident Evil 4 and 5 has come in as a third person shooter. And although different in its approach by story, the gameplay matches a third person game down to the letter with your shooting, your grenade throwing and melee attacks. Your standard third person shooter for campaign and multiplayer mode. Predominantly this is a squad based shooter game.

Gameplay for campaign mode has players wondering the streets of Raccoon City as one out of six characters from the Umbrella Security Service (USS). Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses and also of course have different classes. Of course you have a medic, an assault type, a agile type and a brute type classes of characters in the group. With 6 characters to choose from, this creates a great variety of gameplay. And since most modern day squad based gaming, campaign can be played with co-operation with other players. On a note on the movement, RE:ORC is first applying the ‘run and gun’ feature for the very first time in the games franchises history. Though this is a welcome addition, it doesn’t feel right at all. More on that in a few paragraphs.

Bertha: Look up!
Soldier: I am! What’s up there
Bertha: *whispers* An Uppercut waiting to happen, moron

With different classes comes different weapons, and Resident Evil has always been about weapons and ammunition. As players progress through the campaign level by level, they will be awarded experience points to unlock a plethora of items and skill sets. Of course depending on how well the player completes a level in terms of pre-requisites such as time completion, zombie kills, amount of retries just to name a few. Unlocking weapons and skills can vary to handguns, shotguns, automatics, sniper rifles and explosives. Skill sets vary between characters to better agility, being invisible for longer periods of time, buffed attributes and increased bullet damage for a short period of time, again just to name a few.

Touching base on multiplayer, there are various amount of modes to choose from. Not only is there the classical deathmatch but also something called “Heroes Mode”. Heroes mode is a 4 vs 4 match of several famous faces of the Resident Evil Franchise. Heroes being people such as Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy versus the Villains such as Ada Wong and Hunk and of course others I haven’t mentioned. The game is to eliminate the other team and stay as your chosen hero/villain for as long as you can. When you finally die, players will respawn as a normal character (USS for the villains or SPEC OPS for the heroes). Last person to remain a hero/villain will gain the victory. Be wary though, players have to contend with the undead in the middle but you do get extra points for defeating them as well.

Of course as a Resident Evil game, Capcom were involved in pushing this latest title out to the world, with much anticipation a new developer came on board by the name of Slant Six Games. Slant Six Games mainly worked on the third person military shooter franchise of SOCOM games.

But the gameplay is one to be desired.

Especially for a game with the Resident Evil stamp on it.

As players dive into RE:ORC for the first time they will notice a few things that do not give the game justice. The games enemies is inconsistent in terms of bullet damage and defeating. Some enemies will require a copious amount of ammunition to be spent to be defeated and others, not so much. This inconsistency is something that can grate on ones nerves, maybe its part of the game but when you are fighting a bunch of lickers that seem to have no end, when you have no ammunition to find, it makes life difficult.

Guess the heroes and the villains?

Characters melee attacks look very fanciful and does some damage, but nonetheless at the same time does not feel powerful at all. Able to be used against the normal infected, but anything higher and you will be finding yourself going against a river with no paddle. Speaking of damage, the running and gunning feature is not a good addition due to its inaccuracies. Yes, compared to real life running and gunning is not accurate, stationary firing is Resident Evil’s way to originally play the game. But in all honesty, both stationary firing and running and gunning is both horrible. For automatic weapons, full auto is useless, you’ll practically hit nothing and run dry with no ammunition on no time. Protip: You’ll have to be either firing semi automatic firing (firing one round by tapping the shoot button) or even three round bursts for best accuracy and the best killshots, anything else is just wasting ammunition and a waste of time.

Presentation + Downloadable Content (DLC)

Overall feeling of the game captures the Resident Evil world perfectly. The darkness, the strewn rubbish and chaotic city and the gloomy atmosphere. The normal infected enemies are varient in terms of stature as well. You can get your thin women, thin men and adults to dispatch of, but you also get the fat zombies that are bullet sponges. Protip: Aim for the head.

The voice acting still remains quite campy, and with the different voices that you may not place with familiar faces you bump into do not feel as if it was the right choice of the re-modeled character.

Other than the gameplay and the cons that have been mentioned in the review, the most disappointing aspect to be expressed so far is the Downloadable Content (DLC). Gamers will, like your’s truly, will purchase the game and know that from the beginning that this game would have a single player campaign consisting of the USS characters to play and the multiplayer aspect.

But, again like myself, gamers will be blindsided.

Initially purchases will be of the game, though there can be purchased by pre-order with other Downloadable Content with extra weapons to unlock. But despite this, purchase of the standalone game had on the cover “Free DLC for SPEC OPS Mission 1” or something to that effect. What this download is all about is adding more longevity to the single player campaign by playing the side of the Spec Ops team. Long story short, with the release of the game, this mission was available to download for free, but after that, you would have to purchase 2 more times to get missions 2-4 and then 5-end and (in australia) the pricings for both of these packs were $15.95 each.

Now if you do the math, you have initially purchased the game at about $100 (at time of release, but purchase it now and its alot cheaper) and then you have the game but will need to purchase the game packs and that ends rounding up to $32. So the total result is $132. But think of the special edition which was about $120 with the DLC weapons plus the packs and you get a pricing of over $150.

So essentially you have bought half a game to begin with.

Unacceptable.

As a Resident Evil fan from the very beginning and dabbled into almost every game in existence at some stage or another, this is staggeringly disappointing.

But of course there are gamers out there (and possibly you at this very second) will cry out “relax pal, this has been happening all the time with other games, if you don’t like it, purchase something else” or “shut up, just deal with it”. Yes you are right to some degree, but albeit this isn’t the right way to do business, especially for a game that isn’t great to begin with. You almost feel like you’ve been conned. As the next picture shows a bit of frustration.


Final Comments

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was a great idea to be put forward to look at the game and stray away from the canon of the RE plot and experience something different.

But poorly, poorly executed.

And its more sad that it had to hit a Triple A game of the Resident Evil Franchise which is a formidable name in the gaming industry. But i will give credit, Multiplayer is actually quite good due to its chaos and environment. Gamers just may find some longevity for the game with this premise.

Get it

Rent it
Forget It


Forget it
. For fans of the franchise, they will probably enjoy the story and non canon side of things, but the game itself is not worth the price of admission. Either purchase the game when its in the bargain bin or not at all.

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