Review: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
As a rather unique attempt on the Resident Evil series, and with plenty of potential, is it worth the purchase or should you just hold out for Resident Evil 6, the true heir to the throne?
- Worth The Time?Not drastically. Maybe as a co-op experience, not really as a singleplayer one.
- Things LovedEnjoyable (at times) competitive multiplayer; an interesting direction to take the Resident Evil franchise; the cinematics has its moments.
- Things HatedVisuals and audio track aren't even close to what RE5 accomplished; a disappointing singleplayer experience; a lack of polish and a sloppy control scheme; story is nowhere near the calibre of past Resident Evil games; so much lost potential
- RecommendationResident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is not a bad game, it's just not a very good one; and when compared to the rest of the Resident Evil Franchise, it's average at best. The multiplayer component is a definite improvement but for that to work you're going to have to convince your friends to buy it. And if you did, they might not be your friends for very long.
- Name: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
- Genre: Third-person Shooter
- Players: 1 - 4
- Multiplayer: 2 - 8 Competitive Multiplayer
- Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
- Developer: Slant Six Games
- Publisher: Capcom
- Price: R514
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Let me start by saying I had way too much expectation for this game; post-release however, and a couple reviews as well as articles later and that expectation came crashing down around me. Good thing they did though, I would’ve been sorely disappointed had those expectations reached the game. I think it was the potential behind Resident Evil: Operation Raccon City’s (RE: OCR) concept and premise that brought about such unrealistic expectations. Think about it, an almost purely co-operative and multiplayer Resident Evil; designed from the ground up to feel, play and handle like one. Had RE: OCR been anything like the game I pictured in my mind, it would’ve been great; unfortunately it isn’t that great and falls somewhere between a disappointed-but-not-entirely-horrid-meh and mediocre.
RE: OCR opens to an inspired title screen that immediately conveyed images and thoughts of past Resident Evil glories; as soon as I went into campaign mode however, well it went downhill. You’re supposed to be able to experience the campaigns story as a cooperative multiplayer experience, and failing that, with bots as replacements for any empty teammate positions. Naturally, none of my friends own RE: OCR yet and so I opened my campaign to the public, expecting 3 to join my game within a couple minutes. After multiple tries of absolute bupkis, I tried for one last attempt, certain someone would join, luckily 1 managed to join my game and the two vacant spots were taken by bots. Not that the teammate I ended up with was much better than the bots, who are particularly bad in their own right. Ok so they’re rather stupid and will do all in their power to get killed, steal the relatively few healing sprays and never use them and well… well they got on my nerves, put it that way.
Maybe I should explain the story, that’s always been a strength of the Resident Evil franchise right? Well RE: OCR places the player in the role of the USS, Umbrella Security Service, Delta team, who are tasked with acquiring a sample of the G-virus before Dr. Birkin can defect and escape with such a precious company asset. As one would expect, and as the universe of Resident Evil has pre-ordained, Delta team fumbles the mission and this leads to the outbreak Raccoon City undergoes. Delta team are then tasked with removing any evidence that can point to Umbrella’s involvement and kill any and all survivors because well, well Umbrella have always been like that; who knows how they keep screwing up, nonchalantly killing everyone and getting away with it. In the grand scheme of things though, Resident Evil games have never been particularly good at explaining the events at large; instead, they’re particularly good at the finer the details, the protagonist, antagonist and the narrative around these characters. By making RE: OCR an almost purely multiplayer experience however, Slant Six Games has lost any and all of that finer point charm and what’s left is a generic set of characters with more plot holes than there are zombies.
Fortunately, and as an elite USS team, each squad member is a specialist of some sort and has appropriate passive as well as active abilities to compliment their weapon choice. An example would be Lupo, assault specialist and Delta team commander, who is capable of increased armour, reload speed and can deploy abilities like incendiary ammo and temporary invincibility as well as infinite ammo sprees. There is some balance to be found here and when cooperating with other players, rather than idiot bots, unsure of what character they are, you can get a relatively enjoyable experience for brief periods of time. It won’t last long however and your only respite from the campaign, a campaign fraught with a mediocre story, sloppy controls, a lacking experience and some of the most annoying quick time events ever imagined is a reasonably enjoyable multiplayer suite.
Mutliplayer contains all the classic modes wrapped up in Resident Evil flair. So there’s team death match; survival, which is more capture the flag than anything; hero, which revolves around killing and defending particular heroes from the story; and some variation of those modes. As part of both the campaign as well as multiplayer modes, there is the chance the player will become infected which, left untreated, will result in the player joining the zombie horde and being given the task of killing the remaining players. There are a few other nifty features like run-and-gun and so on, which while new to the Resident Evil franchise, aren’t executed particularly well and are missing a lot of needed polish. It’s that prevailing feeling that everything from the set pieces of each level, to the visuals and gamplay, all of it meets the minimum requirements and no more. RE: OCR does just enough to avoid being classified as a bad game. But when you compare it to a majority of the Resident Evil franchise, well it’s not exactly a proudest moment.
If you’re a diehard fan and are determined to buy a resident evil game, I suggest waiting for Resident Evil 6 or perhaps Resident Evil: Revelations for the 3DS, which is actually a relatively awesome Resident Evil experience packed into a portable package and far superior to RE: OCR.