Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

I want to start out by making some things clear about Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Firstly, it does not play anything like a Resident Evil game. It is a co-operative squad based shooter that happens to be set in the Resident Evil universe. Secondly, you would do well to consider this an online only co-operative squad based shooter that happens to be set in the Resident Evil universe. It isn’t but the single player experience is, quite frankly, bad. There are several things that this game doesn’t do well and in a co-op setup many of them can be overlooked but the squad AI is not one of those things. Playing in a squad of four with three AI team mates is an exercise in frustration that you would do well to avoid. They will take items, clog up doors and generally arse about not helping.

The odd thing is that when you play with a friend and only two AI team mates things become exponentially better, then better with every human player after that. With two human players and some strategic character selection for your AI counterparts the game really comes together. For example, dropping the medic as she seems to steal healing items and going with the scientist who can (and will) turn zombies to fight on your side.

Now it’s fair to say that you shouldn’t have to take these measures to enjoy a game and that these issues should have been addressed in development, but the fact is that these issues exist but when played in co-op with these things in mind, Operation:Raccoon City is a really fun experience set in a world that many people love. Except now you are playing as the cool as fuck bad guys in the background during the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3.

The co-operative campaign offers seven levels to be played though taking on the roll of the Umbrella Security Service – essentially the black ops section of the Umbrella army. You’ll progress through the stages doing little more than collecting various items and shooing just about everything you see: zombies, US special Forces and even other Umbrella squads in order to keep the events that took place in Raccoon City a secret. After each level you can spend XP to unlock or upgrade abilities and weapons. While the weapons are a little uninspired some of the character abilities are genuinely fun to use. XP is persistent across the campaign and adversarial multiplayer modes.

For players familiar with the SOCOM series it will come as no surprise that Operation:Raccoon City comes from the same studio, Slant Six. Gameplay is strongly reminiscent of their previous games and this lends an air of nostalgia to online play. The multiplayer modes are suitably Resi’d up versions of standard online modes but offer that extra element of not only fighting your enemy but the shared threat of roaming zombies and Umbrella’s various experimental weapons.

So, why should you play this rather than playing through Gears of War 3 again with four pals? The simple answer is because it’s fun, you’ve already completed Gears a million times and Gears doesn’t have zombies in it. OK, maybe it does but it doesn’t have any potted glowing green herbs. The charm of Operation:Raccoon City lies in its basic, and some might say outdated, co-op gameplay and those little buzzes you get from rocking up outside a building or spying a character that you remember from previous Resident Evil games.

Shortly after launch Capcom will be releasing some additional DLC campaigns that can be played though as the US Special Forces team touted in the game’s trailers. These will no doubt be followed by some paid content in the same vein but it’s worth keeping in mind that there is more co-op fun to be had than I was able to experience.







One response to “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City”

  1. hazardman89 avatar

    TL;DR: the game sucks unless you play it in a very specific manner.

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