Has the alliance between Capcom and Slant Six succeeded in making Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City the first tactical survival horror game worth playing? This review has the answer.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360/PS3) Review
written by: paul mann
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City has a lot theoretically going for it. While this is just another spin-off from Resident Evil 2 and 3 (being set in that timeline), everyone seems to remember these two as the best Resident Evils. This gives Capcom a lot to work with, which should make for a good game. Also, the story of Operation Raccoon City is great at face value. You play as an Umbrella operative that has entered the city to clear all of Umbrella’s involvement from the outbreak. However, all these great parts somehow merge into a forgettable game with poor controls and even worse AI.
Let’s start with the best part of this game: the graphics. Previous Resident Evil games have been praised for their graphics, and this game is no exception. Operation Raccoon City uses rich character and enemy designs, and you will love seeing the zombies, lickers and other BOWs coming after you. However, there is one large exception to this. While the graphics are great, the backgrounds tend to be forgettable and a little bland. They look great, but only if you take the time to really look at them. Otherwise, everything just seems to blur together.
It’s a good thing that Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City has multiplayer, because the AI and gameplay is terrible if you play solo. Much like Left 4 Dead, this is a team-based shooter. Unlike Left 4 Dead where your characters are reasonably intelligent, the enemies and allies are really dumb here. You practically have to chase down a licker for it to attack you, which is a far cry from their aggressiveness in Resident Evil 2. Your computer-controlled allies keep checking rooms you were already in, and seem to go out of their way to fall into traps or get themselves killed. Not only that, but this game has turned melee weaponry on its head. Usually the knife is the weakest weapon, but melee is actually the strongest here. Overall, the gameplay is pretty sloppy.
While multiplayer doesn’t solve the enemy AI problem, which makes this game difficult to take seriously, it does fix the ally AI dilemma. The multiplayer characters are responsive, and you shouldn’t notice any lagging unless someone has a bad Internet connection. You can also play “Biohazard Mode,” which involves two teams rushing to get G-Virus samples before the other team. However, even this mode is botched. You have weak weaponry and the terrible enemy AI makes the entire experience a challenge to play through, but not in the good way. Everything feels very clumsy and hackneyed.
You didn’t think there was anything else bad to say about this game, but there is. Operation Raccoon City has very pointlessly complex controls. Who would have thought that shooting, running and smacking down zombies could be so complicated? It would be easier to run through the zombie hordes yourself, rather than picking up the Xbox 360 or PS3 controller. The controls try to emulate Resident Evil 4 and 5, but do so in a really bad way. It feels like they were trying to add in a lot of new things, but it just doesn’t come together. Within the hour, you will probably end up asking yourself if you have to keep playing, and that’s never a good sign.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City had everything going for it. You play as a bad ass Umbrella cleanup crew commander, there are zombies and BOWs running after you and you are thrown into a richly detailed city that has a powerful game history behind it. However, it all got messed up. Between the terrible controls and the even worse enemy and ally AI, this game just really doesn’t make the cut. There is also a complete lack of any story, making the Umbrella characters really boring to play with. Whether you are new to Resident Evil or a die hard fan that has been around since the humble beginnings, you should just skip this title. If you want a team-based shooter with zombies, then there are much better ones available. Save the money and maybe buy an older Resident Evil to remember how good the series used to be, because this is a terrible addition that should be forgotten.