games / Previews

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Preview (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

July 6, 2011 | Posted by John De Large

Resident Evil games are always enjoyable, progression based tales, but sometimes players just want to cut loose and shoot everything in sight (sometimes with friends, if Left 4 Dead’s popularity is anything to go by). Capcom presents Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, a 3rd person shooter made with this kind of audience in mind. I went hands on with the game last week at Capcom’s New York gathering with my apprentice (codenamed GG for now), to see how the game looked and handled. Here’s your Operation Raccoon City breakdown:

THE FACTS
Upon starting a new game/campaign, players will be able to choose from six classes, each with a name and a bio readout. There’s Vector, a stealth and recon expert, Bertha, the medic, Beltway, the demolitions expert, Spectre, the sniper, Four Eyes, the field scientist and GG’s choice of character and Lupo, the team leader who wields an assault rifle, which was my choice of character. Each character also comes with perks, two for each class at the time of demo.

Once you pick a class, players will attempt to contain the zombie outbreak as best they can. They won’t go up against just zombies, but all of the Resident Evil bio-weapons too like Lickers and everyone’s worst nightmare, HUNTERS. Though GG and I didn’t have enough TVs and hardware to team up via co-op, that option will be made available to players once the game hits stores. Alternatively, we were told that mutliplayer can be a competitive experience too, and other soldiers employed by the US Special Operations will make things even harder for gamers.

So what else could go wrong? Well, for the first time in Resident Evil history since the Outbreak series, your character risks infection from the zombies. If a player becomes infected and their health bar drops to zero, they will turn into a zombie and they’ll have the chance to attack former teammates. Also, if you’re wounded bad enough, you’ll bleed out — something zombies will really appreciate since they’ll tackle you with redoubled effort should you find yourself hemorrhaging.

On the bright side, players will be able to make decisions that could effect the events of the entire series, such as killing Resident Evil 2 player characters Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield. DAMN. Way to not ruin the space time continuum or anything, Capcom.

THE HANDS ON
I played through the first level, the other side of the truck from the beginning of RE2, as Lupo. I gunned down zombies by the hoards until I was corralled through a garage, that’s where a Licker pierced my torso and I gave GG the controls.

GG did much better as Four Eyes — that is, until she got killed and I took over again. I stayed on as Four Eyes, encountering the US Special Ops who gave me lots and lots of trouble, so I used Four Eyes special ability, which seemed similar to an adrenaline rush and charged through the US Special Forces — right into Mr. X.

Mercifully, the demo ended there, before Mr. X could dominate me and send me back to the respawn screen.

THE VERDICT
I like what I saw and I like what I played! The HUD was easy on the eyes, the game was easy to navigate and I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the casts special moves. RE:ORC also provides a challenge though, the Bio-Weapons are as tough as ever and the Special Forces presented the most challenge of all the enemies, so gamers shouldn’t expect a complete cakewalk.

Operation Raccoon City hits stores this Winter, December 4th. You won’t want to miss out on this.

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John De Large

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