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Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City

Many fans of the series didn’t know what to expect in the weeks leading up to Operation Raccoon City’s release. The general feeling was an excited one, seeing as the series has now grown to insane proportions and popularity. The game takes place during the catastrophic events set during Resident evil 2 and 3, with the Raccoon city outbreak and the release of the bows and the Nemesis. Many popular characters make a return to the series such as Leon S. Kennedy, Hunk, Claire Redfield, etc so the setting and storyline should feel pretty familiar to fans. With all of this going for it one could assume that there was no possible way this could be anything but an amazing addition to the series, but believe me it has its…..problems. You play as a team of Umbrella Security, going into the city to destroy any and all evidence of Umbrella’s involvement in the outbreak which gives you a new perspective on the outbreak.

 

First of I have to give credit where credit is due. The graphics of the game and rendering of Raccoon City in its final hours were very appealing to the eye and brought the disaster into very realistic clarity. I loved wandering through the streets, buildings, and inner workings of hidden Umbrella facilities looking at the pure destruction and chaos the outbreak caused. Even the character outfits and designs were incredibly accurate and left me feeling pleased at the rendering Slant Six put into the game.

 

The controls and new additions to the series made me happy such as the ability to fire you weapons as you moved around was a huge one. It was a faster paced system compared to many past Resident Evil games, and that was definitely a nice feeling. An auto cover system was introduced which both helped and hindered you depending on your current situation, and was triggered simply by walking up against a wall or car. You have the ability to buy and upgrade your guns and abilities similar to RE4 and RE5 as well as level up your character. With all these additions the player has several options to customize and change his or her play style dramatically.

 

Unfortunately the graphic and character appearing are one of the few things this game has going for it. The music within the game is rather bland and doesn’t present the tension and atmosphere that it has in previous entries in the series. The only song that really got me in the Resident Evil mood was the opening menu. It wasn’t bad by any means; it just didn’t have that creepy Resident Evil vibe to it. The computer and enemy AI was truly the downfall to ORC. Yes the game was meant to be a multiplayer experience so having said that, I can’t take too much away from it. But playing through it single player was painful. The enemy AI was hilarious honestly seeing as you’d expect the dumb zombies, but dumb bows? Really? Lickers would jump in front of you and your teammates only to scream, dance around a bit, and then proceed to jump to random parts of the room.

Your teammates AI really didn’t impress either. Regardless of difficulty setting, I constantly found myself reviving them and not due to them being taken down from the enemies either. It was them walking into fire, random trip mines set around the area, or simply not taking cover and standing into streams of gunfire. I often found myself simply leaving them for dead due to frustration. They would constantly walk into my line of sight; get stuck in doorways causing me to back up to let them through first, or simply not follow me further into the level. But if you are lucky enough to play through the game with friends the game play improves dramatically and can truly be much more enjoyable seeing as how this was meant to be a multiplayer installment for the series.

The story looked to be interesting at first, seeing as your playing the “bad guys” instead of a group of s.t.a.r.s members or the BSAA. But the Umbrella crew that you get really doesn’t have any form of a back story at all, and are rather bland. You’re sent in to retrieve G virus samples from William Birkin, and end up stranded in the city and sent on several search and destroy missions while there but none of these really make you feel like your part of the true Raccoon City scenario. ORC had such a huge potential to have a great story and plotline, and it left players high in dry in that aspect.

 

ORC does boast a few online game modes such as the Heroes mode which lets you play a four on four match putting you into the shoes of recognizable members of the series such as Hunk, Jill Valentine, Ada Wong, Leon Kennedy, Etc. Biohazard is another mode that is very similar to capture the flag but instead is more like capture the G virus vials. Team Attack is the typical team death match scenario, simply score more kills than the other team to win. And finally you have Survival which is exactly what it sounds like. Simply survive against both human and AI players until the extraction chopper arrives. These online modes were definitely a good addition and I found them to be rather enjoyable.

Overall, Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City had huge potential and I feel it didn’t live up to what it could have been in any way shape or form. But then again what Resident Evil game that wasn’t a direct sequel has ever been truly “good?” The game itself can be a fun and engaging experience played online or with friends, but as a single player game it lacks in several areas. If you’re a hardcore fan of the series I encourage you to at least try it, but you may have serious doubts and misgivings about it. I enjoyed it the game seeing as it’s not a true direct sequel, but it could have been so much more. 6 out of 10

 

 

1 Comment

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  1. John H. says
    April 13, 2012, 3:17 PM

    6/10 seems very fair. Haven’t played it yet but based on what I have heard from friends and what I have just read it doesn’t seem to deserve a 3.5 or 4/10 either. I wont name names but other review sites trashed this game, and hey if you have friends to play this with I’m sure its pretty cool. Good review

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