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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (XBOX 360) Review

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (XBOX 360)

In the world of gaming there are few titles, or franchises, which can claim to have heavily influenced an entire industry but Resident Evil is one that can. Although it wasn’t the first horror game the first Resident Evil (or Biohazard) which was released in 1996 saw scares move to a new level where as previously they were confined to games like Dark Seed which were quite visual for their time but lacked the same frights.

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Operation Raccoon City is set between the time of Resident Evil 2 and 3 and gameplay is split into two modes. We access both from the main menu with the first being Campaign and the second Versus. In campaign mode we take control of Umbrella forces and can play online with three other gamers or as part of a team controlled by the console (public and private games available). In this mode we work our way through a set of seven missions with a story linking them levels together and the game begins with the standard gameplay introduction level which see’s us taken through key control mechanics. They are reasonably easy to pick up though with left stick to move, A to interact, triggers to zoom/shoot and more advanced features such as grenades on the shoulder. Our D-Pad allows us to use the sprays or swap grenades and the currently active items are shown bottom left of the game with bottom right for ammo/health or hints and top right for the map.

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Each character has their own special skills for example medic, demolition and sharpshooter and can carry two weapons at a time, usually our choice of heavy gun and pistol. A key skill can also be added to our character (purchased with XP) and those provide enhancements such as enhanced bullets, motion detectors, quieter/quicker movement and the ability to mimic a target.

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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City uses the Hexane Engine and on the whole it is a good looking game. There are nice lighting effects used in the dark environments and our over the shoulder viewpoint is well placed to allow plenty of visibility. The main characters all look unique and the enemies easy to distinguish with cut-scenes being rendered well.

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For anyone who has played Resident Evil games in the past jumping into Campaign Mode will feel unfamiliar. At first this doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil game and depending on the character chosen it can feel a little sluggish to move but as we progress familiar elements of the franchise drop in to give us that familiar feel. Green herbs are one example, the classic You Are Dead red writing on the screen another.

This non-Resident Evil feel has a lot to do with the design and plot of the first mission though which has absolutely no zombies in it. There is us, the human based enemy forces and a genetically altered boss. In truth it isn’t a strong mission at all and the strength of the boss can lead to some infuriating deaths as the path ahead isn’t always clear, leaving us trapped in a corner to be piped over the head until we die. It also has a disappointing tendency to go with empty corridor, cut scene, empty corridor as we progress which ruins the pacing.

That said once we pass into mission two things very much pick up and this is no doubt down to the introduction of zombies and more advanced enemies which also alter the gameplay. When we are fighting the human based NPCs they are very much tougher, headshots rarely happen and we can unload a significant amount of ammo to take them down due to armour. Standard zombies are fair game though with headshots available, vomit spewing onto our screen if they get too close and loads of gore as we take them down. Advanced genetically enhanced monsters also add to the game with their weak spots such as exposed brains making a good aim essential.

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Versus Mode offers a nice variation of gameplay and on the whole the modes here succeed. Our particular favourites were Survivor where strategy and timing are essential if we are to get one of the four slots on the helicopter and Heroes where the games almost always end in a close combat situation where we hack and slash against classic characters from Resident Evil while dodging zombies at the same time. That said we hope that as players get more experienced with this gameplay they realise that only targeting the other gamers is a bad idea, take out the zombies nearby first, together, then take on each other or be swarmed and killed.

It is the use of zombies in Versus which makes this game stand out in online mode though, elevating it above many other games with similar modes. In Operation Raccoon City we are always on the move and there will be no camping here, try to do that and zombies will always begin to head towards you forcing a move. This can also result in some amusing post death events. For example when drawing zombies to a location then escaping through a door to be killed by another gamer we know that the moment our murderer walks through that door they will be devoured by the creatures we were just getting away from… sweet revenge.

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Buy Essays Online From Scratch Summary
As with any online based game Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is best enjoyed with other gamers rather than NPCs and longevity would be enhanced by more levels/maps but there is DLC incoming. A solid game mechanic and interesting, fun online modes impress though for a solid entry in the Resident Evil franchise.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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