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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Capcom isn't sure what it wants to do with the Resident Evil series. Should it be an action game or survival horror? Scary or thrilling? One thing is for sure, it definitely shouldn't be like Operation Raccoon City. This multiplayer third-person shooter has a few good ideas, but not enough to warrant picking up this disappointing spin-off! Rating: 40%
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
  • Review Score:

  • C-
Capcom has always seemed a little conflicted about the direction of Resident Evil. On one hand, the horror series is about well-timed scares and surviving a terrible situation with very few supplies. But just as players start to get used to conserving ammo and running past zombies, Capcom flips everything and turns the series into an action game. Thanks to a decade's worth of fast-paced spin-offs, Resident Evil has something of an identity crisis.

Capcom's mixed signals aren't made any clearer with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, a Gears of War-style third-person shooter that attempts to liven things up with big explosions and tons of multiplayer modes. There are no important items to pick up, doors to unlock and puzzles to solve. Gone are ink ribbons, magical treasure chests and that sense of dread you get from being locked in a scary mansion. All that has been replaced with heavy artillery, emotionless soldiers and an endless stream of firefights. Needless to say, this is not your typical Resident Evil game.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360)

Despite the jarring change in tone, I was ready to give Operation Raccoon City the benefit of the doubt. Although I prefer my survival horror to be scary, I'm not opposed to seeing the events of Resident Evil 2 from a completely different perspective. In fact, the idea of playing a group of mercenaries sent in to clean up the zombie outbreak is certainly compelling. It gives us a chance to fight against mutated monsters and the army, all while hundreds of brain-hungry zombies get in the way. Even if it's antithetical to the franchise, that sounds like a lot of fun.

You play a member of the Umbrella Security Service Delta squad, which has been sent to retrieve the G-virus before the U.S. Government can get their hands on it. Unfortunately, things don't go according to plan and the deadly T-virus finds its way out to neighboring Raccoon City. Now that the town is overflowing with zombies, it's your job to destroy all evidence and clear Umbrella's name before anybody finds out. Oh, and you also have to shoot a bunch of zombies and avoid getting killed by the U.S. army, but that's secondary to your mission.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360)

This mission takes players all over Raccoon City, including places we haven't seen since Resident Evil 2. Expect to see the remains of city hall, the local hospital, the spooky cemetery, a power plant and, of course, the unmistakable Raccoon City police department. There you'll battle your typical T-virus baddies, such as crimson head zombies, undead dogs, lickers, hunters and, worst of all, the near-invincible Tyrant. And if all the supernatural baddies weren't enough, you spend a lot of your time battling still-living soldiers and even a few familiar faces from past games.

The good news is that you won't be doing this alone. Regardless of whether you play this solo or with a group of friends, you'll always have somebody on your side. Beyond offering additional firepower, your partners are also able to use various sprays to revive health and keep infected mercenaries from turning into a zombie.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360)

In a proper multiplayer game, players are able to revive their fallen squad mates, though the computer AI frustratingly won't return the favor. Sadly, the multiplayer elements feel squandered, since there are few (if any) moments where the team must work together to solve a puzzle or get out alive. They're really just there to keep the firefight going, something that gets boring after the first stage.

The third-person action is predictable, with players simply going from room to room looking a safe place to wait out the attack. Much every other game that has tried to ape Gears of War, your job is to hide behind a crate and pop out whenever the enemies are reloading. This relatively simple task is marred by a couple inexcusable gameplay mechanics. For starters, the character automatically sticks to walls whenever they get close. At least, that's what should happen in theory. Half the time my character either didn't hide or didn't get in the position I was hoping for. All this could have been resolved by allowing players to use a button to get into and out of a defensive position.
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