Though it’s been out for some time, as a Resident Evil fan I felt obligated to try ORC and write a review for it. I really wish I didn’t.
Operation Raccoon City takes place during Resident Evil 2, with you, 1 of 6 members of Umbrella’s Security Service, and 3 others infiltrating one of Umbrella’s laboratories to retrieve the G-Virus from Dr. William Birkin. You meet up with HUNK(Badass who wears a gasmask) and encounter the most common enemy you’ll face in the game… Human soldiers with guns(I’m playing Resident Evil right?). You find Birkin, he injects himself with the G-Virus and becomes G-Birkin(Claire’s main boss from RE2). You leave the lab, fighting G-Birk occasionally along the way. Next mission, you arrive at City Hall to destroy evidence, and fight… zombies. Yes you finally get to fight zombies. You proceed through the level, destroy evidence, fight Lickers, and escape. The rest of the game involves you searching for more evidence to destroy, and performing actions alongside RE2′s story. You get to fight a Tyrant(Mr. X, Leon’s main boss from RE2),reprogram Nemesis(Main boss for RE3) and kill or save Leon S. Kennedy by defeating the other half of your squad in a firefight. The areas where the story merges with previous games’ stories is where the game shines. This is because they remind you that Resident Evil games were good once(Oops did I say that). The game’s main story does not amount to much other than something to happen in between shooting enemies.
One thing you’ll notice that’s different about the gameplay immediately(if you’ve played any other RE game) is that you can move and shoot at the same time. Besides that the differences include: No inventory menu, character specific abilities have been added(Cloaking, Trip Mines, etc…) and the weapon upgrade system is gone. A cover system has been added for protection from bullets, and though it works fine(You just run into objects and you automatically cover) I would have preferred holding sprint and running into it(Like Gears of War) however. Two elements, involving your health, have been added to gameplay, infection and bleeding. If you start bleeding, your health very slowly decreases over a brief period of time and you attract zombies, which would be a problem if you encountered them often. If you become infected, your screen outlines in blue and your health decreases until you die and become a zombie or spray yourself with anti-viral spray. To get an anti-viral spray you need to pick one up(sounds easy right?) well to pick up an object or revive a teammate sometimes you need to do a little circle-dance with your character until the prompt appears on your screen. If you want an explanation on the rest of the gameplay just think of any other third-person shooter ever made.
Graphics and Audio
Most of the locations you’ll play in are dark city streets, dark labs, dark , dark, dark. There are, however, some locations that look great, they’re just the ones from RE2(Police Station, Umbrella Lab, etc…). These locations look exactly as I remember from RE2(Except for the pre-rendered part).
The audio for this game is the thing you’ll remember least about this game(If you ever think about ORC after this). The weapon sounds are ridiculously generic and the music… a background tune that occasionally plays… terrible.
The game’s campaign includes 4-player Co-op, which I assume is fun if you are playing with friends, but if you don’t have anyone to play with Co-op isn’t worth it. In solo play, if you’re shot by one of your teammates, that’s fine, nothing happens, but if you’re shot by a player in Co-op, you die almost instantly. Also if you’re in a game that isn’t full and you have CPU players, if a player shoots you, you die, if you get shot by the CPU, you live. I feel if there were no friendly fire, the game at least could have had a decent Co-op.
Also included with the game is Versus, which has four game modes: Team Attack, Biohazzard, Heroes, and Survivor. None of these game modes are really worth getting into, you play as Umbrella or Spec Ops, fight a small amount of zombies, and complete whatever objective for that mode.
Oh, Resident Evil, how you have fallen. You went from Resident Evil 4, which is in my Top 5 favorite games of all time, to this, I’m greatly disappointed…
There’s no reason to deny it, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is the worst entry in the Resident Evil series(Main series), but that doesn’t make it a bad game, far from it. It’s a decent game that’s fun to play, but was ruined by poor decisions by its designers, unfortunately these decisions affect every aspect of the game. There are some great nostalgic moments from RE2 and RE3 in this game, but that’s all this game has, moments from other games that were great, which only make you wish you were playing them instead. After RE5, I never expected another Resident Evil game to be as good as RE4, but after playing ORC I think I’ve officially lost hope. I can only pray for Resident Evil 6, pray that it can at least come close to how great RE4 was, and not fall to Operation Raccoon City levels of “greatness”. (I shudder even using quotes around greatness)
I give Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City 3 out of 5 S.T.A.R.S
*note: ORC has an additional game mode that is used as an online pass and a DLC in which you play as Spec Ops alongside Jill Valentine(During RE3′s story) that I did not play and has been omitted. **And yes I did use a Resident Evil joke in my verdict