Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City review
Fri, 30 Mar 2012 1:29p.m.
By Daniel Rutledge
Few games stand out in my memory as much as the first Resident Evil.
It doesn’t matter how many average sequels and terrible movie spin-offs ever come from it, that first adventure in the zombie-filled mansion as Chris or Jill will forever live in my heart as one of the greatest gaming experiences ever.
I watched this Operation Raccoon City trailer and loved what I saw. It doesn’t give away much about the gameplay, but as a short film it’s damn good.
As it turns out, the game isn’t so good itself. It’s actually pretty bad.
Many recent Resident Evil titles have gone for more of an action game without many horror elements remaining, which is certainly the case with ORC. That’s fine. But when the action elements don’t work, there’s very little to like about it.
A squad-based co-operative third-person shooter, ORC is at its absolute worst when played alone. Your AI teammates don't really contribute much apart from annoying comments. The different types of enemies are mildly interesting but their AI is pretty poor too. Unless you're new to gaming, you'll very easily be able to predict what they're about to do and how to mow them all down.
The levels are all functional but dull sets of streets and laboratories that look worse because of how dark and muddy it all looks.
Playing co-op with a couple of mates is much more fun than on your lonesome, but that introduces a whole bunch of new problems. The crappy teammate AI is replaced with a surprising amount of glitches and problems. Quite a few bugs hampered our enjoyment of the game – so much so I had to double check it was the full version I was playing. Probably the worst glitch was when characters occasionally turned invisible.
You don't really need to use teamwork too much to overcome your enemies. Bosses have weak spots to shoot, but that's the only variation there is in simply collectively shooting your targets.
There are a few other online versus modes that are actually quite interesting in how they incorporate the undead horde into deathmatch and survival-type matches. I had fun checking these out, but I won't be playing them much, if at all, now that I'm done reviewing the game.
Left 4 Dead is of course a first-person franchise but comparisons are fair. Not only is it mostly zombies that you blow away in each game, but they both have a very arcad-ey feel. I’m sorry to say that Left 4 Dead is much more fun than ORC in every way.
But as bad as this game is, I can't hate it. The little Resident Evil things everywhere still appeal to me on some level. Just using a ‘green herb’ to restore health, for example, appeals to a very small part of my brain that remembers the extreme excitement of that first Resident Evil way back when. But it gets way better than that - the story cuts into and out of Resident Evil 2 and Nemesis and you occasionally get to play around familiar bits of level design from those games that are nostalgically thrilling. A few classic characters also make appearances too, including Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield and Jill Valentine.
Maybe I should be angry that the franchise elements are callously inserted into a lacklustre game that doesn't deserve its RE title, but nah, I dig them. There's also some great gore which is fairly satisfying, too. These cool aspects do very little in making the game worthwhile as a whole, however.
If you find ORC in a bargain bin for $10 or less some time, it might be worth picking up. Otherwise, it's hard to recommend unless you're an absolute Resident Evil franchise completist.
A disappointing one and a half stars.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
:: Publisher: Capcom
:: Developer: Slant Six Games
:: Format: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
:: Rating: R16
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2/04/2012 11:46:53 a.m.
Thanks for that i was thinking of buying this game because i really enjoyed playing the first one would be nice if the game developers back away from so much action and bring the horror back.
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