Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows

March 20, 2012

Of all the games at this Gamers Day, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City would be my pick of the event, slightly edging out Asura's Wrath. This might be the first Resident Evil co-developed by a Western studio--SOCOM’s Slant Six Games--but from what we’ve seen so far, it has a lot going for it to make it worthy of the Resident Evil name.

Going back to Raccoon City in the midst of the original outbreak potentially opens up a sizable can of retconning worms. Yet if you’re going to revisit this now-infamous town, you’d might as well tell it from a less explored perspective, namely from the very organization that caused the outbreak in the first place, The Umbrella Corporation.

As members of the company’s security service, you’re tasked with destroying all the evidence linking Umbrella to this outbreak. Aesthetically all the squad members (three male, three female) look visually inspired by the more familiar Umbrella operative HUNK.

With all the dark gear, gas masks, and menacing goggles, it was easy to picture Operation Raccoon City as Killzone in the third person, which actually got me more excited about this game.

Optimistically, bringing the squad-based experience of Slant Six Games seems like a good fit for a franchise that has been fine-tuning its multiplayer experience since 2003’s Resident Evil Outbreak. The off-center character positioning that series creator Shinji Mikami introduced in Resident Evil 4 is here, and as well as cover system.

Based on the presentation and our own hands-on time with the demo, we find it hard to believe that Operation Raccoon City won’t have some moments of suspense and horror-inspired tension and surprises.

My heart rate jumped a couple times when opening doors with the infected waiting on the other side, and the demo showed of frantic backpedalling as the squad was taking on one of the large bosses of the game.