"Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City"
RESIDENT EVIL: OPERATION RACCOON CITY
★ out of four stars
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3.
Rating: Mature; blood and gore, intense violence, strong language.
Gaming review: This 'Raccoon City' isn't worth visiting
- Article by: TIM TURI
- Game Informer Magazine
- March 31, 2012 - 4:29 PM
The "Resident Evil" series is filled with failed offshoots -- from a light-gun game that doesn't support light guns to a miserable Game Boy Color title. You can now count "Operation Raccoon City" among the missteps. The attempt to merge the iconic Raccoon City outbreak with intense third-person shooting is rife with buggy AI, debilitating glitches and sloppy game play.
"Operation Raccoon City" puts players in the roles of Umbrella operatives on a mission to eradicate all evidence of the evil pharmaceutical company's involvement with the outbreak. The brief four-player co-op campaign takes players on an uninspired tour through Raccoon City landmarks such as the police station and underground laboratory.
Unlike most games in the series, "Operation Raccoon City" focuses on fast-paced gunplay on the overrun streets of Raccoon City. Aiming your shotgun or assault rifle at zombies' heads feels solid, but nearly every other element of game play is lacking.
The automatic cover system is clumsy, often forcing you in or out of protection at inopportune times. The stiff melee combat is so underpowered that it's nearly useless. The same button is used for swapping weapons and reviving teammates, making it a nightmare to resuscitate comrades bleeding out on a pile of assault rifles. The AI is somehow more brain-dead than the shambling corpses. I've seen teammates run headlong into laser mines and enemy soldiers practice power squats behind cover or straight up ignore me.
The game is only marginally improved by replacing the mindless AI with actual human teammates.
My favorite multiplayer mode involves blasting your way to a rescue helicopter to secure a trip out of the doomed town. However, modes which require even an ounce of strategy, such as team death match or a capture-the-vial mode, fall apart due to the game's inherently chaotic environment.
I found no joy losing a heated firefight because a stray zombie grabbed me. Some might enjoy the overwhelming bustle of the battlefield, but the entire experience just feels like a crowded mess to me.
A basic progression system based on experience points allows players to buy new weapons and upgrade class-specific abilities such as sticky grenades or cloaking. While unlocking a new shotgun or machine gun is great, the unimaginative skill upgrades didn't change the core game play. For example, the sticky grenade starts with a five-second fuse, the second upgrade drops it to two seconds and the third upgrade brings it back up to three seconds. What?
Umbrella might have filled Raccoon City with horrific creatures, but this game has tainted the fabled town in its own way. It's difficult recommending a return to Raccoon City when you have to endure buggy AI, clunky game play and terrible glitches such as disappearing floors. Yes, on more than one occasion, my friends and I had to ditch whole missions because we kept falling into an empty void. Not even online play is enough of a reason to warrant checking out this botched experiment with the "Resident Evil" brand.
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