Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City begins with missions that lead up to the infiltration of Raccoon City, and it takes you on an unforgettable ride that allows you to revisit classic Resident Evil locations including the Raccoon City Police Department. You'll also encounter classic enemies such as Hunters, Lickers, Tyrants and even Nemesis. The plot and setting for the game is truly one anyone could enjoy, but hardcore Resident Evil fans will simply fall in love with. Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City is a third-person, squad based shooter. You can choose from any of the 6 operatives to control right when you start up the game, but only a team of 4 soldiers can be taken into a game at one time. The unoccupied team members will be controlled by AI, and they can be a real pain to work with, but if you can take your game online, most if not all problems are then alleviated so that you can continue having fun. Each character has a unique class that can give different types of benefits, so you really need to manage who you enter missions with and balance out both offensive and defensive members to make the ultimate team.
You are allowed to select a primary weapon, sidearm and activated ability at the character select screen, and new weapons and abilities can be purchased by spending experience points gained in game for completing various activities or killing enemies. In addition to choosing from 7 weapon types and 3 activated abilities for combat, every character has 2 passive abilities that will always be in effect once purchased. The game definitely has a deep and entertaining progression system that gives the game a long life span and rewards players for sticking with the game long enough. Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City has a ton of other unique game mechanics as well. For starters, you can become infected when attacked by zombies.
When you are infected, zombies don't pursue you as aggressively, but you sacrifice health for this perk, as it is constantly drained from your life meter. If you die while infected, you lose control of your character, resurrect as a zombie and attack any nearby teammates until they are forced to kill you. Combat also makes many changes from previous titles in the series. You now have a cover system similar to what you've seen in games like Gears of War, and although the cover system isn't perfect, you'd definitely prefer it to be included in the game when you find yourself stuck in a big shootout. Of course, you can always grab a nearby zombie to use as a meat shield if firing from behind cover isn't your thing. You'll have a bunch of other tactical maneuvers at your disposal as well including sprinting, diving forwards and backwards, melee attacks and grapple attacks. The melee and grapple attacks really stand out as you realize you're still a specially trained soldier even when you run out of ammo. Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City can be played online with up to 8 people as well.
There are four modes available as soon as you pop the game into your disc tray. Two of the game modes, Biohazard and Team Attack, place Resident Evil twists on the classic shooter game modes capture the flag and team deathmatch. The third game mode is Survivor. In Survivor, up to eight players from two teams will battle it out for a chance to ride an escape helicopter out of the now zombified Raccoon City. Heroes mode is the final game mode, and it allows you to play as classic Resident Evil characters. Each team starts off with 4 heroes, and death means you will respawn as an ordinary grunt. The winning team is the team that has the last remaining hero in the game. Each of these modes are a ton of fun online with your buddies, and being allowed to duke it out in Heroes mode with the old school characters is just plain awesome for fans of the series. Although Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City isn't perfect, it's still a really entertaining game even if you're not a fan of the series.
If you are a Resident Evil fan, then prepare to be blown away by the flashbacks to some of the best moments, characters and locations the series has ever seen. The zombie killing action is just part of the excitement, as you begin unlocking all of the goodies the game has to offer and master the game's battle system. Check this game out if you get a chance; you'll find it's one of the best games of the year so far and well worth the time and money invested to play it.
For more information on the game, check out the official Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City website.
Developer: Slant Six
Rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence & Strong Language
Platforms: PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Release Date: March 20, 2012
SCORE: 8.5 out of 10