Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review (PS3/360)

April 15, 2012

PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is a squad-based, third-person shooter published by Capcom and developed by Slant Six Games. Intended to be a “what if” scenario taking place between the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3, is this alteration even worth giving a look?

Story: 1/5

Taking place between the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3, you play as one of characters of USS Delta team, in which you will start by aiding Alpha team leader and series favorite, HUNK. The game will start off in the underground laboratory where you try to take the G-Virus from Dr. William Birkin which fans of RE2 will recognize. However, the story starts from there, giving no background knowledge or reasoning as to why you’re doing it. Why was your team asked to tackle the assignment? Where did they come from? After taking care of the first scenario, you will deal with the viral outbreak in Raccoon City, with your mission to eradicate any evidence of Umbrella’s involvement in the situation. While the story tries to tie you in with the new characters, along with providing nods with previous characters in the series, it ultimately falls flat on its face and makes you scratch your head wondering, “Wait, why are we doing this again?” Essentially, the “story” is just here to carry along the pace of the game so that certain scenarios can be tied together but why bother with a story if none of it makes much sense. Sure, you’ll be responsible for programming Nemesis to go after the S.T.A.R.S team (which is pretty neat) or you’ll choose to defend or kill Leon S. Kennedy, but there’s never any incentive to see where the story goes since there’s no pull. By the way, the whole “defend or kill Leon S. Kennedy” moment at the end of the game provides the biggest “F*** YOU!” moment in gaming history. Did Slant Six forget to add in an extra cutscene that describes what happens after you make your choice? To be blunt, I commend Slant Six for trying to tie in the scenarios of RE2 and RE3 but the script is way too amateurish and just plain dull.

Gameplay: 1/5

RE: ORC takes the gameplay mechanics of a standard third-person tactical shooter and places them into the Resident Evil universe. In theory, that sounds like an interesting concept. However, in execution, it couldn’t be sloppier. To be honest, there’s not a single redeemable quality I could think of when I left this game.

Let’s get started on the problematic matchmaking we have here. First off, matchmaking is simple and partnering up with friends is quite easy. Unfortunately, that’s where the good stops. When in the character select screen, you’ll be able to choose your weapons, perks (which are neat but pretty much useless) and of course, which character you’d like to play as. All the characters are tailored to having specific traits which is cool, but again, nothing that makes a character stand out over anyone else. Now, you ready up while waiting for your partners and think, “Wait, let me just bring a different gun instead of the one I have now.” Guess what? You can’t cancel readying up meaning you’re stuck with what you chose. Want to change your equipment after readying up? Either sit through the entire level until you beat it and get the chance to change equipment then or quit out of the matchmaking and be re-invited. Want to change the mission you’re playing to a different one while in the lobby? No can do. You have to quit the matchmaking and create another lobby just to play another level. If you’re searching for one of the multiplayer matches to join and cancel matchmaking, the whole system freezes and you’ll have to restart the system. It’s just really archaic online structure.

Now, if you thought the matchmaking sounds questionable, then you’re in for a real head scratcher with the gameplay itself. The collision detection is absolutely horrid in this game. I shot enemies dead-on in the head with a full clip and they wouldn’t die. If I would dodge Mr.X (Tyrant from RE2), regardless of being out of harms way, I would take damage and fall to the ground. Speaking of dodging, this game has the most useless dodge mechanic I’ve witnessed. It is realistic that it takes time to dive out of the way and get up from it but when enemies are dashing at you (which is most of the time), then this ultimately screws you over more as opposed to helping you out. In one area of the first level, we had to set explosives to a locked door to get through. They announce to get in cover and when you do, you still take damage and fall back. However, that’s not the baffling moment. Instead, I restarted that at a checkpoint to see if I would take damage if I was further away. Getting as far as possible, not even remotely close to the door, I still fell down and took damage. Also, if you intend to play this game solo (in which I would strongly NOT recommend), then you should be prepared for some of the dumbest squadmate AI you’ll ever see. My squadmates would literally stand there and face a wall while I’d deal with the situation at hand. If they go down, you can revive them but if you go down, they can’t revive you. What kind of design decision is that? I can understand if you’re playing single player, that’s somewhat acceptable. However, when you’re co-oping with someone else and they can’t revive either of you, that’s just plain stupid. Also, reviving people is usually an exercise in frustration. Every time you die, you drop your weapon which overlaps your body. If your buddy comes to revive you, chances are they’ll keep picking up the weapons next to you as opposed to reviving you. Revival should usually have priority over picking up weapons, or better yet, be a different button entirely. The AI in this game is outrageously bad that it makes Sheva’s AI in RE5 act like Einstein.

For a third-person shooter, you’d hope that the shooting mechanics are somewhat decent. Guess again. The shooting feels really clunky and the laser sight doesn’t follow the crosshair quick enough. As a matter of fact, the crosshair is just there to be there but the aiming mainly relies on the laser sight. When using your melee moves, you’ll be swiping away at a zombie for a solid 20-30 seconds before they go down, resulting in a “why bother” feeling when meleeing. You can grab zombies as hostages but that’s just weird in general. Couldn’t a zombie just bite your arm while you’re holding them hostage? You’ll also face hunters, crimson head zombies (from the RE Remake on GC), lickers and a ton of military soldiers. The amount of military soldiers you’ll face is a bit overboard as well. It was to the point that I felt like I was playing SOCOM instead of RE:ORC. If you get infected by a zombie, you’ll become one over time, unless you have an anti-viral spray. What’s lame is that you can’t control yourself when you turn into a zombie, forcing you to sit back and watch until someone kills you, then revives you. There’s also a cover mechanic in the game that you initiate by running into an object. However, it’s not a tight cover system and feels like it was just thrown in to be there. As for the multiplayer components, they’re interesting modes but due to shoddy gameplay mechanics, they’re not worth your time to invest in.

Graphics: 2/5

RE:ORC’s visuals are ok…but that’s about it. The environmental textures are mostly bland and the animations are pretty stiff most of the time. The main characters you’ll play as look pretty detailed but everything else reeks of mediocrity. None of the enemies really stand out visually except for the crimson head zombies…they look atrociously bad with a red skin color that looks like they were drenched in Pepto Bismol. Leon’s character model looks ok but Claire just looks simply awful. There’s a good amount of texture pop-in on character models during cutscenes as well, along with some framerate inconsistencies.

Sound: 2/5

Mediocre, mediocre, mediocre. Weapons don’t sound powerful in the least, making you wonder if what you’re shooting is even reflecting on the damage being dealt on the enemy. Ambient noises are almost non-existent and voice acting is entirely unmemorable. Soundtrack is surprisingly uninspired as well. Aside from the character select music, the rest of the score is entirely forgettable. Nemesis’s final boss theme is remixed here when confronting him but doesn’t come close to the effectiveness that it had back in RE3.

Overall Score: 6/20 = 3.0 out of 10

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City had an intriguing premise but ends up being nothing more than a sloppy, buggy and uninspired game. Die-hard RE fans will give nods to some nostalgic moments for the few seconds they spur up, but will ultimately end up cursing their way through the game, questioning why this was even released. The story is shockingly abysmal, the audio is incredibly lacking, the visuals are simply generic and the gameplay is just plain dull, boring and a downright buggy mess. This breakdown is shocking to even combine with the RE franchise as we’re usually in for a quality game, even when taken in a different direction. Congratulations to RE:ORC, you’re a candidate for one of the worst games of 2012. It’s a damn shame. Now let’s forget this course and move on to the real entree, Resident Evil 6, later this year.

PROs:

+ Confirms that we shouldn’t have Resident Evil developed outside of their internal studios.

CONs:

– Collision detection

– Freezes when you cancel matchmaking and have to restart system.

– Ugly game

– Brain-dead AI; Makes Sheva’s AI in RE5 act like Einstein.

– Stiff animations

– Useless dodge mechanic

– Dull gameplay

– Aside from character select music, the soundtrack is forgettable.

– Sound effects are generic and never pack a punch.

– Buggy mess

– Can’t Level Select from Character Select lobby.

– Can’t cancel “Ready Up” once you click it and have to quit the game to tailor equipment again.

– Last mission is COMPLETELY unexplained and is a massive F*** You to the player.

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About Glacier928

Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

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2 Comments on “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review (PS3/360)”

  1. rocknrogue0124 Says:

    Yikes! Brutal review.

    Reply

  2. crystal cooper Says:

    I agree with this page 100% I am a die hard resident evil fan all games and movies. This left a bad taste in my mouth. The last mission was ridiculous and pointless and the whole game a 5 year old could beat! What a waste of our time and money. Let us hope that when RE 6 comes out in the fall the fans will be heard and those dumbasses will give us our monies worth! Hopefully they can redeem themselves in my eyes or this momma will go elsewhere for her zombie fix!

    Reply

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