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Aug. 21, 2017
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Game On!

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

March 22, 2012, 3:45 pm
By Alex De Vore

These people should be ashamed of themselves!

The Gist

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City puts players in the role of an elite, ex-military squad of international super-soldiers who now, for some reason, are working as a security squad for the nefarious pharmaceutical company, Umbrella. Following some totally evil research and development in the scientifically legitimate world of majorly evil viruses (not to mention a city-wide zombie outbreak thanks to the iconic T-Virus), your squad must enter Raccoon City and destroy any evidence that might possibly link Umbrella to the chaos. Set within the beloved universe of Capcom's RE games, ORC shows us what was happening behind the scenes of the main game, and the events leading up to the city's demise.

From the get-go, you and your squad will face off against a whole mess of baddies ranging from the zombie horde to US spec-ops forces attempting to evacuate survivors. Oh, and a bunch of weird-looking "monsters" that wouldn't scare anybody anywhere.

The Good

Developer Slant 6 did their very best with the material, and has created enough variety within the missions that ORC doesn't really get stale. Shooting is totally fun, and testing out the different types of weapons is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the title. Longtime fans of the series will surely salivate at the addition to RE's lore, and discovering what went down while more prominent heroes within the fiction is kind of interesting. City backgrounds look great, and effects like fog or smoke add a lot to the atmosphere. While not as stellar as you might hope, some of the voice acting is notable  (specifically in the case of Nikolai), and the sound work—from guns to evil zombie shrieks—can be impressive.

The Bad

For a cover-based shooter, developer Slant Six Games sure has built a broke-ass cover mechanic. You'll automatically snap to any wall or barrier you are unlucky enough to encounter, especially frustrating when all you wanted to do was pick up that ammo pack or first-aid spray. Even worse, coming out of cover happens so subtly that before you know it, you're back in the thick of things, and a million zombies are trying to eat you.

Graphically, ORC is last-gen at worst and modern-day/download-only title at best. Some of the backgrounds look impressive, but character models are weird and boring, and the fact that all of 'em—male, female, large and small—employ the same animations for melee and getting knocked down (which will happen an awful lot) is just sad and seems lazy. In fact, most of the game seems lazy and is, quite frankly, ugly. Real ugly.

The ability to summon the horde to your enemies' position via some well-placed and non-lethal bullet damage is pretty neat, but most firefights are a frantic and unfocused mess, and you'll be lucky to even survive before you have the wherewithal to think about whether or not you shot that one dude in the leg. Besides, damage is unreliable and you'll probably hate that some enemies fall after a bullet or two while others (of the same type) take clip after clip after clip.

A Multiplayer suite exists, but suffers from two main problems: Not only are you given no instruction whatsoever as to what each mode's objective might be, servers are so laggy that even if you find a game that isn't a halting, jerking nightmare, it won't be long before it is.

Oh, and the music is so unnoticeable—a real missed opportunity to create a little bit of atmosphere.

The Bottom Line

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is one awful game—from the forgettable characters and locations to the broken mechanics, flawed gameplay and sadly boring story that nobody even asked for. There is a little to be said for piquing longtime RE fans' interest, but unless you absolutely need to hear about the events that were happening off-screen during previous RE titles, you do not need to play this game.

ORC is a renter at best, and one can't help but wonder if this is Capcom's sneaky way of drumming up press (there's no such thing as bad publicity) for the forthcoming Resident Evil 6 out this November. Barring a few familiar characters, enemies and sound-effects, this feels about as much like a RE title as that weird Mario 2 game felt like, well, a Mario game. Capcom should be ashamed to have such crap operating under its umbrella.

Whatever is going on with this ORC, and whoever gave the green light to this steaming pile of crap, you'd do well to save your 60 bucks and spend it on something that won't make you wish its developers had never been born.


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