Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
This is the latest instalment in the Resi
series, and for the first time they have tried to adopt a stance more
like a traditional shooter, albeit in the third person so as not to
completely alienate fans. Unfortunately they have failed badly, and as a
result we are faced with a pretty flawed game that pretty much is not
worth your money for a purchase let alone a rental.
Long story short, this game is a team based shooter and really the story
behind it could have been really neat. You see, you get to play as one
of the soldiers for pay in the Umbrella Corporation, who have to clean
up the company's mess when a virus gets out of the lab and the residents
of Raccoon City become the shambling zombies that we know and love.
The concept was pretty cool: choose your character and get in there to
mop up what has gone wrong. I was stoked to get the game to review it as
I liked the fact that there was a bit of a sinister twist to the title.
As soon as it began though, I knew we were in trouble when a menu pops
up like going online for a deathmatch but I was in a single player
You get to choose your character, and the
title really wants more than one person to play in the way that it is
set up, but eventually you get into it. There are no real bells and
whistles in the menu nor is there much in the way of explanations on
what the game wants you to do to get started. I nearly gave up on the
whole game at that point, but finally figured it out and away I went
with my team.
It doesn't take long for the fundamental flaws in this title to rear
their ugly heads. The members of your team are both stupid and cowardly,
along with moving at a snails pace or disappearing when you need them
most. Enemies are pretty much bulletproof, requiring an obscene amount
of lead pumped into them to make any sort of difference. Even headshots
didn't seem to do that much, frustrating and annoying me as I made my
way through the game. Everyone seems incredibly tough in this title, and
their ability to take a full magazine of bullets and keep breathing (the
ones who are alive that is) is amazing.
The actual shooting part of the game is alright. The weapons look and
feel the way that you would expect, but once again the nagging annoyance
of having to shoot things a truckload of times takes away the fun of the
game. I understand bosses needing a total bullet storm, but when your
basic enemies require the same amount of smashing, it just takes the fun
out of the whole thing and feels pretty pointless.
There are so many things that just don't make sense with this game!
Another point that you just want to put down the damn controller and
walk away is the boss battle with William Birkin, a scientist infected
with a virus of his own making. This monstrous creature proves just how
shallow the control and thought that was put into this game was, with
shoddy controls and an invisible wall that advances with Birkin as he
chases you down a dingy corridor from which flames and steam burst
through pipes that both Birkin and your team mates are too stupid to
avoid, instead chargrilling themselves as they stand still, awash in
flame. Oh and you can't turn and run from Birkin when he plows through a
wall, you can only slowly walk backward, shooting in vain, dying over
and over as you hit the invisible wall that comes with him. It's stupid.
Graphically the game could have looked amazing if it wasn't for the fact
that it's so dark everywhere. I do understand atmospheric darkness, but
this is just detailing lacking dark that takes away from what could be
an excellent looking title. The moments that you do see things the way
that they are meant to be, they look awesome, but most of the time you
are simply squinting at shadows. It's just a shame to be honest. Most of
the time I just felt like I was playing a game that the developers
honestly didn't want me to have fun playing.
Zombies are repetitive, and whilst I understand you simply couldn't
generate so many individual undead, the sheer amount of sameness had me
thinking of early Grand Theft Auto titles where the game would sometimes
populate random crowds of all the same people. I didn't expect that in a
modern title and just thought it was pretty ordinary. Once again, the
game conspires to make sure you don't get immersed in it's world. The
zombies and other monsters do look incredibly detailed when you do get
to see them, it's just too rare that this actually happens and
eventually you just want to stop playing.
It's been said online that this game in multiplayer is a lot more fun. I
did not test the title online so please take this review as a poor
reflection on the single player experience. I honestly do not believe
that the gameplay would be improved other than the fact that if you had
human allies playing alongside you, at least you could be healed when
infected or hurt instead of dying all the time like I did whilst my
"teammates" fought on oblivious to my predicament.
To wrap it up, I was disappointed in this game. I know some people might
not agree with me but bear in mind I am a fan of the series and had such
high hopes for a brilliant experience. Sadly those hopes were dashed in
the wake of what proved to be a very ordinary game. Maybe down the track
this game will be patched in order to make it play better but I have a
better idea; get it right the first time because this reviewer will
never download a patch to make a game playable, that's why I bought a
console, games should work every time straight out the box. This one
does, barely, and that is why sadly I wouldn't bother with it.