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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360) artwork

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360) review

"While unfortunate, those issues don't really bog down the central selling point of ORC that much, which is four on four online gaming. Neither lush in game modes (total of three without DLC purchases) or revolutionary in approach, I guess some could say it's the greatest weakness of this release, presenting a really simplistic venue. However, ORC more than makes up for that with constant struggles you'll endure in every match."

I was intrigued by Operation Raccoon City's premise, due to its willingness to stray from the series' "typical" formula, offering squad-based mechanics that encourage players to work as a team of four in a What-if story. It was a nice way to jump back into the RE universe without worrying about being lost in the canonical plot of recent entries. Even before hopping into this alternative take on the Raccoon City outbreak, I knew survivor horror was going to play a nearly non-existent role. How could it? You are part of an elite group of highly-trained mofos with enough skills and firepower to conquer a small country. This is clearly an action-oriented title with an emphasis on performing together to make an unstoppable force.

Though, when I finally sat down and played, it wasn't without gripes. The campaign mode strictly offers a straight, actiony romp without much variety, something you've seen many times in other third-person cover shooters of the 360/PS3 era. You'll get a nice mixture of zombies and government forces giving you trouble in ravaged streets, city hall, and Umbrella facilities. Of course, since this is part of the RE world, you get the occasional fanservice cameo from the likes of Leon, Tyrants, Hunk, and Lickers in recognizable landscapes from RE 2 and 3, like the police station and church. The other immediate issue everyone is going to notice is the iffy aim detection. You have a white dot for aiming, not to mention a laser pointer for certain weapons; you position either at a zombie's head, fire, and miss. Even though they're supposedly there to help, most times you'll still have to position them in a way where a red cursor has to appear, signifying an actual connection. Again, a bit iffy, so for players big on super accuracy and headshots, it'll irritate.

While unfortunate, those issues don't really bog down the central selling point of ORC that much, which is four on four online gaming. Neither lush in game modes (total of three without DLC purchases) or revolutionary in approach, I guess some could say it's the greatest weakness of this release, presenting a really simplistic venue. However, ORC more than makes up for that with constant struggles you'll endure in every match. Every character has their unique set of special abilities that can cause misery if used correctly, AI zombies roaming maps, bothering players when they least expect it, and special enemies making occasional appearances, like Lickers, that love to ruin your flow. All these elements jumbled and mushed around forms the basis of the usual exciting match in ORC.

Here's a typical scenario: both teams rush out into a marketplace location, trashed cars littered about, with the two sides attempting to find each other. Suddenly, a Recon player materializes out of thin air and lays waste to your comrade with a shotgun, which you quickly counter with a temp shield and bullets from your assault rifle. His friends show up after losing the battle, and since you're alone, you make a hasty retreat into the building. Boom! What you didn't realize were trip mines placed at one entrance. Later, the opposing team makes base at the top of the middle building, and your team throws at least five to six grenades, some which combust into flames, to weed out the camped group. While you were doing this, a zombie has graciously puked on you, and now you're infected. Congratulations! Desperately, you scramble for an antiviral spray hidden somewhere, completely ignoring one of your teammates being chased by a horde, thanks to a field scientist throwing a pheromone capsule that attracts the undead.

As the match comes to a close with under two minutes to spare, each crew is about equal in score, so anything still goes. Hunters have entered the fray, knocking all players to the ground lucky enough to be near. You try playing your cards right, switching to the Surveillance character, who can briefly display enemy locations on your gangs' mini-maps. And just as you're about to sneak up on a supposed victim, you get knocked to the ground. A Hunter? Nope, a Tyrant! In an alleyway, of all places. With the other player now aware, you make a last ditch effort to rush him or her as they fire their weapon... Through high-tech labs, bloodied hospitals, and train yards, during modes that ask to obtain and secure important chemicals or protect familiar faces, there's always something going on with the limited options in ORC.

At a price of $60, as well as an extra ten for the special edition, however, it's a hard purchase to swallow for those expecting a lot more, understandably. Especially so if you consider those issues that could easily frustrate certain gamers, an extra versus mode featuring Nemesis that needs to be bought, and a disappointment to some, the lack of playing along with other people at your home, aka couch co-op. While it could have been a cool addition, I guess it would've been too much of a nightmare to have two to four screens going at once with that many zombies doing the hustle. Operation Raccoon City is the type of game that both fans and non alike need to do a bit of research on, read some stuff (I recommend this) or watch videos, before making a firm decision. I did, then went into this side game knowing what to expect, and was pleased with the hands-on results.

June 2012 Update: The multiplayer is now plagued with players abusing spawn areas, nearly always spamming shotguns and grenade launchers, and voting to play almost the exact same map, Apocolypse, over and over. It's not as fun as it was when the game was first released, so you might want to knock down 1 or 2 points from that overall rating.


pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (April 02, 2012)

While playing Ultracore, I was reminded of Mega Turrican. So I looked up Mega Turrican footage. This, in turn, reminded me of Mega Turrican's soundtrack. It's a really great Sega Genesis soundtrack. You should give it a listen.


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Linkamoto posted April 02, 2012:

Okay, the multiplayer good or bad? You made it sound limited, but your breakdown of a typical match seemed oddly compelling. Sad to see the campaign being only average, though. This seemed like it had so much potential.
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pickhut posted April 02, 2012:

I liked it. It's good. But I can understand people not wanting to pay $60 to play this.
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zippdementia posted April 02, 2012:

Damn good description of multiplayer, especially as I've never seen that kind of play mentioned in reviews of this game before. You end on a downer, so I can't really tell if you're saying multiplayer saves the title or not. How's the connection and player base? Pretty easy to hook into?
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pickhut posted April 02, 2012:

I've played the multiplayer for almost a solid week, and I've had next to no problem joining games with full, or next to full lobbies. There's the occasional player with the bad connection from time to time, which pretty much kills the match and only once was I forced to restart my Xbox due to a freeze.

And I dunno if I'd consider the end to be a downer. ORC was a hard game to review, since I enjoyed the game, but it's really easy to understand why people can hate the game. I just wanted to throw that caution sign up, even after my praise, since it is a $60 title.

Edit: Thanks for the comments, by the way!
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zippdementia posted April 02, 2012:

Yeah, it was a unique review on this title. Great job!

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