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Our Premature Evaluation of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Last month was all about Silent Hill: Downpour, but now that Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City has finally been unveiled, it’d be remiss of us to not talk about whether we think it’s going to fail horribly or not. The good thing TJ and I seem to be in agreement that the game definitely won’t be Capcom’s next Bionic Commando, Lost Planet 2 or Dark Void.

Operation Raccoon City is a game we’ve been expecting for some time now. In a way it’s a followup to the short-lived Outbreak spinoff series but it also marks a return to what made Resident Evil great in the first place. Zombies, and lots of ’em. It will still be more action centric than the original games (think every game before Raccoon City was obliterated taking our precious undead with it). Head past the jump to join in on this roller-coaster ride of personal opinion and premature judgement.

The Visuals

Adam: With the game still quite a ways off it’s still too early too tell whether the game will stand up visually to more recent games, so instead I’ll talk about the atmosphere. Looking at the trailer that came out a few weeks back, Raccoon City actually looks like a Resident Evil game. It doesn’t take place in broad daylight or inside sterile labs, it’s set in a city that’s slowly being consumed by fire, the undead and the fiery undead.

TJ: God damn it to I love a good zombie that’s on fire. I have to say though, I would assume seeing as not many game series’ regress in visuals I’m going to assume the game will at the very least be on par with Resident Evil 5. Also, hell yes I’m pumped to see that the game is at night, as it should be. Keep Raccoon City in the dark as it should be.

Adam: This kinda sorta has to do with visuals since it’s something I’d very much like to see – please, no more bosses with the giant fucking orange glowing weak spots. That’s just stupid. The first games didn’t have ’em, instead you had to, gasp, use your brain to figure out where you should aim your weapon. If the Tyrant has a massive glowing orange circle in the center of his forehead I’m going to snap the game disc in two and move to Australia. Sure, a dingo might eat my baby while I’m putting some shrimps on the barbie, but at least I won’t have to deal with that crap.

TJ: Speaking of dealing with crap, don’t forget to put your poo tickets in the thunderbox. (Look it up you drunk Aussie) I have your back on that. In fact, I have your back so much, I would jump on it and ride you around like a horsey. Eaaaaaggllle! I’ve been watching too much Scrubs. I do hope that they make it a little challenging to take down a boss. Seeing as we will have 3 cohorts, I’d be afraid they would just make it a “blast the fucker with everything you got regardless of whether or not he should or shouldn’t have a weak spot” type of boss.

Adam: You can call me Seabiscuit.

The Gameplay

Adam: For those of you who payed close attention to the trailer you probably noticed a few combat mechanics that should make this game pretty damn exciting. First and foremost, there’s strafing. Finally, this series has successfully made it to the 21st century. Another exciting reveal comes in the form of what looks like executions, or at the very least are some sort of move to grant distance between you and the undead. In the trailer we see one of Umbrella’s security squad kick a zombie down before stomping its face into the asphalt. I’m looking forward to painting the damn ground with zombie brain-mush.

TJ: Strafing is basically the only thing that the gameplay in 4 and 5 were missing. After playing Dead Space I felt half retarded not being able to strafe. I’m really looking forward to the weaponry. I’m seriously hoping for some classic Resident Evil style weapons. Fucking acid rounds, flame rounds, you know, the good shit. I can’t express how happy it makes me that this game is basically going to be (as I can tell thus far) a zombie wet dream for me. If they add Gears Of War type cover and ground movement mechanics, this could be my favorite game of all time.

Adam: I think the politically correct term is mentally handicapable, and I know exactly what you mean. The defense that being unable to strafe made the game more “suspenseful” was a bucket of fuzzy elf shit. And is it just me or does the thought of bringing back all of the herbs sound bloody fantastic? I don’t only want red and green ones, I also want the blue ones from the original games and the yellow ones from Resident Evil 4. I love me some herbs.

TJ: Oh god, how could I forget about the herbs?! I want to be a botanist in this game. Let me go combine CRAZY on those herbs. Also, with any luck we will be able to drop items friends can pick up, and and and and and the one thing SO many games don’t have and it mind fucks the shit out of me why they don’t is when you walk up to an item you get the “USE IT NOW” option. Oh wait, my inventory is full? USE IT NOW!

The Multiplayer

Adam: Obviously, this is the game’s major focus. Raccoon City will have four-player co-op (as well as the single-player campaign) that pits you and three friends (or assorted strangers) against hordes of zombies, the US special services who are trying to stop you or Umbrella’s bio-weapons, who simply want to blow shit up. So long as it’s easy to find your friends, set up a game and get to playin’ I don’t see there being a problem here. Sure, Lost Planet 2 wasn’t a very good game but it definitely showed us that Capcom is more than capable of making cooperative games easy and intuitive to play.

TJ: I’m 100 percent on board with you. Capcom is getting better at the co-op thing, but if they take a page out of Valve’s Left 4 Dead book, it could be near perfection. Easy jump in jump out co-op, lots of working together, somewhat easy to know where your friends are. The only thing I can hope for (and I mentioned it above) is online slayer type multiplayer, IF we have Gears Of War type mechanics. If we can hide behind cover, sprint, do some rolls in any direction, strafe while shooting, blind fire, run while shooting, we could have us an INSANE multiplayer. OR even better, give me some crazy horde mode where you bunker down and wait to wail on endless waves of zombies. Oh my god I’m so overly excited right now.

Adam: I couldn’t agree with you more intimately than I am right now. They need to not be afraid to take a page (or a dozen pages) from Valve’s glorious hardcover book with the embossed title. They made playing with and against other people as easy as it’s ever been and I definitely think Raccoon City should follow suit. I should also mention, for those of us who don’t have any friends, that the AI in the single-player better be vastly improved over the last two Resident Evil games. For as beautiful as Sheva was she was, what was it again? Mentally handicapable?

TJ: Nailed it. I mean we basically are going to be playing as heavily armed super soldiers. They’d better be able to cover my ass as I’m wailing on my controller like some monkey that doesn’t know how to open a banana.

The Story

Adam: This is where I’m a little worried because Capcom isn’t necessarily known for making great stories. In fact, it’s tough to think of a single game that, while it might’ve been a fun game, didn’t have a spectacularly sucktastic story and/or characters. Lost Planet fails in both categories, Dark Void was laughable, Bionic Commando… well, let’s just try and forget that game ever existed, shall we? I love the idea of playing as an Umbrella henchmen tasked with killing civilians so my employer can continue making the world a damn scary place to live and I also love the idea of the series returning to its darker roots. I’m just not sure it’s going to be on par with the major improvements in storytelling the industry has seen in more recent games.

TJ: This almost seems like a game where if the story is bad, it might not matter so much because the gameplay could be incredible. Though the reality is, I don’t want the story to suck. The nice thing is, thanks to the previous games in the series, we already have a SOLID story. They just need to make sure they don’t butcher the surroundings.

Adam: I suppose my main problem with the recent games’ stories is the were just too action-driven. They felt like a Michael Bay film: lots of gorgeous visuals and big explosions but little substance to keep me interested in what’s going other than my own survival. So long as Umbrella’s back, everything’s going to shit and I’m allowed to rape and pillage every citizen of Raccoon City (over the age of 18 of course) I’ll be a happy murderous psychopath.

TJ: Agreed, Resident Evil without the explosions (baring a final explosion of a town or laboratory or something of the sort) is a better Resident Evil.

Final Thoughts

TJ: As you can tell by our sexy meter, I rank the game exactly with Resident Evil 4. Although, I really think this game has all the peices to completely pass and destroy Resident Evil 4. I love playing me some Resident Evil 4, in the dark, alone, getting scared, loving the story. But if I could have such an experience with my friends, a possible incredible multiplayer experience, a horde mode, everything I’ve ever dreamed of? I wouldn’t hesitate to give this game 6 out of 5 skulls.

Adam: I won’t be quite as gracious as TJ since after Capcom’s last handful of games (that weren’t 2-D or had Street Fighter in the title) I just can’t see them topping Resident Evil 4 right now. With that said and knowing Slant Six is developing it, I can definitely see the game being better than the Outbreak series, which I still have wet dreams about to this day. So for that the game sits firmly behind Fatal Frame 2, which is another game I still often fantasize about.



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