previews\ Jun 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City E3 2011 Preview


Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is getting a lot of attention for its rather unique approach to the Resident Evil universe. Players control a squad of Umbrella Corporation-hired soldiers as they take on zombies, US military units, and Leon Kennedy and work to cover up the truth about Raccoon City.

First, Operation Raccoon City is very much an action game. Jumping in with Bertha (she’s one of four different characters), our group is tasked with eliminating Leon. On our way through the city, however, we'll encounter hundreds of zombies, Lickers, and US military units and soldiers. With so many enemies to shoot, it’s a little hard to be scared, but the situation does afford some distinct opportunities to take down our foes.

Players can enter a blood loss mode in which zombies will swarm them, so a good player will retreat or melee kill the zombies. Ammo isn’t a problem whatsoever, and certain characters can have special abilities that grant unlimited ammo for a time. Each character can do different things, but generally they play the same way. There are hardcore instant melee kills to execute, and these attacks look brutal.

Bertha has some interesting skills at her disposal. She’s a medic character, and her abilities rely upon buffs for herself and the other players. The character Vector, in contrast, is a stealthy spy character, able to disguise himself to look like dead enemies. Belltway is a straight-up demolition man, with lots of explosions and heavy damage with little subtlety. Finally, Spectere does a lot of recon and info gaining, as his different visors will let him gauge the current situation.

One of the more interesting aspects is how players can become zombies themselves. If a Licker or zombie can deal enough damage, a player will start to lose control. He can pick up an antidote, but if he stays affected for too long, the player will succumb to the zombie virus and his teammates will be forced to kill him.

The best part about the game is the controls themselves. Unlike other Resident Evil games, Operation Raccoon City passes on the tank controls for a true third-person action shooter perspective. Since zombies are everywhere, players are always on the move to avoid the lumbering undead, who have a habit of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. It’s very tense, but in a thrilling sort of way.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City looks and feels very much like classic Resident Evil, but at the same time it is very different. These are the same classic locations you’ve grown to love, but they're presented in a hardcore action thriller. Developer Slant Six Games is putting their style of game in the RE universe, and it's pretty damn exciting.

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