INTRO: Resident Evil is a long and storied series with some odd entries that seem to slip under the radar. Operation Racoon City is one such title. Years ago, Capcom released Outbreak, an RE title that was designed to be played online. Fans didn't exactly flock to it, because online play was a bit more rare then as it was a little more in its infancy.
Flash forward to 2012, where if you don't play online, you're a weirdo (admittedly, I'm a bit of a weirdo). We've got a new entry into the series that's team based and relies solely on online play. This one's a squad-based shooter that lets you pick a character type and plow your way through various dark environments to stop the zombie horde. Is it any good? Read on to find out.
As a part of the Wolfpack, it's up to you to find some characters from the series while you mow down zombies. As you find files and data and rescue people and such, you'll level up through the use of Raccoon status- actual statues you can use to level up.
First of all, for the love of God, play with friends because the computer AI is HORRIBLE. They're huge idiots. They never pick any items up. They slam into walls for no reason. They never help each other when one is wounded, and they stay behind when you're ready to move on. Good sweet lord, does that ever get annoying. So yes, play with friends. You'll never get any enjoyment out of this otherwise. Also, this game seems to be unfinished, and I experienced a ton of glitches, getting slowed down, stuck in walls and some game functions just not working.
One of the biggest problems with this game is that it doesn't do a damn thing to stand out. Everything just feels so dull, familiar and unremarkable. You'll have to crank the brightness to see what's going on because the game is so dark. Your character choices are super bland and stereotypical, and unfortunately the combat isn't very exciting either. You shoot dudes with typical weapons (pistol, assault rifle, sniper and grenades) and ho-hum melee attacks. Some of the upgrades (flaming ammo) are cool, but not cool enough to truly stand out. Even the environments are all too repetitive- how many hospitals, labs and giant warehouses are there? This game does add the feature of being able to be turned into a zombie, which can be fun when you turn on your own team, but this isn't as cool or well-implemented as you might hope. You can heal yourself often, and won't die much due to simple enemy types.
Also, the game isn't designed to just pick up and play. It's all drop-in drop-out, so if you don't start a game and finish a game with the same friends, you'll often be starting from scratch because if you level up your Assault guy and start a new game or jump into someone else's and they've picked the Assault guy, you have no choice but to start at zero and that's super weak.
You won't find a lot of ammo scattered around, and you've got to look and look for pickups in each room (although health pickups and zombie-cure-spray are more plentiful). Forget the fact that you have to be standing precisely top of the object to pick it up. It might not be such a problem if you didn't have to run away so often. When you clear out a room, there are lots of times when a big monster or environmental hazard force you to run. This gets old.
The cover system also sucks, unfortunately. You can take cover easily but you can't peek around corners. No, you have to literally stand up and leave yourself a sitting duck to enemies. I've played PS2 games with better cover systems than this.Even boss fights with familiar characters (like Nemesis) are disappointing. You simply get stuck in a room, shoot him a lot, pick up more ammo from the endless ammo box and shoot him some more til he's dead.
In terms of other online modes, you can play Team Attack (a deathmatch style game), Biohazard (capture the flag), Heroes and Survivor (2 teams of four fighting to get on a chopper that holds four). I didn't spend a ton of time with these, but I can say that when I did play some of these modes, I found the map design super weak, and in Survivor mode, the enemy can always kill you by blowing you up once you're waiting to board the chopper! Blech.
Graphics are passable here, although things seem to be strangely shiny for some reason. Nothing memorable though, with pretty average character models and repetitive, generic environments. As I mentioned before, there are graphical glitches galore.
Sound is decent, with moody and atmospheric music, good enemy sound effects. Voice acting is pretty good too, weapons sound like they should.
This is a really disappointing game that feels unfinished, unpolished and repeetitive. The campaign is damn near unplayable without friends, and even with friends you'll be far better off playing something really well done like Left 4 Dead or its sequel. This doesn't add anything new to the series and seems to drag it down. Unfortunately, it's poorly designed and hardly worth your time.
Final Score: 5.5/10