Review of Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360); Resident Evil

Wednesday, March 28th 2012. | Games News

resident-evil-operation-raccoon-city-1Small squad co-op shooters can be a lot of fun. They’re easy to get into, and when properly crafted their formula of pitting you and a few friends against hordes of enemies is a great way to kill an evening. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City tries to follow this idea by throwing you into the franchise’s famous town, fighting your way through undead, bio-engineered monsters, and opposing special-operations teams alike, but only partially succeeds. If you’re willing to accept a series of clumsy design choices, it is indeed fun; there just isn’t enough fun to be worth the full sixty dollar retail price.

Though there are times where you’re playing as more famous Resident Evil characters, especially in online-centric modes, most of the time you play a member of Umbrella Corporation’s security squads, tasked with cleaning up any evidence of their involvement in Raccoon City’s viral outbreaks and other troubles. You have your choice from about a half-dozen characters, each with their own special skills, and several different guns to pick from. Once equipped, you work your way from one end of the stage to the next while killing hordes of enemies, solving basic puzzles, and following the storyline.

The action mostly follows a flow of giving you a minute to explore your starting area, then leading you to a few fights. A lull afterward lets you rest, heal, find more ammo, and otherwise get ready to move on. This pacing actually works fine, and is one of the things Operation Raccoon City does best. What isn’t so smooth is the cover system, which tries to be ’smart’ by automatically popping you behind compatible cover if you get close enough to it. It works most of the time, but is very frustrating in certain hallways and other points where you actually wanted to keep moving rather than snap to cover every so often.

The single-player campaign can be cleared in several hours and is available both for solo and online play. If you go alone, the AI will fill in for the unplayed characters… but seems almost random as to whether it will do its job right or not. Sometimes the AI squad does everything it should; its movements and decision-making are clearly stiff and mechanical, but acceptable. On other occasions it shows an alarming lack of sense and does things that will get you hurt, or just stand there doing pointless things even when real danger is at hand. Make no mistake, this is not a satisfying single-player game and anyone who expects to only play alone should pass on it.

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