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Review

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

  • Game release: March 20, 2012
  • Reviewed: March 20, 2012
  • X360

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is a frighteningly flawed action-heavy spin-off that withers in the shadow of its superior alternatives.

by

The monstrous mutated scientist stares you down, but you aren't worried: you've got powerful guns at hand and three teammates at your side. But just when you think you know the rules, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City breaks them.

At first, you can't turn and run; all you can do is slowly back away and shoot. If you brought a shotgun to this unexpected battle, sorry: you really should have brought an assault rifle if you wanted to be effective here, assuming you have enough ammo in the first place. Eventually, you're allowed to flee, but the game doesn't tell you that, and so you back into the streams of flame bursting from the corridor's walls. Want to run past the beast? There's an invisible barrier on either side. You'd suppose that AI-controlled teammates might help, but they're not even in view, apparently filing their nails in the corner while you get caught in an inescapable series of knockdown attacks. The entire scene is absurdly bad, as if the game is actively working to make you hate it.

The game's problems are a true shame considering the possibilities. The aforementioned boss fight versus the infected William Birkin puts an intriguing spin on events you might have already witnessed in previous Resident Evil games. You're a member of Umbrella Security Services' special Wolfpack team in Raccoon City, where the T-virus has turned the population into voracious zombies, and mutant dogs lurk in shadows, ready to ravage the defenseless. From this new perspective, you face a glowering Nicholai Zinoviev and watch Ada Wong wilt in Leon Kennedy's arms. You infiltrate storied locations like the Raccoon City police department, and fight off zombies in front of the Kendo Gun Shop. Some of these regions are legitimately atmospheric: city streets are awash in a neon red glow, and ominous-looking equipment hints at the atrocities that occurred within Umbrella's underground laboratory.

You might miss some of the more subtle touches, however, given how dark Raccoon City is. This is a Resident Evil game, so you expect to push through pervasive gloom. But environments are poorly lit, everything cloaked in a dim cloud that obscures your vision without ramping up tension. (Compare this visual design to the infinitely superior Left 4 Dead 2, which provided proper visual contrast and still elicited your innate survival instincts.) The problems don't end here, though: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City drowns in its own flaws, many of them so basic it's a wonder they appeared in a final product.

If you shoot it, it will die. Someday. In the distant future.

Consider the cover system, a core component of third-person shooters like Raccoon City. Here, you don't need to press a button to take refuge behind a wall or curb. Instead, you lumber up to it and automatically stick--a fine idea in a world where games are able to read your mind. Raccoon City, sadly, does not exist in such a world, and so you slip into cover when you rub against a shelf, or fail to stick to a wall that, for some unknown reason, won't let you take cover at all. You may seek to pop out and take potshots, but instead slide around the corner, as if volunteering to become a targeting practice dummy.

The shooting model is functional, at least, each weapon handling more or less as you expect it to. There's little joy to the shooting, however, because the weapons don't feel particularly powerful. Normal zombies twitch and lurch based on the impact of your bullets, but enemy forces and larger monsters like hunters don't always react to your shots, so you don't get that sense of power you expect from a shooter. It doesn't help that enemies are bullet sponges. It takes seemingly forever for foes to die, so you and your teammates pump out clip after clip, hoping that it's enough to take down that nasty T-103. Well, you might expect a tyrant to take such a beating, but when it's a bunch of lickers absorbing all this damage, the action stops being fun and becomes a slog. How perplexing, then, that the game would be so stingy with ammunition, considering how much you have to waste on these foes. You find yourself without ammo frequently, and scavenging environments for bullets so you can shoot your guns is far less entertaining than actually shooting them.

A typical sight while playing Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.

There's a reason that co-op shooters like Syndicate and Left 4 Dead have comprehensible rules regarding the placement of ammo stashes; the resulting ebb and flow allows you to focus on the shooting and gives teams a moment to refresh and regroup. Raccoon City has no such rules in place, though this is hardly the only area in which the game deviates from the norm. Of course, we should want our games to rethink traditional mechanics in interesting ways, but developer Slant Six's deviations come at the cost of fun. One such example: you can't tumble out of the way of a charging hunter, but you can sprint forward and belly flop--always a treat when you wanted to run toward a health-giving herb, but then leap on top of it rather than consume it. Another example: for some reason, you have to shoot the locks off of special weapon containers before you can collect the gun within. Perhaps this was meant to deliver some tension, but it just feels like a waste of time and ammo.

And so it goes in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, where imperfect concepts are imperfectly executed. If you play with AI teammates, make sure to stay alive: they are incapable of reviving you should you fall. (Somehow, most other co-op shooters have solved this AI conundrum.) Actually, these loons are incapable of many basic AI functions, such as avoiding blazing fires that burn them to a crisp. Human partners can revive you, of course, but not if your limp body disappears beneath the ground. Or perhaps your buddies might get tripped up by all the grenades and ammo littering the ground next to you, forcing them to dance around until the correct button prompt appears. The sloppiness comes to a head in the final sequence, where the game forces you to make a nonsensical choice and engage in a messy, anticlimactic firefight. And then the credits roll, four or five hours after the campaign began.

Infected? Find some antiviral spray, stat!

There are glimmers of entertainment here, though--moments of legitimate fun when things come together. Picking off one zombie after another in a series of headshots is a hoot thanks to the copious splatters of blood that erupt. Freeing a teammate from the grasp of a licker's snapping tongue instills a sense of camaraderie, as does healing multiple victims at once with a health spray. Then there are special abilities, like planting a mine and blasting an undead horde into smithereens, that give you brief moments of joy. And don't forget the brutal melee kills, which finish off zombies in fine fashion, even if the melee system itself is clumsy and overpowered.

Even the infection mechanic had promise, though it too is let down by the item scarcity and abysmal AI. The gist: a zombie might infect you with the T-virus. You can heal yourself with an antiviral spray, but if you don't have a can, you end up sprinting about, hoping the telltale blue glimmer catches your eye before you fall victim to the virus's deadly curse. Should you fail, the AI takes over for you, and you can only watch as you barrel toward your teammates, who have no choice but to shoot you down. If you play with others, no harm done: they can revive your limp body and you live to fight another day. Your AI teammates, on the other hand, don't have the intelligence to restore breath to your downed lifeless corpse.

Ooh, ammo! Precious, precious ammo.

You might also become infected in Raccoon City's competitive modes, where human players join the undead in their relentless quest to murder you. There are four modes on offer, two of which had real promise. The most enjoyable of them is Biohazard, in which G-virus samples appear on the map, and teams race to collect them and return them to their home base. That aforementioned mine might come in handy again here, should you plant it near the enemy's home area. (Like zombies, other players blow up real good.) The other promising mode is Survivor, in which two teams mow each other down while waiting for a rescue helicopter to arrive. The helicopter has limited seats, and some heated action can occur in that mad dash to safety.

Team deathmatch variants called Team Attack and Heroes round out the selection. No matter which mode you prefer, however, you run into some of the same problems as in the campaign: flaky cover mechanics, long animations leading to damage loops, and so forth. Weapon imbalances are also a problem. Raccoon City has a persistent leveling system in which you earn points that can be spent on new weapons and abilities. You can earn more powerful weapons in other shooters, of course, but pistols rarely make you an unstoppable killing machine. In Raccoon City, that Lightning Hawk pistol, combined with the game's quick draw aiming system, gives you an edge over players with dinky weapons like heavy machine guns and bolt-action rifles.

The unwelcome wagon arrives.

The promise of more guns and special abilities might seem like the right kind of lure for shooter fans looking to make Raccoon City their home, but this home is a broken one. The newest Resident Evil aims for Left 4 Dead, but has none of its wit or precision. Where other multiplayer shooters invite you to play again and again, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City's co-op campaign pushes you away. You could go back for collectibles, but why would you return to something that isn't fun? Like many of this game's design choices, it just wouldn't make sense.

The Good
A chance to see events from the Resident Evil series from a new angle
Competitive play offers brief thrills
The Bad
Intrinsically flawed cover system
Bullet-sponge enemies and scarcity of ammo make for dull action
Stupid AI
All sorts of sloppy details derail the fun
4.5
Poor
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

About the Author

Discussion

282 comments
joemusashi82
joemusashi82

I dont understand all the hate this game gets. I had lots of fun playing it even in single player.

firedrakes
firedrakes

great idea . god awful execution

WillyWynn
WillyWynn

Another bad resident evil spin off bahhhh RE6 is bad also! RE is dieinggggg 

popeyfolger
popeyfolger

poor review in my mind co -op was fun. yes they messed with the story and as a fan i hated that. is it a wonderful game? no. but a 4.5? sorry that's a shitty review. as disappointing as it was i can think of many games that are far worse, though i  do have to question the direction capcom has taken this series in the past few years as a dedicated fan i can't help but feel disappointed.

jayybone
jayybone

I loved this Resident Evil. Yes it had major flaws, yes it felt like the designers didn't invest the time but a lot of people still enjoyed the game! Here are my thoughts . . -The story It was based around the much loved RE 2 & 3. It speaks for itself. What RE fan wouldn't love that?!

- Original monsters and enemies

Personally I hate the over complicated Uroboros and half mutant/machine enemies etc. Zombies, Tyrants, Lickers and Hunters were not only fun to kill but a challenge. I can't believe that this review complains that  T-103s were to hard to kill?! I loved the thrill of trying to take down one of those beasts; it added fear and difficulty into the game. What wasn't awesome about the ground shaking because a 10ft monster is charging at you? Furthermore, not having enough ammo to take it down created fear and tension, an original RE element.

- Survival

Unlike the more recent RE games, this game had a sense of survival horror. I believe the atmosphere was created through a few things: the amount of enemies, the size of the enemies, the lack of ammo and being back in ye olde Raccoon City.Personally, I liked this game. I can see why people were disappointed but at least it had some of the elements that the classic RE had. I think if they spent a little more time and money, this would have pissed all over RE 5&6 etc.

I hope Capcom takes some of what i have listed above and incorporate it into the newest REs. They should just do what everyone wants though . . . make HD

collection of RE 1,2,3 like Metal Gear Solid & Devil May Cry.People can agree or disagree, it's just my own views.  :) 

 

berserks
berserks

Lol same score as re 6 , what a joke .

volc-123
volc-123

Its a multiplayer game for the love of god. i had this on x360 and i pretty much enjoyed multiplayer. i cant believe you gave it 4.5 ... thats just ... nasty

Apocalypse324
Apocalypse324

I just finished chapter 6 last night, and yes this game has many flaws, but most are small and once you know what the flaws are, they're easy to overlook and work around. Yes you teammates are complete idiots but I have enjoyed this game quite a bit. It's nothing great but certainly isn't terrible either

Lolhello1
Lolhello1

It's not horrible but it could be much better. Took me 5h to finish it, all guns are pretty much the same you can pull out some nice melee kills but that is it. Was fun to kill one boring sunday afternoon.

 

hamebone123
hamebone123

not too bad.....could be a LOT better....but not too bad

ashfieldhammer
ashfieldhammer

Took me 6.5 hours to finish i loved the story a good resi blast .

jamesl1992
jamesl1992

I am not the only one with a bad comment lol i started playing Dragon's Dogma it suck's really really badly that it's a 0/10 job and it's that bad that i am lying by saying it was faulty getting £5 Store Credit and renting out Spec Ops: The Line Tommorow.

 

Crypto6969
Crypto6969

Surprised no one has said anything about how crappy the graphics are. Even Residient Evil 4 has better graphics and it came out on the Gamecube !!! I hate the "cartoonish" artistic styling that is popular in games lately. I prefer the realistic modelling like Resident Evil 4 and 5. 

irishspartan26
irishspartan26

this review is greatly flawed and i i had a lot of fun and i know it has problems but every other game does as well im really dissapointed with this guy.

outlawst
outlawst

by playing this game,i feel i'm playing LOST PLANET 3 or somthing ! ! !

ayaz1907
ayaz1907

I am a big time resident evil fan. I finished all the games more than 3-4 times (including the one before this), however excuse my language but this game is crap and a big time rip off. If the name wouldnt involve ''resident evil'' no body would buy this. The series have completely evolved and turned into absurdity. Why would they change a thing that works perfectly... damn.... such a waste of time.

valdoom22345
valdoom22345

This game, like any, has it's faults.  I wouldn't say it is a great game, but I had a lot of fun playing it.  Yes, it has it's problems, but this review is sad and pathetic.  Game review quality really took a hit in my mind from this.  The initial boss fight was linear, yes.  I've played far more linear games in the past.  Not to mention the initial boss fight had very good ques for what you should be doing, was well pased despite it's linearity and ammo was more than fine.  As for shotguns not being useful learn to play games.  I started my first play through with a shotgun and did just fine.  A shotgun might be difficult on the hardest difficulty, but so was the assault rifle when I played it.  The multiplayer leaves much to be desired, but the campaign was a lot of fun.  the co-op especially was fun.  As for your constant raving about ammunition, I can only assume you have no accuracy or problem solving skills.   The only times I had ammo difficulties were during certain boss fights, which fit, and the only true problem was the obvious ammo box was on the other side of the boss.  Get better accuracy, learn to search levels better, and learn ammo conservation.  As a frequent zombie game player I actually found ammo to be too common during a large number of zombie and BOW fights.Just because you don't know how to play games don't take it out on this title.  It isn't a great game, but it was fun.  Most of the problems you described I never experienced because they are skill and problem solving related, not game design related.  Don't take out your problems on a game.  Learn to play it, then review it.  I'm very disappointed in GameSpot for allowing this review to be posted.

ezjohny
ezjohny

this score is weak. The development team party to much thats why, what a shame!!!

rafamolina3
rafamolina3

capcom please dont make re6 like this shit, re4 was great stick with what you know how to do

Nitephall
Nitephall

When I first saw the trailer for this game I had my doubts. It looked sloppy. It's sad to see the RE franchise fall victim to game developer suckage.

pispi12
pispi12

I donknow why everybody hates this game so much I just completed the campaing and it was cool, not the best RE game but it was very entretaining the only issue that I have with the game is that it was short and it had only a few cutscenes.

P90E21
P90E21

Well the AI was a joke,example: Standing in the fire takeing damage and expecting me to help them. They can offer a good distraction while you do the work lol. But the lighting could be better and the enemies were a bit crazy. It was good for a nostalgia ride to revisit Re2 and 3 and see how they added a fill in to where Nemisis came from and alittle more story to the side story in RE 2 with Hunk. But other then that Im sad to say its a media core game.

Pizzaman103
Pizzaman103

My short time with the online co-op ended in constant greifing which has no remedy other than quitting. In a game where your teammates can kill you and run away, there needs to be an option to vote to kick.

Lazerith91
Lazerith91

Good game the onlu issue I had was the controls were a bit rushed. I hated that the save your teammate button and the pick a weapon button were the same. You get used to it though. I feel this guy didnt play the game very long before deciding what he thought about it.

Fryboy101
Fryboy101

this game was meant for co op play. single play just isn't fun, especially on harder difficulties. maybe he didn't have any co op partners?

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

Wow, that's harsh dude. Generally I agree with your reviews but you need to lighten up a little but. Sounds like you got a pretty big chip on your shoulder towards RE. Sure the game has a few problems but they are extremely exaggerated here. The game is fun albeit a little harder if you play solo, don't count on your AI teammates is a given. There is a lot of fun to be had with this game both off line and on-line. Multi-player or campaign. There is plenty for resident evil fans to fall in love with here. So many homages to the old games it might just bring a tear to your eye. =' ) I'll have my review out soon.

Vertutame
Vertutame

IF you're playing offline,4.5 is the right score. I don't mind about cover system but AI is really bad. Sometime they do not fire or anything but run to get killed. Damage of a gun is really low unless bullet hit enemy's head. I don't mind at first cause I though I could UPGRADE it later like RE4 and RE5 but no,there is no gun's upgrading and my AI can't help me. CQC impressed me at first but later it's almost useless cause while I'm doing CQC someone is shooting and biting me. Like I said again"This happen when I'm playing alone" because most of the time of boring is cause by STUPID AI.

Vicx19
Vicx19

This is NOT CAPCOM people! It's made by Slant Six, the people who ruined Socom with their last time. Capcom never fail.

Soleride
Soleride

Resident Evil is dead fact 5 was horrible nothing like the others and the MP wtf? Raccon City was just terrible i wonder how 6 will play out the same maybe?

amroto
amroto

i gotta say 4.5 is just sufficient for this game..it was a complete disappointment...can't w8 for the REAL Resident Evil 6 !!, i'll pretend that this one never came out

Link6259
Link6259

I bought the game last week and to be honest I think the reviews I've seen of it so far are really harsh, a 4.5 is ridiculous for this game! It's not without its bugs but what game isn't? Skyrim was by far the buggiest game i've ever played, but it didn't stop it being a great game, and its the same for this, the AI rarely affects the player that much as its not your character being damaged. As for bullet sponge enemies and scarcity of ammo, what should be implicit given this is a zombie game is to aim for the head! There's ammo all over the place, not to mention powerful CQC moves that can save you most of the time, the game is definitely worth a play through for people to make their own judgements and not base on what a reviewer says. As fo the series being killed, the game is a spin-off, resi 6 is out later this year so at this point its far from dead

manchubot
manchubot

Well there is a bright side to all these poor reviews. The game will drop in price at game retailers that much faster for people lukewarm about giving the game a go.

manchubot
manchubot

Well there is a bright side to all these poor reviews. The game will drop in price at game retailers that much faster for people about lukewarm giving the game a go.

rigzzsy
rigzzsy

raccoon what..? where's resi 6?

badiie05
badiie05

The franchise I grew up playing is dying! nooo... but wow a 4.5? harsh

ps2fatboy
ps2fatboy

Cherokee_Jack yes i think the review is faulty ,plus i have a right to my opinion ,just like everyone else does ,all i know is if your into shooters maybe they should get someone who is into those type of games to review it, as they would know more about the feel and also how it would compare to the other shooters they have played.if somebody is into (rpg ) games they want something more indepth ,not a shooter

Cherokee_Jack
Cherokee_Jack

@ps2fatboy As if a third-person shooter would be too hard for anyone to figure out. Let alone a long-time professional reviewer. Do you really have to act like the review is somehow faulty? Isn't it enough to simply disagree and move on?

EzcapeTheFate
EzcapeTheFate

Damn, Im not a big Capcom guy but this is a tuff review. I have enjoyed the RE franchise since the first came out on PS1. Im wondering if the low scores is because its such a change from the original survival horror concept that made RE 1 and 2 such giant hits. I bought it and I really enjoy the more action oriented gameplay. The game isnt broken as some reviews suggest. Many reviews are making the game seem unplayable and thats just not the case. This is a very entertaining game if you just take it for what it is. If you have an expectation that RE should be a slow paced survival horror game,you probably wont like this.

whiteyg916
whiteyg916

Another beloved series bites the dust...

Re4_fr3ak
Re4_fr3ak

I think a 4.5 is ridiculous. But that shouldn't surprise me because most of gamespot's reviews are ridiculous. Yeah the game is flawed, I completely agree. Poor cover system, and terrible story. But the online is still fun and the campaign had its moments. The only reason this game scores so low is because it's Resident Evil. Slap a different name on the case and i guarantee most reviewers would give it somewhere between a 6-6.5 which is what it should get. What you were expecting from the game should not factor into the score at all.

mitchellmc
mitchellmc

I think you have hot this game all wrong sure it has its bugs but the game is really good i enjoy the stroy and the games lighting is fine makes you feel like you are in a zombie apocalypse and as for the zombie sponge well yeah zombies do sponge a so just aim for the head and when you get good at this game you feel normal in the apocalypse taking out thousands of zombies before dieing in my own opinion i think this game brings a new way to play RE games and would say to get it try it out but dont listen to this review just picks on the things you dont really care about ...........

Ashkantehrany
Ashkantehrany

Resident Evil:Operation Bulls***! This Game sucks!

Ashkantehrany
Ashkantehrany

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Ashkantehrany
Ashkantehrany

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ps2fatboy
ps2fatboy

i must admit,one thing if your any rpg lover like the reviewer here kevin VanOrd maybe resident evil isnt the type of game you should be reviewing just saying >>>>>>

Mpakistanos
Mpakistanos

 @valdoom22345 Totaly agree with you man.Personally i like the new fps style of this game.And the AI it is kinda bad but i think that this game is made for co-op gameplay with friends at least that's what i do.This game is not for a 4.5 imo at least a 6.5-7.0.

nimd4
nimd4

 @valdoom22345 Hard for me to make a judgement call after just one level, but like the reviewer, I know that I don't like it. :(

cenap_turan
cenap_turan

 @valdoom22345 I completely agree, you've told everything I came  here to tell. I'm not gonna tell that this game is perfect. It's annoying to see regular people withstanding to headshots. Or lickers taking literally hundreds of bullets before dying. Having to push your AI teammates into rooms, so that you'll be able to continue. But every game has its flaws. Did you enjoy playing Resident Evil 3 because you had an assault rifle with 150 ammo and the ability to refill it completely in the next area? Or because it gave you a handgun with 15 bullets and put you up against Nemesis? Stop crying about the scarcity of ammo. This game has more ammo than Left for Dead. You cried around when RE4 didn't take place in Raccoon City. Now you're back there, and still cry about the petty things. It may not give what you'd expect of a RE game, but it gives you lots of fun hours and revives your sweet RE 2,3 memories.

iamllamapie
iamllamapie

 @Vicx19 Capcom don't care. They use DLC (Disc locked content) all the time. They charge you for the smallest of things which should be in the games. And somehow they are killing off their own franchises. The guy who invented Resident Evil has nothing to do with it anymore and is developing a new survival horror game 'Project Zwei' 2 in German (Cannot spell). He stated that online was not the way for Resident Evil to take. And why are the scenarios DLC. In 2,4, Code Veronica they were UNLOCKABLES.Capcom are greedy, and have failed to a massive extent. 

popeyfolger
popeyfolger

 @nimd4  @valdoom22345 lol yeah the first level was absolutely terrible if i only played that level this game would have the same score he gave but the other levels are better....just had to reply cause i thought the same exact thing

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City More Info

First Release on Mar 20, 2012
  • PC
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City takes the series in a completely new direction and offers a style of gameplay yet to be seen from the franchise.
5.8
Average User RatingOut of 1587 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Developed by:
Slant Six
Published by:
Capcom
Genres:
Open-World, Adventure, Action, 3D
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
All Platforms
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language