Play
Please use a flash video capable browser to watch videos.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Review

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PS3

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

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.

No matter how often you tell your AI companions to get out of the way, they never seem to listen.

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.

Something's going on here. It's just hard to tell what.

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.

The Rapture is here; look busy!

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.

Whomever was in charge of storing these crates clearly didn't use the space wisely.

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.

Like every last zombie in the game, Raccoon City's faulty cover mechanic is not on your side.

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

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

Discussion

99 comments
Banyek
Banyek

Im playing this game at the moment, its not all that bad, but not good either. Its good to know from the review , that I really should have bought that pistole. Im almost at the end. You can definately get a better game than this, but if you have a free afternoon, and theres nothing left to try, check it out.. Its not the best game, but decent enough to try. Borrow it from your friend, or rent it.. definately dont buy it!

santinegrete
santinegrete

Gunplay doesn't feel right in this game, nor AI. I had 10 mins with this game in my friends house, and I'm not sure if I want more of it. I could give it a chance with a cool Steam Deal, but capcom won't let me get that game in my región. It's almost like they don't want me to play those games.

JamieMacInnis16
JamieMacInnis16

I never played it but i watched alot of gameplay and it didnt seem too bad, I also have resident evil five which i think got an 8.5 review and I hated it, the aiming style in it is absolutely terrible for how fast the zombies move. I beat it once so it didnt seem like a complete waste of money buying the game then never played it again. I'm starting to not trust the reviews on this site.

solidstar24
solidstar24

Kevin Vanord and his lover Danny O'dwyer hates Resident Evil.  They got scared while playing and decided to write bad reviews out of anger.  Operation Raccoon City is awesome!  Sure, it's not the best game in the world but it sure as hell didn't deserve a 4.5 rating. I found the story somewhat off beat however interesting. The game mechanics could use a few tweaks but it's faaaaar from the worst.  I was absolutely fascinated by the graphical details, especially the re-rendered RPD station.  As a long time  fan of the franchise, how can I not appreciate to the team at Capcom for all the hard work they put into RE6 & Op RC?  These are both both beautiful games developed with passion. 

thefloorhugger
thefloorhugger

There are way to many bad points for this game to be successful the AI is flawed the cover is horrible, the enemy takes one to many bullets. It is a pass as a game

angelbless
angelbless

I played this game...its not a very good Resident Evil spin off and I agree with many of the review´s "Bad points".. but I dont think its THAT bad either..

amir1982
amir1982

A complete waste of time..

petert224
petert224

Bigtime this game is flawed. Basically you follow exactly the same path, "secrets" are not worth finding as theres very little rewards. I found a few intel discs, sent them to hq on the laptop and got "50 xp.... 0 concept art unlocked".

 

Realistically why did they give the recon guy the stealth special move? Logic is that zombies detect brains and blood, so why would being invisible stop them detecting it?

 

AI run into flames and laser mines. They cant revive eachother. They will stand in your way constantly.

 

The game is boring and repetitive, in fact after the first 2 levels I was running past all zombies and getting to target points without doing anything else, purely because I wanted to see how the story unfolds rather than do the same thing over and over again.

 

"Bosses" are pretty lame to fight. All the same, shoot their head or their weakspot. When I had to fight 2 T-103's I thought it was a bug. The objective was, and to quote "Defeat the Tyrant", or it seemed to be from what I read. 1 was there, but then all of a sudden the other popped up out of nowhere. When they get you in a corner its game over due to the fact they will attack, attack and attack you before you get the chance to get up.

 

The ending is pretty stupid, if you choose to kill Leon, he does a warp for the battle. In the custscene he's on the floor, weak, but then when it goes back to gameplay hes quite a distance away from you and at full strength attacking you.  

 

Theres very few weapons you can choose to unlock with xp. You cant upgrade any of them though.

 

The whole game has a feel of an online only game, Even on offline play it has the countdown timer before starting.

 

Its nice to see a different side of the story but some bits are not even worth trying to do as you know the end result already from the other games. Such as when you have to get Ada, you know she doesnt get caught, but you have to do that part.

 

Overall if this was a standalone game, which has nothing to do with the resident evil series, if would be a 2/10 game. 

skr10
skr10

Kevin didn't make any unfundamented criticism in its review about the game, yet, I feel that a 4.5 might not be very accurate, but guys, the game isn't a gem either. It's too flawed for a Resident Evil game!

slytherinstuden
slytherinstuden

The game is epic! just as i always wanted. A mix of rainbow six and old good RE. Totally did not like the review of this guy. It seems like he was looking for any reason to make the game look like shit.   Everything works fine for me. Totally love it. RE 4 ever!

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

cover system works fine, the only issue is that you can't get into cover while you're reloading. after you realize that it works just fine

2pacalypse-now
2pacalypse-now

And just to be clear, I've nothing against you, Kevin. I'm sure you are a lovely person. Just not the right one to be reviewing Playstation 3 Action/horror/shooters, perhaps?

2pacalypse-now
2pacalypse-now

"Kevin VanOrd is a lifelong RPG lover and violin player. When he isn't busy building PCs and composing symphonies, he watches American Dad reruns with his fat cat, Ollie." What's he doing playing Resident Evil on a PS3 then? I, for the most part, disagree with his review. It's actually not a bad game and it deserves well over a 4.5 rating.

robulastage
robulastage

In case you saw my comment and were curious, I say this game should be rated at 6 or 6.5. This game can really be fun with other players and that's pretty much its only saving grace for me. Playing this in multiplayer has the same charm as getting a group of your best friends together to watch a movie you KNOW is bad.

Anema1986
Anema1986

gornax, it work but also many times u cover even when u dont want to, and still doesnt matter if is a zombie, a demon, a dragon,etc, the point is that is stupid that u have to throw away plenty of ammo on regular enemies sure the score is low, since the game is just the average 3rd shooter, with nothing that set the game apart from others

Gornax
Gornax

The cover system works, if ur not retarded. The zombies do take more bullets than a living person...but then again, they are dead. The AI is ok, done veteran and pro thru the game with ai, they can match the skills of humans who enters my games atleast:P Its a good game, dull story tho. BTW they never said this was a new RE game, if u want survival go buy crappy RE6 when it releases or try SH:Downpour.

icestorm88
icestorm88

Well, this isnt shocking at all. I can always tell when a game is going to be horrible by two way and its following these two rules that have never steered me wrong. First, when gamestop builds up hype about any game or especially a francshise game in the beginning and then totally does a 180 and doesnt follow up with consistent coverage on the said game, that just means they had a chance to play it and it totally sucks and not worth their time. Second, when gamestop doesnt review the game days before its release, thats just them wait for the other reviewers to condemn the horrible game before they do. THis goes any magazine reviewer out there.

SergioMX
SergioMX

Let's be honest, since when has RE been about survival horror...not since RE3 and Code Veronica. Even some spin-offs such as the Outbreak series were more horror than 4 and 5. Anyway, I think this game is a lot of fun surprisingly (especially with friends), they just need to tweak it a bit, balance (shotguns, melee) and add more content.

JtAgentX
JtAgentX

So basically the game combines elements from "Left 4 Dead" and "Resident Evil"? I love it, but the problem is this is an action game, wheres the outpour of zombies and infinite ammo? lol thats why they rated it so low, but I still love the game.

hellpolice
hellpolice

The game is good overall. It gets frustrating at times because of its technical flaws. The overall experience is good for a game that was not developed by Capcom in Japan like original RE games...this is one of those games with a mixed reception some like it some don't.

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

Played this game for hours now and let me tell you something it's amazing, Al is useless but get some friends in the game and everything will be perfect :)

Superzone
Superzone

Well, this is what Capcom gets for trying to appeal to the CoD crowd. Capcom, please just bring Resident Evil back to its roots. And I'm not talking about bringing back the tank controls or anything like that, just please bring back the scares and haunting atmosphere. That's all I want.

darin1976
darin1976

I won't let their reviews decide what i play. I like some content on this website but their reviews are a little sketchy.

crimsonfoxm1911
crimsonfoxm1911

to be honest i don't see the big deal about this game being bad, it's a pretty fun shooter, the characters are cool the gameplay is fairly well made and to be honest i'm surprised this game didn't at least get a 7. it really is a buyable game, sure you team can be a bit iffy at points and you may feel like they're holding you back but they're only a liability. it comes down to a matter of perspective and this game has the perspective i've always wanted to see but perhaps it should have stayed a portable title as intended when it was announced for PSP and made a move to VITA

toby_hussein
toby_hussein

Sure. So homo ass effect" is better ? I'll take this game over that trite pooh anyday.

doolindesperado
doolindesperado

I wanted to try this one out because I liked Resi 5. Well, I'm not walking away, I'm running away!

ShadowofSonic
ShadowofSonic

Another great review, Ordo. I'll stay away from this one.

bigboss233
bigboss233

If Capcom really wanted to go for a 4 player co-op game, they should have followed the Outbreak model and work with that. Too bad every developer and their mother are going for the Call of Duty crowd.

boobarry
boobarry

@babyjoker973 IGN does suk and no one listens to it but gamespots reviews r legit

boobarry
boobarry

@robulastage ur absulutely right it would do so much betr if they put a little bit of a sandbox essence to it

boobarry
boobarry

idk if i should ask for a refund or stuff it down the crapper

Dakhoth
Dakhoth

After reading the review of RE:ORC on Gamespot I was a little leery about it, but after playing it for myself I was surprised at the review score. I do agree that the game is heavy on the action, but that makes this RE game fun for different reasons than the old ones. The AI is horribly stupid (e.g. walking straight into fire or mine "trip wires") and I had to "baby sit" a few times, but it wasn't overly frustrating (if you discount Beltway throwing "sticky mines" randomly throughout an enemy free zone or sticking them TO ME during combat). I finished the game with a bit of satisfaction, but my advice would be don't play this alone; not because of the scare factor (limited as it is), but because your friends are smarter than your AI companions.

efunk25
efunk25

lol, 4.5? You sure this isn't a Wii exclusive title?

schlitze_is_god
schlitze_is_god

4.5? Looks like Capcom doesn't want to pad all their games' reviews. Funny how there is an honest review like this one, but games like Fallout 3/Dragon Age/Half-Life 2 get "decent" even though they're quite mediocre.

Joman1000
Joman1000

Silent Hill Downpour > Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

madalinu
madalinu

beeing a RE fan is hard,because the lack of games in the Series, is like yesterday when i watch the intro movie from Res Evil 1, and in that moment i knew it will be thrill of my life. Now,allmoust 20 years have passed, and When someone say RE they take it like a joke,a bad one.Exactly what happened with this game.In a world with so much rich content to explore,little things about Umbrela,So much potential could be achieved...but...Slant SIx isan't E.A ...to bad,maybe they can still save this game trugh patches and free DLC's. peace out!

FireWolfRage
FireWolfRage

Well Slant Six gave it a shot. Wasn't to crazy about it, but it wasn't the worst game I've ever played. Capcom should of gave us Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, 3 in an HD collection... Games from the past are better than games being released today. They need to listen more to us. I mean we know what we want vs what they think we want. If that was the case we would have Darkstalkers 4 by now!

che_vive
che_vive

ok, ok, the game IS a little rough around the edges - some might say "unpolished" - but a 4.5?! sure, its linear but wth, its resident evil - not know for its "open world" play. so its not the best shooter ever, especially after RE5 but its fun, has some cool moments and does give you another side of the raccon city outbreak....GS is off on this one, this title easily deserves at least 7 - 7.5 imo

xXThAtGAmeRXx
xXThAtGAmeRXx

loved the game (multiplayer) but single player not that much same thing happen to me always getting knocked down over and over was it`s really annoying but still an ok game IMO

mdchapel9
mdchapel9

the game is not that bad, there sure are alot of cry babies here.

babyjoker973
babyjoker973

I will never listen to gamespot or ign on game ratings ever again.. This game deserved a 8.5

titortastic
titortastic

 @angelbless

 I agree, its not that bad. If it were just a little more slower paced i'd probably rate it an 8...It being a spin-off and all

Sithassassin666
Sithassassin666

 @2pacalypse-now ok for one, I build PC's in RL, I love playing RPG games, i don't own a cat but i love American Dad, and i have played RE Games since RE1 And honestly This game got me to the point i just didn't care... i played it just to finish it, i started at like 2 hours, then next day anouther 2... got bored then 1 a day for a few days now i can barly stand 30 minutes, i'd rather be playing Second Life then RE ORC thats just how bad the game is... it's dull the ai sucks and honestly to my eyes a 4.5 is to high for me i'd say a 2.0 Sounds right... cause it's god awful, and i just with it was the new RE6 game, at least that has a kick ass storyline... and besides if Wolfpack was a group in RE why were they never seen till now, don't ya think the part at the end woulda been seen on one of the other games? Seriously...

Sithassassin666
Sithassassin666

 @robulastage ok i got the PS3 version and i tryed finding online players... Zip nothing for 2 weeks st8.... so yeah good luck on that...

Rousie14
Rousie14

Did you even read how Kevin supported his points?

This game is flawed, that is clear.

You deny to take a step back and look at the games flaws, why dont you try? It deserves what it got.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City More Info

Follow
  • First Released
    • 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 1591 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
    Developed by:
    Slant Six
    Published by:
    Capcom
    Genres:
    3D, Open-World, Adventure, Action
    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