Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Review

Resident Evil: Raccoon City is a substandard port of a poor co-op shooter.

by

PC owners deserve better. Resident Evil: Raccoon City was hardly a quality game on consoles, but you'd hope that developer Slant Six Games might have given the PC platform at least a little respect. Alas, all the signs of a sloppy port are apparent from the moment you boot up the game. Ridiculous menus that only half-support the mouse and quick-time events that indicate to wiggle the C key like it's an analog stick are just a couple of these indicators. Capcom, the game's publisher, earned a reputation for careless PC ports years ago with games like Onimusha 3 and Resident Evil 4. It now carries on that dubious tradition with Raccoon City--only this time, the game it's debasing is one that was never worth your time in the first place.

These problems are a shame, considering the possibilities. The game 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 the infamous 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 faults, many of them so basic it's a wonder they appeared in a final product.

These faults infest the gameplay from the very beginning, and remain to the very end. Consider a battle versus the infected William Birkin, which takes place in the very first mission. 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.

With AI this dumb, you might have been better off going it alone.

That entire scene is absurdly bad, as if the game is actively working to make you hate it. But the problems aren't just specific to individual encounters; some invade the entire game. One such problem is the cover system, a core component of third-person shooters like Raccoon City. Here, you don't need to press a key 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 certain 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.

Boss fights are surprisingly lacking in excitement.

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; you are never sure whether there is ammo nearby, or where it might be found. 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 key 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 hours or so after the campaign began.

The virus appears to have no negative effects on the amount of blood the average human head can hold.

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.

It's like leading lambs to the slaughter.

Enjoying the cool moments that do arise means getting used to the sloppy interface and key assignments, however. With a controller plugged in, you get more or less the same experience you would have on the Xbox 360, PC-specific bugs notwithstanding. Prefer a mouse and keyboard? Then expect clumsy default key assignments (which can at least be customized) and interface elements that still assume you are using a controller (like the D-pad interface for switching grenades). Regardless of your controller of choice, expect periodic audio issues, such as a pervasive bug that causes the in-game sound to drop out completely, though the menu audio still functions properly. (Switching to your desktop and then returning to the game sometimes--but not always--fixes the problem.) It's also worth noting that the game forces you to use Windows Live, the unpopular online interface that brings Xbox Live features to PC owners.

Raccoon City isn't just a co-op game; it also includes 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.

Birkin smash!!

Yet all these guns and abilities are wasted in a game that never makes good on its potential, and what potential you glimpse is overshadowed by a careless porting job that makes you wonder why the teams responsible even bothered in the first place. Perhaps you crave a creepy and thoughtful journey through the darkest regions of the human psyche. Perhaps you crave tense, exciting action, either online or on your own. Either way, Raccoon City not only fails to satisfy--it leaves you feeling even emptier than when you started.

The Good
You see key Resident Evil events from a new perspective
Competitive play offers brief thrills
The Bad
PC-specific interface and technical flaws
Fundamentally problematic cover system
Scarcity of ammo at odds with bullet-sponge enemies
Stupid AI
Sloppy details constantly get in the way of the fun
4
Poor
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Discussion

83 comments
gantarat
gantarat

Hey Kevin I Still Wait RE6(PC) Review

inquisitorlee
inquisitorlee

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon Shity.

 

The review is dead spot on. Still, I enjoyed the short game.

 

6.5/10 in my cards.

 

Ammo is not really that scarce. You just need to play with your head - which takes out the fun entirely.

prince__vlad
prince__vlad

no surprise here... Japonese producers based on its consoles half-brained "fans" and lacking respect for pc products. I wish them dead.

Kris-5747
Kris-5747

I saw the advertisements like seven months ago and I thought this game was gonna suck and as it turned out it sure enough did. First the characters in the game where terrible, the plot terrible(actually made no sense to the story of resident evil series), the voice acting (and characters) where just so tacky and stereotypical(super ops team the best of the best the absolute ELITE). every aspect that attracted me to the franchise was absent in this release. WARNING this game is absolutely not survival horror, it's actually action run n gun shooting gallery bullshit. Capcom better make up for this cause I am starting to think my money better spent buying "hello kitty island adventure". If you are reading this for guidance on whether this game is a good purchase my advise is to wait for RE6 if you like a more genuine survival horror experience but who knows seeing as how this game went it could be the worst release yet. as for this game REORC 2/10 it sucked hard.

nizarabh
nizarabh

i"m am a resident evil fan and this is absolutely shit!! 

i'm really disappointed

Magina1231
Magina1231

just out of curiosity why is an RPG fan reviewing this game??

Lamia96
Lamia96

It was the worst game in my life. Really bad "japanese-american stereotype facial animations", very poor gameplay, and so on.

Kickable
Kickable

"Capcom, the game's publisher, earned a reputation for careless PC ports years ago with games like Onimusha 3 and Resident Evil 4. It now carries on that dubious tradition with Raccoon City--only this time, the game it's debasing is one that was never worth your time in the first place."

 

i'll still check it out due to curiosity like I do most games, but that statement comes close to making me think I shouldn't bother

vadagar1
vadagar1

sorry played RE1 when it first came out and this game IS NOT a RE game

Idzagi19
Idzagi19

Me as a RE fan is disappointed in this RE: ORC. The story is short though. This reminds me of Lost Planet 2. The way they have done ORC is similar to LP2. Now I can't wait for RE6 coming out this October. 

SavageGimli
SavageGimli

Im fan of resident evil and  i can say that this shit is not resident evil!

erikwibowo
erikwibowo

i hate this game..!!

the best resident evil i s only part 1,2,3 (the original),

and after that,, the developer start to make this looks shit and weird, it lacks the atmosphere and touch of the original game. I think this game is not resident evil anymore, its just another zombie shooting games.

There's a lot more great zombie shooting games out there like dead island, , and i rather buy those games instead.

 

they doesn't remember how the original game of resident evil can becomes famous and worldly known.

Words of advice for capcom: "You developed this game too far until you forgot the whole idea, You should Change the tittle, stop using the resident evil title for your sales profit"

bats94
bats94

What's the point of porting console games to the PC anymore? It just leads to higher rates of piracy nowadays.

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

Maybe GS oughtta bring back the Dubious Honors... It seems that we've got plenty of terrible games for that list along with this abomination. 

ayaz1907
ayaz1907

this is a very sad game. its for 14-15 years old who are bored of playing Counter Strike. rip-off!!!

armin0jrpg
armin0jrpg

Console version was great now this one's supposed to be a masterpiece LOL!

jasonkorrey
jasonkorrey

Not find too interesting as other games..

skillz4realz
skillz4realz

I have liked many games that received bad/ low scoring reviews. AVP, Mirrors Edge, Dante's Inferno, and more. However, this might be the lowest-scoring game I like. It's just...fun. Nothing I've encountered is particularly broken, the graphics look nice, at least on my screen/rig, and the cover/ shooting mechanics are fine. I can play this game in little spurts, 30 min- an hour at a time, its a good palette cleanser in between Diablo 3 marathons. I use the Razer Onza gamepad on PC for this. Anyways, this is just mindless shooter fun, and I can enjoy that at times. Not GOTY, but solid.

edmond_villamor
edmond_villamor

Its not even worth pirating! I was hoping the PC version is more stable and the AI is better but this is so freakin' ridiculous.

starduke
starduke

Just one question: Why did they even bother making a PC port?

 

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

The best things is, I haven't play the game.

The worst thing is, I did bought the game. Shit!!

shanethewolf
shanethewolf

I knew the game looked bad, but considering how lenient and positive Gamespot are with their reviews, this must be terrible!!

skillz4realz
skillz4realz

I'm not saying this is the best game of the year, but it's not that bad. I'd give it a 7/10. It's decent and I enjoy it.

dakan45
dakan45

 @bats94 I dont know from where to start.

 

First of all, THEY DONT PORT, games are developed on pc, they just optimized it for cosnoles.

 

They got the audacity of selling unoptimized games with consolish fov and  hud and controls for 60 bucks.

 

WHY? pc games cost 50, the 10 extra are royality fees for sony and microsoft.

 

Ports should cost 40 bucks.

 

To my suprice the game was priced for 40 bucks, then i bought it and reallized that the game does not run well on any system, you could have a space pc but the game randomly jumps from 60 fps to 5 fps, it has frameleaks all over the place also the patches do not freaking work, the dlcs cannot be activated, it took them months to releae the pc version and they wont release the rest of the dlcs, did i mention the awful fova nd the aiming sensivity being halfed when you aim?

 

THen they whine about piracy.

 

How about not treating the consumer like crap?

 

But ofcourse those morons fail to reallize 3 basic things.

 

Consoles always had more sales even back in the golden pc sales

A pirated copy does not mean it would have been a buy and that if they dont release it on pc, it will not stop pirates, nothing prevents pirates from pirating the pc version. They wont buy the game because they cant pirate console games, because they can.

 

and finally, enough with the piracy bs, console kids like you need to reallize that you and the companies dug themselfs in this whole by trying to satisfy everyone by releasing the game in ever system and ever regin and dumbing it down to make all games playable by everyone.

 

Nowdays for games to survive, they need to make millions of sold copies, why? Gee i dont know, perhaps because  trying to port games on ps3 and make them run is very costly and its by far the hardest platform to develop, not that the dated x360 hardware is easy.

 

So to cover they losses they got to make many sales, on pc however games can easily run due to the new hardware, but those morons do not even bother to optimize the pc version, the version they made the damn thing on.

 

most developers outhere are afraid of the new consoles, saying that the costs will increase more, at  this point the pc seems like a valid option and if you console kids are told by them to buy a pc, you will do it and increase pc sales and make the market better for everyone, gamers and developers alike,  better than using crapboxes to play games, and dont say a word about "piracy" its very much alive on consoles as well, tis just that its easier on pc therefore the pirates will choose to pirate a game for pc rather on a console. We need sales, not antipiracy systems.

raichou
raichou

 @bats94 Console piracy is as rampant as well u know. Go to any torrent website and you'll see a crapload of torrents for 360 and PS3 titles. Overseas in countries such as Mainland China, there are a lot of pirated console games being sold alongside PC ones. 

Rask123
Rask123

 @bats94 ohhh and we dont have piracy on consoles -_-

cmon, even the ps3 was hacked!!!

FAIL!!!

pimpofdoom
pimpofdoom

 @bats94 Well some extra people like me will still buy it and the people that will pirate it, Well most of them were not going to buy it anyway is not like you lose anything.

theli
theli

 @skillz4realz 

 

I'm with you, been enjoying the single and multiplayer parts of the game. Could it be better, sure. Are their bugs, yep. Is it a terrible game, no i don't think so. If you are looking to relive RE1-4 then no this is not the game for you. Looking for some fun tps action set in RE universe, then yeah you may like it, like I myself do !

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @capcomchen

 You should justify that 6/10 scores of yours.

A game this bad (according to the reviewer, as I haven't got the time to play it yet) doesn't deserved a score as high as 6/10, else there will be no more good games.

Or maybe devs should make more "not so terrible" games like RE: ORC, because people like you loves to play it. :P

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @skillz4realz

 A 7/10 eh? Good score. Another 2 points more and it will be a 9/10. :)

The dev should make lots of RE games like this.

I'm sure you can't wait to play it since you really like this game and gave it a high scored. Maybe just by putting some more famous characters they could gain another 2 points. No need to refined the gameplay though, it's already a great masterpiece worthy of 7/10. :P 

starduke
starduke

 @atteiramknight What I meant was, if they were going to make such a crappy port, they should just not have made it. The "master race", assuming you're referring to PC gamers, deserves and should demand better!

Magina1231
Magina1231

 @Whitebloodsun are you stupid or something just cause this poor reviewer scored this game bad doesnt mean you wont like it everyone has their own opinions on everygame some appeal better than others. Stfu dude seriously cause if you havent noticed the reviewer is a fan of RPG's not action games like R.E. maybe that answers for the poor score

VampireLord123
VampireLord123

 @Whitebloodsun It doesnt matter, having fun does not have a measure or a score. If you believe that, then gaming has become something else entirely for you.

Sergeant_
Sergeant_

 @starduke The master race had a council meeting about the issue, we bargained with Capcom to give us a horrible RE: Raccoon City in return we get Skyrim mod support and Half Life 3....you'll thank us later.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @Magina1231

 

Dear Magina, (or was it the letter * instead of M?)

In regards to your question (or insult?) regarding my intellectuality, I believe that the answer is no. In fact, I'm smarter and my knowledge are far superior than you. ;)

 

You wrote: "everyone has their own opinions on everygame"

And most everyone has a justification for their opinion. Asking them to clarify the reasoning behind their score will not deny their freedom to form a subjective opinion and neither does it imply that everyone must share the same subjective opinion, thus, it wasn?t a necessity for you to remind me of the fact that each person opinion will differ from each other.

 

You wrote: "Stfu dude"

Telling me to shut up is a futile effort and a waste of time. Furthermore, if you can hear someone voices just by reading their reply, then I suggest that you seek help, preferably ASAP.

 

Oh wait, another Resident Evil review from Kevin. And guess what, it's a 7.8. Very low indeed. :P

http://asia.gamespot.com/resident-evil-4/reviews/resident-evil-4-review-6171356/

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @VampireLord123

 

VampireLord123

Isn't the term "simple fun" and "OMG this is really really super FUN!!" is also some kind of a measurement? :P

That said, I'm not talking about "fun".

No, no, no. I'm just asking capcomchen to justify he/she scores.

It is also related to what he/she wrote: "Not like that terrible. 6/10"

The review gave us a pretty good view of terrible things regarding that game. So I'm very interested about what kind of "not like that terrible" is he/she talking about.

If scores are not that important, then he/she shouldn't have payed attention to the review. It's very obvious that the low 4.0 scores disturb him/her. Hence the 6/10. You should send your current reply to me towards him/her.

I'm more interested about his/her opinions and justifications behind that 6/10 rather than the 6/10 scores itself. ;)

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @skillz4realz

 

Nope. Not necesscarily me.

It's a justification for your disagreement with the reviewer scores. Or you may continue contradicting a reviewer score without putting any relevant reasons to it, if that's what you like.

My judgement were solely based on the review. Although I had to admit things will be more interesting if I write based on personal experienced. ;)

skillz4realz
skillz4realz

 @Whitebloodsun

 Justify to a person who hasn't played it? I don't get paid to do that, like people on Gamespot. You may continue to talk about something you haven't played, if that's what you like.

skillz4realz
skillz4realz

 @mrboone01

 Just as people who are followers, not leaders, will jump on any bandwagon regardless of their own knowledge or lack thereof.

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

 @skillz4realz 

You gotta be the most passive aggressive person I've ever associated with. Please just stop talking.

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

 @skillz4realz

 Oh, deary me, you couldn't even realise that I was using capital letters to help people like you figure out that I was being sarcastic. Again, a GREAT comeback.

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
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Developed by:
Slant Six
Published by:
Capcom
Genres:
Action, 3D, Open-World, Adventure
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