Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is a disgrace to the franchise. I have heard many people say that it is not worth playing very much without online multiplayer, and I agree with them. The story itself is engaging and interesting, and had brilliant promise, but it is so poorly executed that you find yourself not even caring anymore. Even on the easiest setting, some of the campaigns can be difficult to clear unless you have other real-world people helping you out. The AI teammates are completely useless, never coming in for a heal at the proper time and NEVER getting out of your way when you need to dodge some bullets or (even better!) grenades.
The gameplay on its own is fine enough. It is a third-person shooter, you have controls to shoot, reload, and pick stuff up. That’s about the only thing that this title has going for it, is that if you want to pick up a controller and shoot things, you can. There is an auto-cover mechanism that in theory is a great idea, taking less of your time and concentration to get to cover, but I found myself constantly wishing that there was a button to command my chosen player to crouch, and sticking to walls when I was just trying to pick up some ammo or some damn “green herb” for healing because Bertha wasn’t doing her job.
The AI is simply insufferable in this game. Bertha, the medic, is rarely around when you need her to do her thing. You can be on the brink of death and she will be running around pretending to be useful somewhere else, and more than a few times, I found her running up to me when I was only down to about three quarters of my health, and she would run up and “rescue” me. When you are trying to get away from a grenade that is about to blow, or run away from a zombie that is about to eat you, your teammates will get in your way. You can COUNT on it. Sure, they will scream their heads off about “Grenade! Take cover!”, but then they will stand directly in your way and watch as you get blown apart by it. Fantastic. More often than not I found myself wanting to turn around and kill the bastards on my team as soon as I was done avoiding infection. The AI for the monsters isn’t any better. Hunters jump in front of you, then run away without doing any damage, ‘humans’ walk right past you and team members, and many times you have to chase down a BOW, and beg it for some damage.
Story: (theoretically) 7 or 8, in execution: 5
The storyline for this game had so much promise, which I think makes it even more tragic that it is such a monumental failure. Many players were looking forward to this title because the idea was that it would shed some light on what was happening in the background of the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3 (therefore the name Operation Raccoon City. Get it? Clever, eh?) Your objective, as a member of the Umbrella Security Service, is to go in and gather virus samples while simultaneously destroying any evidence of Umbrella’s involvement in the disaster. For game developers to turn a storyline that had so much promise into something that is so thin it would be admitted to the psych ward for anorexia, is pitiful and sorry indeed.
The graphics of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City aren’t bad, per se, but they are nothing to gawk at, either. With decent character models and well-rendered scenery, the game’s graphics are still sub-par considering what is attainable on these next-gen consoles of ours. I recently played a PlayStation 2 title that seemed to have a comparable level of graphics. For an XBOX 360 game, that is extremely sad. In Heroes mode, you have some interesting and recognizable faces (Ada, Claire, Leon…) but they hardly matter in comparison with the scenery. Every campaign setting in RE: ORC is much like the last. There is nothing that will stand out as at all memorable, and if it weren’t for the objective markers pointing the way, I am sure you would find yourself occasionally going around in circles.
With only decent graphics, a floppy story, awful co-operative play and terrible gameplay value the first time around, there is absolutely no incentive to play Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City through a second time.
The Resident Evil team tried. (I think). But they failed miserably in Operation Raccoon City. Resident Evil is a pretty heady title to live up to, after all. It certainly wasn’t the first in the genre, but it was one of the most beloved. Even Resident Evil 4 managed to provide for suspenseful and entertaining gameplay. This iteration of Resident Evil doesn’t have any “jump out of your seat” moments, let alone any mild and lasting tension. I can remember when it was fun to close yourself off in the house with friends, cover all the windows, and turn the lights off, really “getting into” the game. I tried that with ORC. I honestly did. Instead of being at all scared or even having the tiniest bit of adrenaline rush, I turned it off and went to play Ar tonelico, a PlayStation 2 game from five years ago. I’m sorry, Capcom, but you’ve officially lost another Resident Evil fan.