Review by unclehosh
"A disappointing Resident Evil game with too many problems to recommend."
A multi-player Resident Evil experience is still a fairly new concept as it was only recently introduced in Resident Evil 5 and Mercenaries 3d. When Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City was announced as a four-player cooperative experience, I was beyond excited. Everything from the setting in Raccoon City to the seemingly fantastic story made this game stand out. The end product rarely delivers and left me speechless when I saw how awful it was. I have never been so disappointed in a video game.
Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City is a decent looking game. The cut scenes are fantastic, and offer some truly bright moments in the experience. When actually playing through the campaign, areas are detailed enough, but they are barren and dull. Poor lighting effects and awkward character and enemy animations also mar the experience. Even famous areas like the Raccoon City Police Station feel extremely empty and out of place in the game. Many of the areas look a little too similar to each other, and there is the occasional recycled structure during levels. Additionally, the game lags often and outright freezes in several spots. Texture pop-ins can also occur frequently.
The Resident Evil series is known for its complicated story lines are hard-to-swallow plot twists. Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City steps out of the block by featuring almost no story at all. You can choose between one of six playable characters, but they are severely lacking personalities. I did not grow attached to a single one, and their abilities are practically useless in the actual game. ORC tries to throw in a few references to previous Resident Evil entries, but characters like Ada Wong or Claire Redfield do not fit into the game, and actually contradict much of the series' story line. Early interviews with developers promised the ability to alter the history of Resident Evil or help the story progress. However, there is only one point in the game where this option is offered: the end. You can choose to do one of two things, but the two endings are abrupt and they both contradict key parts of the series. The bottom line is that this game has no significance in the series, and the few references to the series are not enough to justify playing this game for the story line.
The music in ORC is absolutely terrible. Just about every single tune sounds like a modern day techno-fest, and the music only establishes the right atmosphere in certain situations. In hectic firefights and desperate battles, the fast-paced music helps the intensity increase, but the real problem with the music is that it all sounds the same. Even when there are no enemies on screen, the music never seems to stop playing. Apparently, the game thinks that walking through empty rooms is deserving of a death metal-esque song. The music also hurts the game's attempts to throw in scares. A pop-out is made much less frightening due to the music. Not a single tune in the entire game leaves a lasting impression.
ORC features some of the worst third-person shooter game play I have ever seen. The AI computers are terrible, and I often found my teammates walking right into mines or standing calmly behind me when a hunter was ripping me open. The enemies do very little, and I found a lot of them standing still while I walked past them. The fact that I had to actually try to get certain enemies to attack me is not a good sign. Also, when having fire fights with other humans, their aim is perfect and they take way too many hits to die. In addition, some enemies will take just a few bullets to kill, while the next one will take eight shotgun shells in its face before it finally dies. Aiming feels awkward, and the bullets seem to go everywhere BUT the place you are aiming. The melee attacks are overpowered and have a wide range, and I was able to clear massive crowds with nothing but my knife. Tackling enemies rarely works, and using the left analog stick to sprint is unnecessarily difficult. ORC attempts to feature customization, but almost every gun is exactly the same, and the team members' "special abilities" are utterly useless in the campaign. For example, what is the point of flaming bullets when they do the same amount of damage as regular ones? Or what is the purpose of turning invisible during fire fights when the enemies seem to automatically know where you are? The campaign in ORC is very linear, and it is all about getting from one point to another. Enemies attack by the hundreds and clearly push the Xbox 360 to the limit. You will die many times throughout the game, but it is not because of difficulty. I died literally 14 times during a fight sequence in a train yard. There are hundreds of crimson heads, Spec Ops soldiers, and even a sniper on a roof, and they are all attacking your team. Instead of having the option to kill all of them, you have to run through the crowd hoping that you can make it to a ladder without taking too much damage. If you try to fight, the enemies that you kill re-spawn right in front of the camera and never stop coming. There are so many instances like this in the game, and they all seem like a desperate effort to increase the overall difficulty. Players become infected too easily, and die too quickly, making the game much more frustrating. Thankfully, the online multi player is a lot of fun and offers several unique modes of game play, however this is not nearly enough to fix the many issues in ORC.
I have never been so disappointed in a Resident Evil game. The concept of ORC was simple and unique enough to warrant the expectation of a great game. A rushed product with tons of glitches, an awful campaign, and buggy controls is unacceptable. I had to beg my friend to spend his money on something else. I have played some terrible games, but nothing this awful. Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City is, in my opinion, one of the worst games ever made. Please do yourself a favor, and look elsewhere.
Final Score: 4/10
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 04/02/12
Game Release: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (US, 03/20/12)
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