Earlier this afternoon, I had the opportunity to sit down and play Capcom’s latest spinoff in the Resident Evil series. Capcom has partnered with SOCOM Confrontation developer Slant Six Games to push the series in an entirely new direction with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Together, they have created the franchise’s first third-person team-based shooter and it looks like it’s shaping up to be something special.
The game follows the Umbrella Security Service (USS) through the Raccoon City Incident – previously seen from the perspective of Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield in Resident Evil 2 and Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Operation Raccoon City features three-way competitive multiplayer between US Spec Ops, Umbrella security forces, and the infected threat of zombies and Bio-Organic Weapons. While at the Capcom booth I had the chance to sit down for a fifteen-minute single-player demo.
Hit the jump for my impressions.
Before the clock started counting down, the demo gave players the opportunity to choose from a variety of USS classes, including: surveillance, reconnaissance, medics, field scientists, demolition, and assault, each of which features their own unique special abilities. There were also a variety of weapons to choose from, assault rifles, sub machineguns, shotguns, you name it. After tooling up a recon trooper with a cloaking ability and a sub machinegun that was a little less powerful than I would have liked I was off to … a zombie-infested city in ruins.
The game will draw a great deal of comparisons with titles like Gears of War and Left 4 Dead, blending third person shooting with tactical gameplay elements. While I was playing by myself, I can definitely see a lot of room for players to get their respective online platform of choice with a few friends and tear through the decrepit city, laying waste to the zombies and government troops that lay in their path.
There were a variety of enemies, from more commonly seen zombies and government troops to bio-organic weapons such as lickers and hunters (who are fairly difficult to take down). You definitely feel the three-sided nature of the combat as well. In one instance I was pinned down by sharpshooters only to have zombies come to my rescue, allowing me to pop out of cover and quickly dispatch both parties.
While the shooting controls were competent and decent enough (I could have used some time to customize them to my liking), I really enjoyed the demo’s melee kills. These kills changed depending on the speed at which you come at an enemy. For example, using a melee attack whilst running will result in a football-like tackle as opposed to the more stationary knife kills. Knifing can become much more brutal with a few quick button presses. With these brutal melee attacks, the third person perspective changes and zooms in to give you a detailed look at the blood and gore.
Speaking of which, Operation Raccoon City looks beautiful. Whether it’s cutting a zombie to ribbons or turning an explosive barrel into a fiery inferno, the visuals look great. Cutscene’s look particularly good, and the close-ups of Kennedy and Redfield show a similar visual style to those of Wii rail-shooter spinoff Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.
Overall, I was very pleased with how Operation Raccoon City is shaping up. I’m looking forward to further announcement regarding the title, and its release later this year.