Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City PS3 review
No one likes waiting. Whether it’s twiddling your thumbs for two decades over a new spectacularly borked Blue Brothers flick or biding your time for five years to discover Lost’s mysteries revolve around a fountain of magic piss. In Resident Evil’s case, we’ve been hanging about since 1996 for an entry in the survival horror series that would let us move and shoot. Well, wait over.
Y’see, Raccoon City is no ordinary Resi. Hell, it wasn’t even made by Capcom. Instead, what we’ve got is a Canadian-developed squad shooter. Taking control of a shady member of a four person Umbrella mercenary team, you can either tackle the game’s 6-7 hour campaign on your tod or with three other folk over PSN. While it’s admittedly rough around the edges, there are enough knowing nods to the series’ PS1 past to make this a T-virus treat.
The first thing you’re likely to notice (apart from all your team-mates look like gasmask-rocking Nazis) is your dastardly Umbrella gun for hire is limber like a Ukrainian pole vaulter.
Forget merely being able to move and fire a semi-automatic. Each leather-clad merc can sprint, dish out karate kicks and even perform swan dives. Slant Six Games hasn’t just ripped a sheet of A4 from Max Payne For Dummies, it’s also cribbed heavily from Nathan Drake’s journals. Lean against almost any surface and you’ll find your professional zombie kibosher popping behind cover.
Crouching behind a computer terminal is enough to keep minigun fire at bay, right?
This Uncharted-lite system partially makes up for the lack of smarts in the game’s firefights. Rather than tactically kneecapping crowds to give yourself time to regain composure (ala Resi 5), you spend much of the early stages ploughing soldiers with lead who barely acknowledge they’re being shot.
Also, why in the name of Albert ‘absurdly evil’ Wesker am I fighting genero men in balaclavas in a Resi title? Compared to the hefty visual feedback of nailing baddies in Chris Redfield’s monstrous safari, the combat against human foes lacks any crunching impact.
Bless Leon S. Kennedy’s dashing circa ’98 curtains that skirmishes against the game’s variety of zombies, lickers and hunters fare much better. Any lack of tactical nous in these encounters ceases to matter because of the ‘argh, there’s 20 of the buggers all trying to disembowel me’ factor.
It’s these occasionally overwhelming numbers that provide fights with a constantly enjoyable tension. Even better, zombies’ limbs will drop off when shot with meatier firearms. Kapow!