Review - Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Title: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon CityDeveloper: Slant Six Games, CapcomPublisher: CapcomPlatform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft WindowsRelease Date: Out NowRating: 1/5When gameplay trailers of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City made their way online, the game looked like it would be a refreshing supplement to Capcom’s long-standing zombie-infested world.In the initial campaign of this third-person shooter, you play as an Umbrella agent, tasked with destroying evidence relating to their involvement in the viral outbreak that destroyed Raccoon City. You’ll move through scenarios from Resident Evil 2 and 3, crossing paths with characters from these titles trying to escape the city, while being pitted against bosses that Umbrella have lost control of.The main problem with the game isn’t the incredibly dully plot tenuously linked to an already enormously convoluted storyline from the Resident Evil universe, but that it simply isn’t fun. The whole development of the project seems to have been rushed, which results in a game that is a complete chore to play.If you play offline, the already tedious storyline becomes arduous thanks to the atrocious in-game AI; you’ll spend more time reviving your teammates than actually being helped by them (on that note, the enemy AI isn’t any better; you’ll often see enemies casually running into a wall). Online co-op is marginally better, but connection with a full squad of teammates can take a frustratingly long time.The gameplay is simple, which is one of the game’s few assets. However, it doesn’t really help that you have only one goal in any given scenario: run into a room, shoot things, collect an item or destroy an item, then occasionally you run into a boss, who you’ll often end up fighting over and over again.The simplicity of the gameplay is also marred by the fact that the controls aren’t great; there will be times when you need to turn around and run away, but the game simply won’t allow you to. Similarly, the cover system occasionally just doesn’t work, so you end up getting shot, start bleeding, and a hoard of zombies begin running at you through no fault of your own. It is a poorly designed game.Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was only ever going to be a title for hardcore fans of the series, but in all honesty, there’s really not much in it for its casual followers. The plot isn’t interesting; the gameplay is sluggish, and the only real challenge is committing enough time to suffer through the relatively short campaign. There is an online multiplayer, but if you own an Xbox 360, pick up Left for Dead, it’s a much better and much more fun game. If you only have a PS3, just play anything else.Conor O'Nolan