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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Preview

Last week in London, Capcom held their annual press event and Mweb’s GameZone was fortunate enough to go and check it out.

One of the biggest games we took a look at was Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. It’s a 4 player Third Person Shooter in the Resident Evil universe, set during Resident Evil 2 and 3. You play as Umbrella Secret Service, tasked with ‘taking care’ of Umbrella Corporation’s insidious evidence at all cost. That means taking out all witnesses and victims of the viral outbreak and recovering the G-Virus before it gets into the ‘wrong’ hands. Basically you play as evil badasses.

First up, producer Mike Jones showed us the 6 playable characters, each a class unto themselves: Bertha, Spectre, Beltway, Vector, Four Eyes and Lupo. Each character (or class) has their own ability and class-specific melee kills. This makes working as a team imperative and gives it some more replay time as you’ll want to try out each of them. For instance, Vector acts as the ninja component of the game with extremely silent footsteps and a motion detector, while Bertha is the team medic and can carry more than one first aid spray at a time.


Each character has 4 equipment slots which can be customized depending on the class selected. A cool feature they dipped their toes into was the new 360 degree CQC melee system. In the zombie survival horror genre this is more or less an untapped opportunity. How it works is you can use the analog sticks to aim in a direction around you while using the melee button. This comes in handy when you’re being swarmed from all directions by the undead and should be stock-standard for any TPS.


The game is not specifically a horror title and revolves more around the action, having more or less the genetic structure of Resident Evil 5. To add that Resident Evil fear layer they’ve tweaked the traditional action TPS gameplay to add more suspense. One of my favourite tweaks is the ability to dive away from danger. In other cover-based TPS’ of this nature, like Gears of War, rolling out of harms way is a core component of the gameplay. But in Operation Raccoon City, this has been replaced with a dive that has some recovery time. As well as charging up the suspense, it also makes you more reliant your squad to help cover you while you’re getting up. It’s those kinds of details that really make the gameplay in RE:ORC feel so refined.

There is the traditional Resident Evil ranking system at the conclusion of every level, giving you XP to purchase weapons for your team or handout skill points to any unit on your squad, something other titles like Gears of War have really missed out on.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is being released on March 20, 2012 on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, with a PC version following shortly afterwards. Get excited about this one: It's already looking extremely promising.

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