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E3 2011: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City First Impressions

Feature; Jun. 13, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Ryan Goodman
Subtypes: Opinion, Preview
RE: ORC feels different, and that's good
Los Angeles, CA, USA

When Capcom announced Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City earlier this year, it immediately got me thinking of my favorite entry in the series, Resident Evil: Outbreak, which focused on working as a team to escape Raccoon City. While this new adventure won’t be the same thing, it does appear that working together will again play a big role, but from a much different perspective.

Leon and Claire ready to survive Raccoon City again

The events of ORC take place during Resident Evils 2 and 3. In the demo, you play as a member of the Umbrella Security Service (USS), which has the goal of covering Umbrella’s tracks, after the T-virus began to spread. In the final version of the game, you’ll also get to play as part of the USSO special task force. In this short demo, you’re given quite an interesting objective, one that would change the storyline of Resident Evil forever: find and take out Leon Kennedy. To get to him, however, you have to gun your way through waves and waves of zombies in Raccoon City.

The demo starts with a character and weapons selection. Each character has their own unique abilities, such as cloaking and healing. The weapons you can select are of your standard RE weapons, such as shotguns and assault rifles. After that, the demo begins at a familiar sight for RE fans: a street inferno, full of the undead.

The game plays from a third-person perspective, similar to Resident Evil 4, but it does not play the same. Instead, this game feels more action oriented, with an emphasis on blasting your way through instead of solving puzzles here and there. The zombies you kill also drop items, like in previous RE games, such as ammo, grenades, and first aid sprays.

Graphically, this is one of the best looking RE games to date. Each zombie and piece of Raccoon City is rendered in great detail. Capcom clearly stepped up the violence factor in this one too, as many of the zombies I blew away with my shotgun went flying with a splatter of blood and guts all over the place. Tougher zombies that took more than one shot to kill also had battle damage, with bones and flesh damage showing.

Overall, ORC feels a bit different than other Resident Evils I’ve played -- but that isn’t a bad thing. This one definitely feels more action oriented than any other non-rail shooter entry in the series, but that is a nice break from the typical survival horror adventure. While the demo I played was only single player, I did get the sense this will be a blast to play with buddies online.

Comments

JCXanirus

JCXanirus - Jun. 15, 2011 at 3:15:18am

You mean the old school Playstation RE's? I believe so. RE 2 had an unlockable mode which started you at the halfway point of the game in the sewers and made you work back to the beginning of the game, trying to escape. It was really hard. The character's name was "Hunk," and can even be played in RE5's mercenaries mode. I can't quite remember if he was part of Umbrella though.

mcguire82 - Jun. 15, 2011 at 1:26:03am

Didn't they already have a mode in either 2 or 3 where you had to play as the Umbrella soldiers? I'm sure this is a better experience in any case.

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