localhjay's Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360) review

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There's a game in there, somewhere

Operation Raccoon City could have been an amazing game. Slant Six simply was not up to making it a complete or balanced game. Every corner of the game reeks of missed potential, from the 'story' mode to the half-baked multiplayer. To even call this game a Resident Evil game is an insult of the highest caliber.

The trouble starts with the game's mechanics and gameplay. It is supposed to be a 3rd person shooter, and models itself after games like Gears of War and Left 4 Dead. It's amazing they so clearly based their game on these titles but also ignored the problems those games already solved with sequels. For instance, to revive a player in ORC, you must press A (or X on PS3). This is the same button for picking up guns/ammo, and of course team mates drop guns when the are 'dead'. So reviving players is made impossibly frustrating because you pick up weapons rather than team mates. There are numerous issues with controls, with noticeable input lag and a strangely useless dive move. The 'cover system' is a joke as you stick to any surface automatically.

The story is wafer thin and requires knowledge of games released over 10 years ago for true understanding of the plot. Little is explained to the player, and cutscenes are few and far between. There is no attachment to characters in the game, as they have such little personality in the few lines of dialouge they have they may as well be zombies. The motivations of the 'protagonists' and the Umbrella Corp are intentionally unexplained. The game also features an extremely anti-climatic boss fight at the end which happens for inexplicable reasons.

The only fun to be had is with friends in the co-op or online modes. AI is useless for taking enemies out in story mode so don't bother playing single player (oh and there's no splitscreen, either). The online mode also has a suite of issues, such as disappearing team mates and generally unbalanced character classes. Between grenade spam and abilities that grant nigh-invincibility, it can be a fairly lopsided game if you go against people who know how to exploit these powers. The only way to do well is to have a team of 4, and to communicate loudly while ALSO abusing the overpowered tools/weapons.

Everything about this game is a let down. From the 'exclusive' mode being an extra $4 (nice Capcom, nice) to the barely playable story, it is not worth $60. It's a shame, because the concept is very cool and could have been done well. Maybe with a patch or two the game will become more playable, but for now it's a bargain bin title waiting to happen. Skip it if you hate mediocre games, because this one is pretty bad.

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