Preview Res Evil: Operation Raccoon City hands-on

xpghax Dec 8, 2011

  1. xpghax

    xpghax Gold Section Mod/Uploader
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    The Resident Evil series has always been about heroic lantern jawed heroes like Chris Redfield and Leon S Kennedy battling the infected, outrageous T-Virus ravaged monstrosities and the machinations of the sinister Umbrella Corporation.

    But what if the boot was on the other foot and instead of saving the world via superior survival horror, you were instead charged with spoiling it as one of the instruments of said twisted corporation? Well that's the premise behind Operation Raccoon City, Capcom's new squad-based shooter set in one of the most iconic locations from the series.
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    You are cast as a member of the wolf pack, a covert and deadly arm of the Umbrella security
    services and your mission is to erase all trace of Umbrella's involvement in the Raccoon City disaster (during Res Evil 2) as well as liquidating any unfortunate survivors.

    Now you have to say there's an undeniable thrill at playing the bad guy for a change and from the off, Raccoon City has a different emphasis from most Resi Evil games. This is very much about fast paced co-op shooting rather than slower-paced survival horror and it's a decent change of pace, something you'll find begins with the wolf pack themselves.

    Your first choice is which squad members you select for each mission. Now the Wolf Pack may all look like they've just dropped by after a big night out at the Torture Garden, wearing various concoctions of rubber, leather and neon, but bad guys should be properly and evilly attired right? Anyway, each character has different specialism like stealth, healing or heavy weaponry and you can also customise their load-out and weapons mix to make a highly specialised squad.

    After much deliberation, we picked Dr Karena 'Lupo' Lesproux a former French Special Forces assault specialist known as Wolf Mother, supporting her with Spectre (sniper), Vector (recon) and Bertha (team medic) for a balanced squad. Your own character you can customise even deeper with additional abilities and perks and since we were counting on Lupo to stand up front and lead the charge, we equipped her with Guns a' Blazing, a 30 second burst of withering fire and Quick Reloads to make sure we'd never run short of ammo.

    And so to business and our briefing sent us to City Hall where several people and various things needed 'disappearing'. After a short cut scene, we nipped in through the basement and into the meat of the mission itself. Raccoon City's game engine is impressive, with suitably gloomy, atmospheric levels and it's quick and nimble, really lending itself to the fast paced gameplay. It wasn't too long before we encountered our first major fire fight.


    Infected, in smaller groups are slow moving and easily dispatched with some well placed headshots, but if they swarm and do get close enough to grab you, only some frantic stick waggling will ensure your escape. When you do find yourself pressed by the horde, you'll probably fall back on some meaty close range melee attacks but land a couple of decent blows and you can also activate some quite vicious special finishing moves, which are both brutal and highly entertaining.

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    Bu the infected aren't the only opposition you'll encounter in Raccoon City, there's also government special forces on the prowl and these are a much tougher proposition. You'll enjoy plenty of stand up fire fights, but you can shoot to wound and nick a special forces guy so you draw blood and the infected will be drawn to him in on him like a fat bloke with a full loyalty card is drawn to Greggs. Be warned, the reverse is also true, so you need to stay out of the line of fire.
    Handily Raccoon City's slick cover mechanic comes to your aid here and is easy to use and non-sticky, you don't have to activate it, you just run into cover then duck in and out to blaze away. As you'd expect, there's a full complement of Resident Evil classics and collectables including grenades, equipment and power ups like the green healing herbs, anti-viral sprays and you can also hijack fallen special forces weaponry if you want some heftier fire power.

    Operation Raccoon City's storyline certainly jogs along at quite a fair pace too and early in the piece we ran into Nicolai, a fellow Umbrella agent who's sinister laugh and unsettling demeanour told us he was probably going to play a big part later on. Umbrella aren't exactly model employers and even from the short while we had with the game, we would expect the plot to twist and turn through reverse, double-cross and all manner of foul double-dealing shenanigans.


    There's also a good variety within each mission too and one minute you'll be blowing out computer server rooms to destroy all traces of evidence, another stalking through booby-trapped libraries chasing down hidden plans. The City Hall level ends on a huge finale as the building bursts into aflame and you have to dodge an infestation of Lickers to make good your escape. Naturally hailing from the darker side, we simply grabbed the relevant key card, sniped any Lickers in our way and sprinted to the finish and left our team mates to their fate.
    Although we only had a chance to test out Raccoon City's single-player outing which was excellent fun, we rather suspect that it's really going to shine in full four-player co-op mode, where you can go online and team up with your friends to battle the forces of good. It's certainly an intriguing new take on Resi Evil's traditional survival-horror pacing and there's plenty o' pleasure to be had in life on the dark side. It's true what they say, evil definitely does have all the best lines.


    Operation Raccoon City's storyline certainly jogs along at quite a fair pace too and early in the piece we ran into Nicolai, a fellow Umbrella agent who's sinister laugh and unsettling demeanour told us he was probably going to play a big part later on. Umbrella aren't exactly model employers and even from the short while we had with the game, we would expect the plot to twist and turn through reverse, double-cross and all manner of foul double-dealing shenanigans.

    [​IMG]


    There's also a good variety within each mission too and one minute you'll be blowing out computer server rooms to destroy all traces of evidence, another stalking through booby-trapped libraries chasing down hidden plans. The City Hall level ends on a huge finale as the building bursts into aflame and you have to dodge an infestation of Lickers to make good your escape. Naturally hailing from the darker side, we simply grabbed the relevant key card, sniped any Lickers in our way and sprinted to the finish and left our team mates to their fate.
    Although we only had a chance to test out Raccoon City's single-player outing which was excellent fun, we rather suspect that it's really going to shine in full four-player co-op mode, where you can go online and team up with your friends to battle the forces of good. It's certainly an intriguing new take on Resi Evil's traditional survival-horror pacing and there's plenty o' pleasure to be had in life on the dark side. It's true what they say, evil definitely does have all the best lines.
     
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  2. TruMastah

    TruMastah Rookie
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    Looking forward to this one.
     
  3. xpghax

    xpghax Gold Section Mod/Uploader
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    Capcom has revealed a ton of new information about its upcoming Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City shooter title, currently in development at Slant Six Games, including its release date, the pre-order bonuses available for those who put money down before its launch, and the special edition for loyal fans.

    Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is a quite a drastic change in direction for the survival horror series, as it's a squad-based shooter that affords to mess with much of the franchise's canon, taking characters from previous games and allowing even the murder of some very important heroes
    Still, Capcom is quite confident in the new game, and has now presented a fresh release date for Operation Raccoon City, after pushing it back from its winter release schedule.

    According to the Japanese company, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is out on March 20, 2012, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and later that year for the PC.

    For fans that already want to put money down for the game, a special pre-order strategy has been outlined by Capcom for its U.S. customers.

    "Fans who pre-order the game with GameStop, Amazon, or Best Buy will receive an alternate costume pack for each of the six playable characters in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City," Capcom said, "along with two bonus weapons that are unique for each retailer:"

    Gamestop- Anti-Material Rifle, Combat Shotgun
    Best Buy- Perforator, Combat SMG
    Amazon- Machine Pistol, Cowboy Shotgun

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    What's more, the company has also detailed a special edition of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon city, which features quite a lot of interesting things, including both real-life items, like embroidered patches for the Umbrella Security Service or the Spec Ops Field Unit, as well as in-game things, like all the 8 bonus weapons.

    "A Special Edition of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will also be available featuring a copy of the Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City game, a Steelbook with exclusive art, stylized foil sleeve, Umbrella Security Service embroidered patch, Spec Ops Field Unit embroidered patch, and all 8 bonus weapons. The special edition will retail for $69.99," Capcom revealed.
     

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