Resident Evil was out in full force a Comic Con, with both Operation Racoon City and Revelations available to play. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Capcom's second venture into a full multiplayer RE experience, is a far cry from the classic survival horror style the series is known for, adopting a much more modern feel.
As the demo started, I was met with six different class choices from the Umbrella Security Service's Delta team. Ranging from the atypical medic, assault, and stealth classes, RE:ORC included some interesting options like the scientist, Four-Eyes, and the team leader, Lupo. Each one features specific load outs and a special skill, though two options per class were only available in this build. Class selection may not be very original, but it's a new system to Resident Evil, making it seem fresh and inviting, particularly due to the special abilities that range from red smoke that attracts zombies to buffing teammates to reduce recoil and enhance damage. Expansive load out options also await, with many different handguns, shotguns, SMGs, Assault and Sniper Rifles, and other heavy weaponry. The large selection, as well as the special ability, give a great sense of personalized customization.
The game itself plays unlike any Resident Evil title before it, feeling much more like a third person shooter, yet at a blinding fast pace. Operation Raccoon City can be played singleplayer, but is meant to be completely co-op (as the demo was), and is essential to survival. Not only will zombies be swarming Delta Team, but other government soldiers will be converging as well. Though the controls mimic a typical shooter, gameplay deviates to include some interesting aspects.
Zombies will be a constant threat, with the horde swarming those who get attacked too much and begin to bleed. If taken down by a zombie, the member of Delta Team will be able to feed on his teammates. It kind of rehashes the idea from Left 4 Dead and Dead Space 2, where the infected and necromorphs are playable in versus modes, but no new abilities are gained once one makes the change. It all preaches safety in numbers, as health is scarce and venturing deeper into the city without a team means certain death from a classic array of RE monsters, including, but not limited to, lickers, hunters, and titans.
Cover is a viable option as well, utilizing a buttonless smart system, yet it's only useful against the other government agents and will get Delta Team killed much faster against the horde. Melee attacks are very beneficial, allowing for follow-up combos that will kill almost anything in one blow. It's fun, fast, and brutal, though besides the setting and familiar faces of Leon and Claire, it really doesn't feel like Resident Evil.
Visually, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City looks just as good, if not better, than the series' last iteration. Character design is unique and detailed, with Clair and Leon receiving a much-needed facelift, and move without the RE clunkiness. Raccoon City, beautifully decrepit, sports destructible and highly polished environments. Voice work still holds the campiness fans have come to love.
Though it holds the series' namesake, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is certainly not your typical RE affair, but it shouldn't be: the story has been primarily told though Jill, Chris, Claire, and Leon, not an Umbrella Security Service team charged with disposing of biological weapons when they've gotten out of hand. Operation Raccoon City is definitely a title to keep your eye on, whether you're into Resident Evil fan or not.