Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

(1 customer review)


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Complete Review & Description

I’ve only played one Resident Evil game and I severely disliked it, so what was I going to think of a series of Resident Evil games, played episodically? Well, I was shockingly impressed.

The gameplay, because that seems like a good place to start, is very well done. You play as a pair of characters each with a certain set of abilities, but in general one is the gun-toting monster killer and the other is a support role.

The game is balanced well, so you don’t just swap between the two characters because “this is the bit where I need to play as Moira”, but you find yourself swapping regularly because “this is the best tactic to survive”. It’s most clearly seen in the pairing of a classic action hero stereotype named Barry with Natalia, the spooky little girl as seen in hundreds of horror films. Every episode is a new buddy cop movie.
Revelations for the most part plays like a regular Resident Evil game. You find tiny bits of ammo around the map (finding stuff is something that support characters are good at), you use that ammo to shoot mutant monster things, and you make your way from one futile waypoint to another. At one point in the first episode a character says “I can hear the wind, this door must lead to the outside!” And it does… after you travel down miles of corridors.

The monsters are generally jump scares, though sometimes you can hear them coming from a mile off. Easily the scariest times are not when you’re in the winding hall ways of the asylum, but when you are in a dark open forest wondering where exactly the noises are coming from.

The support character is pretty useful despite not being the best at killing. Firstly they don’t put themselves in too much trouble and will follow your lead when needed. They can carry less than the “main” character, but both can pass items between each other. You can also combine items to create new useful items from healing herbs to fire bombs. And they are great at finding items including gems.

Gems are used to upgrade your characters at the end of each chapter (each episode is made up of two chapters). These follow the standard upgrade tree structure, but some are for all characters while others are for specific characters, so you may have to choose blindly if you’re not sure who you’ll play as next. Of course there are also in-game weapon upgrades, as per previous Resident Evil games. This means a lot of smashing crates and picking locks to get items.

Easily the scariest times are not when you’re in the winding hall ways of the asylum, but when you are in a dark open forest wondering where exactly the noises are coming from.

Picking locks was super annoying. You’re required to pinpoint an exact spot to open the crate and using a circle that turns red when you’re out of the “sweet spot”; but more often than not the circle turns red just as you’re about to crack the lock and then the puzzle resets with the sweet spot in a different place.

You also have to be careful and think whether you really need the item at that time because your characters may be playing over the same maps. This means you may pick up bullets that are slightly useful to you now only to find an empty crate when you come by the same spot much later and when you really could use those bullets.

The characters were the reason I liked this game, which surprised me. The previous Resident Evil game I played had the most irritating and, frankly, sexist characters I have ever seen in a game. They were ill-equipped and not at all suited to the task that they had been sent on.
In Revelations the characters are smart and strong. The women wear appropriate clothing for adventuring and are kick-ass without squeaky baby voices. None of them make stupid decisions, in fact the only thing that made me groan was when we are introduced to Barry.

Unlike the rest of the characters, Barry [SPOILERISH] hasn’t been kidnapped and has come to the mysterious island to rescue his daughter [/SPOILERISH], so he can equip himself. Knowing that all sorts of untold dangers await him he brings three guns and almost no ammunition. This does not sound like a prepared paramilitary officer on a rescue mission. I know games need constraints, but this always bugs me and feels lazy.

The way the stories of each character overlap and intertwine is done very well. Sometimes story points seem forcibly jammed together, (for example the end of episode one and the start of episode two), but then at other times the game does excellent things with storytelling, leading you in one direction before changing things up on you.

I wouldn’t say the story is groundbreaking or incredibly inventive. In fact it feels pretty much like every Japanese horror game ever made right down to the gross, bulbous and generic feeling monsters who dissolve into goo when killed.
If you get bored with the story there is a Raid Mode. In Raid Mode you can choose a character (unlocked by playing through the episodes), equip them with guns and skills before blasting your way through levels. These are far more linear levels and are lots of fun for just killing monsters.

Overall, this is a pretty good game. There was a lot of what seemed like Resident Evil in-jokes and nods to previous games that went over my head, but nothing that was required to understand the story. It was a fairly enjoyable romp through a monster killing field with a decent storyline. And really, want more do you want from Resident Evil?


1 review for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

  1. GunFu

    I’m surprised that how good this game is.

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