Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City - all the facts so far. And yes, it looks like you can kill Leon

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is real and the first gameplay details have emerged from various sources on the internet. Developer Slant Six cut its teeth on SOCOM: Navy SEALS games for PS3 and PSP, so it's little surprise that the game is a squad-based shooter - quite a departure for the series. But what's all this talk of a mission to kill Leon Kennedy? Surely we're reading this wrong?!

Several front covers for imminent magazine titles across Europe have been leaked by Capcom itself, and subscribers have posted details about the game. There will reportedly be a choice of stories to play through, both set in 1998, around the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3. One of these stories will see you playing as a government Special Ops team, tasked with exposing Umbrella and determining the cause of the T-Virus outbreak. The other will let you play as Umbrella Security Services, sent to cover up the incident, which involves killing zombies and survivors.

Here are the most important points (thanks to NeoGaf):

  • The game is headed for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this winter.

  • One of the main missions of the game is to “kill Leon” which will obviously turn Resi canon upside down.

  • Characters on the USS team are Vector, Beltway, Bertha, and Spectre, all selectable. These are presumably pictured on the collectible covers of Gamereactor magazine on the right. Vector can cloak himself to remain undetected.

  • Enemies, including zombies, can be used as mobile cover while moving, like an undead human shield.

  • Zombies have sense of sight, sound and smell. Shooting living enemies to make them bleed will be integral to the gameplay. Zombies will also be attracted to light, so shooting out the lights like in The Darkness will be beneficial to your plight.

  • A cover system will be employed, allowing you to shelter behind stationary vehicles and other objects.

  • Resident Evil 2 is said to be the greatest inspiration for the game. That's a good thing - it was great.

  • We’ll get more insight towards Mr. X before he was sent to Raccoon City to pursue Leon/ Claire and the end of the demo showed off a battle with him.

  • Controls will be more like modern-day third-person shooters, so we'll take that to mean you can move and fire at the same time.

  • The USS team takes their inspiration largely from Mr. Death himself, the 4th survivor Hunk. The team is also situated on Rockfort Island which is another locale fans recognize.

  • Hunters and Lickers will return and won't care if zombies get in the way of them killing you.

  • Multiplayer mode has yet to be detailed but its inclusion is a near-certainty.

  • Environments will have interactive elements which you can use against the zombies. But probably not custard pies like Dead Rising.

Above: Note the reflection of Leon in the goggles here. He's even got his ridiculous '90s hairstyle!

Bit of a departure, isn't it? Resident Evil doesn't normally let you kill innocent people, but it will be positively encouraged in the new game. Then there's the timeline-wrecking mission that asks you to kill Leon Kennedy. Remember the plot of the second game? It was his first day on the police force in Resident Evil 2, so if you kill him here, Resident Evil 4 can never happen. Just think about that - the game might disappear from your very games shelf in some space/time continuum paradox.

Assuming that doesn't happen (clue: it won't), this interesting slant on the series' canon does make this a spin-off game. And if nothing's sacred and Slant Six has been given free reign to do as it pleases with the keys to one of daddy Capcom's favourite cars, RE: ORC could start throwing anything at us. Here's hoping Wesker shows up in a mech, Wolfenstein-style.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Official PlayStation Magazine UK or Official Xbox Magazine UK for the first look at the game complete with exclusive in-game screenshots!

29 Mar, 2011 

About the Author
Justin Towell

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently in charge of reviews but still find time to make daft Photoshop stories and try to explain why there need to be more arcade racing games.