Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City hands-on preview

Throughout the campaign, the Umbrella team will run into all manner of hideous creature. However, they represent just one faction in the siege of Raccoon City; a team of US Spec Ops soldiers are also on the scene, sent to retrieve Umbrella tech for government use and stop anyone who gets in their way. Naturally that puts the four Umbrella operatives in their sites, which nicely sets up a 4-on-4 multiplayer component where you choose a side and blow the hell out of each other.

Above: Spec Ops move in to steal any Umbrella tech they can

On the surface, the multiplayer feels like any other third-person shooter; run, take cover, hold L to bring up the sights and pop off a few rounds and so on. But what really sets this apart from similar shooters is the Resident Evil bestiary, which fills each map with zombies that’ll attack any member of any team. With all these flesh-eating monsters roaming the streets, you can’t stop moving for too long, as they’ll gang up on you and trigger a “blood sense” that alerts all baddies in the area to your precise location. It’s kind of like L4D’s boomer bile, except blood sense is activated when your HP runs low and not an enemy’s specific attack.

There’s another twist – every three minutes or so, a hunter will appear on the map and target the top player. As you’re probably aware, hunters can lop your head off in one swipe, so seeing one stomp in your direction is every bit as scary as it was in the original game. Even with a machine gun you’ll need help taking one of these things out. We hope more RE staples appear as dynamic, momentum-changing creatures for these multiplayer matches. Maybe Tyrant will roam in after a team gets so many kills? Sounds cool to us…

Above: When these guys show up… steer clear

The big takeaway was that neither the campaign nor this multiplayer felt like Left 4 Dead at all. It’s a fair comparison to make at first glance – both are 4-player shooters revolving around a zombie outbreak, but while playing the actual game, we never got a L4D vibe at all. These specialists are trained and capable, so you never get a true sense of fear, and there’s more emphasis on using your own abilities than reviving fallen teammates. That said, the class-specific abilities can stack, so for example Vector could activate his stealth camo while Bertha gives him an adrenaline shot, creating an invisible, highly accurate soldier. So you’ll want to keep your friends in mind, but not in a dire L4D kind of way.

We’re intrigued by the possibilities of Operation Raccoon City. If done right, it could be an intense, action-heavy take on the RE series that still pays respect to the monsters and scenarios that helped make RE2 such a memorable hit. This is going to be one of Capcom’s biggest games, so we expect to see much more at E3 in June, and likely even more throughout the year.

Apr 12, 2011

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  • nightmare12 - April 14, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    tifanity- yeah it seems like RE2-3 were the main stepping stones of this series. so what i think sequel games are doing today are getting back intouch with what made the games so great in the first place
  • tifanity - April 13, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    It's funny how it always goes back to RE2 and RE3. I love the Resident Evil franchise but I feel this is done way too late... Still going it get it though =3
  • philipshaw - April 13, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    Good preview, sceptical about this game because of the developer but the idea seems interesting
  • nightmare12 - April 13, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    zenrobot- i agree condemned did a pretty alright job but that story kind of gets old after a while. but i dont think resident evil would be very good in a FPS mode because that would basically turn it into call of duty :black ops's zombie mode in a way.
  • nightmare12 - April 13, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    I for one am glad they made yet another resident evil game because this story line cant just end with the killing of wesker, there has to be other leaders not just the one.but i think its interesting that they brought back the hunters. those things i think were the most scary things in the resident evil saga (even with the terrible graphics).but one thing i do not like about the resident evils now a days is that they put a player vs player mode in them. i mean resident evil is a team based game and if you pit everyone agenst each other then ALOT of people are gonna find it not very entertaining.i also didnt expect that in this one they made you one of the umbrella operatives instead of S.T.A.R.S.
  • ZenRobot - April 13, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    dont know why, but i cant get excited for this. i love survival horror games too much to see them lampooned in the image of modern action games. its sad. and dead space 1 and 2 were cool, but still not quite what i'm looking for. I want a 3rd person or FPS pixel hunter with sporadic fight sequences that aren't the focus of the game, but rather diversions along the way of a mysterious adventure. I think that "Condemned" and its sequel were onto something. I wish someone would take that and expand on it.
  • BladedFalcon - April 13, 2011 3:22 a.m.

    The only game that has ever managed to scare me was fatal Frame, not even Dead Space gets more than some tension from me. So I'm really not against the idea of RE becoming more involved and serious when it comes to action. However... The focus on co-op is a downer. Fucking hell, I really wish developers stopped steering main campaigns to be played with others. What about us bitter loners that prefer to play alone? ): (And yes, I'm aware you're probably gonna be able to play on your own if you wish, but a lot of games like this, like L4D and such, really don't shine if you're playing them alone.)
  • Z-man427 - April 13, 2011 1:50 a.m.

    Wait... Third Person? I thought it was an FPS. I'm slightly more interested now
  • Danielmemo - April 12, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    I'm only excited about this because of the references to all of the other games. I'm not sure about everything else yet. I'm not as excited for this game as I was for any other Resident Evil. In fact, I think the only opportunity I'll give this game is when it is in the bargain bin
  • Yeager1122 - April 12, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    These sounds pretty good multiplayer sounds intresting with a few new things thrown in to keep it fresh instead of the usual boring team deathmatch.
  • xlyesterdaylx - April 12, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    I'm looking forward to this. I hope it doesn't flop.
  • crumbdunky - April 12, 2011 10:21 p.m.

    If we have the chance to kill Leon will we also be expected to slice up Ada? I'll kill Leon if they make it worthwhile but I'm just not keen on messing up Ada's heels and cocktail dress combo for anyone.
  • gamingfreak - April 12, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    The multiplayer sounds surprisingly good to me. It's a good idea and slightly different than your typical multiplayer (even if it sounds a bit like L4D). Looking forward to it.
  • jackthemenace - April 12, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    Whoa, that sounds awesome. Someone give me teh moneyz? Honestly, I hope there is no option to kill Leon. Not only is Leon THE best Resi character out there, that method would totally screw up the story of Resi 4. I mean, how is Ashley supposed to get her skirt looked up without us being able to play as Leon?
  • NeelEvil - April 12, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    "Naturally that puts the four Umbrella operatives in their sites" Should be sights. Not really interested in this, co-op play on consoles generally descends into every man for themself quicker than you can scream "MEDIC!".
  • F4G1TR0N - April 12, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    @Gilgamesh No I haven't played haha, I actually don't play a lot of scary games, my last one being Resident Evil 1( Playing a year ago nonetheless). I was born too young to know about most of the scary games, and I understand that there are some new ones. Lol maybe I will pick up Amnesia.
  • darksongbird - April 12, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    Is this going to be for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 again? Anyway, the game looks pretty decent. I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy it.
  • SUSMaker9 - April 12, 2011 7:38 p.m.

    Lookin' good. Multiplayer seems the most intresting, though I hope Vector can't stay invisible and attack in multiplayer. Hopefully, they'll work a system like the Spy in Team Fortress 2, though not as under-powered.
  • codystovall - April 12, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    I was worried but it seems to have an heir of spook so fine. Heres one win for the bad guys!
  • gilgamesh310 - April 12, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    F4G1TRON, I agree with everything you said but have you played Amnesia? That's scary as fuck and proves that the genre isn't dead yet. There is no need for RE to be scary any more though. It should just concentrate on doing action properly.

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