Capcom has announced that it'll be launching a beta for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City in early 2012 ahead of the game's March launch. Having demoed multiplayer builds of the title at trade shows over recent months, the company will be letting the public loose on the title “early next year,” producer Mike Jones told attendees at Capcom's Gamers Day 2011 last week.
Operation Raccoon City places teams in the riot-squadron boots of Umbrella operatives tasked with cleaning up the mess documented in Resident Evil 2 and Nemesis. The game takes place alongside those titles' storylines, pitting players not only against Resi's ever-present zombified humans, lickers, and other RE staples, but against Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, as well. And zombie dogs, we’re guessing.
This latest addition to the Resident Evil franchise, then, takes a note from Half-Life: Opposing Force's book while stealing back the zombies that Left 4 Dead had such fun with. It makes sense, then, to let players get their heads around the game, while testing such mundane essentials as server load and code stability, in the lead-up to the March launch.