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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, known in Japan as Biohazard: Operation Raccoon City is a third-person shooter video game for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, co-developed by Slant Six Games and Capcom. It was released on March 20, 2012 in North America, March 22, 2012 in Australia, March 23, 2012 in Europe and April 26, 2012 in Japan.

It is part of the Resident Evil series, being set around the same time as Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and featuring the characters from these two games, though it is a non-canon hypothetical scenario. The game follows a group of elite paramilitary mercenaries for the Umbrella Corporation during the zombie outbreak in Raccoon City.

The game was met with a mixed and often negative critical reception, but became a commercial success nevertheless, selling more than 2 million units.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Plot

Umbrella Security Service (USS) Delta team enters the Raccoon City Underground Laboratory, where they meet up with Alpha team leader HUNK. Their mission is to assist Alpha team in stopping Dr. William Birkin from handing over his T-virus research to the U.S. military and retrieve the G-virus. On their way to Birkin's lab, they find Birkin has paid numerous Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (UBCS) mercenaries to work for him while the deal goes forward. When they reach Birkin's lab, the doctor is shot, and HUNK and another Alpha leave with the samples. They soon find that Birkin survived the attack and infected himself with the virus. The Birkin creature proceeds to kill off most of Alpha team before disappearing; HUNK offers to go back in search of the sample.

Not long after the battle, it becomes evident that the T-virus has leaked city-wide, and people are beginning to transform into flesh-hungry zombies. In what they see as a punishment by USS command, Delta team is ordered to remove evidence of Umbrella's role in the outbreak. Heading into Raccoon City Hall, Delta team meets with a UBCS mercenary and their monitor Nicholai Ginovaef; he is soon revealed as a traitor and attempts to kill Delta team.

Later, the team is sent out around Raccoon Park to find the Nemesis-T Type, which has gone rogue. A second parasite is injected into its body in order to bring it back under control. Shortly after this mission is completed, the team is then sent out to the Raccoon City Police Department, ordered to kill any surviving police officers and destroy evidence linking the company to the outbreak. When this is done, the team exits the station, and soon after encounter Leon S. Kennedy, whom they begin to hunt down along with Sherry Birkin. After they find and corner Leon, Claire Redfield and Sherry, the game can end in two ways: in one ending, the two surviving members of the team resign from Umbrella over their abandonment during the mission and betray them by letting the three live; in the other, Leon and Claire are executed and Sherry is sent to an Umbrella facility.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Gameplay

There are 12 playable characters in the game, with six characters for each side. On the Umbrella Security Service team there is: Vector (Andrew Kishino), the team's recon expert and is equipped with a cloaking ability; Beltway (Ramon Fernandez), who is proficient in the use of explosives; Bertha (Lydia Look), the medic; Spectre (David Cooley), the marksman; Four Eyes (Gwendoline Yeo), the scientist, with the ability to program the bio-organic weapons (BOWs); and Lupo (Nika Futterman), who is the team leader. On the United States Special Ops team, Willow (Rebecca Riedy) is the recon expert; Dee-Ay (Robin Atkin Downes) is the team leader; Tweed (Tess Masters) is the demolitions expert; Harley (Gregg Berger) is the medic; Shona (Imari Williams) is the field scientist; and Party Girl (Catherine Taber) is the sniper.

Alongside the single player mode, the game also offers four-player co-operative Raccoon Mode, which pits the USS against the U.S. Special Ops teams.

The zombies in the game are able to attack the player in a multitude of ways. A zombie mutant that gets too close to the player will usually attempt to grapple the player, prompting the player to rapidly shake his/her analogue stick to avoid getting bitten. Players who are unsuccessful in doing this will be infected for a limited amount of time. Whilst they are infected they gain small bonuses at the expense of a slowly depleting health bar. If a player is successfully bitten and later runs out of time after becoming infected, the player will lose control of their character and begin attacking their former teammates until killed, allowing the player to respawn. There are additional enemy types in the game besides zombies, such as Lickers, Hunters, and Cerberuses. Furthermore, the players are able to control them under certain circumstances.

Heroes Mode is an online multiplayer feature allowing to play characters such as Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliviera, plus Ada Wong, HUNK, Nicholai Ginovaef, and a new character, Lone Wolf. Xbox 360-exclusive Nemesis Mode allows one player to control Nemesis and use him to kill the other team.

Reception
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 52.67% and 48/100, the Xbox 360 version 52.62% and 52/100 and the PlayStation 3 version 48.17% and 52/100.

Official Xbox Magazine gave it a score of 7.0, as a "satisfying blend of gunplay and teamwork." Destructoid said that the game "suffers from poor design...but that doesn't stop it from being a genuinely good time that should satisfy anybody looking for a hardcore romp." The Guardian said "It's important to bear in mind that it's best experienced multiplayer rather than solo. But it's great fun and adds a fresh spin to a key time and place in the Resident Evil universe." GameShark said: "Raccoon City isn't the next real Resident Evil game (though its improved controls do bode well for that game). Instead, it's a mostly solid third-person, cover-based shooter set in the same universe."

IGN's review stated "An actual zombie outbreak would have been less tragic," calling the game "little more than a poor man's SOCOM and a destitute man's Resident Evil." GameSpot echoed these sentiments, stating that the game "is a frighteningly flawed action-heavy spin-off that withers in the shadow of its superior alternatives". GamesTM gave the game 3/10, criticising the team mate AI, glitches, and unimaginative set pieces after having played the single player mode GamesTM would revisit the game after its release to review online options, and largely came to the same conclusions, criticising the poor AI and mission design, although they did state that the game was better online than offline. Once again, they awarded the game 3/10. Eurogamer called it an "under-designed and under-produced nightmare...that delivers the bare minimum in every category." GamesRadar summed up its review with "poor design choices, narrative missteps, and technical issues combine to make this one of the worst Resident Evil games to date." Game Informer ended their review with "Not even online play is enough of a reason to warrant checking out this botched experiment with the Resident Evil brand." Edge gave the game a 3 out of 10, concluding that "itís hard to see what this distinctly low budget shooter has to offer beyond yet another return visit to already blood-saturated and well-trodden ground." Game Revolution even went as far as to say that the game has hurt the Resident Evil brand name, and that the game "should never have had the Resident Evil name attached to it. It smacks of purely business-oriented decision-making. Players are guaranteed to walk into the store and see that name and expect something completely different. It's not fair to consumers and Resident Evil fans alike."

In May 2012, Capcom announced that Operation Raccoon City shipped 2 million units worldwide. Although Capcom considers the game "a big success", the development team found the critical reception "challenging." As of June 2012, the game has sold 2.1 million units worldwide.


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