Resident Evil: Off The Record?
Resident Evil has splintered by two genre concepts: a return to the survival horror genre, which Resident Evil: Revelations attempts to rekindle, as well as a reimagining of the series into a third-person action shooter, which defines most of Resident Evil 5 and now Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. In fact, Operation Raccoon City so surprisingly fast that it feels more like a "Lost Planet: Operation Raccoon City" than a deliberately slow Resident Evil from the past. At the same time, it also continues Capcom's recent trend of revisiting their past games by providing a fresh perspective on the story, like Dead Rising: Off the Record, so it's not surprising that they've decided to circle back to the events in Raccoon City.
Set between the plot of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, the story will have you take the role of the Umbrella Security Service (USS), whose primary mission is to destroy any and all evidence that would implicate Umbrella for developing the t-virus and accidentally turning nearly all the citizens of Raccoon City into walking biohazards. As the bad guys for hire, you oppose the Special Operations team at every turn and can make “what-if” decisions like killing Leon Kennedy before he ever steps foot in Europe to save Ashley Graham. Anyone who knows their Resident Evil history will have a (covert) field day with Operation Raccoon City.
Depending on your preferred class type, you can control one of six operatives in a team of four: the badass explosives specialist Beltway, the recon and cloaking expert Vector, the medic Bertha, the sniper Spectre, the scientist Four Eyes, and the assault team leader Lupo. If you're playing solo, you can select the other three team members that would best complement the mission at hand, though it's far easier to switch to cooperative multiplayer and work together with someone rather than idiot AI's. Instead of having each squad member having a seperate level, experience points gathered from intel and completing missions can be spent flexibly on learning passive and active abilities on whomever's skill tree you want. Regrettably, Capcom had no further information on the multiplayer.
No matter whom you choose, though, the third-person combat is surprisingly fast, with the ability to sprint across a medical lab almost twice as quickly as it would take in Resident Evil 4, dive right into cover behind some reinforced crate, and then pop out of cover for a few well-timed shots to the opposition. If that weren't enough, you can execute foes with a stab to the gut and then a shotgun blast to the face.
Most guns fire in quick bursts and ammo can be easily found throughout the facility. There's little time to turn around sluggishly, plant your feet, and aim slowly at a monster's head with a laser sight. The one exception, though, is during certain boss battles, particular the one which we were shown where you have to scurry down a lengthy entranceway and evade fire jets and a g-virus mutant from petting you on your head with its fist.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City releases on March 20, 2012 for PS3 and Xbox 360 and on PC later at an unannounced date.