Zombie don’t taste so good.
This past week I had a rare opportunity to physically join the fight against the enemy. Combing forces with my U.S.S. team, our mission was simple: eliminate the Spec Ops team and survive the zombie invasion. The battle was gruesome, carnage and death everywhere, but we all pushed on. At one point I’m sure I killed a teammate, but it was for the greater good of our team’s survival! Finally, when everything cleared and the dust settle, my U.S.S. team and I were dubbed victorious.
The entire impromptu battle was a laser tag game to get us excited about Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Folks with Capcom set it up and also gave us a crack at some co-op objectives in multiplayer mode on the PS3 and Xbox 360. So far, the gameplay is fairly polished and brings new life to a series I had begun to forget about.
Zombie Infected games are always tough to make because there are so many different types. You want zombie interactions to match up with the style of the game. The slow, dumb-witted, low growling zombies work great with characters that seem to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then there are the zombie sprint champions that give the strongest heroes a challenge. In Operation Raccoon City, there is an even placement of all kinds.
Of course, there are custom-designed walking dead made specifically for RE: Operation Raccoon City, such as the “Licker”, which sort of reminds me of the Smoker in Left4Dead 2. But have no fear, for there is plenty of artillery to cut the dead down to size, from assault rifles and submachine guns down to Crocodile Dundee-size blades. Don’t be fooled by the team of heroes or the U.S.S. forces either—none of these guys are afraid to get close and personal with their foes. The combat engine displays a wide range of tactical fighting maneuvers, so put away that gun and bloody up those knuckles.
There are four multiplayer modes you can play: heroes, team-attack, survivors, and bio-hazard. Each mode, of course, has a different objective to achieve. Where the other modes are rather self-explanatory, bio-hazard is much like capture the flag, but instead of a flag, you must capture G-virus vials. Every mode has two sides, regardless of what characters you can choose. But along with fighting the humans on the other side, there are zombies after everyone.
This puts you on high alert at all times. Stop moving for a second and just watch how fast you're attacked… and then infected… and then turned into a zombie yourself. For some, it can be annoying because you must wait until someone kills you before you can respawn. But the sequence of it all is just so comical that it gives some light relief from the intensity of the battles. If you are infected, you can spray yourself with the anti-viral before succumbing to it. If you don’t have any, though, then you lose control over your character and must watch the gruesome death that is sure to follow.
Most of the time, you can shake the zombies off and prevent yourself from being bitten anyway. Staying healthy on the battlefield is manageable, as long as you pick up “special herbs” along the way. It is kinda suspicious, though: "Hey look, guys, I found a green leafy plant in the corner. I’m going to chill here with it until I feel better… I’ll catch up with you guys later." Green magical plants? Where did they come from and how do I get some?
Action is non-stop in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Its zombies are quite scary and will definitely give you a run for your life and your money. So far I’d say this title is at least worth a playthrough with friends, and this is just about multiplayer. Who knows how far it can go with the rest of the game? We’ll all find out when it releases March 30th.