Sometimes a game comes along that does not meet the expectations of the fans that were anticipating it. With Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, fans were expecting an action-packed romp through the final days of the zombie-filled city, but what they got instead ended up disappointing them. Every game deserves its day and every zombie deserves a feast, so I’m here to put a little positivity into the world with my bright side review of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.
Over the years, there have been several attempts from Capcom to relive the glory days of the Resident Evil franchise by returning to the same areas from those earlier games. While the Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles games went for a direct approach of retelling those stories from an on-rails shooter perspective, Operation Raccoon City took a route that I usually enjoy more often. It created an all new story that could potentially exist alongside those original games. This is the same technique employed by the first Resident Evil movie, which makes it one of my favorite films based on a video game.
This tactical shooter places you in the shoes of the umbrella team that performs several operations that you didn’t know about in addition to a few you may have seen in some of the previous games. It leads off with one of the big ones and has you infiltrate the lab of William Birkin and cause the incident that spreads the G‑Virus. From there, your travels take you throughout Raccoon City and along the way you get to visit many locations you’ve seen before through the eyes of another character. My favorite part about how this game does this, is that it doesn’t shove it in your face. Almost every time I found myself in a familiar location, with the exception of the police station, there was a sudden moment of clarity. I would, after a few minutes in the area, think “Oh yeah, I’ve been here before. Cool!” sometimes exclaiming such aloud in an empty room.
One of the things that’s always bothered me in the Resident Evil game series is your playable character’s perplexing immunity to the viruses. With the exception of one close call by Jill in Resident Evil 3, no one ever seems even close to contracting the virus despite several close encounters with the infected. This is something that Operation Raccoon City decided to tackle and did a decent job. If you get attacked enough, or in the right way, by a zombie in this game, you have a limited amount of time until you turn into one of the living dead and have to be offed by one of your compatriots. This turn of events can be reversed by finding and using some of the anti-virus spread about the city. Capcom did a fine job of finally addressing this issue here and increasing the challenge of taking on the undead. I always just assumed that the cure for the t‑virus was a fern.
The famous saying “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” proves that while many moaned about the quality of this game and shambled towards another game, I do still have some positive things to say about it. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City made some bold decisions, implemented some interesting mechanics and took us back to some classic locales. While it may not be a perfect game, if you look on the bright side, you may find you had more fun than you thought.