Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Arrives On The PC This Winter

April 13, 2011

By Andrew Burnes

Resident Evil is being reinvented as a team-based first-person and third-person shooter in the style of Valve’s Left 4 Dead. This either intrigues or angers you, but whichever it is Capcom is quick to assure that Operation Raccoon City is part of a new series within the existing survival horror franchise that will offer variation and a refreshing change of pace between the blockbuster releases such as Resident Evil 4, 5, and the inevitable 6.

Dropping players into Raccoon City, circa 1998, the goal is to survive and eliminate any threat as the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3 unfold in the background. In the single-player and co-op modes, players take control of four members of the Umbrella Security Service, who have been tasked with investigating the outbreak in Raccoon City and eliminating any potential witnesses, one of which being fan favourite Leon Kennedy.

As in the aforementioned Left 4 Dead, the goal is to go from A to B, killing zombies and survivors, and completing a variety of objectives. And where Left 4 Dead had The Tank, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City has The Tyrant, a gigantic Bio-Organic Weapon created by the evil Umbrella Corporation that inevitably gets loose and wreaks havoc upon everyone and everything. Therefore, as one might expect from a game following the same general template as Left 4 Dead, Operation Raccoon City also sports a competitive versus mode.

Again, as in Left 4 Dead, Versus Mode introduces another four players into the mix, who are placed in control of U.S. government Special Forces troops, and as in Left 4 Dead teams take turns to complete objectives as the other defends. Despite the extreme similarity to Valve’s magnum opus, there is one key difference – zombies, monsters, and other super-powered, unique creatures are all controlled automatically by the game’s artificial intelligence, rather than by players. In fact, these non-player enemies are a key component of the game, homing in on injured players through the scent of their blood, and as players are likely to work together it is more advantageous to wound an enemy and draw all manner of nasties to the position of their entire team than kill him or her outright for a short term score increase.

As with Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, Super Street Fighter IV: Tournament Edition and Street Fighter X Tekken, Capcom released only a few details pertaining to Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, instead preferring to keep the bulk of its information for high profile trade events like the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, and Gamescom in August.

At present, Operation Raccoon City is pencilled in for a Winter 2011 release. Development is being conducted by Slant Six Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, with oversight from Capcom. The three games completed by Slant Six to date are all based on Sony’s SOCOM franchise, which is itself a team-based multiplayer shooter, so with the studio’s team-shooting pedigree established, all that remains is to wait for Winter.