Zombies, zombies, zombies is what most of us love. Throw an apocalyptic zombie mode in a game and your pretty much guaranteed success. Seems everyone is infatuated with the simulated world of zombie infestation raging havoc on the streets while trying to survive the onslaught of endless infected brainless zombies ready to feast on your meaty corpse. I am one of the people that crave it and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Demo for the PS3 more than wets your appetite.
If you ever wanna know what would happen if Gears of War and Left 4 Dead were to mate and have a baby, well pretty much you would get RE:ORC. I got my hands on it for the first time and what drawn me more to it was the fact it was building quite a crowd so I had to check it out. The demo consist of a 4 player co-op, and before you start you have a selection of 6 classes all of whom represent the special ops that are going against the Umbrella Corp. The classes consist of a gunner, heavy gunner, medic, special ops, stealth, engineer, with each having its own special ability. You have the option of what weapon to use and from the demo you got to choose between 2 special abilities such as the pheromone ability to where you can throw pheromones at certain places to draw attention away from zombies. I was told that more classes and abilities will unlock as you further progress in co-op which sounds good to me.
So I selected my character which was a heavy gunner, and had an option to choose the spaz automatic shotgun. Immediately the demo started and it seems the story picks up right where Resident Evil 2 began with Claire Redfield and Leon come to Raccoon City infested with zombies all over the streets, but as we know their story, the special ops is just the beginning and we get to see it first hand.
Well at first glance your immediately thrown into chaos, and the town is in flames. The zombies seems to have no signs of intellect so you don’t have to worry about zombies with chainsaws, or weapons of sort, so that’s a good thing. What made me scream out “FINALLY!” and scare my co-op buddies is the fact we now have free movement, and boy does it feel good especially the state that your in. Theirs countless zombies just trying to get a taste of you all the while your trying to fight off the Umbrella Corp. who are trying to conceal the outbreak. So your focus has to keep moving from completing your objective, to waving off zombies, to neutralizing the umbrella corp which makes the gameplay pretty hectic and keeps you busy, which is why i loved it.
Now the controls may need a little more polishing but it felt good playing, the only thing i wished was for a dodge button so i can get out of the way of approaching danger. There is a cover system and has a sticky mechanic like most stealth games where all you have to do is get close to an object and he/she takes cover eliminating the process of button pressing. The dash button is the same like most 3rd person shooters by clicking in L3 and you can aim down your sights with L1. The shooting mechanics feels good, I love having the option to be able to shoot from the hip especially if we are on the go, which you will be throughout the game, and aim down my sights to focus on a particular target that may seem threatening. One thing that is unique and new is the disarm ability that you can commit on certain zombies who were once cops or some form of military if you are looking for ammo or weapons. There’s two melee buttons which first must be committed by pressing circle and if you want to brutal kill your opponent then the option of pressing “X” pops overhead to give a cinematic kill in pleasing fashion. The one gripe that i have is that there didn’t seem to be any type of target button where i can focus my attacks on a particular enemy. I found myself numerous times trying to melee zombies but to no avail because his focus was somewhere else. Another gripe is the hit detection was a little off when shooting because at times I was not able to know if my shots were hitting anything especially since I had a damaging shotgun. All in all it wasn’t enough for me to get frustrated and ruin my experience of gameplay.
One thing is for certain you cant be a lone wolf and do what you want in this game because i promise you, YOU WILL DIE IN AN INSTANT and heres why…. First off while countless zombies are coming after everyone including Umbrella Corp., the AI of umbrella corp. is smart enough to shoot you in specific locations of the body that causes you to bleed which will draw more attention to the zombies, which soon becomes hectic because all attention is now focused on you. On top of all of that, as me and my crew progressed through the game, we started coming across bigger and faster enemies such as the hunters who can decapitate at any moment. The biggest and awesome part of the game that i felt was amazing was the situation of being infected. If a zombie is ever to get a hold of you and bite you, you have up to 25 seconds to find an antidote quickly or you my friend are dead but instead of respawning, you remain in the game as an infected and will turn against your co-op buddies. You wont be able to respawn until they are able to kill you, so you can see why going alone can have some damaging effects of gameplay.
All in all Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is by far one of the most intense and gratifying games of zombie infestation out. The free movement is a crucial center piece of what makes this game feel so awesome, and lets not forget the endless onslaught of zombies that can sneak up on you during an intense firefight between umbrella corp. or having to reach a certain destination before time runs out. RE:ORC is set to release later this winter, be sure to catch more info as we get closer to its release.