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Back in 1996, the first RESIDENT EVIL was a pioneer and
important moment of survival horror. Over 15 years later, Capcom has introduced
six numbered entries into the franchise (counting RESIDENT EVIL 0), and RESIDENT
EVIL 6 is now scheduled for a November 20, 2012 release date. It's pretty
evident that the king of the genre is resting comfortably on its throne, and it
doesn't look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, following the
release of RESIDENT EVIL REVELATIONS last month, this month will see yet
another huge title hit shelves, and Capcom recently gave Fango a special
preview of the upcoming release, RESIDENT EVIL OPERATION RACCOON CITY.
The game takes you back to a 1998 Raccoon City, the time of
the T-virus outbreak that RESIDENT EVIL 2 was centered around. Rather than
playing as heroes Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield however, you'll attempt
to rewrite gaming history as members of a special branch of Umbrella security.
You’ve been sent by the infamous company into Raccoon City to initiate a cover
up by eliminating all evidence of the outbreak and killing any survivors.
Making the mission even more difficult us the US Government, having sent in
their own unit of soldiers to find and recover the source of the outbreak.
Capcom Game Producer, Rey Jimenez explains,
"It takes RESIDENT EVIL, and brings in the squad based shooter.
You’re playing as Umbrella USS, and these are the bad guys of the series. The
premise for the game is that you are there to wipe out any evidence that
Umbrella had anything to do with the zombie outbreak. There are several modes
available for versus, such as the Team Attack and Biohazard. There are also
classes which add an all new element to the game that differentiates it from
the others in the series. We wanted to add in the versus element, because it’s
uncommon in the RESIDENT EVIL universe."
As difficult as all of this sounds, your Umbrella Security
Service unit is comprised of six talented individuals, each of whom add their
own unique skill set towards your ultimate goal. Looking to continue a trend
started many years ago with RESIDENT EVIL: OUTBREAK, RESIDENT EVIL: OPERATION
RACCOON CITY'S campaign will be fully cooperative for up to four players
online. This means two characters will be left out of the fight, but the those
being used can gain experience, level up, gain increased statistical boosts,
and learn new abilities and skills. From the six available characters, you will
be able to choose an Assault, Recon, Medic, Surveillance, Field Scientist or
The game introduces a multitude of new mechanics to the
classic franchise and perhaps gaming as a whole. Capcom Producer, Mike Jones
explained, "RESIDENT EVIL: OPERATION RACCOON CITY takes place between
RESIDENT EVIL 2 and 3. Since you are going back to the old timeline, then all
of the old school characters are there, and all the old school enemies. The
twist is that you have the choice of whether you want to leave that RESIDENT
EVIL history intact or forever change the history of RESIDENT EVIL by killing
Leon Kennedy. This game is less about survival and more about destroying
In OPERATION: RACCOON CITY, you can become infected when you
are attacked in close quarters by a zombie. If you become infected, you will
only survive for a limited amount of time, but as the infection slowly eats
away at your health, you will be nearly invisible to nearby zombies. Another
big change results when an infected player dies. Rather than respawning shortly
after, you will lose control of your character's actions and begin attacking
your teammates until you are killed again. Then, you are allowed to respawn as
Other game mechanics will feel more natural however. You'll
notice right away that this is a third-person shooter complete with a cover
system not unlike Epic's GEARS OF WAR. Although shooting will be the primary
means of attacking your enemies, you'll have powerful melee attacks you can
utilize in close proximity of your opponents when you need them. You can also
exploit a number of other tactical commands that will come in handy, such as
hiding behind zombie hostages (a.k.a. meat shields). RESIDENT EVIL mainstays
like herbs and first aid sprays will see their return here as a means of
healing yourself, and you'll have an abundance of weapons to unlock.
RESIDENT EVIL: OPERATION RACCOON CITY will also come packed
with four different multiplayer modes for up to eight players. Team Attack is
your classic team death match mode where whichever team scores the most kills
wins. Heroes Mode sees the return of classic RESIDENT EVIL heroes and villains,
such as Jill Valentine and Ada Wong, that will compete against one another in a
team death match type mode. Everyone starts the game as a powerful hero or villain,
but death will result in respawning as a much weaker soldier. This gameplay
continues until only one team has a special character left. Biohazard Mode
places two teams against one another in a neutral capture the flag game, only
the flag has been replaced with a G-virus vial that must be brought back to the
teams' home base. The final mode is Survivors, and it task teams with surviving
until a helicopter arrives to take you away from the overrun city.
When the game launches, you can expect the loyal RESIDENT
EVIL fanbase to respond en masse, so you may want to preorder your copy of
RESIDENT EVIL: OPERATION RACCOON CITY while you still can. A number of
retailers are offering pre-order bonuses such as bonus in-game weapons giving
you all the more reasons to reserve your copy now. This may not be your typical
RESIDENT EVIL game, but it definitely looks like a lot of fun. It hits March
20, 2012 for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
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