E3 2011 – Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City Impressions

I’ll give this game and by extension the demo the benefit of the doubt on multiple fronts.  It was just recently announced and you could tell that their floor copies were rough.  The controls were sloppy and some of the animations were a little off – I’m pretty sure elite Umbrella swat teams don’t steady pistols by slapping their hands on the slide.  The game’s biggest draw, a competitive multiplayer where two teams face off in traditional modes while also contending with zombies and other RE staples, wasn’t even on show.  The selectable classes and unique abilities that were on hand were all very handsomely designed and pretty unique for the series, giving it a playability totally foreign to Resident Evil titles.  This is actually a positive, especially In light of some of the tremendously shitty departures from the formula in the past.

What’s is worrying though is that the game lacks a certain gravity to the action that Left 4 Dead seems to pull off effortlessly, it being the closest comparison to the cooperative multiplayer on display.  The game seems to limit the total number of zombies out for brains at once in any given area, to the point where I could see enemies snap into alertness immediately after mowing another down.  There’s nothing wrong with the meandering undead – totally normal, see it all the time.  But right now the feel is very artificial and heterogeneous.  At some points I found myself barely able to keep my shotgun loaded, and at others I could high five zombies while they blankly stared on.  The final take away is that the action feels undesirably chaotic and disorienting, a weird oscillation between scrambled run and gun and carefree backstabbing.  Lack of polish is no biggie at E3, but these kind of deep-seated issues are.

Author: Wu

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