The release of Resident Evil: Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS, coupled with the high-profile announcement of Resident Evil 6 (not to mention a new movie trailer for Resident Evil: Retribution), has helped put Capcom's survival horror franchise in the spotlight once again.
However, as fans test-out the latest Resident Evil handheld adventure (or pick up a soon-to-be collector's copy - due to an unsightly typo on the box) and look toward the next console installment, it's easy to forget that there's another entire Resident Evil title due out in just a few short months - the action shooter game, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.
While Operation Raccoon City is likely to be the red-headed stepchild of 2012 Resident Evil releases, there's no doubt that die-hard fans and shooter junkies are still going to snatch-up the title. Whether or not the oft-coveted Call of Duty fan-base will have any interest in the game is still up in the air. However, Capcom is definitely going to do everything in their power to get a piece of the action-shooter pie - evidenced by the fact Operation Raccoon City is marketed for a new audience.
Check out the first Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City mission below (courtesy of GameReactorTV:
Sadly, the title appears to deliver a pretty basic and chaotic shooter experience - i.e. a generic Gears of War-like clone with average graphics, sub-par storytelling, and mostly idiotic AI (who seem content to simply run straight into the line of fire - that is, when they're not running right past human players). While some of the traditional Resident Evil gameplay staples are still there, such as green herbs for healing and a William Birkin-centric storyline, it's hard not to be underwhelmed by the on-screen action.
That said, while the free-for-all chaos depicted in the footage might be disappointing to some at first glance, it is important to note that the video represents the first mission in the game - so, no doubt, subsequent levels are likely to see larger action sequences, plenty of "infected" enemy types, as well as monster boss battles. Considering the title also offers four player co-op and a myriad of multiplayer modes, there's definitely more to the package than just linear campaign chapters.
It's still too early to entirely count the game out - it's certainly possible that the title could deliver brainless zombie killing fun (and plenty of new trophies/achievements) for a new Resident Evil audience; though, it's more likely that Operation Raccoon City will be a throwaway appetizer for Resident Evil 6 (arriving in November).
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will be available for the PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 20th in North America.
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