Instead of the eagerly anticipated announcement of Resident Evil 6, Capcom and Slant Six Games unveiled Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, a spinoff of sorts that takes players back in Resident Evil history and let's them change how previous events played out.
Those who despised Resident Evil 5's turn towards co-op action and less survival-horror may not be pleased as Operation Raccoon City is a pure 4-player co-op action game, and not much of a horror in the traditional RE sense.
OXM had the opportunity to chat with the game's producer, Masachika Kawata, where they outlined the game and how it stands out from the franchise as we currently know it.
"This time around we are setting the game in the Resident Evil world, but we aren't aiming for another horror game, but a shooting game... And we thought about the elements we'd need not only for Resident Evil fans but for fans of shooting games, to appeal to the shooter fans to play this particular game."
I loved Resident Evil 5 for its changes and to this day, it remains one of the best co-op experiences on the current gen consoles. While I ate it up and found it immensely re-playable, I do appreciate the franchise roots and understand that there was a contingent of fans who didn't dig the changes made from Resident Evil 4 to Resident Evil 5.
Undoubtedly, this is why Capcom has not made this the next installment in the numbered series. With Operation Raccoon City being an all-out action title, Resident Evil 6 will eventually come along and it will likely fall back to its horror roots. Kawata said as much in the interview as well.
So, how will an action-based Operation Raccoon City still feel like Resident Evil to earn that title?
"We will have all the regular shooting game specs and features in this game, but on top of that, we will wrap it up with the Resident Evil brand, the universe. This game should be a very, very unique one."
"If you're healthy and unlimited ammo's on your side, the zombies are easy to shoot at. However the more you get injured, the further you get into a tight corner, and the zombies can be very formidable enemies."
The statement regarding the game's uniqueness is what stands out, as from what we've heard thus far, it sounds very much like the Left 4 Dead games which are 4-player co-op action-based zombie games, albeit from a first person perspective. Although Left 4 Dead is very simple in design and contains no RPG elements or inventory management, perhaps Operation Raccoon City can stand out in that way, while also selling itself on its placement in the history and past stories of the Resident Evil franchise and characters.
If you missed it, be sure to watch the first Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City trailer and see why we're cautiously optimistic about the title. I'm very interested in jumping into a 4-player co-op Resident Evil so I hope it's of the highest quality.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will release this winter for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.