by Lisa Thrasher
previewed on PS3
Take Your Pick (cont)
The campaign can be played single player or as four-player co-op. Your squad goes through Raccoon City killing any surviving cops while staving off zombies. The chances of getting hurt are high, and if you are wounded badly enough, you begin to bleed out. This is accompanied by the red screen effect and zombies suddenly enraging, causing the horde to run for you. This mechanic can be helpful in co-op while using your teammate as a decoy, then blasting a large number of zombies at once. Iím sure your partner wonít mind getting his face bit off for your killing spree.
However, you canít always rely on your firearms to fight off the undead. Thankfully every team member is extremely effective in close-quarters combat. Have a zombie getting a bit too close? Give him some nice slashes with a knife. Is his buddy trying to sneak up on you? Plant a nice kick in his gut. Donít rely on melee attacks with the Bio-Organic Weapons, though. Hunters will rip you to shreds if you donít unload entire clips of ammo into the beast first. If a teammate canít rescues you and you canít wiggle free, Lickers will eat you right up. Itís certainly wise to be aware of your surroundings and fight sensibly.
You wonít always just be going against the undead, though. There are four different multiplayer forms, two of which also have you fighting human beings. Heroes Mode is a 4 on 4 mode with iconic characters from previous Resident Evil titles. The objective is to fight the opposing team and defend your characters in order to win. The protagonist team consists of Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Carlos Oliveira and Jill Valentine. Antagonist-wise we have Hunk, Ada Wong, Lone Wolf and Nicholai Ginovaef. In this mode, there are points for both killing opposing players and for killing the zombies shambling around.
Another multiplayer mode is Team Attack, which consists of simply getting the most kills by killing the other team and the undead. However, these are all the Operation Raccoon characters instead of the Resident Evil icons. Your team of Umbrella Security Services take one side of the town and the U.S. Special Operatives team - consisting of Tweed, Deey-Ay, Harley, Willow, Shona, and Party Girl (inspiring names, if I do say so myself) - takes the other.
The other two multiplayer campaigns only pit you against zombies, but donít think that makes things easier on you. Biohazard tasks you with escorting samples of the G-virus to the base of operations for Umbrella to research. Survivor mode throws waves upon waves of T-virus victims at you while you wait for a helicopter to arrive and get you out of Raccoon City once and for all, or at least until the next match.
Animating Dead Tissue
Overall, Operation Raccoon City seems to be shaping up as a well made and enjoyable game. The third-person squad tactic style is a different direction that some fans are worried about, but I think itís the kind of shift that could do well for the series. Developer Slant Six Games is very familiar with squad-based gameplay from working on Sonyís SOCOM titles, so while it will be different, it should at least end up being done well.