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While I wait impatiently for tomorrow to come so I can get the new Resident Evil 6 game I thought I'd have a quick look back on the last one. The old resident evils were quite unique when they were first released, with a good mixture of puzzles to get the brain working, searching every room thoroughly for keys and missing puzzle pieces and of course the shooting and violence. When Resident Evil 5 was released it started to change a bit, there was more shooting and less items to collect and puzzles to solve which I was a bit disappointed in. I expected that much of the feedback of this game was similar and that when releasing the next game the creators (Capcom) would put back some more puzzles when creating the next installment - Resident Evil Raccoon City. I was sadly wrong, if anything they cut even more out and I found there to be even less, with virtually none of the interesting puzzles of the early games. If I could manage to stop comparing this game to previous Resident Evil's it is actually a good game. The graphics are good, as are the scenes although I find some scenes very dark and there doesn't appear to be as many locations as I would like, perhaps due to the darkness they all seem similar. The story is good and the game increases in difficulty with a good range of enemies and different methods of defeating them. There are plenty of ugly looking creatures and zombies and from the start I found it difficult and a game where you will have to replay levels to pass them and cannot walk through it with any ease. The story behind the game is familiar, in a new location - Raccoon City. The game again revolves around creatures that have been infected with the T-Virus, again from the Umbrella company. I didn't find the story as interesting to follow as previous games either (there I go again comparing). The boss fights are not as exciting as with other games and your team mate happens to be, as usual, not much help at all. At the end of the game you have a choice of two ways to end it. I selected one and then loaded a saved point to try the other and stupidly both choices have the same end result anyway so it seems a pointless option. I only play the campaign mode of xbox games and do not have any interest in online gameplay, I rented out this game for a week and was finished the story mode in a couple of days so I was rather disappointed with the longevity and find with a lot of games now they focus more on the online xbox live part of the game and less so on the story mode. The controls are simple enough to use. There are some decent weapons but in my opinion a lack of ammo around to collect for the weapons. Although I was disappointed with the lack of puzzles, and frustrated with some parts of the game it was still good and I'm looking forward to trying the next one tomorrow.
== RESIDENT EVIL: OPERATION RACCOON CITY == Being a HUGE Resident Evil fan I was always going to be getting this game on release day and to be perfectly honest it is everything what I expected it to be. I wasn't expecting the usual survival horror adventure that most Resident Evil games offer and I was right too because the game is more of a Gears Of War clone but it all isn't too bad in my opinion. Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City is a third person shooter game available for the PS3, Xbox 360 and soon to be PC. This is the first Resident Evil to be co-developed by Slant Six Games and Capcom with the publishers being Capcom as well. This is also one of the first Resident Evil games to feature a lot of multiplayer modes as well as a main story mode which can also be played with friends online. Also Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City is set after Resident Evil 2 but before the events of Resident Evil 3 and to be fair it works well to some extent until the end of the game. === STORY === In Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City you play as the bad guys. You get the choice of character out of so many and each have different abilities. The USS (Umbrella Secret Service) team are sent to an underground laboratory in Raccoon City where they meet up with Hunk the leader of Alpha squad. Their mission is to put a stop to Dr Birkin who is planning on handing over all of his T-Virus research to the U.S Military. Also whilst stopping Dr Birkin doing this they must also retrieve the G-Virus. Birkin has paid the UBCS (Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service) a group of mercenaries to work for him and protect him until the deal is done. After reaching Dr Birkin after fighting their way there the Alpha squad retrieve the samples but learn that Birkin has infected himself with the virus and has transformed into an ugly beast. Upon escaping the team learn that the T-Virus has reached Raccoon City and the people are now turning into flesh eating zombies. The team must now eliminate all evidence of the virus outbreak and all survivors they come across. === GAMEPLAY === The game is a third person shooter and mainly based on all out action. In the game its easy to know where you have to go because of a marker but you cant really get lost because the levels aren't exactly big enough. At the start of the game you get to choose a character you would like to play as but there isn't a massive difference except with what abilities the characters can use during missions. An example my favourite character is a demolition guy who can throw sticky bombs, plant mines on the ground and plant laser trip mines. He can also disable mines and take more damage with his blast armor. Each character can do different things but at the start of the game they can barely do anything. You have to earn EXP (experience points) to level up your abilities and make your characters more resilient and stronger. Each character also carries two different weapons one being a type of pistol and the other being anything from a shotgun to a machine gun. There are lots of different types of guns but most are either machine guns or shotguns and there aren't many pistols to choose from. All weapons can be bought with EXP and once bought any character can use them. You get to change weapons at the end of every level or during a level if you find them scattered on the floor after defeating mercenaries. You will also find other bits scattered through the levels which include different types of grenades which can come in very handy later on in the game, herbs which get used straight away when you find them, first aid sprays which you can only carry one at a time but team mates can also carry them. You will also find sprays that cure the infected so you don't turn into a zombie or your team mates don't either. There are lots of different types of enemies in the game which include mercenaries, zombies, lickers, hunters and many more. There are even a few bosses in the game with a few being very familiar to fans of previous Resident Evil games. Nemesis makes his return in this game and so does Nicholai and a few others. Also appearing in the game are fan favourites such as Leon Kennedy, Claire and Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and many more. Enemies can be defeated by shooting them, using grenades or even using combo attacks with your fists and feet or by just full on using a takedown to instantly kill them. The main game mode features 7 full on missions which lead you to places like the police station from Resident Evil 2 and many other famous locations. Also you start in the laboratory underground and work your way up to the streets of Raccoon City. When in the thick of the action you will notice your health meter and you will notice in the bottom right corner of the screen that there is a little circle which holds your abilities and how many times you can use them. After using them the meter automatically refills itself. When being shot at you can take cover behind obstacles by moving up to them but the downside is that the covering on the game is auto. In multiplayer you can sort a squad of up to 4 players (online only) to play story mode with. You all have to be different characters for the missions and after each mission you are awarded with a rank and so many EXP points (which happens on single player too). Battle for the most kills in Team Death Match mode which is team vs team with zombies and other enemies scattered throughout the levels and each kill is worth points but player kills are worth more which at the end the team with the most points wins. Biohazard mode is a team vs team game mode as well but this time you must race to samples of the G-Virus and transport them to the required destination and this game mode also has zombies and other enemies after your blood. Survivors mode is team vs team with zombies and other enemies thrown in but the aim of this game is to stay alive until the helicopter arrives, the only problem is there isn't enough room for everyone on the chopper (if you die before you will respawn but every time you die it takes longer to respawn) and the last game mode is Heroes mode which involves team vs team and one lucky team gets to use the famous characters such as Leon, Chris, Claire and the rest of them but if you die once then you have to respawn with the boring characters and try to keep the remaining Heroes alive and the team which losses all their Heroes losses the game. === GRAPHICS === The graphics to the game are average at best. The best part of the game has to be the design of the characters and the layouts of each level. I was also quite impressed with the monsters in the game because they look fantastic especially Nemesis who looks much more aggressive and much scarier. Zombies are similar to the zombies from Resident Evil 2 with the cops and a the odd few naked zombies. Characters look better and much improved. The levels are quite good and you can certainly tell when you're in a place you have visited in another Resident Evil game. The graphics do at times look a little rushed in places and they do seem to be a little glitchy at times which is such a shame because the game has a lot of potential. Some parts of the game just look far too similar to the previous old games. Overall I wouldn't say the game has bad graphics but it definitely could do with a lot of work with the faults that appear sometimes and its much worse online with frame rate issues and the game being slightly behind. === SOUND EFFECTS === The sound effects are much better in this game than the graphics and it really does show at times. The music is fantastic and very similar to previous games music and it certainly feels like a Resident Evil with the great music on offer. When in the midst of all the action and firing at enemies like there's no tomorrow then the sound effects are really impressive at times and certainly brings the game to life. Zombies make their usual zombie growls from previous games and where its funny at times it actually does remind you of the old days. Menu music is brilliant and the menu sound effects are good too. However the online sound effects are a little disappointing and at times sound like they are a few seconds behind. Overall I do feel the sound effects in single player are fantastic but the game certainly needs an update for online play. === DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY === Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City isn't a difficult game at all and would suit all types of gamers except the younger ones obviously. You can choose numerous difficulty settings for the main game which are easy, normal, veteran and professional. The controls to the game are easy as soon as you've mastered them. The game is easy to follow as is the story. So really single player is quite easy and quite a bit of fun. Online modes vary in terms of difficulty because it all depends on how good the online players are and what level they are. Overall its a very simple game to get the hang of and shouldn't be hard for anyone really. length wise is a bit of a shocker. I was very surprised to find that the main single player mode was one of the shortest in the history of games. I had finished the game in just 4 hours which for its price, is just awful. I knew the main game mode was going to be short but just 4 hours is appalling. However the game does have some replay value and is just as enjoyable on the second and third playthrough. I have been through the game numerous times with people online and with actual friends and its still a lot of fun. The game is more of a multiplayer online game with 4 or 5 different game modes and to be honest online play can last a very long time. If you're not a fan of playing online games then this is most likely worth avoiding because 4 hours for a game that's over £30 is dreadful. === ACHIEVEMENTS === There are a total of 50 achievements in the game which is really good but most are common sense and most are acquired just by playing through the main game on different difficulty settings and some come naturally as you complete missions. The achievements don't really offer too much of a challenge except the online ones because it requires you to play a lot of games and spend a lot of time online. I don't mind this but the online play just isn't enough to keep me entertained and keep me trying to achieve all of the achievements. Overall 50 achievements to get but I feel a little mixed towards them because some seem so pointless at times and some can take a very long time to get. === PROS === *Its Resident Evil by name with zombies, lickers, past characters and some past environments to explore. *The music is exciting and the sound effects are pretty good for an all out action game. *Lots of possibilities character wise with different abilities and tons of different weapons available at your disposal. *Lots of different game modes online with team vs team with added in zombies and other enemies. *Fun to play with friends, meet people online and the leveling up is really good. === CONS === *Glitchy graphics at times and a few hiccups with frame rate online. *The story isn't really that great and at times seems a bit far fetched. Plus one of the possible endings is terrible. *Single player mode is awfully short and the game seems a little too easy at times. *Not the usual Resident Evil game and seems a lot like Gears Of War style with the action and movement. *Very pricey game for something that doesn't last too long. === FINAL THOUGHT === So Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City isn't like any other Resident Evil game and is the first to feature tons of online options and an all new look. Its similar to Gears Of War in terms of action with covering and other similarities but the fact its got zombies and other Resident Evil creatures and characters makes this respectable in my eyes. Also the new things in the game work really well from the abilities the characters have to the leveling up they can do with EXP earned from levels and online play. I think I would just about recommend the game but not to everyone. Resident Evil fans will have mixed feelings about this game and might be disappointed with the fact its not like other Resident Evil games. However if you like a good game for online team play and a game similar to Gears Of War then this could be just for you. I like it for many reasons and one being zombies. If you like zombie games then look no further because this is full of non stop action with zombies, mercenaries, lickers and even those funny looking lizard hunters. The game has an age rating of just 15+ because it contains strong bloody violence and strong language throughout. The game manual isn't too bad but doesn't have an awful lot of information in. Now as for the price of the game you might want to wait a while before buying this because its very expensive especially if you're not going to play online much. Also if you like playing online then its probably best to get this as soon as possible because the online play might not last forever like most games. I got the game release day from Asda for £37.97 which is a lot of money for such a short game. Game might be cheaper on Amazon and eBay because the game has been out a while now. Overall I do like the game even though its not the best ever. I would give the game a reasonable 6/10! Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!