Friday Flop - Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Capcom gives Resident Evil fans an unique opportunity in the spin-off Operation: Raccoon City (2012; Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC). Players get to play as Umbrella agents as they get orders to cover up the incident of Raccoon City to make it seem like an accident. The story is non-canon to the main series. The idea and team system were great, but the design and gameplay were quite flawed. Speaking as a fan, this game was a disappointment.
Operation: Raccoon City takes place between the second and third games of the series and lets players take control of the Umbrella Security Service's (U.S.S.) most elite squad: Delta Team (Sound a little familiar, Gears fans?), but better known as "The Wolfpack." There are six members in the team, but there can only be four in the game at one time. They are:
- Lupo: Delta leader
- Beltway: Explosives expert
- Four Eyes: The scientist (can control the bio-organic weapons)
- Vector: Recon expert (has a cloaking ability)
- Bertha: The medic
- Spectre: The marksman
The game starts off with Delta team assisting Alpha as they awork to stop Umbrella scientist William Brikin from handing over his research for the T-virus to the United States government and to retrieve his completed G-virus as well. Along the way, the teams discover that Birkin has hired mercenaries to keep Umbrella operatives away while the deal was being made. They catch up with Birkin and shoot him, while Alpha team (led by agent HUNK) leave with the samples. Delta later encounters Birkin, who has survived and infected himself with the virus. He kills Alpha team and takes the samples, and HUNK runs back to retrieve them. The T-virus gets leaked into Raccoon City, turning its residents into zombies. The Wolfpack is then ordered to dispose of any evidence hinting Umbrella's involvement in the incident. USS abandons the team, feeling that they have failed and will end up being killed by the zombies. But they fight on, earning a second by getting a new assignment to stop a woman from breaking into the Umbrella office and taking the samples (turns out it's Ada Wong), but she escapes, and they get new orders to kill rookie R.P.D. cop Leon S. Kennedy. They find the officer with Claire Redfield and Sherry Birkin, and Command tells them to kill Kennedy and Redfield, but leave Sherry alive and take her to Command. The team is split on what to do, and the player must then make a choice between two endings. After making the decision, the player must then kill the remaining and disagreeing members of the Wolfpack. One final cutscene will be shown with the player's character speaking to Command about the decision.
The gameplay and story were both very good concepts. Operation: Raccoon City answers the fans' question: "What if Umbrella won?" Teamwork is a very important concept in completing the game, even if you are playing with just the A.I. For instance, if a zombie grabs one of the members, the others must help get it off if before it bites them. If the zombie successfully bites the character, then they become infected, but can still fight as their health bar depletes. Once their health is completely gone, they will turn into a zombie and the others must kill them before they are able to respawn.
The concept designs of the Wolfpack look great, but they did not look well done in the final project. The designs of Leon, Claire, and Sherry were their classic designs from 1998, but they looked terrible in 2012. The backgrounds were not very appealing to the eye. They were just dark, bland, and very boring.
Even though Operation: Raccoon City had potention to be a good game from one of the best horror series of all time, the design was not well done. The game just seemed too rushed and flawed, and was very disappointing to fans. That makes it this week's Friday Flop.