E3 2011: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City gameplay. Beautiful chaos, or just a mess?

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City has been met with some trepidation by fans of the survival horror. Not only is it a departure from the survival horror experience (it’s a team-based shooter), it also takes liberties with the series’ plot, even offering you the chance to off Leon Kennedy, star of Resident Evils 2 and 4. But none of that will matter so much if the game plays like a beauty. So here it is in action.Is it too frantic for a Resi game?

Arguably the best thing about Left 4 Dead (aside from the superlative co-op gameplay) is the sheer volume of zombie death when you get into a crowd of enemies. But that’s been done -so surely a Resident Evil game should be more about the sense of menace? Not here.By the time you’ve emptied a clip and are halfway through reading the on-screen information about bleeding, it’s all over and you’re left staring at an undead riot that’s way out of control.

Still, the ‘you are dead’ screen is nice and authentic, making the sober news that much more easy to swallow. Check it out in this video taken on the showfloor at E3:

Then there’sthis video showing the character selection process and the choice of weaponry on offer. Clearly, more will be unlocked as you play to fill in thepadlockedspaces. The bios on the characters look interesting too, showing that the game at least has a sense of humour:

Above: Doesn’t quite sound like the style of Resident Evil’s writing. She’s no ‘master of unlocking’, eh?

And the final video gives us a little more gameplay to ogle. There’sonly a zombie barf/sneeze/both and a little shooting, so there’s a little more time to examine the city environment.

Impressions? Looks frantic from here and while the larger enemies seem to be able to absorb loads of bullets without dying,the weapons look to have a good feeling of kick when you fill a regular zombie with bullets. It looks pretty too, with loads of smooth movement, sexy shadow effects and reflections in the blood-slicked streets of Raccoon City.Also, the suitably apocalyptic current-gen realisation of that classic setting is exciting. We’re still not convinced it’s worthy of theResident Evil name, especially with the no-show of Resi 6 at E3 (so far), but it looks better than some of the other spin-offs we’ve seen over the years. More on this one soon.

08 Jun, 2011

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