The Zomboys Are Back In Town…
Indulge me, if you will, as we take a dream like jaunt down the street leading to Memory Lane. You see way back in the early nineties a friend of mine (god bless his soul) was working long hours in a local nursing home. All well and good you say, and it was up to a point.
But that changed.
You see, whilst there were some troubled residents at the home, others who needed extra care, and a few who had lost the ability to wash themselves, if they ever had it at all. My friend, whose heart was as big as it was large, loved that job and would often regale us with humorous stories of his troublesome residents. Troublesome, he would say; troublesome and no matter how troublesome those lovable residents became, at no point do I think he would have actually considered any of them EVIL.
Not until that fateful night on 24 June 1998 that is, when fate would have it that my late friend was in fact working late. It was as if the gods of work based scheduling were having a laugh. I know, I suppose he should have seen the signs, but then again hindsight is a wonderful thing, and almost no one expects the zombie apocalypse to happen, especially in a simple old care home on the edge of town.
By coincidence, roughly 5 years before this almost identical incident, Capcom unleashed the undead on the world in what would be the first in the long running and critically acclaimed Resident Evil series. It was all zombies, monsters and short, sharp shocks back then, with the emphasis resting largely on creating an atmosphere rather than full on actions sequences. By doing this Capcom created a game where you really did feel danger around every corner, and the very act of slowly opening a door could be enough to bring a man to tears.
That changed over the years, with action sequences dribbling into the main game play, and eventually on the release of Resident Evil 4, the zombies were sent packing on the T-virus infected horses they rode in on…
…Until now that is, for them troublesome undead folks are back in the latest incarnation of the Resident Evil series, the Slant Six Games developed ‘Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City’. I hear you now, ‘Slant Six, didn’t they previously develop the Socom series?’ and, that’s a pretty big hint at the new direction this brain eating baby is taking.
Unlike it’s lone hero based predecessors, RE: OpRC is a squad based action fuelled behemoth of carnage, blood, gore and more carnage. More importantly, it opens up the game play for something Resident Evil fans have clamoured for since the ill fated ‘Outbreak’ games… Multiplayer!
If that wasn’t crazy enough for you, then you better sit down, as RE: OpRC casts you as a specialist Umbrella hit squad tasked with cleaning up their horrible mess before the situation gets out of hand, and if that means taking down a few humans if they get in the way, then hell, it’s not like they’re gonna be dead long anyway, is it?
With the game being set during the classic RE:2/RE:3 time period, what this comes down to is the crowd pleasing opportunity to rip open Raccoon City in a hail of bullets as you and your friends tear through the streets taking down the undead, bioweapons and survivors all in the name of keeping the corporate image of Umbrella pure.
There are six different characters to choose from each with their own unique skill set, ranging from the standard heavy weapons specialist Lupo, to the interesting sounding Four-Eyes, who’s rather nifty talents includes the ability to manipulate and control nearby T-virus infected enemies.
Keeping in mind that sometimes killing computer controlled enemies just isn’t enough, Slant Six are also promising an array of competitive modes, and mixing the whole thing up by opening the war door and inviting in a third faction. Yes, we finally get to find the answer to the eternal question of who’s toughest; zombies, humans or super strong behemoths of T-virus infected flesh lumps.
Of course, there’s still the single player campaign for the lonely, or just plain antisocial and whichever you choose the amount of unadulterated zombage on screen looks to be enough to tempt even the deadest of gamers.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, should be hitting the zombie filled streets by the end of the year and will be available for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Developer: Slant Six Games