A while back, there were rumors about a new squad-based Resident Evil game. It was to be developed by Slant Six, and would change the pace from survival horror to a more action based game. From my recollection, many fans were revolted by this concept (including yours truly), and by the choice of developer. Practically everyone in the fan community dismissed the game as just a rumor, a misguided concept that would never even be imagined.
We were wrong.
It turned out the game was a reality. That every shred of the rumor was spot on true. The game was to be made by the low-rent Slant Six development crew. It was to be a third person shooter a-la SOCOM. And, it would be set in an alternate timeline, letting you change the history in drastic ways.
To say I was worried was a bit of an understatement. E3 videos of gameplay didn't help with this, showing a janky, ugly game. A game with rather lackluster mechanics and some rather plain looking character designs.
Then the trailers hit, and I was intrigued. It showed a lot of potential in concept. Yes, they were cinematic trailers. But if it was to show the concept and mood the developers were going for, I was interested in seeing it through.
Of course sometimes a decently portrayed concept never lives up to the real deal. It's not that Raccoon City doesn't try to deliver what it promised. But rather, it didn't make any of the features that stand out feel special. And in the end it all melds into a massive mediocrity with half-baked concepts. Everything about the game feels like bare minimum effort was put into it; from the graphics to the gameplay itself. Nothing stands out, and it's a shame, because sometimes the game manages to be fun.
Now I'm going to put aside my fanboyism for Resident Evil. And judge this game fairly. Which probably wont make too much of a difference, I wracked my brain thinking about how I felt about the final product.
The game is unremarkable, it's hard to pinpoint one thing. It could be the stale, half-assed story presentation (if you could call it that); the sterile environments you wander; the generic, unsatisfying gunplay; or the abilities which for the most part seem to do so little to alter the gameplay experience.
|I don't even know|
|One of the few characters from the other games|
|The worst idea to ever use for defense against zombies|
The game does set up a class system. But it's not particularly well put together. Each character is class specific, which leads to a problem. Maybe you like demo, but not the character Beltway. Well tough shit, you want to blow shit up? Play as Beltway. This is also made worse in multiplayer, as if you invest in a certain class, you are dependent on a specific character. So the more popular characters are picked first, and that rules out specific playstyles. This is really evident in Heroes mode, where characters like Hunk, Leon, Claire and Jill are picked first. Leaving lesser liked characters to be picked. Not that it matters in that sense, but with the lack to pick a class that's not set to a specific character would have been a much better choice. The classes themselves vary quite a bit. But so far only a few abilities (like cloaking and a pheromone grenade) seem particularly effective in the online arena (in single player you never really need any of these).
Which brings me to the multiplayer, it's actually quite fun for the most part. Although not in great lengths, it's a good distraction from more refined online shooters. Most of the modes are fun to play, aside from Heroes mode, which is imbalanced and slow as all hell to play. I didn't see too much in terms of exploitation. There are set spawns, but I rarely found spawn campers within these, as it's a fairly weak tactic in this game. The basic gameplay is fun, but it does have a few issues with lag, and just a general lack of variety and incentive to keep playing.
It also shows how half baked certain design choices are. Like the pheromone grenade for instance, it never seemed particularly effective. But for the most part, it's the bleeding mechanic that really shows it's lack of polish. If you take a certain amount of damage, you begin to bleed. Bleeding attracts zombies to you (or an enemy player), and you get swarmed. Or you are supposed to, as it's easy to get away, and bleeding stops fairly quickly. Putting an enemy into bleeding status doesn't seem to do much, or at least it didn't until I looked at my stats and saw how many people got mauled to death because I made them bleed. The game never rewards you for some of these things, which makes it seem unimportant or ineffective. And it almost makes me wonder if anyone got killed because of my pheromones, as there is no stat for it. In the end there isn't much rewarding for the various things you do, which gives you no incentive to try new things and tactics. There's no sense of satisfaction in pretty much all of the game.
|A good opportunity squandered|
It's insulting to long time Resident Evil fans.
But most of all it's an insult to gamers in general. A shoddy product that lacks any features that define it, a game that's only fun in short bursts and little more. What redeeming value there is, is very small. If I were you, I would keep away from this game, far away.
In fact, pretend it's like a T-Virus victim and is highly contagious. That might help you keep from wasting your time on such a shoddy half assed product.
FINAL VERDICT: 1 out of 50