The monstrous mutated scientist stares you down, but you aren’t worried: you’ve got powerful guns at hand and three teammates at your side. But just when you think you know the rules, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City breaks them.
At first, you can’t turn and run; all you can do is slowly back away and shoot. If you brought a shotgun to this unexpected battle, sorry: you really should have brought an assault rifle if you wanted to be effective here, assuming you have enough ammo in the first place. Eventually, you’re allowed to flee, but the game doesn’t tell you that, and so you back into the streams of flame bursting from the corridor’s walls. Want to run past the beast? There’s an invisible barrier on either side. You’d suppose that AI-controlled teammates might help, but they’re not even in view, apparently filing their nails in the corner while you get caught in an inescapable series of knockdown attacks. The entire scene is absurdly bad, as if the game is actively working to make you hate it.
The game’s problems are a true shame considering the possibilities. The aforementioned boss fight versus the infected William Birkin puts an intriguing spin on events you might have already witnessed in previous Resident Evil games. You’re a member of Umbrella Security Services’ special Wolfpack team in Raccoon City, where the T-virus has turned the population into voracious zombies, and mutant dogs lurk in shadows, ready to ravage the defenseless. From this new perspective, you face a glowering Nicholai Zinoviev and watch Ada Wong wilt in Leon Kennedy’s arms. You infiltrate storied locations like the Raccoon City police department, and fight off zombies in front of the Kendo Gun Shop. Some of these regions are legitimately atmospheric: city streets are awash in a neon red glow, and ominous-looking equipment hints at the atrocities that occurred within Umbrella’s underground laboratory.