There’s an old adage in the film industry that goes somewhat along the lines of “Sequels aren’t equals.” The same applies to the world of video games — even to ones that have been around since the early days of non-8-bit game consoles. Now, you would speculate that an enterprise such as Capcom, who have been the developers and publishers of the Resident Evil series — a legacy that, mind you, has spawned several (equally) popular live-action and animated films as well as comic books, novelizations, action figures and more over the years — would try to make each entry in their seemingly endless franchise just slightly cooler than the last.
You might also be under the postulation that they would try doubly hard to keep the fires burning strong when a new Resident Evil title is released just two days shy of the 16th Anniversary of the original PlayStation (1) game. Of course, you’d be completely wrong in that assumption — leading to another timeless axiom: “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.”
And, sadly, in the case of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, everybody looks like an ass; from the creators of the game, right down to the poor suckers who buy it.
Set around the same time as Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is more of a theoretical “what if?” footnote in the series. Here, you are part of an elite squad of super secret security service folks who have been assigned to breach the apocalyptic hell zone that is Raccoon City in order to take possession of the T-Virus from Dr. Birkin (which is your opening assignment — and a vastly unfulfilling one at that), destroy all evidence of the Umbrella Corporation’s involvement in matters, and to eliminate any and all non-infected survivors you encounter (including a few other characters from previous games).
Naturally, things don’t go according to plan on the first mission. Or the second. And it isn’t long before you and your squad (whom you can change all four members of at any time, despite the fact that you’re stranded within the confines of the town) are venturing from one location to another, fighting off zombies and humans alike. Alas, things really don’t work out the way the should all around, particularly in the real world — as players of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City are forced to contend with one misfortune on behalf of the game’s programmers after the next.