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Working Title 02.18.12: Working Outlook: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Posted by Jordan Williams on 02.18.2012

Hey! The old banner is back! Thanks to Capt. Shrimp for emailing it to me....although I don't know why you had it downloaded it. Stalker.

Welcome back to the #1 Column to fully enjoy Spartacus: Vengeance despite the fact that Andy Whitfield is dead, WORKING TITLE. While this is in the video game zone I am known to rant on some stuff that is strictly outside of the realm of the digital arts…so today I figure I would just gush about another medium I am enjoying.

The first being the guiltiest pleasure on television for me right now which is Starz's third season of Spartacus. Yes, I know it's a badly written and mostly badly acted excuse to see lots of tits and blood on the screen but holy shit I love this show. I think it's more in the fact that it doesn't even attempt to shy away from it AT ALL is what I like. Usually when you get shows that try to tout the gore and sex aspects there is always that one point where they go "Alright…let's dial it back a notch" and try to go a safer route. Totally doesn't happen with Spartacus. Shit…I mean the season premiere for this season featured a lengthy tracking shot of a whore house in which we witnessed the first ever Greco-Roman Strap-On and then it turned into a bloodbath that involved a dude getting stabbed the back of the next as he was on a date with rosey palms and another dude getting full on stabbed in the daddy bags by the whore he was banging. I mean…just…yeah. It's a terrible, bad, and trashy show but I can't help but watching it.
Plus Lucy Lawless gets naked. A lot. And yeah…she's still got it.

But that's enough talk about vulgar TV Action/Dramas, It's time for some WORKING BACKLOG!

Working Backlog

Gears of War 3 - So for no real good reason other than my self-imposed break from Battlefield 3 I decided to pick up Gears of War 3 again. I had completely forgotten that at some point I used my code to get a free season pass and that there was new single player DLC out. So I played through that and I thought it was pretty great. Playing as RAAM is pretty goddamn fun with his finger-poke of doom but…is it me or did Player 2 get completely SHAFTED on the General RAAM sections of the game? You have player 1 as RAAM who is nigh unkillable, players 3 and 4 are Elite Maulers who have boom shields and kill pretty much everything in one hit.

And then Player 2 is just a re-skinned Theron Guard. Sure, he has the BADASS Kryll Grenade but other than that he's rolling with a Sawed off Shotgun and a Torque Bow. That is quite possibly the worst combination of weapons to have in single player since the Gears 1 Hammerburst and the Gears 1 Longshot. You just can't help but feel a little shafted when you are rolling four deep with the most badass things the Locusts have to offer…and you can't kill any of them. Status: Re-Addicted

Soul Calibur V - So I've been on this game for about three weeks now…and I can say without a doubt that this is probably some of the best online fighting net code I have ever seen. The lobby system is great, the casual arena mode is great, spectating is GREAT. But you know what? I can get completely bodied in any other fighting game like Marvel or Street Fighter and I can let it roll off of my chest. I play with Deadpool/Taskmaster/Ghostrider and Hakan (with a Cody backup) in those games respectfully…so I am USED to losing. In Soul Calibur since SCII I have ran with Big Daddy Astaroth…and for some reason if I lose with him for the SMALLEST reason it pisses me off. Why? Because Soul Calibur is just so goddamn odd in its executions that I know when I lose it's not because "Holy shit that character is broken" it's more "Holy shit I don't know how to defend against this". Which is why Nightmare is the bane of my online reality when it comes to SCV Online. Pretty much everyone else I can handle a loss to…but with this big-armed bastard I just can't seem to do a thing. It doesn't help that his B's are some of widest hitting moves ever. So yeah. Status:HATING NIGHTMARE

Soul Calibur V – Create a Soul Mode - You know, Namco…you probably should've realized that as SOON as you allowed people to freely place polygons on characters you were just going to open up XBL/PSN to a ton of penises. Go to the Houston Lobby and see if you can run into the mythical Cockaroth. It's exactly what it sounds like. Status: Laughing at all the dongs on XBL

And speaking of things that have completely nothing to do with each other…it's time for another WORKING OUTLOOK. And what is that outlook going to be about? Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City or ORC as I will be calling it from now on.

When you step back and look at Resident Evil this year it almost seems…Activision like in the sense that we are getting A LOT of Resident Evil in a short amount of time and all of it has the potential to be pretty good. From all I've heard the 3DS RE game is pretty decent (if not better than RE5) and RE6 at least LOOKS like it could be good…but I am not ashamed at all when I say that ORC is the one I am actually looking forward to.
Why? There is the base reason of that I REALLY want a new Left 4 Dead game and as someone who was SORELY disappointed by how RE5's co-op turned out to be rather shitty I am still left wanting some sort of decent co-op in the same universe.

But not everyone is as happy about this game as I am. Some people don't like the more action-based style the Resident Evil games have taken and ORC pretty much looks like the pure embodiment of everything they hate. On top of all of that it's another Third Person Shooter in a generation where we've had FAR too many…so is it doomed to fail right out of the gate without a fair shake?

Working Outlook: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

As with any Resident Evil game there is always a ton of shit that can go right before it go wrong. Given that ORC is a little over a month or so out at this point it's safe to say any news we've found out up to this point is going to stay in the game. But before we begin to fill this game up with more holes than Swiss cheese why don't we just go ahead and look at what could go RIGHT with ORC.

What Could Go Right

What RE: Outbreak should've been

Remember when RE: Outbreak came out and how hyped everyone was about being able to experience the Resident Evil (of the time) with friends? Remember how bummed we are when it turned out to suck? I very well think ORC could be the RE: OB that Capcom WANTED to make back in the day but due to constraints of online gaming and how the industry was back then they just couldn't do it. But now that online play is pretty much a must-have at this point perhaps we can finally get to experience Resident Evil online in a massive way that is not only fun…but actually WORKS. Of course it might not be the RE all of the fans wanted, but we'll get into that later.

Pure Action RE that Capcom has been trying to make

It's not big secret that the era of the "Survival Horror/Suspense" Resident Evil game is long gone. I personally don't miss it because I think other games of the genre have done it better—but the case is that Capcom hasn't made THAT type of Resident Evil game in a long time. The thing is because of the simple fact that the Resident Evil games have to still try to appeal to the Pre-RE4 fans means that they never have been able to go full steam ahead and just make the balls to the wall action-based Resident Evil game they have always wanted to make. Seeing as ORC is a side story and we aren't even sure if it's completely canon that pretty much gives Capcom the liberty to essentially say "FUCK Y'ALL PRE-RE4 ASSES. WE GOIN CRAAAAZAY" and try all of these gameplay conventions THEY never could in a mainline Resident Evil game.

The few gameplay videos we have seen already highlighted the fact that this is going to be a more ‘run and gun' affair with zombies thrown into the mix. You are facing against A.I and player controlled infantry who bring a new level to the game versus the standard fare. If Capcom really wants to take Resident Evil in a new direction and AVOID pissing off the Pre-RE4 Fans as much as possible than this might be the best way to go about it.

Could be the start of the next generation of Resident Evil (despite RE6)

Despite Resident Evil 6 coming out soon, it could be ORC that ushers in the new era of Resident Evil. Capcom has all but said that RE6 is going to be the last Resident Evil with the cast we all know and love. Could that mean it will be the last Resident Evil game that tries to cling to the "Survival Horror/Thriller" past? We don't know fully yet…but if Capcom was going to test what could be the NEW Resident Evil then it would stand a better change taking the risk with a spin-off like ORC instead of potentially ruining a mainline series game. Just look at the shitstorm that happens whenever an established franchise just up and decides to change its M.O without any warning. It either goes unexpectedly good like the Metroid Prime games are or the game itself ends up being mediocre but the fan backlash just destroys it (like Star Fox Adventures). While I confess I don't necessarily having a vested interest in Resident Evil's Survival Horror style anymore…I still wouldn't want them risking what could be the last Resident Evil game on a completely new style that might not pan out.

What Could Go Wrong

But the phrase "not panning out" seems to pretty much sum up Capcom nowadays. They try something new…and…wait…no…they DON'T do anything new. Capcom at the moment is pretty content to just recycle everything they have except for Devil May Cry and that game could very well be the POSTER CHILD for "not panning out". Needless to say there is some stuff that can definitely go wrong with ORC. Let's go ahead and touch on some of the bigger ones.

Capcom + Multiplayer - Fighting Games = ….?

When it comes to fighting games, Capcom can do some pretty damn decent-to-great multiplayer. When you take fighting games out of equation…they don't have such a good track record. While the multiplayer in Dead Rising 2 and Resident Evil 5 was passable…the multiplayer in Lost Planet 2 was BAD. Why is this such a problem? When you take ORC and look at the game it resembles the closest IS Lost Planet 2. So Capcom so far is batting a low average when it comes to shooting multiplayer. And seeing as ORC is replaying HEAVILY on the multiplayer it doesn't exactly instill a large amount of faith.

Overshadowed by Resident Evil 6

Up until about a month ago the only console Resident Evil game we were going to get was ORC…and then they decided to surprise us and tell us that Resident Evil 6 is coming out. And then they showed us a pretty goddamn impressive trailer of Resident Evil 6. So now that we've shown people a great trailer of what could be the biggest Resident Evil game to date with two of the series most favorite characters…why in the fuck do we want to play this spin-off title that isn't like any other Resident Evil game outside of having the name of some of the bigger Resident Evil plot points? People who are generally interested in Resident Evil might pick it up…but for the Joe Casual who JUST likes Resident Evil and will only bother to play Resident Evil [insert number here] Capcom has effectively given them NO reason to even bother looking at ORC. And then there is the inverse that if ORC turns out to suck then it might sour them on Resident Evil 6 and might end up hurting THAT game.

It's not that rare for competing games with similar themes to be released in the same year. Hell, it just happened with MW3 and BF3 three months ago. But it's super rare for both of the games to be from the same franchise and the same COMPANY. It almost makes you think of Capcom has more faith in one game than the other…

Taking what Pre RE4 Fans hate the most about Post RE4 games and cranking it to 11

I've been alluding to it the entire column, and if you look at most Resident Evil centric communities you will notice that there is a bit of a rift between the fans who love Resident Evil 1-3 and the ones who loves 4 and 5. Now while there are tons of fans who love all of the Resident Evil games equally, there are some that see RE4 as a great game…but also the point where the series stopped being about survival horror and more about action and speed. Ever since there have been fans wanting to go back to the Resident Evil games like RE0,1,2 and Code Veronica because they feel that RE has abandoned its roots.

Well as you can imagine those same fans are none too pleased with ORC. For them ORC represents everything that is ‘wrong' with the Resident Evil franchise to date. A focus on more ‘flashy' characters like the Umbrella Corps from this game and a stronger focus on run and gun action versus survival. This is actually a pretty bad thing seeing as there are MORE Pre-4 Resident Evil games than Post-4 Resident Evil games…which means there is a chance that there are MORE people wanting the return to firm versus the new hotness. That means less people might buy this…or even accept it at all.

With all of that being said I still think that ORC stands a decent chance out there. While Resident Evil doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to spin-off titles, you also have to remember that there has yet to be a Resident Evil spin off of this level yet. I'll give it a fair shot before I condemn it.

Who's with me?

Working Question

It's pretty much all but confirmed that THQ is going to take a big dive this year. While I don't see THQ going under and ceasing operation I think it's pretty obvious they are going to be bought out/absorbed into a bigger entity. With that being said…who do you want to be THQ's new daddy?
Realistically it's between EA and Activision. So who would you rather have in control of Saints Row and the WWE and UFC Licenses?
Personally I would rather have EA take over THQ versus Activision. It's not that I think Activision would whore out any less than EA would…but EA I think has more upside with those two licenses especially. I can see EA being pretty goddamned thrilled to have ANOTHER Annual sports title to put out like Undisputed and WWE/Smackdown vs. Raw and since Saints Row 3 was an unexpected hit last year I am sure EA would love to finally get an open-world sandbox game under their belt.
I am not sure Activision can handle any of that without reducing it to Tony Hawk levels of redundancy.

Until next time, I'm Jordan Williams...I don't care that the director and producers of this are bad. The name alone means I MUST watch it.


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