"Resident Evil" is on everybody's mind today after yesterday's new out of Japan that "Resident Evil 4" and "Resident Evil - Code: Veronica" are getting high-def remakes. Incidentally, we also now have confirmation from Capcom that those remakes will be coming to North America as Xbox Live Arcade/PlayStation Network downloads this fall. We're here right now to talk about another upcoming game in the franchise however, an online shooter called "Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City."
The news comes from the latest issue of OXM (via stickskills), which reveals that the game is currently in development at Slant Six Games, the same folks who did "SOCOM Confrontation." The story has ties to "Resident Evil 2," with a team of four Umbrella Security Service agents returning to Raccoon City after its little outbreak to clean up the company's mess.
Of course, this is a team-based online shooter, so all of the setup really just serves to establish a mood. Opposing the USS crew will be a four-person U.S. Spec Ops team as well as a four-strong squad of BOWs (bio-organic weapons). Really, this is a situation where each team wants to kill the other two while completing various objectives and avoiding the unnatural dangers left behind in the wake of the outbreak.
As far as the story goes, "Operation Raccoon City" will exist outside the established canon as a sort of endlessly reorienting "what if?" scenario in which key characters can be killed off in a particular match. Which makes sense, since this is an online shooter designed more for replayablility than story.
Another result of this being a shooter-focused game is the shift away from the series' standard "survival" focus. Players will have guns and ammo, and they'll earn XP as they play which allows for the unlocking of additional guns, as well as abilities (Vector's cloaking ability is provided as an example).
A few other random facts: Tyrants will be part of the game in some way. Herbs can be collected for healing, though you won't necessarily need to hoard them. Zombies can apparently be used as "meat shields." Zombies can detect you using three senses, sight, sound and smell.
Compelling stuff, right? The game is coming this "winter" to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; keep an eye out for the May issue of OXM for more details. Also, with Capcom's yearly Captivate show only a few weeks away, you'll probably see more on the game coming out of there as well.