Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City "Echo Six Expansion Pack"
Slant Six Games
April 17, 2012 (Missions 1-4) May 15, 2012 (Missions 5-7)
Free DLC from Capcom. Wait, what? Only the first mission, folks. Donít get too excited. Mission 1 of the Spec Ops Campaign DLC for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
was free. It offered a glimpse into what was to come for the upcoming paid DLC -- six more missions, seven in total. Is it worth your MS points?
The "Echo Six Expansion Pack" campaign for RE: ORC
is basically the opposite of the regular Umbrella campaign that the game shipped with. The whole idea of ORC was to play as Ďthe bad guys,í Umbrellaís Security Service Delta Squad, and it was fun. This time around, though, youíre playing as US military Spec Ops, a whole new cast of characters previously only seen in multiplayer, spread across seven missions.
Whereas the USS campaign focused mainly on events from Resident Evil 2
and trying to help Umbrella cover up the conspiracy, the Spec Ops campaign plays out through events in both RE2
and Resident Evil 3
and youíre trying to uncover Umbrellaís secrets, with a mix of both scenarios intertwining somewhere in between.
Surprisingly, thereís a good amount of diversity in the settings of the Spec Ops campaign from the USS campaign. Most of the missions are played in areas from the USS campaign, but there are some new areas to be seen, such as dark sewers underneath the city, a final showdown in a large crater-like area and more. For the most part, thereís not all that much new to be seen, but there are quite a few surprises as well.
The visuals are very much the same from the USS campaign. Character models are pretty weak, but the environments themselves are representative. Running around with a shotgun and gibbing zombies into piles of bloody nothingness is as fun as ever. ORC isnít a great-looking game but itís not ugly, either.
With the Spec Ops team comes a new team of voice actors, led by veteran voice man Robin Atkin Downes as the team leader, Dee-Ay. Voice acting has never been a specialty in the Resident Evil series, but ORC is an exception to the rule. While some of it is still eye-rolling to hear, a series staple, actors like Downes do their characters justice.
The in-game music still is extremely cheesy at times, but I guess it helps to fit with the overall theme of the game. RE: ORC
is best if not taken all that seriously, as a Resident Evil title or a third-person shooter, and is best suited as a fun shooter to play with some friends while having a few laughs. The soundtrack only furthers this.
As in multiplayer, the six members of Spec Ops are a carbon copy of their USS counterparts in abilities. Thereís one of each class type available, so donít be expecting too much variety. Dee-Ay shares abilities with USSís Lupo, Willow shares abilities with Vector, Tweed with Harley, and so forth.
The DLCís gameplay works very much the same as the USS campaign, except that the pacing of the missions are better in nearly every single way. Youíll be walking through a dark sewer lighting your path with flares one minute, and then fighting off a wave of Crimson Head zombies the next. Youíll fight bosses like Tyrants and Super Tyrants and then find yourself escorting Sherry Birkin through a dark sewer as you shoot zombies that approach her from your position on a catwalk above. Pretty much every mission in the Spec Ops campaign is an improvement over the original.
Instead of trying to sabotage Umbrellaís involvement in the zombie outbreak, youíll be trying to uncover the truth. Echo Six will find themselves searching through City Hall for clues, helping out Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira fight off Nemesis, running into Claire Redfield, Sherry Birkin and Leon Kennedy and more in their attempts to save the day and earn their ride out in a rescue chopper. Things are never that easy, though.
On a first playthrough, the missions could take anywhere from 2-4 hours, just like the USS campaign. Itís not very long. But for DLC, this isnít an issue. Itís still disappointing how short the original campaign was, but this is a respectable length for downloadable content. Thereís also 20 new achievements that come with the expansion pack, so thereís some time that can be put in there. With the new campaign also comes six new maps for multiplayer, so the replay value of this DLC is moderately high.
Itís not often that a gameís DLC ends up being better than the original game, but that is the case here. Most people I talk to whoíve played it agree; the Spec Ops campaign is a lot better than the USS campaign. While the Spec Ops characters might not be as interesting or as Ďcoolí as the USS ones, the missions themselves are just better-paced and more fun to play.
At a total of 1600 MS Points for all six missions(not including the original free prologue mission), itís up to you to decide whether or not you wanna shell out the moolah. Iím happy with my decision, though. I had a lot of fun with the Spec Ops campaign.