Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
For those of you who weren’t aware or couldn’t guess for yourself this new entry in the Resident Evil series is set, unsurprisingly, in Raccoon City. In fact it’s set during Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, and from the opening cutscene and my fuzzy memory it seems that some of the events directly overlap. Remember the truck crashing into Leon’s car from RE2? That was the opening scene from the demo. However, this time you’re on the side of the Umbrella Security Service, trying to clean up the zombie related mistakes of their employer.
The setting seems to be only similarity from those early zombie titles, though. This is pretty much a modern third person shooter, and fairly squad based; there seems to be very little focus on the survival horror aspects. Each of the available characters seems to have their own ability, I played as the scientist Four Eyes who can set off pheromone grenades, and from talking to others who were in the same co-op session as they do feel fairly distinct.
To be brutally honest this seemed pretty much like most of the zombie shooters I’ve played or seen, which was faintly disappointing. The only thing that felt interesting to me was the “bleeding out” mechanic. Essentially if you get injured you will actually bleed, and your wounds will attract zombies to you. It works well, and if you were properly communicating with other players in co-op I could certainly see it being used tactically.
Kinect Sports: Season 2
This was a very different hands on to the other games on show, largely because it was in the evening’s competitive session rather than mixed in with the other titles on show. Although I haven’t played the original Kinect Sports, I have spent time with Wii Sport and Sports Champion and I’d say it compared favourably. I tried tennis, darts and skiing, with skiing being the only one to show any issues. This was because, frustratingly, my opponent was standing a bit too close to me and kept moving in front of my body. If you’re body gets blocked from view Kinect gets a bit unhappy and seemingly decides you’re moving in the opposite direction.
As for tennis and darts they felt pretty instinctive and worked remarkably well. They were no real issues I noticed with Kinect detecting me, nor was there any significant lag. In fact darts earns perhaps the highest praise a motion game can earn, which is that it felt like actually playing darts. I tried to play it in an overblown way, making the broad gestures that, in my limited experience, Kinect wants from you. No dice. When I was advised to start playing it as if I was actually throwing a dart it worked flawlessly. I won’t say I got the highest score in the world, but that’s largely because I’m awful at darts.
The most important thing I learned from my time with the motion title though was never play Rare at Kinect Sports. They will beat you. Badly.
There were a few other things on show, but to some extent they’re not worth commenting on. Battlefield 3 was there but it was the open beta. In fact it was the beta against players on the internet, and as I hadn’t actually touched Battlefield 3 in any form before that I was completely destroyed round after round. I think I got perhaps one assist in fifteen minutes.
What stuck with more were the Tritton headsets that EA were using to demo the game. They sounded absolutely incredible, and completely blocked out the room around you. There also had no sound bleed that I could hear, even when standing directly next to someone else playing. I believe these were the new Detonator ones, and they’re absolutely worth getting if you’re in need of a headset. I don’t even need one and I might buy a pair.
Also on show was Dragon’s Dogma. Although I believe I played through the entirety of the demo I don’t think I could tell you much about it. It felt like your fairly average third person hack and slash, although the way it uses your shield was quite nice. Aside from that I can confirm that there is at least one dragon in the game, as well as a griffon, so at least they’re delivering on their title.
I think that’s about it in terms of games. I’d like to thank everyone at the event for being so friend, and the Xbox team for setting it up and keeping everything running smoothly. It really was a great event, and a very relaxed way of showing off games.