- Ride New!
Capcom's choice of selecting Slant Six Games - the developer for the more recent SOCOM series for the PlayStation 3 and Portable PlayStation - to carry out RE:ORC's development is a rather intriguing one.
For such a popular and highly anticipated title, they seem to have made the mistake of selecting a developer whose track record is mostly average at best. In fact, in keeping with the not-too-good reputation, the game development experienced a few bad episodes that nearly caused it to never be released.
Playing on the side of the series' antagonist does give the game a fresh perspective as it opens up new facets of the repetitive plot that had been reused in all the older games in the series. The additional twists to the game, the team-play concept and the new characters mesh rather well with each other, making RE:ORC a highly addictive game that properly enhance the RE back-story. It is unfortunate that its potential seems to be highly under-utilised.
As a whole, the game offers a fine mix of total action and part time strategy, which works well with the given premises. And with its gaming experience heavily geared towards playing with friends online, you can expect a single player mode that seems rather lacking since items fetch quests are streamlined and puzzle solving has been removed completely from this mode.
Thankfully the RE:ORC storyline pretty much follows the older series in terms of length and pacing. While that is a real plus for RE fans, casual gamers or those new to the series may feel the single player campaign will be rather short. Even so, the shallow plot and shoddy dialogue of the game makes playing through the storyline a pretty gaudy affair.
As the plot is mostly linear, exploration flexibility is limited to the map's setup, which guides you from point A to B with almost no chance of getting lost.
With the game's six maps, which are further complemented with an additional six that are made available through the game's downloadable content feature, which allows you to play from UBCS' side, using fixed enemy spawn points, you'll pretty much rely on the multiplayer experience for gaming longevity.
The other modes of RE:ORC offer, more or less, more of the franchise's tried and true. If you're looking for pure action in a game that has no frills, then this is it. For those who want the standard RE affair, with in-depth story that is populated with a rich backstory, then prepare to be disappointed. This further degrades the shallow story-plot and does lay waste to the effort the developers have placed on the game design and system.
Even the graphics of RE:ORC feels a little dated and rough as it feels more like playing a PS2 game on high definition. The stages, some of which are paying homage to the previous games, have been simplified to suit the games' new approach.
This works both ways. The over simplicity has caused some of the key locations in the game to be reduced from their glorious former self. Thankfully, it gives more room for fast pace, action-oriented exploration. Even character models also feel dated and unrefined.