The Resident Evil series is making a beeline for the action genre with Operation Raccoon City and that move has undoubtedly upset the more rigid fans of Capcom's survival horror franchise. To set the record straight, we sit down and talk to Capcom producer, Mike Jones who assures fans that they have nothing to worry about.

Out of all the Resident Evil games, this one looks the most action oriented. Heck, it even has a cover system. Why go in that direction?

We’re definitely taking Resident Evil in a radical direction with Operation Raccoon City. For most of us at Capcom and the development team at Slant Six, we feel that this game is an answer to the call of many fans and gaming press over the years who have been asking for a proper TPS experience in the Resident Evil universe. Resident Evil has often been criticized for its “tank controls” or not being able to move and shoot at the same time (we get that one a lot) – so this time, we decided to go all the way with it. Operation Raccoon City marks the first true TPS installment in the RE franchise and offers gamers an entirely new Resident Evil experience.

Your team

Your team

Did you guys get a lot of flak from purists regarding this change in direction?

Absolutely. The action focus is a very polarizing decision for many fans. I think the true purists probably just want us to remake RE1, 2 and 3 over and over again (laughs). But we’re still making games, like Resident Evil Revelations (which just came out) and we just announced Resident Evil 6, so hopefully many of our fans are happy about that. But we’re also trying to expand the franchise and bring in new users in as well. Operation Raccoon City offers existing fans an alternative gameplay experience, while also inviting TPS and action game fans into the unique world of Resident Evil.

What made you guys go back to Raccoon City?

Because that’s the coolest part of the Resident Evil timeline! A city in chaos is the perfect backdrop for an action game. It has all the classic characters, all the best creatures and locations, not to mention the bosses – it doesn’t get much better than the Nemesis. And best of all, there are zombies everywhere!

With such an emphasis on co-op, will players looking forward to a single player experience be satisfied as well?

Operation Raccoon City does offer single player, although we recommend playing with friends. You can play 1-4 players, so even if you only have one other friend to play with you can still play 2 player co-op together.

Who doesn't love zombie shields?

Who doesn't love zombie shields?

Will older RE characters like Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine etc. be playable? If so, in what capacity?

Yes. You can play as Leon, Claire, Jill, Carlos, HUNK, Ada, Nicholai and a new character: Lone Wolf in our “Heroes” versus mode. This is a 4-on-4 mode where you play as classic RE characters with unique skill and weapon load-outs. The objective: kill all the “hero characters” on the other team.

Will you be able to customize your character? And if so, how?

Yes – Operation Raccoon City is a class-based TPS where you will be able to unlock and upgrade passive and active abilities for each class as well as weapons available to that class. The experience system is shared between campaign and versus, so you can carry your progress back and forth.

What kind of multiplayer modes can we expect in this game?

Well, as we mentioned there’s a 4-player co-op campaign. But, we also feature a versus mode as well, consisting of Heroes Mode (which we already talked about), Team Attack (similar to team death match), Biohazard Mode (like capture the flag with a twist) and Survivors (a pseudo-co-op / versus mode where you have to work together to survive and then fight over the limited seats on the extraction chopper at the end). We also have a cool squad system, so you can stick with you friends no matter what you’re playing.

We can never be friends

We can never be friends

Today most shooters on the block tend to be no more than 5-6 hours. How long will one play through of ORC take?

Depending on your speed (and skill level), it should take roughly 6-8 hours. But using different character combinations and playing with different skill sets (and on higher difficulties) adds a lot of replay value. Not to mention versus mode.

What’s next for the Resident Evil series? Do you plan on returning to your survival horror roots?

Well, between Resident Evil Revelations, Operation Raccoon City and the recently announced and long-awaited Resident Evil 6, there will be a LOT of Resident Evil in a LOT of different flavors coming out this year. We hope both new and old fans alike will find something to enjoy and that Operation Raccoon City finds it audience among TPS gamers and any RE fans looking for a fresh Resident Evil experience.

Thank you for your time.

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