The game includes twelve playable characters (six for the U.S.S. and Echo 6 campaigns, respectively). However, the players can choose only four characters for the on-line modes. Each team member has their own special role and abilities - see here.
The game has players taking the role of one of the members of a U.S.S. clean up crew. Alongside a single player mode, the game will also offer a 4 player co-operative mode as the player experiences the events of the game. Operation Raccoon City will allow the player to make decisions that could have major repercussions on series canon, such as causing the death of Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, or Jill Valentine during the course of the game.
The game was focused in the action and shooter genre, depicting the survival horror origins of the series, in a third person perspective, like in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, but with the addition when characters can run and shoot, aim or reload their weapon at the same time. Graphically, the screen can be effected in different ways including blood splatter from killing or hurting an enemy, or being covered in vomit from zombies and crimson heads.
If the players are shot repeatedly in a short time frame, their blood will attract zombies and B.O.W.s until the bleeding stops a few moments after.
Zombies will grapple players trying to bite them, the player will have one chance to get free by completing the buttons (I.E moving the Joystick left and right rapidly) if completed they will shove the zombie off, if not, the zombie will overpower the player and bite them.
Infected teammates will slowly lose health and must be cured with an Anti-Viral Spray, however the players can keep the infection at a stop by constantly healing with Herbs or First Aid Spray. The infected players, who have turned into zombies, will have no control over their character and will attack their teammates. The zombie player must be killed before another teammate can revive them.
The game features four competitive multiplayer modes: Team Attack, Survivor, Heroes, and Biohazard. Regular and special infected populate all multiplayer maps and can attack and infect players. Infected players may become zombies and attack their teammates.
Players earn experience points throughout each match for player and infected kills and victories. These points can be spent to unlock or upgrade class abilities and passive powers. These powers can be upgraded a maximize of three times. Players may also unlock weapons. However, during matches, players can pick up the dropped weapons of other players, even if they have not unlocked said weapon.
Team Attack mode resembles traditional team deathmatch in that two teams representing Spec Ops and U.S.S. compete for kills in a timed match. Team Attack also uses a point based system in which monster kills and enemy player kills earn a set amount of points, witch a larger point distribution for the latter.
Survivor mode is a unique game mode in which two teams battle for seats on the last helicopter out of an infected zone. Killing opponents lengthens their respawn time, giving players a better opportunity to safely board the helicopter when it arrives. While players work in teams, individuals only win if they successfully board one of four seats on the helicopter.
Heroes mode includes several classic characters separated into two teams:
- Spec Ops: Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Carlos Oliveira and Jill Valentine.
- U.S.S.: HUNK, Nicholai Zinoviev, Ada Wong and a new character called LONE WOLF.
These characters have unique ability sets and are much harder to kill than the game's normal set of characters. If a hero dies, the player respawns as a normal character. Players win when they eliminate all the heroes on the opposing team.
Biohzard mode is a capture-the-flag variant in which two teams compete to retrieve a glowing purple vial and return it to their base. Vials spawn in one of several central locations. Players win when their team returns five vials.
Operation Raccoon City doesn't include an inventory system like the past games.
The new inventory system can be changed depending on the player's class. It resembles Resident Evil 5's quick selection of items using the game pad.
|Up||Toggle Vision Mode||Certain classes only|
|Left||First aid spray||One|
|Down||Anti viral spray||One|
|Right||Grenades||Three per type|
However, some classes can carry more of a certain item by upgrading a particular ability:
- The Field Scientist can carry up to 4 Anti Viral Sprays.
- The Medic can carry up to 4 First Aid Sprays.
After a campaign scenario or multiplayer match is completed, the players will earn XP points, depending on the enemies killed, deaths, data found, security cameras destroyed, and completion time, each individual player earns a grade at the end of each mission, the ranks are, from worst to best, D, C, B, A, S, S+, the final rank impacts the additional XP the player earns.
Similar with the money system in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, the XP points can be used to buy new weapons or upgrade the classes abilities.
In multiplayer modes, each enemy killed or objective completed earns the player XP, bonus XP can also be earned by collecting G-virus samples (Biohazard mode) and a quick completion time.
|Zombie kill||Kill a zombie||+10|
|Crimson Head kill||Kill a Crimson Head zombie||+15|
|Brutal kill||Kill a player with a melee or a Brutal Kill||+25|
|Headshot kill||Kill a player with a headshot||+25|
|Revenge kill||Kill the same player who killed you last||+25|
|Licker kill||Kill a Licker||+25|
|Hunter kill||Kill a Hunter||+75|
|Tyrant kill||Kill a T-103 Tyrant||+250|
|Hero kill||Kill a hero character in Heroes Mode||+250|
|Secure sample||Secure a G-virus sample in Biohazard Mode||+50|
|Enemy player kill||Kill an enemy player by any means||+75|
It should be noted that player kills can be combined, depending on the actions of the players. For example, you can earn 75 XP points if you kill an enemy player plus an additional 25 XP by getting a headshot, therefore earning you 100 XP.
Each character of the game has a specific class. Each class has five unique abilities, which can be upgraded up to 3 levels using the XP points.
Class abilities are split in two: active and passive. Passive abilities are always active in the game, but active abilities need to be manually activated. Active abilities also reload automatically after an amount of time has passed to be used again. Only one out of the three active abilities can be chosen during character selection.
|Classes||U.S.S. "Wolfpack"||SpecOps "EchoSix"||Default weapon (AI controlled)|
|Field Scientist||FOUR EYES||Shona||Light Machine Gun|
During the Heroes Mode, the classic characters can use the abilities of two different classes.
The B.O.W.s and irregular mutants in the game were selected from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, though there is little variety of enemy.
Zombies return as the main enemy, if a zombie grapples a player they will have a chance to get them off by moving the joystick left and right rapidly, if the player fails to do so, the zombie will bite the player, allowing them to be ignored by zombies, eventually the player will turn into a zombie if a team mate does not use an anti-virus spray on them. Crimson Heads are also in the game. Damaged zombies can turn in Crimson Heads, but the Field Scientist class players can turn a normal zombie into a Crimson Head ally using their special ability. Zombies and Crimson Heads can puke on the players, similar in the early games of the series,
Bosses for the game include William Birkin's first transformation; the Nemesis-T Type and three fights with T-103s (one of which being against two T-103s simultaneously). Also, Leon and Claire serve as bosses in the final chapter, and depending the decision to save or kill Leon, two comrades of Wolfpack become your enemies.
In the Echo Six Mission "Longest Yard" it introduces a new Boss called the Super Parasite Tyrant, a T-103 in its Super state fused with a NE-b Parasite, grown to humungous porportions.
The very first human enemies are introduced in the series. The players will fight against the Government Spec Ops, U.B.C.S. mercenaries and R.P.D. officers during certain chapters of the game. Also, in the DLC campaign for the Echo Six, the players will take control of Echo Six and will fight against the U.S.S. members. The players can kill classic characters from the early games like Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield.
The game resembles some important and iconic areas of the city, first shown in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, and after remade in the Resident Evil Outbreak and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles series with better graphics. These areas had to be increased in space in order to avoid problems of mobilization of the eight muliplayer character support with the human and infected enemies. However, it retains its essence and its main features.
Other iconic minor places makes a cameo in the mayor scenarios, like the STAGLA Gas Station and the Kendo Gun Shop . Also to Note, areas that have been referenced in past games like 777 RC-Radio makes their first visual appearance.
|Place||First seen in||U.S.S. storyline chapters||Spec Ops storyline chapters||Characters||Multiplayer scenario|
|Raccoon City Underground Laboratory||Resident Evil 2||Containment/Redemption||HUNK
Ada Wong Leon S. Kennedy
|Raccoon City Hall||Resident Evil 3: Nemesis||Corruption||By the trail of Our Dead||Nicholai Zinoviev
|Raccoon General Hospital||Resident Evil 3: Nemesis||Lights Out||The Places We're Meant to Die||Nicholai Zinoviev||Yes|
|Raccoon City Park||Resident Evil 3||Lights Out||I Now Know Why You Cry||None||No|
|Raccoon City Cemetery||Resident Evil 3: Nemesis||Gone Rogue||The Places We're Meant to Die||None||Yes|
|Saint Michael Clock Tower||Resident Evil 3: Nemesis||Lights Out||I Now Know Why You Cry||Nicholai Zinoviev
Jill Valentine Carlos Oliveira
|"Apocalypse"||Resident Evil 2 (Opening Sequence)
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (Uptown/Downtown)
|Expendable||Eye of the Storm||Leon S. Kennedy|
Claire Redfield Jill Valentine
|Lonsdale Yard||Resident Evil 3: Nemesis||End of the Line||Longest Yard||Leon S. Kennedy|
|Raccoon City Police Department||Resident Evil 2||Expendable||Eye of the Storm||Leon S. Kennedy
|Dead Factory||Resident Evil 3: Nemesis||Lights Out||The Places We're Meant to Die||Nicholai Zinoviev||Yes|
|Raccoon Sewerage System||Resident Evil 2||Nothing is as it Seems||Claire Redfield
In the multiplayer modes, all of these areas share the same enemies: zombies, crimson heads, nemesis beta, zombie dogs, hunters and a T-103 tyrant who attacks all the B.O.W.s and player characters without discrimination. In the Nemesis Mode, the T-103 is replaced by the Nemesis-T Type.
The weapons for the game were taken from the first three Resident Evil games, as well as from SOCOM titles. The players begin the game with 5 basic weapons, but they can buy others using their XP points. Currently more than 45 weapons were confirmed from the Kendo Gun Shop webpage. The weapons for the game can't be upgraded like in Resident Evil 4 or Resident Evil 5 .
The players need to choose a Primary and a Secondary weapon before the game begins, with between three and six models per weapon class.
|Weapon class||Weapon classes|
|Primary Weapons||Shotguns||Sniper Rifles||Assault Rifles||Submachine Guns||Light Machine Guns|
During the game, the players are able to change their Primary weapon by finding specially locked metallic cases within the environment. According to an award of the game, "Secret weapons" were confirmed: the Grenade Launcher and the Flamethrower, however, no rocket launchers (except in the Echo Six DLC missions where players can acquire a Rocket Launcher from enemies and in the Versus maps that come along with the DLC where the player can find them in weapon crates), revolvers, bowguns or fictional weapons, like the Mine Thrower and the Spark Shot were included in the final game.
Nemesis-T Type can use a Minigun during his encounter in the game and Nemesis Mode, and his signature Rocket Launcher in the upcoming SpecOps DLC chapter, pursuing Jill Valentine. Both weapons can not be used by the players.
Grenades come back in three types: Frag, Stun (or Flash), and Incendiary, now with a track color to able to differ after throwing. A new type of grenade called Pheromone Grenade can be used to attract B.O.W.s and Zombies to a specific point and can be used only by the field scientist class characters.
Finally, all of the players begin the game with an non-selectable melee weapon (a knife or a machete, depending on the character), used in the new martial arts CQC style, impaling and slicing the infected and humans enemies. The players can also use the infected enemies as "Human Shields" or "Meat Shields" to absorb the damage, a player can get rid of the shield in two ways via a neck-breaker or a kick, but during the use of the "human shield", the player can only use their secondary weapon and throw grenades.
Operation Raccoon City is the first game in the series to include DLC weapons, currently eight in total. Some weapons resemble past firearms from the early Resident Evil games, but with new designs and forms. Depending on the retailer, the weapons are separated into four packs as a pre-order bonuses:
|Retailers||Weapon pack||Weapon #1||Weapon #2|
|Game, Gamestation, Gamestop||"Elite weapons"||Combat Shotgun||Anti-Materiel Rifle|
|Amazon, Shop To, The Hut||
|Machine Pistol||Cowboy Shotgun|
|Best Buy||"Power weapons"||Perforator||Combat SMG|
|Any indy game retailer||"Classic weapons"||Matilda||Classic Launcher|
However, the special edition of the games include all the eight DLC weapons, alongside with the six alternate costumes for the U.S.S. members.