reHorror: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City beta/ release date reveal incoming?

Resident Evil fans have recently been on the receiving end of one very engaging viral campaign for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Said viral campaign is Inserted Evil, which sprouted after a page went up for Umbrella in which they were recruiting new people to their cause. We’re six weeks into this campaign, which has brought forth many neat little tidbits of content with each of the six clues (one per week) thus far– like the surveillance video depicting Nicholai betraying his team, some files on William Birkin, and mentions of classic locales that may turn out being in the game’s line-up of memorable settings.

Well, it looks like we just have three weeks left. So, what will happen once this concludes?

This whole time, Inserted Evil has been all about us, the fans, taking part in a movement to reveal Umbrella for what they truly are, to the general public. The mysterious man hidden in the shadows has been dropping clues each and every week, and even feeling quite nice at times and giving us some rewards– or rather, letting us know we’ll be receiving rewards, prompting us to put in our mailing address and whatnot. But he we are, just a few weeks away from the end of this campaign, and thus some sort of ultimate reward presumably.

And what better reward than a beta for Operation Raccoon City. Yeah, it could end up just being a trailer, with a release date attached at the end, or some other form of revealing video content– probably showing off a new classic character in the game. But really, it would be quite awesome for Capcom to release a beta, especially after such heavy fan participation throughout this whole viral campaign. We surely deserve it. And with the game releasing during this winter, now’s the best time to make such a move, on Capcom’s part. And did I forget to mention how the final week of Inserted Evil falls a little under a week before Halloween? Yeah, talk about good timing.

Another thing to note is that we really haven’t really been seeing much new content from the game. We really have only been seeing the same “Kill Leon” demo time and time again–with hopefully a new demo being lined up for next week’s NY Comic-Con or better yet Capcom’s survival horror centric Fright Club– or both, since both venues take place next week. Basically, it’s time for a big spark in the game’s marketing, to follow the effectiveness of Inserted Evil, and a beta would serve to do just that, on top of a new trailer and possibly a release date announcement, perhaps, but we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s focus on a potential beta.

So what should this beta entail? Well, that’s easy. Not everyone was able to attend E3 or any other of the big events that have housed the “Kill Leon” demo that’s been ever so present, so perhaps that should be part of the beta. I say part, because we could also end up getting a taste of what to expect from the game’s multiplayer offerings– which we know will play out as a triple threat match with the BOWs, USS Delta squad and the Spec Ops soldiers all going at it in the mean streets of Raccoon City. But hold your bio-organically enhanced horses, we won’t be playing as the BOWs– at least judging by what’s been confirmed thus far. Zombies will in fact play a huge role in the multiplayer’s proceedings, serving as the ‘wild card’ in your fight against the Spec Ops soldiers, you just won’t be able to play as them.

Speaking of the BOWs, we may not be playing as them, but there is one particular character from the USS Delta squad that can actually control some of the creatures. And that character is Four Eyes. Her ability will prove to be quite handy in the game, leading to a good dose of strategy coming into play. And honestly, just the fact that you could control BOWs alone is more than enough to make me salivate profoundly– and cause other…parts of my body to excrete liquid, but that’s another story (and too much information)!

Four Eyes isn’t the only one with a nifty special ability though, no, no, no. Each playable member of the USS Delta squad (Vector, Spectre, Beltway, Lupo, Bertha, and Four Eyes) has their own unique special ability– with each ability fitting right in line with each respective member and their speciality: Vector’s the team’s special recon guy and possesses a cloaking ability; Four Eyes is  the team’s field scientist and has the ability to, as aforementioned, control BOWs; Beltway is the demolitions expert and makes good use of mines; Spectre is the go-to surveillance guy and sniper, with different visors in his possession; Bertha is the team medic and is able to…heal; Lupo is the leader of the delta sqaud and her ability has her gun turning gold, with unlimited ammo being available for a limited time .

It isn’t hard to see that getting to toy around with each of these characters in a beta would be very cool, and definitely a fitting reward for all that time we spent trying to figure out each of Inserted Evil’s clues. But then again, there could be another reward waiting for us at the end of this viral campaign.

So let’s go to the other very likely–actually much more likely when you think about it– scenario: a release date reveal. This would actually make much more sense, especially in regards to Inserted Evil and what it’s been trying to do. With this campaign we’ve been piecing together clues to try to reveal Umbrella’s true intentions to everyone. So what better way to end this whole thing with one final video where we see the “shadow man” get captured by Umbrella (possibly even killed) with his final words being “find out the truth on X.” X, of course, being the release date. Or we could get a similar reveal with a brand new trailer rewarded to everyone who’s been participating since the very beginning. Both would work just fine, but it would actually be way more effective to see the guy who’s been leading us this whole time get captured.

And really, it’s time for Capcom to commit to a firm release date. Yeah, yeah, we know it’s hitting this Winter. But it would be nice to actually have a numerical date to look forward to, and hell, Revelations was always meant to hit after Operation Raccoon City and that game already has a release date. Perhaps they’re lining up Operation Raccoon City for release on the same month (February) as Revelation’s launch on the 3DS here in the ’States? It would be a neat way of saying “here’s a traditional, classic horror entry in the series, and here’s something for all of you who love the series’ recent action-oriented approach.” It’s the best of both worlds within the same month, in such a scenario everyone wins– everyone except our wallets, of course.

Personally, I really believe that the game will hit in late December/ early January, but that’s just me. But I do know one thing for sure: Capcom needs to really start marketing Operation Raccoon City at full throttle. One reason for why they may be so quiet at this point is because this fall, and upcoming holiday season, is already full to the brim with multiple triple A releases, so Capcom may want to save their big gun for when the dust starts to settle– possibly making Operation Raccoon City the first major release of 2012. But a release date reveal and/or a beta really soon wouldn’t hurt at all.

What do you guys think? Would you rather receive a beta for the game as a result of our collective participation in Inserted Evil? Or would you rather get a release date reveal of some sort? Sound off in the comments below! Also, next week’s reHorror is going to be quite a big one– possibly the biggest yet. As you may know, this coming Tuesday is Capcom’s Fright Club in NYC. That’s then immediately followed by NY Comic- Con, taking place from October 13-16. Resident Evil Revelations and Operation Raccoon City will both have a presence at both venues, and I’ll be going hands on with them extensively. There’s also a Resident Evil panel set for Saturday, which promises to hold some surprises. Surprises which may or may not include a reveal of Resident Evil 6!

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