The “Resident Evil” series has been through several transformations since its Sony Playstation debut in 1996. The premise of the game was simple: survive and blast your way through flesh-eating zombies.

The graphics at the time, were stunning, combining polygon-modeled characters with eerie backgrounds and limited camera angles, which gave players a sense of unwanted — but fun — tension. With four sequels, a few remakes, and a fair amount of spin-offs, the series has taken a new direction: third-person shooter.

“Resident Evil 4” (2005) and “Resident Evil 5” (2009) were the first in the series to make the leap into the realm of the third-person shooter. Now, with “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City” released, there are a few things that tarnish this traditional, survival horror classic.

In “Resident Evil: ORC”, players are given the choice of playing the role of one of six members of the Umbrella Security Service team. Each character has a unique set of special skills.

The USS receives orders from the higher-ups of the Umbrella Corporation to destroy any evidence of the incident that takes place during the events of the second and third Resident Evil games and eliminate any survivors of the incident. With this basic format, teamwork is paramount to survival.  Unfortunately, there are a few major problems with the teamwork.

The AI of team members leaves a blemish on the game. Because it is preferable to play with friends, your AI teammates are, at times, completely useless. The player has absolutely no control over the other members of the team, and on top of that, their decisions during combat are idiotic at points.

These decisions range from running into empty rooms that have already been neutralized to running into enemy ambushes. Even more frustrating is that the AI offers little to no assistance with back up. There are times in the game whenthe player in control is doing all of the fighting, while your allies sit back and watch you plow the road of the infected. Given that teamwork is so fundamental to success in this game,, it is tremendously lacking.

The combat in the game is questionable. The melee attack is overkill. To be candid, all the player would need is the knife. You could take out about seven of eight zombies with the knife alone.

This is not in keeping with other games in the series; the knife is the last-resort weapon, which means that it is best used when you’re out of ammo and that is the only alternative way to fight back against the endless waves of the undead.

The aiming is choppy, and damage inflicted to enemies is random at times. Unloading an entire clip on an enemy will put it down, but occasionally a handful of bullets will do the job. The auto-cover mechanic in the game may sound useful, but at times it’s downright annoying. It’s even more annoying when you go to pick up an item and suddenly your character is stuck to the wall. The auto-cover is useless. The question that needs to be asked is: why is there auto-cover in a cover-based shooter? It makes no sense.

“Resident Evil: ORC” also falls short on atmosphere. The atmosphere in a “Resident Evil” game is supposed to give players a sense of tension and constant dread. In “ORC” that effect is stripped away. The scenes are bland and forgettable. The music is decent, but it could be better since the atmosphere fails on its own. The graphics and the character models are awesome, but visually, that’s the only thing the game has going for it. The story is a little dull, primarily from the lack of flow; the game is supposed to give players and fans of the series a better insight into Umbrella’ – the organization that caused the outbreak — and sadly the game doesn’t deliver.

“ORC” has four multiplayer modes, which supports up to eight players. Survivor mode is an all-out fight for survival against human and computer-controlled enemies that doesn’t end until the rescue helicopter arrives. Team Attack is essentially team death-match since players who score more kills than the opposing team win. Heroes mode is a four-on-four team match in which players are allowed to play as notable characters such as Leon, Ada or Jill from the “Resident Evil” universe. Biohazard is a “Resident Evil” version of capture the flag, only in this version you are trying to secure lost vials of G-virus — the actual cause of the outbreak. These multiplayer elements are fun and can become more enjoyable with friends.

“Resident Evil: ORC” was a little disappointing, but the game can be enjoyable. Multiplayer can offer gamers and their friends a few hours of fun with the different modes. That aside, this game had great potential; however, due to unreliable AI, unimaginative locations and choppy gameplay, the game uncouples itself completely from having the traditional “Resident Evil” effect.