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It seems that Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is still a ways away from release. Today Capcom announced that the game will launch on the PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 20th in North America.

Raccoon City takes place at the same time as RE2 and RE3. Players control a member of the Umbrella Security Service (USS), a group of armed operatives sent into the zombie-infested city to destroy evidence of Umbrella's illegal dealings. The game's plot is a sort of alternate history; players will muck with the established storyline by, for example, killing Leon Kennedy.

There are six playable characters, each with distinct skills. The single-player campaign is supplemented by four-player co-op, in which players team up to fight US Special Operations troops and zombies. A competitive mode allows four more players to take on the role of the USSO.

Obviously this game is more of a shooter than previous RE games. Its break from the RE's tradition of survival horror makes it a bit controversial. For what it's worth, the developers - Slant Six Games - have a lot of experience with squad-based shooters from their work on the SOCOM series. It may turn out to be a solid game even if it's Resident Evil-ness is questioned.

If you pre-order the game through GameStop, Amazon, or Best Buy, you'll get an additional costume for each playable character. Each of the three retailers will give you a pair of unique weapons, too.

Capcom will also offer players a Special Edition of the game. It's not clear how much it'll cost but here's what it contains:
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
  • Steelbook with exclusive art
  • Stylized foil sleeve
  • Umbrella Security Service and Spec Ops Field Unit embroidered patches
  • All eight bonus weapons
Raccoon City is also in development for PC. However, that version is currently undated.