Universal Orlando is bringing Raccoon City to life for Halloween Horror Nights 23, and it could be a horrifying haunt. Sure, anything could be horrifying, but Universal has had some practice (in Japan with Resident Evil and in Orlando with Silent Hill) and is bringing at least part of the act stateside. Gird the loins.
Between September 20th and November 2nd, Universal Orlando attendees will have the chance to scream in a myriad of piercing pitches in a host of themed haunted mazes. One of those mazes is called "Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City", and will play host to locations and characters (infected or otherwise) from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Attendees will shuffle nervously through the sets, beset on all sides by zombies, lickers, and Nemesis himself in a search for a way out and probably into an awesome Resident Evil gift shop.
Capcom just released the first photos of the set this week, and it looks... well, empty for now. If the trailer is any indication, though, the RCPD station will be filled with the lurching undead soon enough.
When Capcom brought Resident Evil to Universal Japan last year, it actually gave attendees plastic laser guns to fight back (and probably club a few actors with). While the concept and sets will surely make the trip from Osaka to Orlando, the handheld pistols will not be a part of the Orlando attraction according to current plans.
Other haunted mazes in Halloween Horror Nights 23 are "The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven", an Evil Dead maze, and a The Cabin in the Woods maze. Fair warning: the The Cabin in the Woods maze teaser page has some pretty heinous spoilers.
I know that Kirk thinks horror isn't mainstream, but it's mainstream enough for Universal Orlando to bring Silent Hill and now Resident Evil inside its walls. If you dig horror, namely the kind where guys in masks lunge at your face, then "Escape from Raccoon City" might be the Resident Evil for you.
First shots of the RE2 themed maze at Universal Orlando [Capcom Unity]