Game review: Umbrella Corps is a lazy shooter that tarnishes Resident Evil’s reputation
Simplistic and barely functional online, this Capcom spin-off of the popular zombie horror game series is a let-down on every front
How did this game ever get past the testing stage? We could understand if it was some no-name shooter that just popped onto the scene, but this is part of the Resident Evil franchise – even though you really can’t tell from its name and there’s been almost zero hype about it.
Available for the PC and PlayStation 4, Umbrella Corps is an online multiplayer team-based tactical third-person shooter – although that absolute mouthful could easily be traded in for “big old pile of crap”. It’s set a couple years after the events of Resident Evil 6, and gamers play a mercenary sent into the same locations to retrieve research or samples or communications, or whatever red herring device is applicable. It doesn’t really matter, not just because of its simplistic shoot-anything-that-moves dynamics, but also because seemingly no thought went into its flimsy story.
Let’s ignore that, though, and get into the gameplay – the bones of this corpse, if you will. Two modes are available and, in both of them, your over-the-shoulder character takes up a good third of the screen, darting around at breakneck speeds and pointlessly trying to find cover when everyone can see you anyway. There’s also “The Experiment”, a single-player slog that has you fighting through waves of the same enemies over and over, with the small caveat of a pointless challenge thrown in to the mix.
And then there’s the online option, which is where the fun really begins. That’s because, after a good 30 minutes waiting to join a game, you’ll soon find something – anything – better to keep you entertained. It isn’t just slow internet speeds in Hong Kong – we looked it up, and much like a zombie outbreak, the game’s inability to connect is a global phenomenon, which is pretty impressive considering this is largely an online-centric game. And on the rare occasion we actually did connect, we were left with a chaotic free-for-all on maps that were originally designed for small-scale survival-horror thrills, not blast-away shooters.
And what about the zombies, the heart of any Resident Evil game ? That’s probably the same question some big studio-head asked after testing the game last week – because the zombies are there, they’re just randomly scattered for no apparent reason over the maps, like a bunch of undead mannequins getting in your way.
It’s a cliched analogy, but fitting for a game this generic: Umbrella Corps is like a zombie – mindless, soulless and in an irreversible state of rigor mortis.