Umbrella Corps Review – Biohazardous

Capcom /

Resident Evil fan? Go and play the free RE7 demo instead.

Developers: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Platform: PlayStation 4 (Version reviewed), Xbox One, PC

Release Date: June 21st, 2016

It’s crazy to think that, just over a week ago, I was a witness to the reveal trailer for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. I remember feeling elated at the sight of a Resident Evil game which not only looks like it’ll respect the franchise’s survival horror heritage, but break new ground for the series by adopting the first-person viewpoint and even accommodating virtual reality technology. After years of disappointment, I was excited about Resident Evil once more. But then, of course, Umbrella Corps arrives not one week later to ruthlessly deprive me of any such hope.

Umbrella Corps doesn’t just fail as a spin-off to one of the greatest horror franchises of all time, it fails even as a basic multiplayer shooter. Aside from a few shoehorned inclusions, there isn’t an original bone in this game’s body, and the bones it does have are either fractured or severely dislocated.

Umbrella Corps
Capcom /

The main conceit has you playing as a member of the private army known as the eponymous Umbrella Corps, and the multiplayer bread and butter which the game is made up of consists of two teams of four battling it out over a series of objectives across a number of small-scale maps. These maps are inspired by famous locations throughout the Resident Evil lore and each also happens to be littered with zombies, which represents both a danger and a tool to players, who can use them as a bullet shield against other attacking enemies.

Unfortunately, just about everything in Umbrella Corps is broken in some way or another. The zombies AI code is all over the place, the kill animations stutter almost every time you land a blow, and the framerate dips and dives more frequently than a rollercoaster at Six Flags. On top of this, the murky, UI-heavy visuals are nauseatingly ugly, likely to induce a headache for anyone with a basic sense of artistic taste. Though the core gameplay involves wonky third-person shooting mechanics (which will awkwardly switch to first-person when you zoom in), players can also wield an electric axe known as the “brainer”, which can be charged up to brutally murder your rivals instantaneously.

Umbrella Corps
Capcom /

Unfortunately, the brainer is so overpowered (it can basically kill anyone with one hit), that it has already become the only viable weapon that players are using online. Almost every match I experienced was populated with people running around like headless chickens, brainer in hand, repeatedly attempting to hit each other before the game randomly determines who gets the kill. It was at once both hilarious and tragic to witness this mayhem unfold in a game that had been out for less than a day.

Aside from the multiplayer (which, by the way, only features two game modes), there is also a “single-player mode”, if you can even call it that. In reality, this feature just places you in the maps used for multiplayer, and tasks you with a series of context-less, arbitrary objectives that are neither entertaining nor remotely interesting to engage in. If anything, fighting solely against the zombies reveals just how poorly written they are as AI enemies, as they either don’t bother to attack you at all or manage to instantly kill you in one hit.

Umbrella Corps
Capcom /

I’ll end with the two “positive” things (though even that’s a stretch) I have to say about Umbrella Corps. There are some surprisingly varied customization options for your soldier, including the ability to play as Albert Wesker, but this does little to alleviate the painful experience of playing the game itself. It is also nice to return to classic Resident Evil locations such as the village and the Umbrella Facility…but, again, the game’s unappealing aesthetic pretty much butchers any nostalgia-fueled joy that might be ascertained from these set visits.

That’s the real tragedy of Umbrella Corps; any hint of something worthwhile in the game is quickly obscured by the sheer amount of mechanical and technical problems it suffers from.

2.5. <em>Umbrella Corps </em>is a real messy stinker of a game, and even talking about it makes me sad for its existence. <em>Resident Evil </em>deserves better, and consumers deserve better. If you were on the fence about <em>Umbrella Corps</em>, I beg you to get off on the correct side immediately and avoid going anywhere near this $30(!) title.. Capcom. . Umbrella Corps

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments.

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