Being loyal to a franchise's roots and formula is a tricky thing to manage. Veer too close and people will cry out concerns of stagnation and lack of innovation. Stray too far and they'll say it isn't worthy of the series' name. Whether this involves direct sequels or spin-offs, the amorphous goal of striding between faithfulness and evolution is difficult. This particular scribe thinks that Resident Evil 5 is a solid demonstration of hitting these two goals that appeases new and old fans alike, while Resident Evil 6, on the other hand, is how developers can butcher this balance. When it comes to Umbrella Corps, it not only feels like a completely foreign game to the franchise, but also fails to be good in any respect on its own, regardless of its legendary license.
When we booted this up, we were initially impressed by the crisp visuals and nicely organised customisation options. We definitely weren't expecting a traditional Resident Evil experience, but could get behind a tactical multiplayer shooter where agents of Umbrella prove themselves worthy of fighting for the sadistic corporation. There's high-octane action in the backdrop of this universe, so why not reserve this to the sidelines of the series instead of deluding the survival-horror focus of the main entries?
It's a great idea, and there's the hope that Umbrella Corps might have what it takes to fulfil this fantasy. The doors and side passages of the layered maps would serve as great ways to change the tides of battle with strategic navigation and teamwork; the breadth of mechanics and equipment that you can use to traverse these places and dispose of enemies must make way for entertaining combat scenarios. These were our hopeful impressions while playing the tutorial, but when we actually got into the core experience, any hope that we had of this being a decent spin-off evaporated quickly.
Your loadouts consist of the usual fare: a primary and secondary weapon, throwables, and a melee weapon called a Brainer. Attachments can be added to the firearms, and varying versions of Brainer hatchets and tomahawks can be unlocked as well, which are an unusually important gameplay element. They can be charged up to increase their power, which can then be unleashed on a foe as a one-hit kill, but using this in practice reveals the generic, somewhat stilted gameplay. We understand the focus on action, but with small maps and fast movement, shootouts feel rushed and uncoordinated, which is at odds with the maps' tactical-oriented level design, almost useless cover system, and host of communication options to help you layout simple strategies. At this point, we haven't even scratched the surface of the game's flaws.
What's immediately noticeable is the lack of modes and originality behind them. You would think a game that banks appeal on its online component would be replete with a good selection of things to do, but the only modes in sight are One Life Match and Multi-Mission. With a max of three players per team, the former turns out to be a lacklustre team deathmatch, and the latter a bizarre hodgepodge of modes such as capturing multiple points or Kill Confirmed-esque rounds where you collect samples from killing computer controlled zombies. It's a perplexing, frustratingly low pool of modes for a title like this.
The zombie AI that litter maps are a neat spin in concept, since players must either watch out for them or kill them to complete objectives. Sadly, though, they turn out to be more of an annoyance, as you can watch a teammate kill two opponents only to then be swarmed by zombies when they're attracted to the gunfire. To make matters worse, the AI is inconsistent to the point where the undead are either utterly ignorant to what's happening around them, or far too aggressive, with hordes of them running to your position in the blink of an eye. It's moments like this that make them more of a tedious distraction than a fun layer of difficulty.
However, the most heinous sin of the game is its balancing. Instead of firearms taking priority as essential tools, they're rendered inferior to the aforementioned Brainer melee weapon, which people run around with at disorienting speeds due to its one-hit kill and ridiculous range. You can't stop Brainer-wielders in their tracks with bullets half of the time, so you'll soon find yourself joining in with everyone else, running around like a madman as you all take turns to melee each other again and again. It's ridiculous to watch unfold, especially since it makes the game look like a joke as it attempts to sell itself as a serious shooter.
While there are admittedly cool, iconic settings used for maps and glimmers of fun to be had, the multiplayer as a whole is a repetitive bore that squanders any of its potential to stand out against more competent, tactical competitors like Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege. Almost everything about the package is sloppily thrown together with other nonsensical quirks that we haven't even mentioned yet, such as a claustrophobic, third-person perspective where your character takes up half the screen, and a poor respawning system.
Adding insult to injury, unlike Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City, the game doesn't even strive for a decent single player campaign. What we have are a string of bland challenges that recycle both the multiplayer's maps and modes with a meaningless survival angle, strung together by a "narrative" that has no substance whatsoever and contributes nothing to flesh out stories involving Umbrella or its soldiers. While playing, you'll just be using your standard pistol-whip melee attack most of the time in these forgettable, same-y missions since it's far more effective than your firearms or Brainer. Yes, the balancing is just exceptional here, too.
Moving on, we've got to mention the terrible, repetitive voice acting, which isn't even like the crap-but-endearing kind that the franchise is known for. On top of that, you'll hear stock sound effects and a horrible mix of music, complemented by graphics that may look sharp, but are cut down by awkward animation and an uncapped frame rate that constantly moves between 25 to 50 frames-per-second. It's jarring and unacceptable for a competitive game.
Lastly, before you even notice how unrewarding the unlockables are - consisting of symbols, different types of gun sights, and subtle variations of similar weapons that don't add any complexity to what roles players can occupy - you'll likely have long left behind what little this game has to offer. You may find a couple hours of enjoyment with a small group of friends by closely working together, but the effort simply isn't worth your time.
Umbrella Corps is a brain-dead mess of good ideas gone wrong. It partially hides its flaws underneath a veneer of pretty graphics and promising gameplay concepts, but it can't hold up under its own weight in execution. Patches may iron out some of our grievances, but conflicting mechanics, dumb level design choices, balancing issues, technical problems, and shallow content plague this shambling title to the core, ensuring a quick burial with single-player missions that are a mere afterthought. This isn't just a bad Resident Evil game, but a disappointing multiplayer shooter; a spin-off that feels like little more than a lazy cash grab.
Its a shame this game looks interesting on paper. Oh well there is no shortage of great PS4 games to play!
looks like this Umbrella.........is a bit wet!
(i'm sorry i'll see myself out)
From what I've seen this game deserves a 0. It's just disgusting what they do to keep getting money from fans.
From what I heard, this game was made by a low budget Capcom team?(no wonder they didn't bother fixing the problems), with the objective of attracting the wider western audience. Which is dumb because why bother making a game of a franchise that got messed up since Resident Evil 5 if you don't have a higher budget? Kind of makes me think of what was the point of delaying the game since the problems wouldn't be fixed in the first place?
Umbrella Corps is one of those games that should have never been made, and seeing this a PS4 CONSOLE EXCLUSIVE it is just embarrassing. What Capcom should have done for us instead is localizing Dragon's Dogma Online or announcing a release date for Deep Down.
Oh dear, not even bargain bin worthy!
Good ole' Capcom,
Pathetic. The only good RE spinoffs are the Revelations games, the Chronicle ones weren't too bad either, beyond that, they all suck. This one, however, I have to wonder why it got greenlit at all. Nobody wants this. I still have some hope for 7 but it's a shame Capcom hasn't learned that stuff like this is why RE has faltered. Stupid, pointless attempts to 'expand the audience' eventhough RE fans don't want this and people who aren't RE fans don't care.
This sounds perfect for PS Plus lol the running around maniac braining sessions sound hilarious.
@Gamer83 I actually like Revelations and Chronicles more than the main games
@Bad-MuthaAdebisi yeah def should be a ps free game, at least then it would have a temporary player base.
@DualWielding Well i like Revelations but no way they are better then 0,1,2,3 and 4 for me that is. I would love to a new Breakout with offline/online coöp.
I like both Revelations and both Chronicles games better than 0, 4, 5 and 6, but RE 1/REmake, 2, 3 and Code Veronica still represent the pinnacle of the franchise. Hopefully the lame, modern-day Capcom doesn't screw up REmake 2.
Oi Capcom, stop making crap and give me my Dragon's Dogma PS4 remaster.
Save us, Resident Evil 7!
The way the player moves in the game freaks me out, its like a person with treads instead of legs.
I have no faith in this franchise anymore. I can't even get hyped for RE7. I just don't trust Capcom at this point.
Man. I guess they bit off a bit more than they could chew when it comes to attempting to make an eSport.
Its funny because the player base was dead to begin with
Ha, a 3. I guess Capcom should either quit with the Resident Evil spinoffs or take a step back and re-evaluate the direction they're going.
Capcom is slowly but surely inching closer to Nintendo for top spot of making one mistake after the other.
pretty sad to hear this turned out to be such a disappointment - this could have easily been a pretty fun coop experience, cant understand how they messed up such an easy concept ... would be interested in the sales of this game
Capcom should take heed to what @ShogunRok says.
Dead Rising is still pretty good as well. But yeah aside from that and Monster Hunter, not much for Capcom to brag about these days. Especially after what happened with that game that came out in February.
@Utena-mobile yeah i'm sorry (goes and sits in the stupid corner)
Much like Operation Raccoon City, the concept sounds fun on paper, but the final product is terrible. At least the Operation Raccoon City multiplayer had the novelty of Nemesis.
Even the trailer makes it look mediocre and that's putting it lightly. And that Zero-frame snapping... sick in mouth
Did anyone expect anything less
I own this game. Although it's not perfect, it's been fun for the most part. Especially when you're playing with your friends in a squad. I went into this game with extremely low expectations, I mean just look at the game, how can you not?
This game has definitely exceeded those low expectations. As far as there being "no people" playing, it's not true. There's definitely people playing. Maybe not millions of people like call of duty has. But there's more than enough to get a good game going.
Is it worth 30 dollars? No. Do I regret buying it? Nope.
@SoulsBourne128 I'm really curious about the development behind it, too. Capcom really does like to waste its resources! In all honesty this could have been really good as a spin-off; I wouldn't mind some action in the RE universe as long as the main games are focused on survival-horror, but this...nah.
@Gamer83 The Revelations games are FANTASTIC. The second one in particular is one of my favorite RE games! I'd say these are my favorites in order.
4. Revelations 2
Anyway, I'm a bit wary of RE7 as well. I heard it's going to be entirely in first-person? That sounds bizarre, but as long as it has RE style gameplay with tank controls from that perspective, I can see it working. It'd sure feel weird at first, but I think that limited perspective might add to the terror since everything can feel more close and personal.
@Bad-MuthaAdebisi Oh, it's hilarious. In the worst kind of way. lol I can see it being fun with a group of friends just for the laughs, but it's still a horrible balancing issue.
@sonicmeerkat I KNOW, RIGHT? I forgot to mention that. There's no natural motion to the character with that. It looks and feels like they didn't alter anything to make it better!
@Splat Capcom is such a weird publisher. They give me great hope with projects like Revelations 2 and releasing substantial remasters, so it's like they know what fans want. But then they come out with trash like this that can't even be a good multiplayer shooter on its own. It's all unpredictable highs and lows with Capcom, so with RE7...I don't know. I'm intrigued with where they're going with it, but I'm not on the hype train yet.
@MadAussieBloke I played about two hours of the single-player and stopped because I got what impressions I needed, so I didn't finish it all. If what you said is true...that's just disgusting. UGH.
@Utena-mobile Right. Navigating all the customization menus was nice, but the actual cosmetics and items you can get are so limited and bland. And yeah, I saw that color change DLC in Joe Vargas' (AngryJoe) review of the game. So boring!
@THEundying27 Like I said, I think you could get some fun out of this with some friends. I definitely get that. And sure, I wouldn't say the player base is that low...for now. I was able to find matches easily enough. But when it comes to multiplayer games, I ask myself, "Is this only worth playing with friends or would it be fun by myself, too?" However you answer that question, I think it really tells a lot about the game's quality and potential longevity, and for me, Umbrella Corps is so exceptionally average and poorly designed that playing with friends doesn't make it that much more enjoyable in the long run. But hey, glad you're enjoying it.
The thing with RE 7 is I enjoyed the demo quite a bit, and Condemned: Criminal Origins showed a first person horror-themed game can work well (which is why it was disappointing the sequel went more action-focused) so I'm still looking forward to the game and I'm interested to see what the new characters are like. I better see some familiar faces (at least Claire, Jill and Barry, my three favorites), however. It's Resident Evil 7, not a complete reboot so the story also has to line up.
And my top 5 RE games:
2. Code Veronica
3. RE 1
4. Revelations 2
The top 3 are on a whole other level from the rest of the series. After Code Veronica is was kind of a decline for the franchise. 4 and 5 are both interesting games for me. I think if you take them on their own, you have two great action games and both got away from the horrendous 'tank' controls and fixed camera angles, which were necessary in the days of PSone and maybe even early days of PS2 but aren't anything more than crutches for the more 'modern' era which began as PS2, Xbox and Gamecube were at the end of their cycles. As 'Resident Evil' games though, I didn't think 4 hit any of the right notes. I appreciated with 5 that, while it was a bit more action-focused than I'd have liked, Capcom at least tried to tie things back into RE lore as the story for 4 didn't really seem to have much to do with the rest of the series but the follow-up worked it back in. I could see things going in a direction I wasn't happy with after that and, sure enough, 6 was a mess which suffered a severe identity crisis. The only thing I liked is it let me move and shoot. I actually prefer Revelations 1 to 6 as well. That control scheme, which was improved on in Revelations 2, shows you can move and shoot but still be very deliberately paced so things don't seem out of a control. I can suspend my belief and assume that these characters are capable of superhuman feats as the whole series is ridiculous anyway. But the way 6 played with all the matrix-type nonsense, it just wasn't what I wanted. I think Revelations 2 is the best example of what I want from a modern RE. It's just too bad they were obviously on a tight budget.
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